Scandinavian male names

[LFA] Luca Mistletoe

2020.10.19 20:14 Deeras2 [LFA] Luca Mistletoe

I made a character once and have one very small visual representation of him. I would like a larger one.
Name: Luca Mistletoe
Sex: Male
Race: Human
Class: Rogue
Age: 25 years
Height: 5'8" (173 cm)
Weight: 148 lbs (67 kg)
Alignment: Neutral Good
Hair: Blonde and short
Skin: Scandinavian
Eyes: Right eye is hidden behind black eye patch, left eye is green

Personality: He is systematic, precise, practical and organized, but also critical, bleak, often cynical and very constrained. Swords, knives and other sharp weaponry have always been his passion. He also doesn’t often help other people by himself, not from bad intentions, but rather believing that he has enough problems on his own and cannot afford doing things for other people. Upon breaking through his tightly sealed shell, though, he is an incredibly kind person. Someone who always listens and says exactly what you need to hear. He has his reasons for being so closed off, though. His father tried to kill him when he was young due to... reasons.
Clothing: white shirt (shirt, not t-shirt), dark grey trousers and shoes, dark green cloak (only rarely wears it), brown utility belt (contains small sharp weaponry such throwing knives, kunai and vials full of different-colored liquids, a black eye patch on his right eye and red gloves.
Wears two short swords on his back to draw with his right hand.
Other aspects: Green semi-transparent ethereal knives float around him.
Note: Luca Mistletoe's clothing is (purely coincidentally) quite similar to Erra Lumaris as shown on this reddit post:
submitted by Deeras2 to characterdrawing [link] [comments]

2020.10.12 21:57 Polo_player_61 This is a long read but it's fascinating.

A reconstruction of the god house. (University Museum of Bergen)
1,200-Year-Old Temple to Thor And Odin Has Been Unearthed in Norway
8 OCTOBER 2020
The remains of a 1,200-year-old pagan temple to the Old Norse gods such as Thor and Odin have been discovered in Norway - a rare relic of the Viking religion built a few centuries before Christianity became dominant there.
Archaeologists say the large wooden building - about 45 feet (14 meters) long, 26 feet (8 m) wide, and up to 40 feet (12 m) high - is thought to date from the end of the eighth century and was used for worship and sacrifices to gods during the midsummer and midwinter solstices.
Old Norse culture was famous and feared by some a century later, after bands of Norse sailors and warriors known as the Vikings started trading, raiding and colonizing throughout Europe and into Iceland, Greenland and Canada.
This is the first Old Norse temple found in the country, said archaeologist Søren Diinhoff of the University Museum of Bergen.
"This is the first time we've found one of these very special, very beautiful buildings," Diinhoff told Live Science. "We know them from Sweden and we know them from Denmark. … This shows that they also existed in Norway."
The Norse began building these large "god houses", as they're called, in the sixth century. The god houses were much more complex than the simple sites, often outdoors, that the people previously used to worship the Old Norse gods.
"It is a stronger expression of belief than all the small cult places," he said. "This is probably something to do with a certain class of the society, who built these as a real ideological show."
God house
Archaeologists unearthed the foundations of the ancient building last month at Ose, a seaside village near the town of Ørsta in western Norway, ahead of preparations for a new housing development.
Post-holes that show its distinctive shape. (University Museum of Bergen)
Their excavations revealed traces of early agricultural settlements dating to between 2,000 and 2,500 years ago, including the remains of two longhouses that would have each been the center of a small farm for a family and their animals, Diinhoff said.
The remains of the god house at Ose, however, are from a later time when the area began to be dominated by an elite group of wealthy families - a distinction that arose as Scandinavian societies began to interact with the more stratified societies of the Roman Empire and the Germanic tribes of northern Europe.
"When the new socially differentiated society set in, in the Roman Iron Age, the leading families took control of the cult," he said.
Norse religious worship became more ideological and organized, and god houses at Ose were patterned on Christian basilicas that travelers had seen in southern lands, he said.
As a result, Old Norse temples featured a distinctive high tower above the pitched roof, which was a copy of the towers of early Christian churches, he said.
Although the wooden building is now long-gone, the post-holes that remain show its shape, including the round central posts of its tower - a very distinctive construction that was only ever used in god houses, Diinhoff said. "It would have been very impressive."
Ancient worship
The purpose of the site is also revealed by a concentration of cooking pits where food for religious feasts was prepared, and numerous bones - the remains of animal sacrifices.
A large white "phallus" stone, roughly representing the male genital organ, was also found nearby several years ago and was probably part of the Old Norse fertility rituals, Diinhoff said.
Ceremonies would have been held in the god house for important festivals on the religious calendar, such as the midsummer and midwinter solstices - the shortest and longest nights of the year, respectively.
Meat, drink and sometimes precious metals like gold would have been offered to wooden figurines within the building that represented the Old Norse gods - in particular the war god Odin, the storm god Thor, and the fertility god Freyr, who were commonly worshipped in the Old Norse religion and gave their names in English to Wednesday, Thursday and Friday.
As the gods could only partake of the festival food in spirit, the physical food and drink would be enjoyed by their worshippers. "You would have a good mood, a lot of eating and a lot of drinking," Diinhoff said. "I think they would have had a good time."
The Old Norse religion was suppressed from the 11th century, when Norway's kings forcibly imposed the Christian religion and tore down or burned buildings like the god house at Ose to enforce worship in the new Christian churches.
So far, there's no evidence that the god house at Ose was part of that purge, Diinhoff said.
Further work could reveal the house was among the pagan buildings destroyed at the time. "It would be ideal if we could explain that," he said. "But we're not there yet."
This article was originally published by Live Science. Read the original article here.
submitted by Polo_player_61 to NorsePaganism [link] [comments]

2020.10.05 20:30 ChronoMonkeyX Just listened to Peace Talks. Didn't love it.

Here come the downvotes, and I don't mind, but I want to get these thoughts out. Please avoid responding with Battle Ground spoilers, haven't gotten it yet. Things that annoyed me, in no particular order:
Who wrote this? One of my biggest complaints in a tv series is inconsistent characterization, which makes me wonder if the person writing a season 5 episode only read a synopsis of season 1 and ignored all character development in between. Harry acts like he doesn't know Justine, surprised that she is intelligent and strong, despite the fact that they are well acquainted and practically family. Justine is surprised that Harry would look out for her and try to help Thomas. Did you two just meet? Did I miss that this is in an alternate universe or something?
Similarly, Lara accuses Harry of manipulating her and imprisoning Thomas to extort her. It's fair that she jumps to this conclusion in the heat of the moment, as she didn't know what Harry had planned and was surprised, but after he locks her down and explains, she stays cold and confrontational, apparently torpedoing their tenuous friendship. I've always believed Lara liked him well enough that she considers him extended family, as long as it doesn't conflict with her normal business- they do share a brother they both love. Harry, a moron, would never get his head out of his ass far enough to see it, but this isn't about his reaction. The way this played out on Demonreach, you'd think they haven't saved eachother's lives numerous times. Same goes for Harry's relationship with Mab; she manipulates him because as a fairy she is incapable of just asking him for something, even when it is in his or the World's best interest, and Harry is too stupid and suspicious to accept it if she could. That doesn't make her as hostile as Harry thinks she is, it just makes him stupid and Mab clever enough to know how to extract what she needs from him.
Murphy. God I hate Murphy, and I can't understand why anyone likes her, including Harry. Cutting off casts to throw herself into danger, then getting the drop on a Valkyrie while nowhere near full strength, even though that is patently absurd even if she were. Said Valkyrie thinking it was hot. Barf. Murphy is one of the worst examples of Mary Sue I've ever seen, a piece of shit who everyone loves for no explainable reason, like Elizabeth Keen on Blacklist.
Ebenezer kills Harry? I know he's cantankerous, and I appreciate the reveal that his lessons of control for Harry are based on his own struggles with control, but he just murdered Harry, that's not okay, even if it turned out to be a simulacrum. This is worse than when everyone was literally enchanted into being belligerent toward him by Peabody. Ramirez and the wardens are just as bad, and that is seemingly out of nowhere. I get that he is Winter Knight now, which changes things, but they skipped right past caution into naked hostility. Maybe BG will explain that everyone was influenced again, but I don't expect Butcher to dip into that well twice.
A goddess? He's going to pit his will against a goddess? One that can dropkick Mab and shut down Odin, who himself can shut down Harry without trying? I know the power levels steadily escalate throughout the series, but this is a stupid leap to make without any proper setup.
This is easily the weakest book of the series, even completely disregarding the lack of plot developments, which can be forgiven due to the nature of the book being incomplete without Battle Ground. My problem is that it feels like fan fiction, and I have to ask, who wrote this? I love Butcher, I've read or listened to all of Dresden, Codex Alera, and Aeronaut's Windlass multiple times, but this does not compare to the quality of even his earliest works. I always say Butcher gets better every book, but that just came to an end.

Now for the most controversial part: I didn't like Marsters' narration. This is the first of the series I listened to and I won't listen again. I didn't like audiobooks when I first got Dresden Files, then I stayed with reading because that's how I started, but I saw the audiobook in the library app and people rave about the narration, so I gave it a shot this time. His voice for Harry is entirely without charm or charisma, and most males sound so similar to him that I don't know who is talking.
His pronunciation of Einherjer with a hard J is shocking. I'm not Scandinavian, but it was obvious to me immediately upon seeing it (before I ever started Dresden files) that it is a Y sound, and I'm not paid to say it.
His Mab voice is a crime. It does explain why so few people here like Mab, since Marsters made her a wicked witch, when wicked witch was never what she was, that was just Harry's ignorant misconception based on folk stories. Also, I may be mistaken, but I read the B in Mab as a V, like in Siobhan. The name Maeve is a form is Mab. I didn't expect he would pronounce it Mav, but I would have been pleasantly surprised if he did.
Some voices were good, I liked Maggie and Bonnie, Sanya and the Cajun ghoul, LeChance. I like that he puts emphasis on the spell castings, you can feel the "FORZARE," but the bland Harry isn't worth listening to.
Flame suit on, give it to me.
submitted by ChronoMonkeyX to dresdenfiles [link] [comments]

2020.10.03 13:45 LatchKeyKidGrownUp Why do women keep asking me what country I am from?

I'm a white 6'1 male with brown hair and green eyes (one would hope that's a fairly standard profile in Australia).
And yet I always get women ask me where I am from?... It's kind of mind-blowing when I think about it.
I'm a white Australian male... But my own people have seemingly decided that despite the fact that I am clearly a white person in a predominantly white country that I still am most likely "probably not Australian". So much so in fact that they feel the need to ask me where I am from.
I'm from Australia. Where else would I be from?...
And yet the more women ask me this question the more I can't help but realize what a truly peculiar thing it is to ask a stranger... Why would you randomly assume someone must be from another country? And what relevance does it have when we're both strangers?
But I'm always asked this question. And always by women (like they have decided they know where I am from before they even talk to me).
Today I was asked where I am from out of nowhere by some lady. Like it was automatically assumed I clearly wasn't Australian. So I explained to her that I am Australian (but with Swedish ancestry). To which she responds with "Oh, you look very Ukrainian to me!".
With all due respect, it seemed like such an absurd thing to hear. What would an Australian woman know about Ukranians? And do Ukrainians even have a "look"? And is that look good or bad?
What does telling me I look like I am from a certain country even mean?
Women always do this and it always ends in the same way: them confessing that I look like I'm from some random country in Europe. I've been told I look Scandinavian, Northern European, Eastern European -- you name it.
It doesn't bother me... But this practice seems completely bizarre to me.
I don't look at random women around and go "hmm that random lady doesn't look Australian... I wonder what country she is from. Better go ask her!".
Lady: I am Australian...
''Well, you look very Jewish to me!''.
Like it just makes no sense to me.
That would be weird. So I am curious why it happens to me so often. I don't really understand the purpose of it all.
submitted by LatchKeyKidGrownUp to dating_advice [link] [comments]

2020.10.02 00:41 LatchKeyKidGrownUp Why do people of the same nationality always ask me where I am from?

I'm a white 6'1 male with brown hair and green eyes (one would hope that's a fairly standard profile in Australia).
And yet I always get older women ask me where I am from?... It's kind of mind-blowing when I think about it.
I'm a white Australian male... But my own people have seemingly decided that despite the fact that I am clearly a white person in a predominantly white country that I still am most likely "probably not Australian". So much so in fact that they feel the need to ask me where I am from.
I'm from Australia. Where else would I be from?...
And yet the more women ask me this question the more I can't help but realize what a truly peculiar thing it is to ask a stranger... Why would you randomly assume someone must be from another country? And what relevance does it have when we're both strangers?
But I'm always asked this question. And always by women (like they have decided they know where I am from before they even talk to me).
Today I was asked where I am from out of nowhere by some lady. Like it was automatically assumed I clearly wasn't Australian. So I explained to her that I am Australian (but with Swedish ancestry). To which she responds with "Oh, you look very Ukrainian to me!".
With all due respect, it seemed like such an absurd thing to hear. What would an Australian woman know about Ukranians? And do Ukrainians even have a "look"?
Women always do this and it always ends in the same way: them confessing that I look like I'm from some random country in Europe. I've been told I look Scandinavian, Northern European, Eastern European -- you name it.
It doesn't bother me... But this practice seems completely bizarre to me.
I don't look at random women around and go "hmm that random lady doesn't look Australian... I wonder what country she is from. Better go ask her".
That would be weird. So I am curious why it happens to me so often. I don't really understand the purpose of it all.
submitted by LatchKeyKidGrownUp to ask [link] [comments]

2020.10.01 16:44 LatchKeyKidGrownUp Why do people keep asking me where I am from?...

I'm a white 6'1 male with brown hair and green eyes (one would hope that's a fairly standard profile in Australia).
And yet I always get older women ask me where I am from?... It's kind of mind-blowing when I think about it.
I'm a white Australian male... But my own people have seemingly decided that despite the fact that I am clearly a white person in a predominantly white country that I still am most likely "probably not Australian". So much so in fact that they feel the need to ask me where I am from.
I'm from Australia. Where else would I be from?...
And yet the more women ask me this question the more I can't help but realize what a truly peculiar thing it is to ask a stranger... Why would you randomly assume someone must be from another country? And what relevance does it have when we're both strangers?
But I'm always asked this question. And always by women (like they have decided they know where I am from before they even talk to me).
Today I was asked where I am from out of nowhere by some lady. Like it was automatically assumed I clearly wasn't Australian. So I explained to her that I am Australian (but with Swedish ancestry). To which she responds with "Oh, you look very Ukrainian to me!".
With all due respect, it seemed like such an absurd thing to hear. What would an Australian woman know about Ukranians? And do Ukrainians even have a "look"?
Women always do this and it always ends in the same way: them confessing that I look like I'm from some random country in Europe. I've been told I look Scandinavian, Northern European, Eastern European -- you name it.
It doesn't bother me... But this practice seems completely bizarre to me.
I don't look at random women around and go "hmm that random lady doesn't look Australian... I wonder what country she is from. Better go ask her".
That would be weird. So I am curious why it happens to me so often. I don't really understand the purpose of it all.
submitted by LatchKeyKidGrownUp to socialskills [link] [comments]

2020.09.28 09:00 mbdai I really want to get my friend back.

I had a friend on steam from scandinavia, can’t remember where exactly, prob norway. His name was Temp, or Temporary152003, he was a real good friend but he hasn’t been online for a year, if anyone knows how he is, or any info, please tell me. If you see this, I don’t remember my nick at the time but, we had a group, called TF2 Party or something, with 3 people from here. Some info: Probably from Norway, 100% Scandinavian though, Male, I don’t know his skin tone, he was born in 2003 and I can’t remember his real name. He didn’t have reddit at the time, don’t know bout now though.
submitted by mbdai to teenagers [link] [comments]

2020.09.19 07:09 rutgerseng Mother of us All, a WTF story (long). TLDR: Instructions unclear, lost Kanem-Bornu throne to Norse infant and other chicanery.

First post! First Reddit post! This game inspired me to join and de-lurk. I wrote this during release week, but got delayed due to work.
Short background: Crusader Kings III is my first of the genre and I’ve been slowly teaching myself since launch via Tooltip-ception. After a few introductory segments with “beginner island”, the duchess of Firenze, and vikings in Scotland, I felt I understood enough game mechanics to take on a larger challenge. I felt it was time to unite Africa under one faith starting as Daurama Daura. The good news is, this exercise has taught me a tremendous amount about the game mechanics. ...The other good news is that I’ve found that I do enjoy the wacky, and sometimes infuriating, situations that I get myself into because I do not yet understand the game mechanics.
Okay, so the scenario starts off with you, Daurama the chieftess of Daura, married to King “the Snake” Johnson, and with no heirs of your house that stand to inherit any titles. Thankfully (I think this is scripted), an event appears that allows you to choose to maintain your matrilineal heritage and get a one-time, easy switch to female preferred succession, or adopt your husband’s culture. I chose the former and soon had a daughter by my husband (I think the 3 consorts I took encouraged him to get that baby train rolling). I sighed in relief as I got passed this initial hurdle seemingly by dumb luck. I then promptly died due to “unknown reasons” at the age of 29.
The Daura Dynasty continues as I start playing as this 1-year old girl. I give her a great education and expand the realm to include a second Duchy-rank area to the west. My father is continuously waging wars to the east. I only become aware of this because I accumulate a tremendous amount of stress and suffer a mental breakdown at the age of 14 due to the loss of several half-brothers in battle. As I am underage and have not yet taken the throne, I can not take royal decisions, such as “host feast”, to reduce my stress. My stress climbs to ~170 and I become irritable.
After several years, I am able to manage my stress by feasting, “lashing out”, and “calling hunts”. My firstborn daughter and heir seems like she’ll be a rockstar scholar and I train her as such. When she comes of age I make her my court priest equivalent and court physician. Suddenly I get a notification that my heir has switched to my fourth child and newborn daughter. Fantastic. At the time my guess was that clergy are forced to be unlanded, but I had a difficult time finding that in the various menus and tooltips. I also learned that the court priest(ess) could only be switched out every 10 years. Please don’t die in the next 10 years. Please don’t die in the next 10 years. See? So much opportunity for learning!
Thankfully I did not die for quite a while. During this period I continued to expand my realm through conquest, taking much of my father’s land and crowning myself queen. I have 4 more children with various consorts (Boorii bless this woman) and my firstborn daughter, the kickass priestess, decides to become my rival. Her physician abilities are tested when I encounter my first Bubonic Plague event. As the disease began to jump from courtier to courtier, including 2 of my sons, I had a morbid thought of how to make this disaster work for me. One of those sons was I quickly arranged a matrilineal marriage with a princess from two kingdoms over. He was going to die anyway, right? Why not weaken my enemies while I’m at it? Unfortunately, this powerful princess was still slightly underage and my son recovered just before they could marry. As this outbreak was my first time, I didn’t know that people could likely recover from it, nor how quickly the event would end. A few years later the plague was back, but I managed to keep it contained, only losing a total of 1 son and 3 additional courtiers. Eventually I was able to switch out my firstborn from her Holy post and she regained her heir status. I continued to conquer and raid, I contracted smallpox and healed (this woman is indomitable), and generally had smooth sailing until my peaceful death at the age of 54.
Thus began the prestigious reign of Badass Mcgee, Book Devourer. She would go on to reform the Bori faith, capture several holy sites, become a “Religious Icon”, and rule as “The Living Legend”. Relatively early in her reign, I attempted to add a daughter to her family to take away succession from her two sons (female preference), so I once again took on 3 consorts. Unfortunately, the child was male and would prove to be the last of my children. It was about this time I realized that Paradox designed CK3 such that the mother always knows who the father of the child is, regardless of the amount of sexual partners she has. Meaning, I got that event where my husband thinks the child is his but neither he, nor the biological father know the truth. I made the decision to keep the secret from both of them and named the boy after his biological father; not suspicious in the slightest. I like to think of some climatic scene from a daytime drama where we see both men simultaneously sit bolt-upright in their beds, wrenched from their fitful slumber, sweat on their faces quickly turning cold in the late-autumn breeze, shouting into the night, “I knew it!”
Fortunately (or sadly), neither of them figured it out. I was keeping an eye on my age at this point as I was desperately close to the massive amount of faith needed to reform my religion, Bori. With how awesome this woman was at faith gain, I was worried I wouldn’t get this chance again in the next few generations. Around the age of 62, when my latest gout treatment didn’t go all that well, I decided to pull the trigger at ~5200 faith and cut out all of my desired tenants that were too expensive. In my infinite wisdom, I chose “equal” gender preference as one of the doctrines, which immediately changed my succession law to match. This would definitely not come back to bite me. My territorial conquests continued at a greater rate, aided by the ability to mount Holy Wars on Duchies and Kingdoms. I gathered enough kingdoms to crown myself Empress (High Chieftess because still in tribal governments), a great achievement considering her grandmother started as a duchess. My half-sister organized 2 attempts on my life, I continued to wrestle with gout, but wouldn’t die. Little did I know that this unstoppable titan of the Hausa people would make all the way to age 81, only then passing away quietly in her sleep. She took over 2500 faith with her, making me wish I had waited at least another decade before reforming Bori. So it goes.
I then became the new Emperor, her eldest son. He was meh. I don’t remember anything notable about his reign, probably because he died in 3 years. I probably tried to move titles around so that no one vassal got too powerful. Unbeknownst to me, things were about to get real spicy.
First of all, I was quite surprised when the “You have died” screen suddenly appeared. I had just finished ruling the Hausas for the past ~110 years with only two women; in comparison this felt like a rude awakening. After selecting to continue on as his eldest daughter, I noticed that among my major notifications was a distantly familiar symbol, the dynasty tree. “Your Player Heir will not inherit your primary title.” Wait, what? Hmm. I have two sons. Okay. I have Confederate Partition, Equal gender preference succession. Okay. I mouse over my sons...they were born into my husband’s house. Crap. I learned yet another great lesson that day. Up until now I had only cared about my immediate heir and never looked further down the road. In other words, while I was playing as the supreme leader of Sub-Saharan Africa, my idiot son married his heir into a different house, who proceeded to have children. I hope she’s slapping him across his idiot face in the afterlife. I reformed Bori to have “ancestor worship,” a tenet which allows you to obtain an additional boon when going on a pilgrimage. I hope that it becomes a tradition of future generations to seek the ancestors on this pilgrimage, specifically because they get to enjoy watching some long-gone Empress smack her son whenever he tries to offer advice.
Okay, now how do I fix this? I’m not out of the game yet as a Daura, my uncle, stands to inherit a title. But that’s not good enough, I want to keep all the hard work I’ve put into building this magnificent Hausa empire. It’s back to basics; I immediately take as many men into my bed as are willing. I’m pregnant? Wonderful! I gave birth to a healthy little girl? Well, I guess I no longer care who they are as long as they claim the crown, but good for theming. Now I’ll just have to eliminate my other children and...wait. Why did the dynasty tree icon change from green to brown? ...She is a spawn of my husband and I forgot to divorce him. Now all of my titles are split between my children of his house with none left for my uncle to inherit. It’s okay, I’m still a healthy, middle-aged woman who is definitely not going to die any time soon.
I divorce my husband post haste and add a new man as he’s walking out the door, this time making sure it’s matrilineal. Now I have 4 men to help me get it right this time. In the meantime, I try to figure out some way of saving titles for my house. I can’t grant my titles to my heirs before I die, but now that my uncle isn’t on that list anymore, how about I give him a kingdom? What’s that? I’m still going to lose the game? Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh my player heir must inherit a title, not be granted it to continue playing. Okay, now I’m down a kingdom. Can I change the inheritance law to favor the youngest child? I need to have “high crown authority” which requires, among other things, feudalism. Well that’s still over a hundred years out, so no. How about I try murdering my children? This will be a good chance to understand hostile intrigues a bit better. I can’t murder my children? Come on, I at least had the forethought to change Bori’s doctrine on kin-slaying from “criminal” to “shunned” when I reformed two generations ago. What are my children, if not kin? Can I “disinherit” them? Nope. The dynasty head (me) can only disinherit those of their own dynasty, and again, my father screwed that up. What about imprisoning my children starting with my eldest son, the crown prince? Maybe I can figure out something once he’s in the dungeon...oh. He escaped capture and left the empire? I see. Where did he go? Apparently my ex-husband is now the captain of a mercenary band out west and my son is off gallivanting with him. I know! What if I marry my second son matrilineally to some far away princess? Ooooooo, Freyja Eskildsdottir of house Rurikid, daughter of some powerful Norse Jarl? I’m not sure how you ended up on my recommended list of eligible bachelorettes, but sounds great! What? Both he and his rogue brother are still inheriting most of my titles despite leaving my court? Gosh, I should really start checking the succession window more often to see if what I’m doing is having any effect. Well, at least there’s some good news, I’ve given birth to a healthy baby girl. Who’s the father? I honestly don’t care at this point. She’s apparently going to inherit something when I die.
While I work on trying to come up with some new scheme to secure the crown for my little girl, embark on a massive campaign to expand my borders further in the hopes that some of the new titles will find their way into her hands. I have her train with my marshal to prepare her for possible future wars of succession, and I offer her hand in matrilineal marriage to an adept schemer. May he be a great help to her one day.
All of a sudden the music blares with thunderous drums, epic fanfare, and an angry choir. My 19-year old niece has marched into my throne room and challenged me to a duel. It’s a prowess contest and I have a 0% chance of winning. For a moment I just sat there, staring at the screen. You can do that?!?
Apparently it’s a decision you can take called, “claim throne against your liege,” and it’s a perk in the “stewardship” lifestyle tree. Wait, I’m going ham in the stewardship tree. Well check that out. I’m a little squeamish at first because I don’t want to risk another prowess contest, but I’m running out of time and frankly, a little tilted. Thankfully, when I return to de-throne my niece, we instead have a diplomacy contest, one which I have a 71% of winning. Good, I’m the empress again. Back to the task at hand, adding gathering more titles to split and erasing my children from the family tree.
I don’t remember how, but I gain a weak hook (lesser favor) on my first-born and realize I can convince him to rejoin my court. Now that he’s in my realm again, let’s try that whole imprisonment thing again. Okay, he’s securely held in a dungeon cell. What if I try that on the other two? I recall my second born and third born (she was at her husband’s court) to court and also successfully throw them in the dungeon. Now I have them in my clutches! Haha! I banish thee! The banishment tooltip says…BAM. My niece is back for round 2 and she looks even more angry. No, it’s not the anger that’s different, it’s the leprosy, a serious health status that significantly lowers her prowess. I cast her aside and hope to never see her again. Right, where was I? The banishment tooltip says it’s “arguably the harshest form of punishment. Banished landed rulers are deposed, while banished courtiers have their assets seized.” This is exactly what I’ve been looking for! *It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia intro music plays* The gang retains their succession rights. Now, what? They’re not rulers so I can’t depose them, and they have no assets at present for me to take? I calmly remind myself that I’m learning so, so much.
As my banished heirs scatter to the winds and my age nears 70, I give up my misguided quest and lay the burden of reclaiming the throne on my youngest. I soon catch some illness and decide to settle my affairs before I go. And by settle my affairs, I mean committing acts of tyranny by revoking several high-level titles from my vassals. After I die, my eldest son returns from exile, takes the throne and proceeds to partition my titles amongst the heirs. When it is all said and done, my daughter (player heir) inherits a small kingdom and 3 scattered chiefdoms. My house had lost the empire, 3 kingdoms, my most prosperous duchies, and a few choice chiefdoms. I vowed to get it all back and fulfill my goal of uniting Africa.
First thing’s first, assess my military power and consolidate holdings from my vassals. I won’t be able to challenge him in war any time soon, but he certainly lost quite a bit of power in the succession. As I take a look at my new council I notice that both my husband and spymaster are exceptional schemers. Perhaps it’s time I attempt what my mother could not, murdering my family. As I select the “murder” hostile scheme, I see that it will have a 95% chance of success and a 95% chance of maintaining secrecy. Well, that was easy. Why haven’t I tried this in my earlier plays? I have 15 co-conspirators? Wow, there’s a lot of people who want the emperor dead. No wonder this scheme has such a high chance of success. Wait, how many people wanted my mother or grandfather dead...or me? Nah, I’m sure this is different. Hmm. In the first month my half-brother gets wind of my scheme. 95%, eh? It turns out to be okay, as I bribe a few more people close to him to make sure the plot continues. We find an opportunity a few months later; the emperor is visiting a prominent town in his domain to increase his popular opinion. We decide to incite a riot with the locals who have little love for him. As he rides through the main thoroughfare, an unruly mob pulls the emperor and guards off their mounts and tramples them all to death. Those poor horses...oh, and my brother, of course. One down.
The next in line and new emperor is my other half-brother. Before I have a chance to start scheming against him, I receive a letter. My half-brother is offering me a seat on his council? Okay, yeah. Why not? It’s the spymaster post? Oh, this is rich. The poor sap has no idea what he’s just done. As before, I enter into a murder scheme that has 95% success and secrecy, but only have 13 co-conspirators this time. As I scroll through the list of current and available conspirators, I notice someone that really stands out; a pasty white woman in sub-saharan Africa. Oh! It’s the norse girl that my mother married my half-brother off to. Apparently she really wants him dead. Okay then Freyja, welcome aboard. A few months go by and our intentions are not discovered. Eventually, Freyja comes up with a plan; she leaves a suggestive trail of lit candles in the hall, leading to his bedchamber. As for the next part, I can only assume she hired an assassin because the notification I received of his death was, “died under suspicious circumstances.” One sibling left.
As I turn my gaze to my half-sister, I notice that she is not the empress. On top of that, my subjects are now referring to me as “Jarl.” I’m a Jarl of a Jarldom. Oh no, what have I done? Of course my late brother has children. My liege is now a 4-year old norse boy, brought up in his mother’s tradition. My impulse is to kill him like the others, but he’s just an innocent babe...sigh. Who wants in on another murder scheme? Someone from his court takes him on a walk deep into the nearby woods (we live on the savanna), points out a cool looking hole in a tree a few yards ahead, and then sneaks away when he’s not looking. I take a moment to stand up and feel terrible about what I’ve done. My character is feeling it, too; killing so many people doesn’t sit well with her “just” trait and she has a mental breakdown. Well, nothing that a feast and a few bouts of drunkenness can’t solve! I go over to the liquor cabinet and pour myself a refreshing flavored-seltzer mixer.
And now there is only Borbjӧrn Freyjasson (well, I guess my older half-sister is still alive), barely 1-year old and already an emperor. Before I turn my attention to murder again, I perform some realm maintenance and check my available Decisions. Huh, I have the option to waltz into the palace and demand the crown, but this is somehow different from what my grandmother and cousin were doing. Without a tooltip to guide me, I search my lifestyle perks, culture, and religion for information as to why I can attempt this, but come up empty-handed. Whatever, let’s give it a try. As I’m trying to assess the situation, little Borbjӧrn calls on me to defend the realm against a succession faction, the queen of two of his kingdoms. I am definitely not going to let her win; she probably has a large heir pool of her own and this could get out of hand pretty quickly (not that it already hasn’t). What if I just cut to the chase and seize the throne using that Decision? She should be my loyal vassal anyway. Oooh, a Learning challenge! Presumably I storm into the throne room and shout at him, “Do you know how to spell Object Permanence?” (Admittedly, I frequently switch the “a” and “e”, but no one in attendance seems to know the difference either.) With a 100% chance of success, I triumph over my nephew using my superior intellect!
Finally! After all this time I have corrected the errors of my father and regained my rightful place as the Empress of all the Hausas! My reign will be long, my vassals will tremble when I speak, my...wait. Where’s my empire title? WHY IS BORBJӦRN STILL EMPEROR. I got the “success” event text, I heard the little “success” sound bite, I can spell the word I-N-F-A-N-T-I-C-I-D-E. At this point, my best guess is that I encountered a game bug. I’ve noticed in the past that I’ve been prevented from taking certain actions, such as “usurp title,” while the title holder is in any war. Perhaps I shouldn’t have been able to challenge my liege while he was at war and the game only checked upon the challenge’s resolution. I guess it’s back to defending him just so that I can kill him.
Nope, time to put a hold on that assassination. As a prominent vassal of the empire, I am allowed to cast my vote in the realm’s new succession method, a Scandinavian Electorate! What fun! After I vote for myself, I find that I’m second in line after my uncle...and soulmate? Well, that’s unfortunate. I sense another mental break coming. In under a year I have an agent acquire a poisonous spider and slip it into his bed. The last vestige of humanity I have left sheds a single tear at his passing. Now that I’ve eliminated my uncle, I should be next to inherit the empire in this crazy system. The fact that anybody is allowed representation is beyond me. I set the (hopefully) last assassination scheme in motion against my tiny liege, then host another feast to deal with my ballooning stress. While I’m waiting, I check on the election again and notice that I’m not ranked the highest. Many who had cast their votes for my late uncle have put their weight behind some other uncle, and he’s winning. I rest my head in my hands and sigh; why didn’t this outcome occur to me?
As the assassination scheme on the emperor is nearing completion, I need to act fast to sway some of the electors. When I dig into the details, I see that all the male electors have a massive negative opinion of me, despite having strong cultural, religious, and claims on the title. The tooltip reads, “I am a woman.” Now that’s strange, I thought my ancestor reformed the Bori faith to have equal gender feelings in succession. Well, it looks like the Norse have a different way of doing things, and this is their title. In the remaining months I schmooze and bribe as best I can, but I just can’t seem to climb to the top. When the scheme comes to fruition I give my agents the thumbs up anyway, because screw it. The emperor dies and the title is passed to this other It can’t be. I’m the empress? What happened? Did my sweet-talking work in the last hour? You know what, who cares. I’ve done it! I set about passing the partition law again to get away from this awful election and try to return gender succession back to “equal.” It appears the latter will be a thorn in my side for years to come, as I require Feudalism and the “high crown authority” it allows. Even though the norse ruled feebly and briefly, they created a lasting headache for my rule in ways that I couldn’t have predicted. For the time being, I believe my house’s succession is secure and I’ll continue to work towards a unified Africa.
I’m certain the hijinks will continue as I struggle to master the game. So far it’s been a wild ride and I’m excited to find out what other situations I can get myself into. Thank you Paradox for this wonderful experience.
Next day edit: I took the "contrite" trait to deal with my mental breaks and proceeded to confess my foul infanticide to my dynasty. It did not go over well.
submitted by rutgerseng to CrusaderKings [link] [comments]

2020.09.15 23:19 Belator223 Need help interpreting my intense dream experience

I am a person who does not dream a lot or rather a person who never paid attention to dreams and their meaning,I just usually forget about them, I always thought it's just some type of advanced brain stuff happening which does have much meaning and can be explained by neurochemistry
But 2 nights ago I had the most powerful dream experience I've ever had in my life,its impact is still present, I am still thinking about it even though it lasted short. These intense combination of emotions I felt is hard to explain and its hard to put these thoughts and emotions into words, really, even more so considering English is not my native language but I will do my best and hope someone smarter and more knowledgeable will understand and help me explain the meaning and implications of this. So, finally here it goes:
I cannot remember when does it start but I can remember the most important part.I'm entering my friend's apartment, everything looks normal, there are two rooms located on my left and right. As i walked in the apartment I already knew who was there,its like I had this knowledge built in me, like I was invited there. In the left room there sat two of my best friends and in the right room there was a female figure and a male figure(Somehow i know its her brother)."So first I enter the left room with my friends in it doing nothing,chilling. I say "hi" and just continue on to the next room,the right one.
Now the important thing to note about this girl, this female figure, is that in the dream it felt like we were together in a relationship, but not boyfriend/girlfriend teenage like relationship, it felt like she was my soulmate,like I have known her my entire life, it was the ultimate attraction but I must emphasize it was NOT sexual type of attraction it was simply more,It was mutual and deep attraction. Although I cannot remember her face clearly(except that she was blonde,Scandinavian looking type) I know she had the form of the most perfect woman ever,in every sense, she was my ideal woman personified, everything I search in a woman,in this dream I had it, I felt love and happiness emanating out from her towards me.
So I enter the room I approach the girl and her brother(he also has blonde hair,it may have to do something with me in real life having a bit blonde hair), they are sitting next to each other, first I meet her brother I introduce myself and its all normal, then I turn towards her and I jokingly introduce myself to her(even though as I said we are together we've known each other for like forever in this dream) I say something stupid like " Hey,let me introduce myself,My name is ______" and she answers while smiling and just generally looking gorgeous "Nice to meet you _______".Then the real fun begins-
She looks at me,hugs me and I begin to feels waves of intense positive emotions like reassurance, acceptance,love, peace and affection. Then she leans on me while hugging and we kinda fall on the couch next to us and then in that moment,once again I look at her, she looks at me and smiles(there's nothing like sex going on or even thoughts of sex) and at that moment I begin to feel the most intense emotions I've ever felt in my life. It was overwhelming pulsating experience of ultimate happiness and love. It was an inexplicable feeling, extremely positive lasting for a few seconds and then I woke up. It was like being on some hardcore drugs,like, while feeling this I even saw bright light in my head and like some interesting colours pulsating and stuff, it was just so much happening at the same time,like a dopamine rush it's really hard to explain what happened in my head that night
It felt so good that it kinda frightened me, I woke up abruptly with the "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT" face, for a few seconds I didn't know where the fuck I am, I was completely lost I had to go and look in the mirror and see if I were still me.
Now I instantly started researching and I discovered C.G. Jung and his definitions of archetypes. Apparently based on my research this woman should be the personification of my Anima. My unconscious psyche "coming" to my conscious psyche beckoning me to my journey of development and intending to help me on my "individuation", she is supposed to be my inspiration and my guide to further psychological development.
Am I right, is there any sense and truth in this or is this something different?

I apologize for the long post and grammatical mistakes.I just had the need to share this profound experience that influenced me in some way. Have a good day.
submitted by Belator223 to Dreams [link] [comments]

2020.09.15 21:15 Belator223 A very intense dream experience

I am a person who does not dream a lot or rather a person who never paid attention to dreams and their meaning,I just usually forget about them, I always thought it's just some type of advanced brain stuff happening which does have much meaning and can be explained by neurochemistry
But 2 nights ago I had the most powerful dream experience I've ever had in my life,its impact is still present, I am still thinking about it even though it lasted short. These intense combination of emotions I felt is hard to explain and its hard to put these thoughts and emotions into words, really, even more so considering English is not my native language but I will do my best and hope someone smarter and more knowledgeable will understand and help me explain the meaning and implications of this. So, finally here it goes:

I cannot remember when does it start but I can remember the most important part.I'm entering my friend's apartment, everything looks normal, there are two rooms located on my left and right. As i walked in the apartment I already knew who was there,its like I had this knowledge built in me, like I was invited there. In the left room there sat two of my best friends and in the right room there was a female figure and a male figure(Somehow i know its her brother)."So first I enter the left room with my friends in it doing nothing,chilling. I say "hi" and just continue on to the next room,the right one.
Now the important thing to note about this girl, this female figure, is that in the dream it felt like we were together in a relationship, but not boyfriend/girlfriend teenage like relationship, it felt like she was my soulmate,like I have known her my entire life, it was the ultimate attraction but I must emphasize it was NOT sexual type of attraction it was simply more,It was mutual and deep attraction. Although I cannot remember her face clearly(except that she was blonde,Scandinavian looking type) I know she had the form of the most perfect woman ever,in every sense, she was my ideal woman personified, everything I search in a woman,in this dream I had it, I felt love and happiness emanating out from her towards me.

So I enter the room I approach the girl and her brother(he also has blonde hair,it may have to do something with me in real life having a bit blonde hair), they are sitting next to each other, first I meet her brother I introduce myself and its all normal, then I turn towards her and I jokingly introduce myself to her(even though as I said we are together we've known each other for like forever in this dream) I say something stupid like " Hey,let me introduce myself,My name is ______" and she answers while smiling and just generally looking gorgeous "Nice to meet you _______".Then the real fun begins-
She looks at me,hugs me and I begin to feels waves of intense positive emotions like reassurance, acceptance,love, peace and affection. Then she leans on me while hugging and we kinda fall on the couch next to us and then in that moment,once again I look at her, she looks at me and smiles(there's nothing like sex going on or even thoughts of sex) and at that moment I begin to feel the most intense emotions I've ever felt in my life. It was overwhelming pulsating experience of ultimate happiness and love. It was an inexplicable feeling, extremely positive lasting for a few seconds and then I woke up.
It felt so good that it kinda frightened me, I woke up abruptly with the "WHAT THE FUCK WAS THAT" face, for a few seconds I didn't know where the fuck I am, I was completely lost I had to go and look in the mirror and see if I were still me.
Now I instantly started researching and I discovered C.G. Jung and his definitions of archetypes. Apparently based on my research this woman should be the personification of my Anima. My unconscious psyche "coming" to my conscious psyche beckoning me to my journey of development and intending to help me on my "individuation", she is supposed to be my inspiration and my guide to further psychological development. Am I right, is there any sense and truth in this or is this something different?
I am new to this, I want to say that I am not fully familiar with Jung and his psychology all my basic knowledge comes from the information I have gathered on the internet over these past 2 days since I've had this intense dream.Now It would be really helpful someone more knowledgeable and someone more familiar with Jung and his psychology to help me explain this dream further and elaborate its meaning.
I apologize for the long post and grammatical mistakes.I just had the need to share this profound experience that influenced me in some way. Have a good day.
submitted by Belator223 to Jung [link] [comments]

2020.09.10 12:30 Year_Long I (F22) indirectly got offered a job by an acquaintance (M~50s), but I don't understand if he's dangerous or just expansive. Please help.

(TL;DR at the end)
During quarantine I started going to the local greengrocer, who is a family friend. Here I met his only colleague, who deals with home delivery.
We once started talking and we found out we have a shared passion - northern Europe. I study Scandinavian languages, he travels there a lot. Apart from that time, we usually only exchanged a couple of words like - "are you going to Norway yet?" "I dream of it!"
Today the shopkeeper (my family friend) was away and he was left there to deal with it. He started talking to me about a project he's working on with an international organisation, which wants to expand to northern Europe. He told me that he had been "keeping an eye on me for a while", because my degree could be useful. He gave me his full name, his number, and the name of the organisation, and told me that I could text him to give him my number if I wanted, and maybe there could be developments in the future.
He wasn't allowed to take payments, so he just wrote down what I had to pay and told me I would pay the next time. He asked for my full name to write on the check book and then said: oh, are you not the girl who lives in Street X? (he once delivered to me).
At first I was happy about the possibility of a job, but my father warned me to be careful. I am a very young girl and this man knows my name, where I live, what I do, and now he's trying to get my phone number. He also started talking about it in the moment we were alone.
He didn't give me the sensation of forcing me to do stuff, he was the one to give me his data and he told me to text him /if I wanted/. But now I am worrying. Do you think this is normal, or should I be careful? What should I do?
TL;DR: male colleague of a person I trust, with whom I had exchanged some words in the last months, told me he is working on a project with an organisation and he thinks my degree could help them. He gave me his number and name and told me to text him if I want. He knows my name and address. Does this man sound dangerous?)
submitted by Year_Long to Advice [link] [comments]

2020.09.08 04:05 tilvast Obscure names ending in -ian

You’ll know your Sebastians, your Damians, your Vivians, your Brians — yeah, it’s weird to think of that one as part of the set, isn’t it — but there are also plenty of lesser-known names in this category that probably deserve the spotlight for once. So did I search through Behind the Name’s entire official database to find all their -ian names? Yes. Here are the ones you might not have heard of. Consolidating variants and alternate spellings into one entry, and origins and meanings are in brackets. Please note that I’m working from only one website here, so this list certainly isn’t comprehensive, and I’d really appreciate any other relevant names and sources.
submitted by tilvast to namenerds [link] [comments]

2020.09.05 03:29 StevenStevens43 The British Olduwan

The British Olduwan
Olduvai gorge:
One of the most important archaeological and anthropological sites in the world, in understanding the earliest known origins of Human-being, comes from a location known as Olduvai gorge in Tanzania, were Oldowan is thought to have first began evolving in to modern human, 1.9 million years ago.
Olduvai gorge
The Olduvai Gorge it has proven invaluable in furthering understanding of early human evolution.

Homo habilis, approximately 1.9 million years ago
Link for photo
However, it is likely that Olduwan was born from inter-racial breeding
It appears one of the first things Oldowan man done, was go seeking for lands, perhaps a little cooler in temperature, as Olduwan, 1.8 million years ago first appeared in Georgia, Europe.
In fact, by 1 million years ago, Olduwan man had even turned up in the area that would be considered modern day London.
Pre-history of Europe
Homo erectus georgicus, which lived roughly 1.8 million years ago in Georgia), is the earliest hominid to have been discovered in Europe.
Link for photo
Olduwan expansion
Other Oldowans headed for Indonesia.
Homo erectus in Indonesia by 1.8 million years
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1.5 million years ago, Oldowan man entered Russia, by the Caucasus, which leads in to Scandanavia from the Northern land bridge, which still exists today.
In 2006, 1.5-million-year-old Oldowan flint tools were discovered in the Dagestan Akusha region of the north Caucasus,
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China 1.35m years ago
Recent study shows that the stone tools found at Xiaochangliang site are magnetostratigraphically dated to 1.36 million years ago.[9]
Link for photo
Return of Oldowan:
It would appear one of Olduwans descendants, likely returned to Africa around, 300,000 BC, via europe. Crossing the Gibraltar straits.
the Acheulean. Possibly the first hunters, H. erectus mastered the art of making fire and was the first hominid to leave Africa, colonizing most of Afro-Eurasia and perhaps later giving rise to Homo floresiensis.

The earliest known Homo sapiens fossils include the Jebel Irhoud remains from Morocco (ca. 315,000 years ago),[12]

Don't take offence:
Ok, now, it is likely that the first modern humans, are still around today, in the exact same form they were then. And today, they are classed as "intelligent modern humans".
They were likely, "the pygmy peoples".
The reason they were likely the same people, as todays pygmy peoples, comes from the knowledge that the Jebel Irhoud, were extremely small in size.
The Jebel Irhoud individuals also had very thick brow ridges and lacked prognathism.[18]
Link for photo
Now, anthropoligical studies pretty much prove, that the Magdalenians that inhabited mainland europe between 17,000 BC and the onset of the younger dryas, were the same people as Jebel Irhoud.
Period biology
The fauna of the Magdalenian epoch seems to have included tigers .
Magdalenian humans appear to have been of short stature, dolichocephalic, with a low retreating forehead and prominent brow ridges.
Link for photo
Magdalenian expansion
Cheddar man:
The map above does not attribute Southern parts of Britain, to have been colonialised by the Magdalenians, however Britains oldest known skeleton is Cheddar man, believed to be from around 9,100 BC, and also thought by anthropologists, to be black in skin colour.
Cheddar man
Cheddar Man is a human male fossil found in Gough's Cave in Cheddar Gorge, Somerset, England. The skeletal remains date to the Mesolithic (ca. 9100 BP, 7100 BC) and dark or dark to black skin.[2]
Link for photo
The reason it would have been so easy for the Magdalene to colonise Thames valley, would be due to the fact that, not only would they have the brain capacity to cross the Gibraltar straits, they would also have the advantage of being able to cross the Doggerland land bridge, which had not sunk yet, until 6,500 BC.
Doggerland was an area of land, now submerged beneath the southern North Sea, that connected Britain to continental Europe. It was flooded by rising sea levels around 6500–6200 BC.
Link for photo
Pygmy peoples:
Pygmy peoples of today, can be found mostly in the Congo region of Africa.
They are a peoples which typically average a height of less than 4 ft 11.
Pygmy peoples
In anthropology, pygmy peoples are ethnic groups whose average height is unusually short. The term pygmyism is used to describe the phenotype of endemic short stature (as opposed to disproportionate dwarfism occurring in isolated cases in a population) for populations in which adult men are on average less than 150 cm (4 ft 11 in) tall.[1]
The term is primarily associated with the African Pygmies, the hunter-gatherers of the Congo basin (comprising the Bambenga, Bambuti and Batwa).[2]
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Pygmy peoples
Effacer le Tableau:
Whilst the only noticable difference between you, and a Pygmy person, is their small stature, and the fact that even today, they are hunter gatherers, despite some politically correct Scientists insisting that Pygmy peoples are not descended from Hunter gatherers, the Pygmy peoples have been the victims of repeated attempted genocides and extermination campaigns.
Most recently, January 2003.
Violence against pygmy peoples
From the end of 2002 through January 2003 around 60,000 pygmy civilians and 10,000 combatants were killed in an extermination campaign known as "Effacer le Tableau" during the Second Congo War.[27][28] Human rights activists have made demands for the massacre to be recognized as genocide.[29]
Link for photo
Baka dancers
Bantu master:
Even "today" the Bantu make no bones about the fact that they are the pygmy peoples "masters".
Perhaps it makes them feel big.
However even "you" have joined in, on Pygmy genocidal bullying, without even knowing it, or have you never used the term "mongo", in your younger years?
Mongo, is a pygmy language, aswell as a Pygmy location.
The word Mongo, should not be used disparagingly.
But unless you want to be part of a genocide campaign, you should also not ban the word from your vocabulary.
Simply use it, respectfully.
To put in to simple terms.
If a pygmy person went on the internet, and told everyone he was a Mongo, he would likely be banned, by a well meaning leftist, that does not realise that, this this person, really is from a village called Mongo, near congo, and speaks Mongo, and banning this person is about the most insulting and racial discriminative thing one could possibly do.
Reported slavery
In the Republic of the Congo, where Pygmies make up 2% of the population, many Pygmies live as slaves to Bantu masters. The nation is deeply stratified between these two major ethnic groups. The pygmy slaves belong to their Bantu masters from birth in a relationship that the Bantus call a time-honored tradition. Even though the Pygmies are responsible for much of the hunting, fishing and manual labor in jungle villages, Pygmies and Bantus alike say that Pygmies are often paid at the master's whim: in cigarettes, used clothing, or simply not paid at all.
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Pygmy language centres
Discimination against pygmy peoples is not new.
Pygmy peoples, even recently, have been sent to live in zoo cages next to Lions and Tigers, and many people view Pygmy peoples, as Paleolithics.
Even in the USA, as early as 1907, they were viewed as a circus act, alongside animals.
Systematic discrimination
Historically, the pygmy have always been viewed as inferior by both colonial authorities and the village-dwelling Bantu tribes.[15] Pygmy children were sometimes captured during the period of the Congo Free State, which exported pygmy children to zoos throughout Europe, including the world's fair in the United States in 1907.[15]
Link for photo
Pygmy person in Bronx zoo cage 1906
Pepi II:
Even as far back as 2297 BC, a 13 year old Egyptian pharoah named Pepi II, took great delight in capturing a pygmy person, and bragged about to everyone in Egypt.
The Egytians begged him not to kill the pygmy person, but instead bring the Pygmy person back to Egypt.
Likely to be used for entertainment purposes.
Early years of Pepi II's reign
Sent to trade and collect ivory, ebony, and other precious items, he captured a pygmy. News of this reached the royal court, and an excited young king sent word back to Harkhuf that he would be greatly rewarded if the pygmy were brought back alive, where he would have likely served as an entertainer for the court.
Link for photo
But what do we learn from this?
We learn that modern humans from 300,000 BC had the potential to be extremely literate, intelligent, and that the idea that even Olduwan may have been an Ape, is simply misguided ancient discrimination and racism, and was genocided, quite simply because he was too stubborn to give up his traditions, and likely lacked physical build in order to stick up for himself against bigots that likely wrongfully viewed him as an illiterate fool.
However Pygmy peoples are regarded by Scientists, as modern humans.
And pygmy peoples, such as Iymeru, have been in even the highest positions of the ancient Egyptian empire.
Iymeru, was the second most powerful man in Egypt, during the 13th dynasty.
He was the Pharoahs vizier.
So much for Pepi II's circus act.
Iymeru was an ancient Egyptian vizier) in office during the 13th Dynasty.
Link for photo#/media/File:Statue_Iymeru_Turin.JPG)
Indian pygmies:
However, there is a twist in the tale.
It appears more likley, that the magdalenian Pygmies, "were not" in fact the same pygmy peoples as todays Congo contingent, but in actual fact, were more likely Indian pygmies.
The African pygmies likely took the long way round the world, instead of going directly across the Gibraltar straits.
South east Asia
Frank Kingdon-Ward in the early 20th century reported a tribe of pygmy Tibeto-Burman speakers known as the Taron inhabiting the remote region of Mt. Hkakabo Razi in Southeast Asia on the border of China (Yunnan and Tibet), Burma, and India.
Link for photo
Indian Pygmy
The reason it was more likley Indian pygmies, than African pygmies, comes from the fact that there is plenty more evidence, which i will reveal later, of Indian descended people, having colonised Europe, and even America.
Not only this, one of the most common languages in todays world, is Indo-European.
Indo-European likley was a language that evolved over thousands of years, likely in stages, and likley due to pro-longed exposure to one anothers culture.
Indo-Aryan first arose in the Levant around the time of the ancient egyptian empire, when Indians and Aryans colonized lower egypt.
Indo-European evolved when Indo-Aryans invaded India during the battle of the ten kings in 1400 BC.
Though, it was likley that the Aryan language, already contained certain Indo components, by the time the colonized Egypt, and those were probably picked up from the Magdalenian period, when Aryans likely had to invade european mainland to escape the polar ice-caps, and integrated with Megdalenians.
Though, Indian genes in the northern hemisphere even pre-dated the Magdalenians, which i will cover later, so it is also likely, that when the Aryans invaded european mainland, and integrated with Magdalenians, their Aryan language already contained Indo components.
We can also see by the photo of the Philippino girl, how Anthropologists could mistake Cheddar man for being black.
This is due to the fact, that Indians, "are" descended from Africans, so, in a round about way, the Magdalenian "are" African pygmies, though not as directly as one would first think.
It is likley that the Magdalenian arrived in europe via India.
Though they likely made their escape, over the Gibraltar straits, the place were it all began.
Saudi Arabia:
Whilst it is actually likely, that modern day human was already living in Scandanavia, and even european mainland, as far back as 300,000 years ago, it is most probably that any evidence of this, was washed away during the younger dryas, when both Britain and Scandanavia, lay under polar ice-caps.
But the first "recorded" movement of modern day humans, comes from 75,000 years ago when Africans first entered the Arabian peninsula.
A 2011 study found that the first modern humans to spread east across Asia left Africa about 75,000 years ago across the Bab-el-Mandeb connecting the Horn of Africa and Arabia.[56]
Link for photo
Arabian expansion
Modern human, from the Arabian peninsula, arrived in India, sometime between 80,000 and 60,000 years ago.
"Modern human beings—Homo sapiens—originated in Africa. Then, intermittently, sometime between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago, tiny groups of them began to enter the north-west of the Indian subcontinent.
Link for photo
As Israel was in Mesopotamia, Africans travelling to the Arabian peninsula, Indonesia, or anywhere else, would have no other option than to go through the Levant, making Israel one of the earliest populated areas by modern human.
120,000 years ago.
And almost definitely Black African.
The oldest fossils of anatomically modern humans found outside Africa are the Skhul and Qafzeh hominins, who lived in the area that is now northern Israel 120,000 years ago.[85]
Link for photo
Neanderthal man:
The best evidence of what Neanderthal man looked like, comes from very well preserved remains of Neanderthals found in Shanidar cave in Iraq.
The remains were thought to be from between 60,000 and 80,000 years ago, and they do point to a slightly different culture sharing the lands of Mesopotamia, with Africans.
Iraq pre-history
During 1957–1961 Shanidar Cave was excavated by Ralph Solecki and his team from Columbia University, and nine skeletons of Neanderthal man of varying ages and states of preservation and completeness (labelled Shanidar I–IX) were discovered dating from 60,000–80,000 years BP.
Link for photo
Neanderthal man
Neanderthals got a bad rap.
There is no doubt Neanderthal was Asiatic.
And do you remember Pepi II? That wonderful African pharoah that delightfully hunted down a "pygmy" when he was a boy? Well, this African also took great delight in carrying on the honoured age old African tradition of "smiting" Asiatics.
Well racism and discrimination is actually quite prevalent within the ancient egyptian dynasties, and an ancient old traditional practise of native egyptians smiting inferior Asiatics, can be traced back to 3000 BC, during the reign of Den.
The depiction even included a "bearded" foe.
The picture shows Den in a gesture known as "smiting the enemy". In one hand Den holds a mace, in the other hand he grabs a foe by his hair. Thanks to the braids and the conic beard the foe has been identified as of Asian origin. The hieroglyphs at the right side say "first smiting of the east".
Link for photo
Smiting asiatics
Now, i am hoping i no longer have to go in to too much detail about how, in actual fact, Scientists now think Neanderthal man was likely literate, and actually extremely intelligent.
In fact, intelligent Africans "would not" interbreed with an idiot.
And Neanderthal man did breed with other humans in this area.
In fact, breeding with Neanderthal man, is likely where Africans gained a bit more bulk from, by breeding with a person that is derived from Northern sub grouos, that have grown to be a bit bulkier in bulk, in order to with stand the cold winters.
He also likely was 50/50 in providing the components that would later evolve in to the AfrAsian language, that is spoken by Semites, and Arabians, as well as some Africans, but nobody knows were it evolved from.
Neanderthal technology is thought to have been quite sophisticated.
Compared to modern humans, Neanderthals had a more robust) build and proportionally shorter limbs. These features are often explained as adaptations to conserve heat in a cold climate,
Neanderthal got cornered in Spain:
Now just like the previous two groups, Neanderthal, being from european mainland, and who still exists today, got cornered in Spain, by this new anatomically modern human-being.
Inter-group relations
Canadian ethnoarchaeologist Brian Hayden calculated a self-sustaining population which avoids inbreeding to consist of about 450–500 individuals, which would necessitate these bands to interact with 8–53 other bands, but more likely the more conservative estimate given low population density.[31] Analysis of the mtDNA of the Neanderthals of Cueva del Sidrón, Spain, showed that the adult three men belonged to the same maternal lineage, while the three adult women belonged to different ones. This suggests a patrilocal residence (that a woman moved out of her group to live with her husband).[233] However, the DNA of a Neanderthal from Denisova Cave, Russia, shows that she had an inbreeding coefficient of ​1⁄8 (her parents were either half-siblings with a common mother, double first cousins, an uncle and niece or aunt and nephew, or a grandfather and granddaughter or grandmother and grandson)[83] and the inhabitants of Cueva del Sidrón show several defects, which may have been caused by inbreeding or recessive disorders.[218]
Link for photo
Anatomically modern people:
Now, do you remember the Magdalenians from earlier in this post?
Well here is a photo of Anatomically modern people.
Early modern human
Early modern human (EMH) or anatomically modern human (AMH)[2] are terms used to distinguish Homo sapiens (the only extant human species) that are anatomically consistent with the range of phenotypes seen in contemporary humans from extinct archaic human species. This distinction is useful especially for times and regions where anatomically modern and archaic humans co-existed, for example, in Paleolithic Europe.
Link for photo
Early modern human
Neanderthal did not get wiped out:
The early modern human however, did not wipe Neanderthal out.
They shared european mainland with other literate human-beings.
Some of those human-beings, particularly the ones from Britain, that at this point in time, is just a part of Eurasia, probably looked more like this.

Western neanderthal
Now, Neanderthal not only spread out from Mesopotamia along European lines, and escaped via Spain, but also along Northern lines, before escaping in to Canada via the Bering land bridge, that was around at the time.
However, the remains are no longer considered to be that of Neadnerthal, but in fact, that of Denisovan, the ancestor of Australian aboriginals, as well as Inuits and Paleo-Indians in America, and others.
That Russia was also home to some of the last surviving Neanderthals was revealed by the discovery of the partial skeleton of a Neanderthal infant in Mezmaiskaya cave in Adygea, which was carbon dated to only 29,000 years ago.[6] In 2008, Russian archaeologists from the Institute of Archaeology and Ethnology of Novosibirsk, working at the site of Denisova Cave in the Altai Mountains of Siberia, uncovered a 40,000-year-old small bone fragment from the fifth finger of a juvenile hominin, which DNA analysis revealed to be a previously unknown species of human, which was named the Denisova hominin.[7]
Link for photo.jpg)
Now, it is likely that Paleo-Indians lived in europe, relatively peacefully, with one another.
At least until the younger dryas, when blond haired blue eyed Aryans from Scandinavia had to invade European mainland.
It is likely what happened during this period, is Aryans became less friendly, and forced Anatomically modern humans to flee via Spain, go and live in the Northern regions and peripheries as Eskimos in Iglus, or go and breed with the current Indigenous peoples of America and Australia and update their DNA.
When the Ice-caps melted, Scandinavians likely returned to Scandinavia, and pushed the Sami people farther and farther north, until they could go no farther north, and to this day, there is a peoples in the most Northern regions of Scandanavia and Russia that regard themselves as the indigenous peoples of Scandinavia and Russia.
They are called the Sami peoples.
You have likley heard of them, without realising it.
They are Laplanders.
The place Santa Klaus is from.
Sami people
The Sámi people (/ˈsɑːmi/; also spelled Sami or Saami) are an indigenous Finno-Ugric people inhabiting Sápmi, which today encompasses large northern parts of Norway, Sweden, Finland and the Kola Peninsula within the Murmansk Oblast of Russia. The Sámi have historically been known in English as Lapps or Laplanders. Sámi ancestral lands are not well-defined. Their traditional languages are the Sámi languages which are classified as a branch of the Uralic language family.
Link for photo
Sami peoples
Indigenous Americans:
The Indigenous colonisation of the Americas happened in two waves.
The first was between 57,000 BC and 17,000 BC.
However a Polar Ice wall prevented the first arrivals from prevailing any farther than Alaska.
Migrations in to the continents
Alaska was a glacial refugium because it had low snowfall, allowing a small population to exist. The Laurentide Ice Sheet covered most of North America, blocking nomadic inhabitants and confining them to Alaska (East Beringia) for thousands of years.[53]
Second wave:
Just as the Polar ice wall in Alaska was beginning to melt, and the ice-caps began shifting towards Britain and Scandinavia, the Aryans likely came down from the Northern lands, and many Paleo-Indians likely fleed across the melting Bering land bridge and got over just in time, to breed with Indigenous Alaskans, and populate the Americas.
Canada pre-history
The first inhabitants of North America are generally hypothesized to have migrated from Siberia by way of the Bering land bridge and arrived at least 14,000 years ago.[23]
South America:
Obviously some Paleo-Indians made it over the Ice-wall prior to the second wave arriving, as archaeologists are of the belief that South America saw it's first arrivals around 16,500 BC.
Pre-columbian era
The earliest archaeological evidence from human settlement in South America comes from Monte Verde (possibly as early as 16,500 BCE).[11]
Until the arrival of the Spanish during the Columbian era, Paleo-Indians would have been pretty isolated, with not too much opportunity for evolving, so the 1500 AD perfectly intact mummified Inca sacrifice, would give a good clue as to what the Paleo-Indians that arrived 14,000 years ago, or even 57,000 years ago, looked like.
Link for photo
Inca sacrifice
The Australian aboriginals have a similar ancestry.
The fact that modern Australian aboriginals have the exact same ancestors as US Indigenous peoples, and were hunter gatherers when Aryans first arrived in Australia, despite making crossings on land bridges on two seperate sides of the globe, is pretty much suggestive that early modern anatomical Indonesians inhabited most of the globe, and were very much literate. And modern, and they in turn were likely descended from a mixture of Israeli Neanderthal and Afro pygmy persons.
Human habitation of the Australian continent is known to have begun at least 65,000 years ago,[45][46] with the migration of people by land bridges and short sea-crossings from what is now Southeast Asia.[47] The Madjedbebe rock shelter in Arnhem Land is recognised as the oldest site showing the presence of humans in Australia.[48] The oldest human remains found are the Lake Mungo remains, which have been dated to around 41,000 years ago.[49]
At the time of first European contact, most Indigenous Australians were hunter-gatherers with complex economies and societies.[53
The Paleo-Indonesians even found their way to Greenland by 2500 BC.
Early Paleo eskimo cultures
In prehistoric times, Greenland was home to several successive Paleo-Eskimo cultures known today primarily through archaeological finds. The earliest entry of the Paleo-Eskimo into Greenland is thought to have occurred about 2500 BC.
And the photo just goes to show, the farther North you get, the whiter you get, as ones skin evolves to adapt to the cold.
And when you get even farther north, the redder you get.
Link to photo.jpg)
Greenlandic Inuit couple
But, the point is, that blond haired blue eyed Aryans almost definitely pre-dated the younger dryas, and they moved southward, and any trace of their previous existence was wiped out by one of humanities greatest ever Cataclysms when an entire sub-contentent, and an Island, was cut in half from manland europe.
All this happened between only 6500 and 11,000 BC.
The northward movements that have been attributed to the populating of Britain and Scandinavia, and the sudden appearance of white blue eyed people, was actually a "re-population", and they already lived in those lands previous to that.
They had lived and evolved in those lands, ever since Oldowan turned up in the Thames valley 1 million BC, and 1.5 million BC in Russia.
But until the younger dryas came and wiped any history of them out, they had no real reason to make any significant appearance on european mainland, were archaeological evidence would be preserved.
And that is why the first archaeological evidence of white man only appears after and during the Younger dryas.
However britain was likely not originally inhabited by pure Aryans.
Pure Aryans likely began colonising Britain only after the Northward migrations.
And even then. they likley shared the Island with Greekish looking people, as well as possibly even remnants of Indonesians, and the place likely got divided after Doggerland sank, and Scandinavians eventually began adding Britain to their North sea expansion.
Likely beginning around 3000 BC, with the invention of their Hjortspring boat.
Bronze age
Thousands of rock carvings from this period depict ships, and the large stone burial monuments known as stone ships, suggest that ships and seafaring played an important role in the culture at large. The depicted ships most likely represent sewn plank built canoes used for warfare, fishing and trade. These ship types may have their origin as far back as the neolithic period and they continue into the Pre-Roman Iron Age, as exemplified by the Hjortspring boat.[43]
submitted by StevenStevens43 to AhrensburgCulture [link] [comments]

2020.09.04 19:33 VVulfpack Eivor / Eivarr, name written in runes. New video from Dr. Crawford

Dr. Crawford (the language consultant for AC Valhalla) just published a new video where he shows what Eivor (and Eivarr) looks like in the alphabet known as Younger Futhark, which is the runic alphabet used during the era in which AC Valhalla takes place.
He also confirmed what all our Scandinavian friends have been saying, which is that Eivor is a female name. There is a male equivalent name - Eivarr. He also goes into what the name means, but I'll let him explain it. Link is below, or if you don't trust links, just go to YouTube and search for "Assassin's Creed Valhalla: Eivor in Runes" by Jackson Crawford.
submitted by VVulfpack to assassinscreed [link] [comments]

2020.08.25 23:52 Taxi_Dancer From The Halls of Montezuma to the Depths of Outer Space II: Return to Willow’s World

From The Halls of Montezuma to the Depths of Outer Space II:
Return to Willow’s World (1/6)
“Good morning, you DICK heads!” The short Asian female Marine stood at a podium in front of a semicircular classroom, the kind where the desks and chairs were positioned in orderly rows on each step. On either side of the podium was a sturdy white metal table. Her long black hair was tied in a tight bun behind her head and her uniform was sharp and crisp. She was petite with a roundish face and a pointy nose and chin, and somewhat stocky though not fat, with a broad back and chest. Her uniform sleeves were rolled up to reveal lean and muscular forearms. She smiled broadly at her class. Though the classroom could have accommodated seventy students, there were only twelve young Marines seated at the desks.
“Again, I am Lance Corporal Hitchiro Chensi, and for the past week you have been learning to operate, maintain, and fire the M11A4 Dilating-aperture, Incendiary Conduction Killer, or more commonly known as the M11A4 flame-gun.” She picked up a 32 inch long weapon off the table next to her which resembled a pregnant metallic dolphin which had a trigger mechanism nearer to the muzzle than normal weapons.
The Marines where new recruits, fresh faced still with that new Marine smell. They had only recently joined the battalion a few weeks ago and were walking around in wide eyed wonder at their combat deployed comrades, eager to earn their place in their unit. Three newbie Marines from each of the maneuver companies were selected to take this week long training course: three from Delta Company, three from Echo Company, three from Fox Company, two from the battalion’s Headquarters and Headquarters Company, and one officer cadet.
“Okay, now before we take the final written exam and practical exercises, does anyone have any questions? Yes, Pfc. Kendell?”
Pfc. Kendell, a skinny young bespectacled Marine with acne from Fox Company stood up. “Lance Corporal, could you tell us again how you closed the aperture of your flame-gun then fired it, turning it into a makeshift bomb?”
Chensi rolled her eyes. “Good Lord! That vid-cam footage was uploaded to Galac-Tube like, over a billion times! Can’t you just watch it?”
Pvt. Nanly, a young female admin specialist from the Headquarters and Headquarters Company stood up. “Yes, but it really is better when you have the actual person narrating how you blew away all those creatures and saved your platoon. That was pretty damn HOOAH! Can you show us how you locked down the aperture and set the flame-rifle to delay fire?”
“Great,” thought Chensi. “I have groupies.”
“What I did has now officially been classified as unauthorized under any circumstances. That maneuver is strictly forbidden and therefore, I cannot show you how to do it. Although, if the situation is desperate enough, I’m sure that you DICK heads could figure it out.” The fresh faced Marines looked at her in disappointment, and Chensi sighed.
“I’ll tell you what,” Chensi said. “All of you ace my final exam and I’ll narrate the vid for you one more time!”
“Oh, please! Can we get over this kissing the instructor’s ass?” The yell came from the person sitting next to Pvt. Nanly.
Chensi rolled her eyes and exhaled. “Yes, Officer Cadet Hyding? You wanted to say something?”
“Yes,” Officer Cadet Hyding said, not bothering to get up. “I have a question. What are the manufacturing tolerances of the heat-sinking chamber bolt of the M11A4 flame-gun?”
“The manufacturing tolerances?” said Chensi. “You’re here to learn how to operate the flame –gun, not freaking make one!”
“0.657 inches to 0.661 inches,” said Officer Cadet Hyding. “Now, what is the optimal angle that your wrist should be when replacing an M15A2 charging capacitor into the flame-gun?”
“Dude, when the charging capacitor is spent, you replace it with a new one. There is no optimal wrist reloading angle,” said Chensi in an annoyed tone.
“Seventeen point seven degrees,” said Officer Cadet Hyding, pulling the number out of thin air. He didn’t care. He was getting to the best of the little female Asian Marine and it made him feel good about himself. “You call yourself a Marine? I really don’t know how you can even call yourself a competent instructor if you don’t know these things about a weapon you claim to be an expert on.”
Chensi leaned back and smiled. “You know, Officer Cadet Hunter Hyding, if you were as good a sharpshooter out on the range as you were in the classroom, you might actually pass weapons qualification someday. Fortunately for you, since you are only an officer cadet, you only have to be familiarized with operating the flame-gun. Still, however, if you expect to be an officer in the Marine Corps, you’ll need to learn the ability to know what end of your weapon to point at the bad guys.”
Officer Cadet Hyding sat silently, pouting. Of the twelve Marines who went to the range to qualify on the flame-gun, only Officer Cadet Hunter Hyding failed to hit the minimum amount of targets to pass, having barely hit even half of the 50 and 75 meter targets and none of other the targets out to 400 meters. His track record on qualifying on the Marine’s other infantry weapons such as the M88A3 rifle, the M691 squad automatic, the M288 grenade launcher, and the M670 machine gun was equally atrocious to the point that his officer cadet leadership pulled him from the roster to go to the hand grenade range for fear that he might blow himself up. Instead, cadet command got Officer Cadet Hyding enrolled into this flame-gun course, probably to get him out of their hair for a week.
The past six months was not a fun time for Hunter Hyding ever since his father, former Vice President Bunker Hyding, lost his bid to unseat President Melianne Helania to become president. Despite Hyding’s opposition party spending trillions on training, organizing, planning and carrying out spontaneous grassroots protests and riots on almost all of the outer rim colonies in order to destabilize the current administration, the great galactic upheaval that they had hoped for, the one which would sweep Bunker Hyding and the opposition party into power, never occurred.
What was worse for Hunter Hyding, the popular narrative that he bravely took command of a panic stricken platoon of United States Marines on Willow’s World and single handedly saved everyone, including the life of the daughter of Senator William J. Killary, had proven to be so much fantasy as a leaked vid-cam showed Hunter Hyding cowering under the feet of Lance Corporal Chensi as she alone fought off hordes of undead alien corpses using her flame-gun. And despite GNN, the Galactic News Network, claiming that the vid-cam footage had been somehow doctored by the dastardly operatives of President Helania’s administration (even though GNN had previously force fed the story of Hunter Hyding’s heroism across the populated galaxy every day for over a month) the embarrassment and loss of credibility to the Bunker Hyding campaign had already done its damage. Bunker Hyding practically placed all the blame of his losing his presidential campaign on his son, Hunter, and subsequently forced him to join the US Marine Corps officer cadet program. Former Vice President Bunker Hyding was going to run for president again in four years, meaning that Hunter Hyding had four years to erase the blemish which he had put on his father’s political ambitions. This gave Hunter Hyding four years to become a Marine Corps officer and perform something both heroic and newsworthy and, more importantly, have that heroic and newsworthy act caught on a vid-cam feed which could be broadcast across the populated galaxy. He owed it to his father, Bunker Hyding told him. Hunter Hyding owed his father for screwing up and on Willow’s World and making his father look stupid, even though it was Bunker Hyding who sent his son to Willow’s World in the first place.
And so now here he was, twenty-five years old and sitting on some Marine Corps base with his head shaved and being shamed by the same little female Marine that humiliated him on Willow’s World. The disrespectful little bitch Marine had it out for him, just like all the Marines had it out for him. On twelve mile road marches conducted for his class of Marine Corps officer cadets, Hunter Hyding always completed the road march riding alone in the back of the fall out truck, the vehicle which followed the marching column of officer cadets to pick up any cadet who fell out of the march. Hunter Hyding was far too smart for those jar heads though. The Marines never walked twelve miles in full combat gear, weapon, and thirty pound ruck sack up and down foothills in the heat out in the middle of nowhere. There was no way that the Marines ever did that. They were only doing it to get Hunter Hyding because he came from an elite and privileged family. He was better than these low class losers and he wasn’t going to play their stupid games. So he would walk for a mile or two, then complain about hurting his ankle or knee then ride the rest of the way back to the barracks in the back of the fall out truck, resenting the fact that everyone else in his officer cadet class, both male and female, had succeeded in completing the ruck march on foot. “They only did it to spite me,” he would say to himself. “They are all trying to embarrass me and make me look stupid, just like that little Japanese bitch did on Willow’s World. All these damn Marines are the same! They’re all the same! If all Marines weren’t so stupid they would all be aware of the systemic prejudice that is plaguing the galaxy.”
Cadet Hyding stood up, angrily pointing a finger at LCpl. Chensi. “I am a Marine Corps officer! I hold the rank of sergeant, therefore I am your superior officer! I demand an apology for your insubordination towards your superior, Lance Corporal!”
“Actually, cadet, you are so wrong on so many different levels that it’s almost funny.” A tall, tanned, stocky First Lieutenant strode into the classroom, smiling nonchalantly at Cadet Hyding. In his mid thirties, his close cropped brown hair showed signs of premature graying, although his blue eyes were as bright and vibrant as a newborn baby. The class stood up, immediately coming to attention as the officer walked in. “At ease. Take your seats.” said the lieutenant, still smiling at Cadet Hyding.
“Until you are commissioned and pinned with the rank of 2nd Lieutenant, Cadet Hyding, you are not a Marine Corps officer. And while you are listed as an E5 in your cadet unit manning roster, you are not a sergeant. As an officer cadet, you are being paid at the same rate as a sergeant. That’s it. You have absolutely no command or supervisory authority at all.”
“But I’m former Vice President…” started Cadet Hyding.
“You’re former Vice President Bunker Hyding’s son. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Been there. Heard that. Threw up a little bit in my mouth when you tried to say it again. You need to realize Officer Cadet Hyding, that in the Corps you are just as worthless as the rest of us,” said the lieutenant.
“Lieutenant Gabriel!” A broad smile appeared on Chensi’s face. “What are you doing here?”
“Just come to see how you all have been doing,” said Lieutenant Samuel Gabriel. “You having any issues here with this class?”
“Absolutely not,” replied Chensi, looking over to Cadet Hyding who had retreated and was again sulking and pouting. “You’re back too soon from your honeymoon, sir! I hope you didn’t take Warrant Officer Nasri to Vegas, did you?”
“I was gone for three weeks,” said Lieutenant Gabriel. “And no, I didn’t take Warrant Officer Nasri-Gabriel to Vegas. I’ll fill you all in on it later on, if you really want to know. I’m just making the rounds today. Boyer and Hernandez have their squads out at Land-Nav West and Talley is out at the lake drown-proofing her squad. Feels like I’ve been away from the platoon for months.”
“Feels like you’ve been away for a couple days,” said Chensi.
“What?” said Gabriel.
“Nothing,” gulped Chensi. “I said, ‘nice tan, sir!”
“Uh-huh,” replied Gabriel. “I’ve got a meeting with the new CO then I’m going to talk with supply about when our winter-water gear is getting here. I’ll also see about getting priority for 4th Platoon to do some hover pack training. I’ll be back with the platoon tomorrow. Carry on with your training, Lance Corporal!”
“Aye, aye, sir” said Chensi. “Class! Atten-hut!” The class once again stood at attention as Lieutenant Gabriel left the room.
“At ease, carry on,” he said, closing the door behind him.
Lieutenant Samuel Gabriel laughed to himself as he walked down the highly polished corridor of the battalion headquarters building to ‘Command Country’, the four hallways in the building where the battalion’s company and command staff operated. “Chensi is turning out to be a pretty decent Marine,” he thought to himself. “But her primary means of audio communication has absolutely no filters.”
He’d been in command of 4th Platoon for just under two years, having taken command prior to their last deployment with the USS Kitty Hawk. In six months he’d make captain and have a company command of his own. Gabriel sighed. He and Jenn would have just one small operation together before they’d be separated again. In a week, Delta Company, along with a Marine artillery battery, and Jenn’s gunship squadron, would be deploying to Norway to participate in a three week Val-Hammer joint forces training operation. It was an annual event which gave the Marines the opportunity to practice good old-fashioned amphibious and air assaults in a cold weather climate alongside their Marine counterparts in Norway. The operation would also include detachments of Danish and Swedish military units so, although professional military bearing among the allied nations was the rule of the day, there was still plenty of nationalistic pride and competitive spirit to make these kinds of operations both challenging and rewarding. The Scandinavians never pulled any punches during joint forces operations where the Marines were the defacto invading opposing forces, or OPFOR. Though the US Marine corps was larger than all of the Scandinavian military forces combined, the Viking warriors of northern Europe were keen to let their American allies know that they were nobody’s bitch.
Soon after Val-Hammer was concluded, however, Samuel’s new wife Jenn would be leaving. The Marine Corps being the Marine Corps, had assigned Jenn’s gunship squadron on a relatively short six month deployment aboard the USS Wasp to conduct orbital assault training with another Marine battle group using the newly acquired Valkyrie gunships. The new gunships still had teething issues, but the politicians and the military industrial corporations who paid the politicians, ordered the Valkyries into fleet service quickly before all of the bugs could be ironed out of the system. By the time Jenn got back to earth, Lieutenant Gabriel would be promoted to captain and would be preparing to lead his company on another year long deployment into space.
Lieutenant Gabriel got home late, having met with his new commander, the new first sergeant, and the rest of the platoon leaders. The command structure of the company was much different than it was when they last deployed on the Kitty Hawk. Lieutenant Gabriel decided that he liked Delta Company’s new commander after Delta’s former commander, Captain Marko Sims, had been promoted to major and moved to battalion. Captain Stacy Dreizehn was a 34 year old, third generation US Marine with a square jaw, high cheek bones, brown hair and emerald green eyes. Slender with toned muscles, her hobbies were competing in the US Marine Iron Man Competition, competing in the All Military Iron Man Competition, training to win said competitions, and looking down on anyone who does not strive to achieve such greatness. She was one who left no doubts that she set high standards for the Marines in her company, but set the highest standards for herself.
The unit’s new first sergeant was actually an E7 gunnery sergeant named Clifton Red Eagle. Lieutenant Gabriel actually knew him as a platoon sergeant from Golf Company when Delta and Golf were together during their last deployment on the USS Kitty Hawk. Competent and completely reliable, Gunny Red Eagle would be a perfect professional senior NCO to mold and mentor Captain Dreizehn into a capable combat company commander. 1st and 3rd Platoons were under command of newly minted 2nd Lieutenants while the 2nd Platoon was commanded by Lieutenant Fielders. Because Fielders was junior to Gabriel, that made Gabriel not only the senior platoon leader of the company, that made him the Company Executive Officer, or XO. It didn’t pay him any more in salary; it just gave him extra duties and responsibilities which would keep him up later and working longer. That was the price you had to pay, however, if you wanted to advance in rank to captain.
Gabriel’s new wife, gunship pilot Warrant Officer Jennifer Nasri-Gabriel, had left the day before with her squadron to Norway. He spoke with her for a while on a secured vid-chat. She was in the pilot’s quarters of the USS Wasp and by the look on her face and the tone of her voice, she was not at all happy with the new Valkyrie gunship which had been foisted on the Marines by the Roberts/McNamara Defense Weapons Corporation. Roberts/McNamara had the reputation of designing innovative weapon systems and marketing them to the government before all of the bugs could be worked out of the new systems. However, Roberts/McNamara also had a very robust lobbying program targeting politicians who weren’t so much interested in arming the military with weapons which would win a battle, but rather lining the political coffers that would win elections. As such, it was usually left to the military to adapt, improvise, and overcome the design flaws of their relatively untried and untested weapons and equipment while Roberts/McNamara and the politicians raked in the cash. Jenn said that the new composite squadron now consisted of six of the older, but more rugged and reliable Helios gunships, and three of the newer and sexy looking Valkyrie gunships. However, one of the new Valkyrie gunships was already non mission capable because of maintenance issues and was being cannibalized for spare parts for the other two Valkyries.
“Well, honey,” said Samuel, “this will be the first simulated real world combat trial of the Valkyrie. Maybe when those gremlins in the system reveal themselves, they’ll recall the Valkyries and give you back your full complement of Helios gunships before you deploy.”
“I’d like to think so, Sam, but I doubt it,” Jenn said. “Not with Bunker Hyding and Senator William J. Killary being the ones who pushed so hard to unload the Valkyrie on us.”
“What do you mean, honey?” said Samuel.
“Well, think about it,” said Jenn. “The opposition party wants to defund the military. Hyding and Killary fill our inventory with crap. We lose readiness and effectiveness. Marines die and missions fail. What better excuse to defund us?”
Samuel sighed. “I don’t know, dear. That sounds like something GNN would call a ‘conspiracy theory,’ to me.”
Jenn made a face. “Hyding, Killary, and GNN saying that the colonists on Willow’s World were rebelling against President Helania was a conspiracy theory. Reality turned out to be far different and it almost got us all killed. Let’s not get caught up and confuse reality with a popular narrative.”
Samuel could only nod in agreement.
The next morning, Officer Cadet Hunter Hyding sat alone, as he always did, in the main dining facility on the base that serviced the battalion. He had always chosen to sit apart from his fellow classmates of 24 officer cadets, not that any of them invited him to sit with them, and he liked it that way. If regular Marines were losers, then those wanting to be officers in the Marine Corps were even bigger losers. None of them had any idea what was going on in the real galaxy, what with their almost fanatical commitment to duty, honor, country and esprit de corps. He detested the Marines because they were all too stupid to realize that systemic racism and bigotry should be driving a wedge between them. This division and unrest would then create a revolution of galactic awareness that would bring down the status quo. Instead, these idiots lived, worked, suffered, and succeeded together as if they were blissfully unaware that they should be hating each other. Hunter was absentmindedly poking his empty glass of orange juice with a straw when a Marine plopped her breakfast tray down in front of him across the table, jerking him out of his pouting reverie. She then sat down, glaring angrily at Hunter.
“I’ve trained and qualified over fifty Marines on the operation of the flame-gun,” said LCpl. Chensi. “And you are the only one who has ever failed my class. Why are you wasting my time? Are you even trying?”
“I’m not a Marine,” said Hunter. “Remember?”
“A slot as a Marine officer cadet is hard to come by,” said Chensi. “There are people who work and train hard just for the chance at the opportunity you have been given. Why are you even here? How did you even get here?”
“How do you think I got here?” said Hunter. “Our party doesn’t have a very good reputation with the military, and for some reason, the masses of idiot voters love and support you people, though I have absolutely no idea why. Dad says that we need a fresh new image to the party. One that says, ‘We’re patriotic, too.’ So, here I am.”
“So you’re supposed to be the great white hope that will win the hearts and minds of the voters for your dad and your party?” said Chensi. “Well, you sure don’t look thrilled.”
“Do I look thrilled to be here?” said Hunter. “To be in the company of a bunch of brainwashed killers who have absolutely no idea what’s really going on in the galaxy?”
“We weren’t so brainwashed as to think that the eight month communications blackout from the Willow’s World colony was due to them planning the start of some intergalactic social revolution against the government,” Chensi shot back. Hunter leaned back in his seat, crossing his arms and pouting.
“You know, for someone who is so enlightened and open minded, you sure blindly do everything your father and your party tells you to do, almost as if you let them do your thinking for you.” Chensi picked up her tray and stood to leave. “I may be just some young, dumb, female Marine to you but here’s a bit of advice: Don’t be a man for your father’s sake. Be a man for your own sake. Repeating everything that your parents or your party tells you to say doesn’t make you a free thinker. It makes you a parrot.” She pushed her chair back and turned to take her tray to the dining facility exit.
Hunter stared at the Marine as she slowly walked away, her words hitting him harder than machine gun fire. He would be dead, ripped to pieces by the undead, if she hadn’t stepped in and saved him and Seashell Killary. He never even said ‘thank you’ nor acknowledged that the event occurred. In fact, he had taken the credit for the courage and selfless sacrifice Chensi was willing to accept in order to save his life. His life. His whole life, he had done everything his father had told him to do, and his father did everything the party told him to do. Meanwhile, that little female Marine, who was years younger than he was and who was barely old enough to drink, had already travelled half way across the galaxy and had survived enough adventures to fill several lifetimes. She had already earned a Marine Corps Meritorious Medal and a Bronze Star, but she never mentioned it. She never talked about it. Meanwhile, Hunter had allowed his father and the news media to take all of that valor and transplant it to him, to make his life appear more spectacular and heroic than what it really was.
“My life,” he muttered as he unconsciously scraped his fork in circles on his scrambled eggs. “My life. No, I have no life. No thoughts. No soul. I was just a tool.” He inhaled deeply. If she had died saving him, it would have been a very, very, poor exchange.
“Wait! Wait!” Hunter stood up and awkwardly turned. Chensi stopped, still holding her breakfast tray in her hands, and stared at Hunter with one eyebrow raised. Hunter took a few furtive steps, suddenly unsure of himself. “Chensi… Lance Corporal Chensi… I…umm… I need your help.”
Chensi tilted her head, expecting Hunter to insult her and began thinking of an entire litany of come backs which she had stored. “I don’t have time for this, officer cadet. My platoon is running the anti-armor gunnery range today.”
Hunter raised his hands. “I know. I know. I won’t take too much of your time. I just… I just need help, and I don’t know who else to turn to.”
“Can’t you just call daddy?” said Chensi.
Hunter signed and nodded. “I guess I deserved that,” he admitted. “Sorry.” He turned to go back to his seat.
Somewhat stunned, Chensi looked at her watch, then rolled her eyes. “You got two minutes, officer cadet!”
They sat facing each other and Hunter stumbled for words. “I’m going to be dropped from the officer cadet course in two weeks unless I can successfully get a ‘go’ on all of the requirements which I’ve failed.”
“Uh, huh,” said Chensi. “And what requirements have you gotten a ‘no-go’ on?”
Hunter exhaled. “I failed M88 rifle qualifications. I failed the Eliminator obstacle course. Combat First aid. Land navigation. Basic combat leadership. Physical Readiness Testing. Oh, and I’ve fallen out of every single road march. Basically, they want to boot me for failing to adapt and not being a team player.”
Chensi eyes went wide and her mouth went to an ‘Oh’. She slapped her forehead. “Good Lord, Hyding! That’s practically half the officer cadet curriculum! What the hell have you been doing for the past six weeks?”
“Being a dick,” said Hunter. “Being unmotivated. Hating everyone and everything around me. Not stepping up and being a man. Not being all that I could be.”
“Not being all that you can be. That’s the… ummm… that’s the Army, Hunter.” said Chensi. “Anyway, you have two weeks to pass all of that or else they boot you out, correct?”
Hunter nodded, looking down. “Actually, I have one week to train up on all that. The week after that is when I have to retake all of the tests. If I fail any one of them, I’m out.”
“And daddy is going to disown you, right?” said Chensi. “No help from sonny boy for his next presidential campaign?”
“No!” said Hunter loudly, slamming his hands on the table. Marines sitting at other tables stopped talking and looked at him, but LCpl. Chensi just waved her hand, letting them know everything was under control. “I’m not doing this for my father! Not anymore! To hell with him and his career! He can succeed or fail on his own! I need to do this for me, Lance Corporal Chensi. I need to… I need to be my own man. I need to be a man.”
Chensi looked down at her watch. “Well. I got to go,” she said, standing and picking up her tray.
“Thanks, anyway, Lance Corporal,” whispered Hunter, disappointed. “Thank you for everything you’ve done. For me, I mean.”
Chensi looked down at Hunter, smirking. “I’m not done with you yet, you jerk. Meet me at the Eliminator at 1700 hours before dinner chow.”
At 1700 hours, as promised Officer Cadet Hyding met LCpl. Chesni at the Eliminator, dressed in a red training t-shirt with the letters USMC on the chest in bold gold colors and olive drab sweats with the black eagle, globe, and anchor insignia of the Marine Corps on the left thigh. It was getting dark by then and the lights which illuminated the course were slowly coming on, adjusting in luminescence as it grew darker. The Eliminator was a mile long course which contained various obstacles every tenth of a mile which either challenged specific muscle groups, balance, coordination, made the officer cadet filthy and uncomfortable, or a combination of all the above. During the low crawl obstacle, where the officer cadet was required to low crawl through a mud filled ditch and then transition to his back and worm their way underneath coils of razor wire, the officer cadet cadre would fire rubber bullets from two M670 machine guns inches above their heads, and though it didn’t kill the officer cadet if he got hit by one of the rubber bullets, the pain it caused and the welt that it left his ass often made the officer cadet wish he were dead. The Eliminator culminated in a rope climb up fifty feet transitioning to a net climb another fifty feet and concluded at the top of a narrow platform where the officer cadet must repel down the sheer wall to a safety net eighty feet below. The officer cadet needed to complete the entire course within twenty minutes in order to receive a ‘go’ to receive credit for successfully meeting the challenge.
“Thanks for meeting me, Lance Corporal,” said Hunter, gratefully.
“I don’t know why I’m here,” said Chensi, also dressed in the Marine Corps physical training uniform. “I leave for Val-Hammer in a week and I still need to prep for that.”
“You don’t need to be here if you don’t want,” replied Hunter, to which Chensi laughed.
“Are you kidding? I wouldn’t miss the chance of seeing your high society ass get all muddy.” Chensi paused. “Besides, I believe that everyone should have a chance to prove to themselves what they’re really made of. Lieutenant Gabriel always says that leaders need to set up their subordinates for success. You were given every advantage to be set up for success, but your father failed to set you up for it. So, that’s something you’ll have to do for yourself.”
Hunter nodded, not showing any sign of being offended. “You know, though,” said Chensi. “I can’t really help you with the physical training and endurance. I can help you with everything else as much as I can, but one week isn’t enough time to make you fit enough to pass the physical readiness test.”
“That’s okay,” said Hunter. “I ran track back at George Town, so I’m actually pretty fast.
I really haven’t been pushing myself, but I’m relatively sure I can pass physical readiness testing. I just didn’t really try before. Like tonight, I just need you to call out my time as I hit each obstacle so I know how to pace myself on the final exam. I mean, if you would, please.”
“Huh,” said Chensi, taking the stopwatch from Hunter. “What was your record the last time you did the Eliminator?”
“I think it was somewhere in the 35 to 40 minute range.” said Hunter. “My cadet cadre leaders made me do it again and I got to the third obstacle and quit. I just wasn’t feeling it.”
“Officer Cadet Hyding,” said Chensi. “You better not be wasting my time!”
“I’ll prove to you that I’m not,” he replied.
“Okay then, Officer Cadet Hyding. Let’s see what you got!”
The mile long course was laid out in an oblong track so that the last obstacle ended facing the first obstacle. At the command, ‘GO!’ Hunter took off running, coming to the first obstacle he traversed up a wooden beam and walked a narrow zig-zagging path on the four inch wide beam which was six feet above the ground for about fifty meters, looking as confident as if he were a spider. Chensi was impressed as Hunter came off the first obstacle and sprinted towards the next obstacle where he had to jump up to a horizontal ladder which inclined upwards at an angle then leveled off before eventually inclining down. The obstacle was twenty feet long and was built over a mud pit. Hunter completed this one with ease and raced to a rope swing which ended at a vertical wall. Once balanced on the wall, he turned and navigated a series of logs inclined upwards; weaving his way alternately over and under the logs until he reached the top, then repeated the process as the logs inclined downwards. The whole time, Chesni was calling out his time as he hit each obstacle.
“7:15!” she yelled as Hunter hit the low crawl obstacle and dived into the mud filled pit. “Nine-oh-nine!” she yelled as Hunter hit the inclining wall.
“18:31!” yelled Chensi as Hunter came off the last obstacle and ran the last one-tenth of a mile to the finish line. He walked a few paces down the track, hands on hips and panting hard. Finally he stopped, putting his hands on his knees and looking at the ground. He was covered head to toe in mud as Chensi approached him, swinging the stopwatch on its lanyard around her finger.
“Not bad, Hyding,” she said. “You passed with a respectable time. I’d hate to see what your score would have been if you’d actually been trying. I’m actually impressed.”
Hunter was still breathing hard, but glanced up at LCpl. Chensi with a look of appreciation. “I can… I can… I can do better,” he said between pants.
“You want to do this again?” said Chensi, dubiously.
“Yes,” nodded Hunter. “I think if I dive into the low crawl at a steeper angle, transition better on the swing for life, and just improve my coordination on the skyscraper, I can better my time.”
“Roger that, Devil Dog,” she said. “I’m ready when you are.”
“16:12!” yelled Chensi as Hunter leapt from the last obstacle and ran past the finish point. Again, Hunter put his hands on his knees, breathing harder than before. He looked back up at Chensi, sweat pouring profusely from his mud caked forehead. “Okay, give me a minute. I want to go one more time!”
“Really?” said Chensi, resetting the stopwatch. “Okay, dude.”
“14:30!” yelled Chensi as Hunter stumbled across the finish line again, completing the Eliminator three times inside of one hour. However, instead of stopping or slowing down, he ran past Chensi towards the middle of the oblong obstacle course where he fell face first into the ground.
“Oh, shit. I killed him,” thought Chensi as he raced to his prone form, wondering how she was going to explain to the Court Martial board how she caused the former vice president’s son to have a heart attack and die. To her surprise, Hunter rolled over, sitting on his butt with arms upraised to the sky and laughing.
“Lance Corporal Chensi,” he smiled, raising his head to the sky. “I have never felt so alive in my entire life!”
“Really?” she said, relieved. “Because you look like you’ve been buried underground for a year! There’s like, no part of your body that mud isn’t touching.”
As if on cue, a light drizzle began to fall from the darkening skies, steadily building to a steady rain. Hunter still sat on the ground, breathing hard but grateful for the rain washing away the mud. “Ahhh, Lance Corporal Chensi, do you know how great it is to say, ‘I did it?’ Not, ‘My father did it for me,’ but, ‘I did it! I did it on my own!”
“Well, gee,” said Chensi. “I’m happy to be your miracle worker, Helen Keller! But all I did was hold a stop watch. We still have a lot to do this week.” She reached out her hand and Hunter grabbed it, allowing himself to be pulled to his feet. “Let’s get washed up and changed for chow. The dining facility closes in an hour.”
“Thanks again, Lance Corporal,” Hunter said. “I mean, thanks for at least showing that you want to help. But, if I can impose on you just one more time tonight, could we please meet after chow at the battalion classroom? It should be empty by then.” Chensi raised an eyebrow, considering what he had in mind.
A little over an hour later, Chensi put down the final exam test for the M11A4 Dilating-aperture, Incendiary Conduction Killer, more commonly known as the flame-gun.
“One hundred percent. You aced my test and you even spelled ‘incinerate’ correctly.” She looked up at Officer Cadet Hunter Hyding. “Congratulations. You can officially call yourself a DICK head,”
Hunter smiled almost shyly. “I just wanted to prove to you that I wasn’t wasting your time.”
Over the next week, Lance Corporal Chensi spent as much of her off duty time helping Hunter Hyding to catch up on the tactical aspects of being a combat Marine that he either ignored or half-assed through during the last six weeks. Chensi quickly learned that Hunter wasn’t dumb, or physically weak, he was just unmotivated. However, when given the opportunity to prove to himself what he was capable of, there seemed to be a spark of life which was injected into him that had never been there before. On the last afternoon which they had to train together before Chensi and the rest of Delta Company were to leave for Val-Hammer, Chensi had somehow gotten permission to use Land-Nav West for some old fashioned map reading and land navigation training before the sun completely went down.
“Found four out of five points in three hours! Not bad, huh?” Officer Cadet Hyding and LCpl. Chensi were standing in a clearing on a low foothill. They were wet and muddy, as they had to cross a few streams in order to find a few of their points. Chensi took a sip of water, watching as the sun set in the western skies.
“Meh,” she said. “I could do better. Besides, you’ll never make 2nd Lieutenant like that!”
“Oh, really?” said Hunter, faking being offended. “Are you saying that I can’t find five out of five navigational points?”
“Not if you want to be a 2nd Lieutenant!” said Chensi. “Everyone knows that to be commissioned as a brand new 2nd Lieutenant you have to have the ability to find absolutely none of your navigational points and get lost doing it!”
They both laughed for a second, watching the sky slowly turn a deep, glowing, red.
“Look,” said Chensi. “Being an officer cadet is just the first step of your commissioning to 2nd Lieutenant. This is just a few weeks of boot camp training that gives you a little head start before you go to Officer Candidate School, and OCS is two years of the officer cadet course on steroids with no sleep. So stay motivated, don’t do this for anyone else but yourself, take the hater stick out from up your butt, and you’ll be fine!”
“I believe I’m going to miss you, LCpl. Chensi,” said Hunter, more to himself than to Chensi.
“Don’t get weird on me, cadet,” she replied.
He sighed. “You know, I need to record the grid coordinate to this location. It’s really quite romantic,” continued Hunter looking down at Chensi.
“Don’t get any ideas, dude,” said Chensi jokingly. “I’m not into scrub officer cadets. I’m into real men!”
Hunter Hyding smiled and winked. “Yeah, so am I. But let’s just keep that secret from my father.”
Chensi laughed. “Oh, like I didn’t know.”
submitted by Taxi_Dancer to DrCreepensVault [link] [comments]

2020.08.17 15:17 properminting Any nice male Scandinavian names?

We live in Scandinavia and expecting our first baby - boy, so I was wondering if you can share some of your favorite Scandinavian/Nordic names for boys? All babies I know here seem to be called Noah or William these days and though I do think those are very nice names, I just don't really want something that popular.
submitted by properminting to namenerds [link] [comments]

2020.08.17 02:37 SnooHesitations9369 [TOMT] [Music] European pop song by male singer with face paint on his album/single cover

Have been trying to find this Euro pop song I heard for years. This is what I know: - Male singer is European, likely Swedish or Scandinavian - Song (and likely song title) is in that European language - Album/single cover has close-up image of the singers face, which is painted in an artistic way. Main colour from memory is blue. - I think the singers name may have something like Dan/Daniel/Adam in it.
Thank you!
Edit: regarding the face paint, I also recall an image (album/single cover) he has his hands over his face with his fingers spread apart and eyes peeking through. His fingers have yellow paint on them.
This is in addition to the image I described above with blue-ish face paint. It is quite pleasant looking (i.e. not meant to be hard/aggressive like the style of Kiss).
submitted by SnooHesitations9369 to tipofmytongue [link] [comments]

2020.08.06 16:48 varansl History of the Raven Queen - the goddess of Death, Fate, and Winter; she resides in the dark lands of the Shadowfell

You can read this post and see the pictures of the dryad across the editions on Dump Stat
This week, we are mixing it up a bit and looking at the history of another famous character in Dungeons & Dragons - the Raven Queen. Initially, it seems like a short but exciting topic, and while it certainly was interesting, it was anything but quick. The Queen of Shadows was first introduced in 4e and lived on in 5th edition, and while information may seem sparse, there is quite a great deal of lore to be found in various publications. Hunting down references to the Raven Queen takes you to a wide selection of publications, from the Dragon & Dungeon Magazines to the recently released Explorer's Guide to Wildemount (2020).
Another challenge when writing about the Raven Queen is she is wholly re-invented in 5th edition, with the lore of 4e being tossed out. We understand that 5e wanted to separate itself from 4e, but discarding a fun and intricate piece of lore for a vague background that attempts to be mysterious makes little sense. We are going to provide both backgrounds for the Raven Queen, and you can decide which one fits better with your world.

4th Edition

The Beginning of Nerull

The origin of the Raven Queen begins, not with her, but with the god of death known as Nerull. In the earliest editions of Dungeons & Dragons, Nerull was always a god, but in 4th edition, secret history is revealed where he was actually a human wizard who was taught magic by Corellon Larethian, a greater deity of elves and magic. He used his magic to further understand death and how he could infuse a dead body with a semblance of life. This was especially important to Nerull because the Dawn War, a massive war between the gods and primordials, was starting to go against the gods. Nerull wanted to create an army of the undead to help the gods win against the primordials and thought he had found salvation for the armies of gods.
The current god of the dead, Aurom, saw this as an abomination of life and enraged Nerull. Aurom was simply jealous of Nerull’s discovery, at least that is what Nerull thought to himself as he fumed and planned. Eventually, Nerull would ambush Aurom after a difficult fight in the Dawn War and slay the god. The other gods were alarmed and quickly rose to destroy Nerull, except this mortal was able to worm his way out of punishment. He only wanted to study death and undeath and wanted nothing to do with any other domains that Aurom had overseen. He offered up those other domains to the other gods who greedily picked over Aurom’s corpse and took those domains for themselves. Those domains were focused on life, birth, growth, fertility, plants, animals, and nature, all things that Nerull had no interest in anyways and this proved to Nerull that gods were selfish creatures who only cared about furthering their power.

Nerull Falls in Love

When the world was just in its infant stages, the gods laid claim to many mortal souls when they passed on. Those souls who had no one to claim them would simply disappear into the ether, into a world outside of even the understandings of gods. The new god of death and undeath, Nerull, begin snatching up those souls and trapped them in one of the Outer Planes known as Carceri. In the earlier editions, Nerull created his domain on the bottom-most layer, Agathys, but in 4th edition, Nerull saw over the domain of Pluton out in the Astral Sea.
Nerull liked power and sought to become the king of the gods, collecting more and more souls, strengthening his power and position. Not willing to wait around for old age to claim the souls he needed, Nerull sent plagues, famine, and disease to the mortal realm to speed up the whole dying process. During this time, Nerull came upon a fearsome and powerful sorcerer queen, whose name is lost to time. Becoming smitten with this woman, who had also been trained by Corellon in the magical arts, Nerull raised her up and forced her to become his queen who he then named Nera.

The Fall of Nerull, The Rise of Nera

Nera was once a powerful sorcerer and queen and had ambitions of her own. Maybe she didn't appreciate the fact that Nerull was the one that had sent the plague that killed her, it could have been she wasn't thrilled with being second in command or that she didn’t get much say in all of this. Reasons aside, Nera took to learning the secrets of Nerull's necromantic secrets of raising the dead. After some time, she was able to master the same process that Nerull used when capturing the spirits and using it to foster his power. She took this newfound power and began an attack against Nerull, wanting to destroy him and take his place.
Unfortunately for Nera, Nerull hadn’t taught everything to her and had learned a trick or two in his time as a god and wasn't about to go down without a fight. Even without his massive armies of undead, Nerull was able to hold Nera off. To summon the strength to defeat Nerull, Nera freed the souls that Nerull had collected all these years, and with each soul she freed, they provided a small boost of power. Having to free almost all the souls, she was given enough power to finally defeat Nerull and seize the mantle of the god of death, or so she thought.
The remaining gods watched this power grab play itself out and saw an opening to wrestle some of the power away from whoever survived the encounter. While basking in the glow of her victory, the gods made their move. They stripped her of the title of god of the dead but instead gave her the title, and power, of the god of death. What's the difference, you say? Being the god of the dead meant you could trap souls of those who died, what Nerull was doing by capturing souls and locking them away for a rainy day when he planned to take over the entire multiverse. Being the god of death meant that it was your job to shuttle souls between the mortal coil and the great beyond.
The other gods, who had watched in horror as Nera exploited and destroyed countless souls when she ‘freed' them, gave the new goddess a choice. She could accept the mantle of the goddess of death and be anointed as a fully-fledged deity, or they would use their collective might and pummel her into non-existence. Unable to see any other options, she accepted their offer.
Saying Nera was pissed is an understatement. Her plans for becoming the god of the dead now thwarted, she searched for ways to circumvent the limitations that had been placed on her by the other gods. She dropped the name Nera and was reborn as the Raven Queen, abandoning the gray and depressing Pluton, and moving to the much more cheerful Shadowfell. Yes, Pluton was that bad. Since her move to a nicer neighborhood, the Raven Queen has been tirelessly working and has wiped all previous mentions of her old names. She continues to study the magical powers of souls and how she can destroy those who thwarted her rise to power.

She Rises in Power

Looking to expand her power base by any means necessary, the Raven Queen was afforded in opportunity as the Dawn War against the primordials was close to completion. Khala, the goddess of winter, decided that she disliked the idea of the ‘compromise’ Avandra, a god of change, had made with the other gods that the Material Plane would experience both day and night and the changing seasons. Khala wanted dark and cold winters all the time, and so she, along with her allies, attacked the gods.
It was a long-fought conflict, with many gods almost losing against Khala, but eventually, Khala was defeated and the gods were forced to call on the Raven Queen to bring Khala into death. The Raven Queen, always looking to better her position, offered to do so only if she was given the portfolio of winter - which the other gods agreed to, but the Raven Queen wasn’t done yet.
Lolth's story has several similarities to the Raven Queen's, except with a much different ending. Originally named Araushnee, she was a fey goddess and consort of Corellon. Like the Raven Queen, her ambitions outgrew her status as second fiddle to her male counterpart, and she sought to depose Corellon. Allying herself with one of Corellon's greatest enemies, the orc god Grummsh, she gathered her forces and attacked Corellon. The Raven Queens, sensing an opportunity to curry favor with the other gods, lent her sorrowsworn troops to Corellon's defense. The sorrowsworn is not a creature to be trifled with, for these demons delve deep into your mind and torment you by whispering your deepest defeats and insecurities. They do this as they tear you apart with their claws. With her assistance, Corellon was able to defeat Araushnee, who fled to the abyss, renamed herself Lolth, and took her current spider form. As payment for her services, Corellon allowed her to take up Lolth's former mantle, goddess of fate.

The Shadar-Kai

The shadar-kai are the most intense of the Raven Queen followers. They are a race of shadow fey creatures, though don't confuse them with the drow, they aren't into spiders just ravens. It's appropriate then that they make their home in the Shadowfell. These fey took on the appearance of the Shadowfell, with gray skin, white hair, and dark shadows that somehow seem impossible.
This creepy fey creature has the grace of a dancer on the battlefield, gliding with incredible speed and agility. Fighters wield light weapons while their spellcasters use shadow magic to drain their opponents of life and energy. Blending in with the natural environment of the Shadowfell, the shadar-kai excel at sneak attacks and ambushing their potential victims. If that wasn't bad enough, the shadar-kai can also teleport short distances, reappearing with a form similar to that of a wraith.

The Shadowfell and Letherna

This is the home of the Raven Queen and is a shadowy reflection of the Material Plane, for more general information on the Shadowfell, check out our series on the Planes. In the context of the Raven Queen, it's essential to talk about her shadow home, Letherna. This forbidden realm is where the Raven Queen holds her court in Fate’s Palace, all souls must pass through the temple where they are then carried off to their afterlife.
Interestingly enough, if you are fortunate enough to make it to the palace, and not get slaughtered by the hundreds of sorrowsworn that protect the place, there is a good chance the Raven Queen will see you, as she is quite willing to here the requests of mortals. While she is known as a dark and secretive god, it's important to note once again that she is not inherently evil. She could be impressed that these adventurers survived the trials they went through to reach her. Or maybe she wants them to witness her immense power and darkness that comes with being the goddess of death. While she isn’t holding court or commanding her loyal servants to do some dark deed, she can be found musing on the secrets of life and death, wondering what the next steps are to secure her power more completely.

Enemies of the Raven Queen

The Raven Queen is the undisputed ruler of the Shadowfell, but that doesn't mean some aren't plotting for her demise so that they can rule this land of darkness. The main two enemies of the Raven Queen are Vecna and Orcus.
Vecna, while in some editions is a god, and in others just a really powerful dude, he thinks that death should be his domain. While he may have little interest in ensuring that the souls get to where they are going, he is very interested in claiming dominion over death and undeath. Death provides the knowledge that Vecna so desperately craves, so he would love to get his skeletal hands on the souls of the dead and use them any way he sees fit. Through the use of arcane magic and the knowledge he gains, he has been able to raise countless undead soldiers that assist him in his battles throughout the planes. But when it comes the Raven Queen, Vecna doesn't attack straight on. His armies have never been used on an assault into Shadowfell. Instead, he comes at the Raven Queen sideways, quietly establishing small footholds throughout the Shadowfell and recruiting members to his cause. He uses these followers to convert others and waits until his forces can become strong enough to strike.
Orcus, on the other hand, has been waging war with the Raven Queen for what seems like forever. To say that these two don't like each other is quite the understatement. Of all her enemies, the followers of Orcus are the most hated. The shadar-kai and her sorrowsworn consider the worship of this demon to be the worst sin imaginable. Orcus controls many lands within Shadowfell, with settlement and temples being erected in his name. Skirmishes occur often, and while the Raven Queen lacks the strength to banish him from her realm, she is always on the hunt for his followers. The shadar-kai and sorrowsworn are sent to uproot and destroy any holdings that Orcus might have, slaughtering them through Gloomwrought and the rest of the Shadowfell. On the other hand, Orcus offers bounties and hires mercenaries to bolster his cults and to kill off the shadar-kai and her worshipers where ever possible.

5th Edition

While 4e goes a long way to paint the picture of a sorcerer-queen making the most of being dead, 5e removes that backstory and creates something brand new for her. This also has the bonus for Greyhawk fans in that Nerull is still alive and on the bottom layer of Carceri where he has his frozen realm. Though unlike almost everyone else on Carceri, he isn’t there as a prisoner, but because he likes it there. Takes all types we guess.

Origin Story

Corellon and Lolth are still part of the origin story of the Raven Queen, but they take a much more involved role now. See, those two great elven deities were bickering and tearing the elves apart, forcing them into different factions. In response to this, a great elven sorceress, whose name has been wiped from all records, attempted to ascend to godhood and reunite the two warring factions because what everyone needed was for the elves to be split into three groups instead of just two.
This unknown elf worked tirelessly for years and years before growing her number of worshipers and supporters until she could perform a special ritual to give herself godhood, of course, this is from the kindness of her heart and definitely had nothing to do with gaining more power and being a god. Only kindness. To gain godhood, she needed her followers to pledge their souls to her so that she could create a link between the Feywild and Arvandor, which is a big ask in our opinion. But sure enough, her worshipers flocked to her aid and brought more and more elves to her, all pledging their souls to her rise in power.
When she began this special ritual, things started fairly well for her as she became a semi-divine being of power. Unfortunately, not everyone wanted to give up their souls and help this mortal’s dream of being a goddess become a reality. A group of evil wizards thought that they could siphon off some of her power during this ritual and become powerful themselves. When the woman figured out someone was stealing her power while she was trying to ascend, this enraged her and she made a pit-stop mid ritual to bring her wrath down upon those wizards.
Unfortunately, this caused a problem in the ritual and, in desperation, the almost-god grabbed the souls of her followers and dragged them with her into the Shadowfell where the deity’s body died.

Rise of the Raven Queen

Because gods are hard to kill, her spirit survived in the Shadowfell but it was slowly burning away. In an attempt to keep herself from dying completely, she cloaked herself in the memories of the Shadowfell and formed her new body and identity from those memories. This caused her to use the last of her divine power, but luckily it was enough to sustain her as she fought to stay alive and hold back death. During this same time, she took her revenge against the wizards who had tried to steal a portion of her power and twisted them into the horrible nagpas and sent them to live out their miserable lives in the Shadowfell.
From here, the Raven Queen has been slowly growing her power and reinforcing her position as a goddess of death. She is now a deity and can be found in the Shadowfell and in her Fortress of Memories which, while a decent name, is not quite as cool as Fate’s Palace. Here, the shadar-kai carry out the Raven Queen’s orders, fearless of what death might have in store for them. They know that the Raven Queen will capture their soul and return it to life in the Shadowfell, thus death is only a temporary condition and not something to be feared.

Changes to the Sorrowsworn

Another big change for the Raven Queen is that she no longer holds sway over the sorrowsworn, but instead they are now emotion giving different forms. These powerful creatures are the negative emotions of the worlds and given a horrifying form that is evil and desires nothing more than a friend. Unfortunately for those they would like to make a friend, they often murder you as they try to hug you or bring you close, their harpoon arms skewering you or their very existence overwhelming your mind with grief and you die from sadness. This probably just makes them sadder and in need of new friends to share their grief with and kill with their pathetic existence.

The Raven Queen

From a woman brought up to be the queen of the dead to an elven maiden who just wanted to end the conflict between the warring elven factions, the Raven Queen has a strange past. There have been some changes to the 5th edition Raven Queen with the Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount (2020), though all that does is return to her the domains of fate and winter. Maybe when 5th edition finally does something more with the Shadowfell, we can more fully explore the story of the Raven Queen, visit her great palace in Letherna, and witness her power over death, fate, and winter.

Resources & Further Reading

Divine Power (2009)
Dragon Magazine #380 (2009)
Dragon Magazine #427 (2013)
Dungeon Magazine #171 (2009)
Explorer’s Guide to Wildemount (2020)
Manual of the Planes (2008)
Mordenkainen’s Tome of Foes (2018)
Player's Option - Heroes of Shadow (2011)
The Shadowfell - Gloomwrought And Beyond (2011)
Have something you'd like to see explored throughout the editions? Let us know!

Past Deep Dives

Creatures: Aboleth / Beholder / Displacer Beast / Dryad / Flumph / Gelatinous Cube / Grell / Hobgoblin / Kobold / Kraken / Kuo-Toa / Lich / Lizardfolk / Mimic / Mind Flayer / Nothic / Owlbear / Rakshasa / Rust Monster / Sahuagin / Umber Hulk / Vampire / Werewolf / Xorn
Class: Barbarian Class / Cleric Class / Wizard Class
Spells: Fireball Spell / Lost Spells / Quest Spells / Wish Spell
Other: The History of Bigby / The History of the Blood War / The History of Vecna
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2020.08.02 22:32 singlevegasguy White 33-Year-Old Male Based in Las Vegas Looking For Long Term Relationship

Hello Reddit. I am looking for a serious relationship with a quality woman. This is going to be very straightforward and without sugar coating, just like me.
I am a white, 33-year-old male of Scandinavian heritage (dirty blonde hair, bluest eyes you’ll ever see, grow facial hair very fast, slow metabolism, chest hair, pale and sunburn easily). I am very goal oriented and a big believer in pushing oneself to their maximum potential. I focused on building a very solid base through my late teens and 20s, so I would have a bright future, early retirement if desired, and would be financially secure.
I moved out of my parent’s house when I was 19 years old with $300 in my bank account. Since then, I’ve earned four college degrees (all of which I paid for), bought and paid off a house, saved a decent amount of money up for retirement (enough that I’m set), have a good paying job that is secure (even through COVID), earn income through multiple sources and income is constantly climbing. I’m completely debt free (house, car, education, everything), and highly value financial wisdom. Due to being debt free and a constantly increasing income, I have very high free cash flow, allowing me to invest heavily, further increasing my income. As stated above, I highly focused on financial security and setting myself up for long-term success. Everything I have I earned myself without any help from anyone, and what I did can be done by anyone who has enough drive and determination.
In my free time I enjoy boating, hiking, camping, jet skiing, movies, Netflix, traveling, drawing, reading, shooting, investing, day trading, motorcycling, video games, and aviation. I try to go out on the lake at least once per month in summer, try to go flying and do a few laps around the pattern at least once a month with the occasional cross-country trip. I’ve been flying since I was 13 years old and am very passionate about aviation, aerospace, and mankind’s future in space. In my fantasy world I have a nice house/ranch on a river, in a forested area, grow my own crops, have access to a large lake, private pond/lake, private airstrip and hangar(s), doomsday bunker, fuel supply, solar and wind tech, etc…
While it likely doesn’t seem like it from all of my gas-guzzling hobbies, I am very passionate about green technology, improving our nation’s energy dependence through use of green technology. I dream of society using a matter-to-energy converter to convert trash into energy, so we can solve two society problems at once. As seen above, I am also passionate about personal finance, a believer in paying cash for most things, staying out of debt, and disgusted by the over-consumerism culture where society lives outside their means. I am also a patriot, firm believer in our national defense, law and order, and America being able to take care of itself in all aspects. Politically I’m a very conservative Libertarian (assume Republican for most political points). Mainly believe this country was founded on the principles of personal freedom, all laws should have a victim at the end of them, and when someone is victimized the criminal should be held HIGHLY accountable. Its the political party I believe our forefathers would be if they were resurrected. I’m a loosely practicing Christian, meaning I am a Christian, but I kind of do what I want as long as I’m not hurting anyone else.
My current goals are to increase my real estate portfolio. Namely since I’ve already paid off my house I plan on buying a second house and using what was my mortgage payment plus rental income to pay off a second house quickly, then keep the snowball going. I want the retirement house/ranch I described above. I want to be able to gift each kid I have a house when they graduate high school, eliminating their biggest expense in life at the start of it. I want to finish my instructor pilot license and teach each kid I have how to fly (if they so desire) so they have a marketable skill. I want to buy a few of my own planes, maybe open my own flight school as a retirement job. I want my dividend income to increase to the point where I am able to live off of it. I want to find a good, like-minded, woman who the same goals.
I think its only fair to discuss my negative attributes as well, so: I am a bit overweight but that is rapidly changing and my number one goal right now. I am very straightforward (as likely seen in this post). I’m very opinioned and judgmental and unlikely to change. I’m picky on who I hang out with (they say you’re the average of your five closest friends, so I choose to average up). I don’t know if you consider it negative or not, but I don’t use social media; not a fan of executives making money by constantly peddling hate and the ongoing competition of everyone on social media to show themselves as having the best life when most of it is fake and they’re buried in debt.
You are 18-33 years old, no tattoos, conservative piercings (ears only), goal oriented, hard worker, debt free or close to it. You are single, do not have any kids, and preferably not divorced. You have traditional values, long-term goals, are conservative, want a solid long-term relationship. If you have to tell me what pronouns you use to describe yourself, you are not for me. If you want an open relationship, you are not for me. If you have had an abortion you are not for me.
For the women in their 20s that may be interested in me: You don’t have tattoos, conservative piercings (ears only), goal oriented, hard worker, debt free or close to it. You are single, do not have any kids, and preferably not divorced. You have traditional values, long-term goals, are conservative, want a solid long-term relationship.
For the women in their 30s that may be interested in me: You don’t have tattoos, conservative piercings (ears only), goal oriented, hard worker, debt free or close to it. You are single, do not have any kids, and preferably not divorced. You have traditional values, long-term goals, are conservative, want a solid long-term relationship. You spent your 20s building a solid base, getting a career, saving, buying a home, developing marketable skills, and believe in continual improvement.
If you are in your 30s and spent your 20s sleeping around, chasing “bad boys”, and friend-zoned the “nice guys” and wouldn’t give them the time of day, you are not for me. I spent my 20s setting myself up for success, I expect you did the same. If you chose to spend your best years (20s) chasing players, asshole guys, and doing body shots at the clubs when the quality guys were working hard, you are not for me. If your biological clock is going off, telling you to have kids, and you’re looking to settle; I’m not settling, and I resent that you want to settle with a quality guy when you spent your best years on assholes and players. You won’t treat me as well as you would a guy you spent your 20s playing with, instead you’ll look at me as a meal-ticket through life and a “safe bet.” You made your choice, stick with it, the smart nice guys aren’t taking leftovers. I am judging you harder, you’re older, you have a track record at this point, and should have fruits to show from your labor. You also have a demonstrated history of decision making, the best track record to judge someone by.
I’m not going to judge anyone based off of where they’re from, their family, or other factors outside of their control. While I am very patriotic, I understand you don’t have control over where you were born, or what family you were born into. What matters is your values, decision making, goals, and determination.
I’m split on marriage for a number of reasons. I like the idea of a traditional marriage, fortunately I’m not stupid and the world today isn’t the way the world was three decades ago. Unless we have a similar net worth and income, we will be getting a prenuptial agreement and maintaining separate accounts. If we have a similar net worth and income, I’m still hesitant to get married, but rather still have a prenuptial agreement so we both protect our own assets, and we can both walk away at any time. This has the added benefit of ensuring we both know we are there for each other because we want to be, rather than because the government says we have to be. It also has the added benefit that we both try to continually please each other since we can both leave at any time with little to no drama. Maybe we get legally married, that is my dream scenario, unfortunately I can’t ignore the way the world works today with marriage, the court system, divorce rates, etc….
If we work out and get together, I make decisions based largely off of finances. Most fights couples have are over finances; if you pay cash, buy what you can actually afford when you can afford it, budget for vacations, and plan ahead, number one problem solved. We will go on vacations, I love traveling and hope you do too. I want to meet the goals listed above that I described and I hope you do too. I want a drama free life. My friends do not make any drama. I know girls are different and there is a lot of jealousy and fighting over the constant competition women have between each other, I get it, rise above it. No drama. Lets work together, be a team, provide the best possible lives for ourselves and our kids!
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2020.07.25 12:04 lolpolice88 ‘Only a global movement can eradicate racism’ Moana Maniapoto interviews Angela Davis
The whole show has more great Wahine Toa content too: Te Ao with Moana
" In looking for someone to articulate the essence of the Black Lives Matter movement with clarity, credibility, and lived experience, as far as I was concerned, no one could touch 76-year-old Angela Yvonne Davis — activist, feminist, scholar, professor emerita at the University of California in Santa Cruz.
Nearly 50 years ago, she was being vilified as a Black militant and a Communist activist — and she was on the FBI’s “most wanted” list for criminal conspiracy, murder and kidnapping.
The charges were clearly trumped-up and, in 1972, after a harrowing 13-week trial, she was found not guilty. Since then, she has gone on to become an eminent academic, author and speaker who has a special insight into America’s racial injustices.
In recent weeks, images, phrases, and videos of her in the 1970s have gone viral on social media, because her message remains as relevant as ever. While a 2020 special issue of TIME magazine retrospectively named her the 1971 Woman of the Year, Professor Angela Davis has in fact dedicated her entire life to writing and teaching critical theory, helping a new generation to join the dots between racism, capitalism, sexism — and other ‘isms.
After months of pursuit, I was lucky enough to be able to interview the professor for Te Ao with Moana on Māori Television. Here’s an edited transcript of our kōrero.
Angela Davis, speaking from her home in California to Moana Maniapoto in Auckland.
Professor Davis, as a Black woman living in America, how safe do you feel?
Individually, I feel relatively safe, but I don’t think of myself as simply an individual. I identify with a large community of people who are very much subject to the structural racist violence of the police and of other institutions.
As I understand it, when the Black Panther movement started, one of its actions was to monitor and protest police brutality. Why does it continue?
You’re right. The Black Panther party emerged precisely because of its opposition to state violence and racist violence by the police. But the Black Panther party was not the first organisation to stand up against racist police violence. This goes all the way back to the era of slavery and the way in which law enforcement in the aftermath of slavery incorporated strategies of the Ku Klux Klan and other white supremacist organisations.
The history of the struggle for Black liberation has always involved challenges to state violence and particularly to violence by the police. It seems as if this may be the first moment when serious attention is being accorded to the need not simply to reform the police, but to reimagine what public safety and public security might look like.
That’s fascinating because we’ve just been having this discussion here in New Zealand. I interviewed our police commissioner recently, and we were talking about how you can put more Māori in the police or develop more culturally proficient protocols. How does that sit with you? More Black people in the police force, or punishing individual officers for their racist actions?
Officers need to be rendered accountable, but I think the larger question has to do with the structural racism that is embedded in the police. And, as a matter of fact, when it’s a Black police officer who kills a Black person, that is no less racist violence than if it had been a white police officer.
I’m remembering South Africa and the way in which the police forces of the apartheid era influenced the police that came after the downfall of apartheid. Even when you had a majority of Black police, they still engaged in the same racist strategies as the white police had before them. So I think one has to look at the structure, one has to look at the creation of something very new.
And it is such a big picture because the police are just one cog in a wheel of the courts, the whole corrections system. Have you seen a model or do you have some ideas about how to transform these different institutions?
This is a pivotal moment, and I think people all over the world are looking for possible models for inspiration, not only for the reimagining of what public safety means in terms of police forces, but also prisons.
Many of us have been calling, for a very long time, for the abolition of imprisonment as we know it. The abolition of the police is very much related to that long-term struggle with prisons. There are places that have been doing a much better job on this than the US. I think about Cuba and its community-based security. I think about the Scandinavian countries which have made all kinds of progress in their criminal justice systems.
But I think now we have to go further. We can’t be hampered by assuming that we have to replicate something that already exists in the world. We have to begin to think about the whole question more holistically, more broadly: what do we have to do in order to make prisons obsolete?
We can’t look myopically at prisons or myopically at the police. We have to look at the larger context. For instance, large numbers of people with mental disorders are killed by the police, because the police have no idea how to deal with those people.
Enormous numbers of Black women have suffered at the hands of police, too. How do we think about new institutions that would begin to, more effectively, do the work that police are not even trained for?
It’s such a huge conversation. And one of our great intellectuals in New Zealand, Moana Jackson, has been reviewing the criminal justice system here. And he says, after studying it for many years, that you can’t begin a conversation around decarceration without having a conversation around sovereignty. What do you think about that?
Oh, absolutely. I think what we’re witnessing now are the long-term consequences of histories of colonialism and slavery. And I think that whenever we say “black lives matter,” we have to think in the first place of Indigenous people, who were the very first to be the targets of racist genocide that was produced by colonialism.
So that when we say that we’re struggling for Black lives, it’s not just for Black people, it’s for a different framework, a different system, a different future. A future that involves all of us.
Where does that change come from? Does it come from above or from below?
I think change comes primarily from below. The civil rights movement was successful in this country only because vast numbers of people went out into the street. Change happens when people begin to rise up and say: “No, we want a different future.”
But change isn’t going to happen automatically as a result of demonstrations and protests. We have to be willing to do the often uncredited work of creating new institutions, of asking: “How does the education in this country continue to encourage racism? How will we address issues of health? How do we encourage people to think deeply about the impact of racial capitalism? How do we think about the connection with feminism?”
The feminism connection is important. Women have been the organising force in these recent struggles. Women are standing up for themselves. We want an end to misogynist violence and to the connection between white supremacy and patriarchy.
Don’t forget that trans communities are the targets of so much state violence. Black trans women are more likely to be targeted by police violence, by prison violence, by individual stranger violence, by intimate violence. And so it is up to all people who believe in justice to stand up and say no to the attacks on trans communities.
You know, looking here from New Zealand, America seems such a huge machine, with all the “isms” that you talk about: racism, sexism, capitalism, consumerism. Do you think America can be transformed?
I have to hope that that’s possible. Otherwise, all of the work that we’ve been doing is meaningless. And while there are certain aspects of this society that are very much the same as they were 20 years ago, 50 years ago, 100 years ago, that doesn’t mean that nothing has changed.
Many changes have occurred as a result of people standing up and struggling. Black people who never had the opportunity to attend university are now able to attend university.
Although there should be 100 times as many, what I’m saying is that we would not be where we are today had it not been for those who took up the struggle. I see myself as part of that larger community, the expression of the dreams of those who came before us. And this is how we have to think about the future. What we’re doing now will not only affect us, it will affect people for generations to come.
In the late 1960s, when the activist movements were burgeoning in the States and around the world, that inspired Māori and Polynesian activists here in New Zealand. One of our great leaders, Syd Jackson, said he believed that not only could we change the world, but we could do it overnight. How optimistic were you back then? And how does that compare to how you feel now?
Like Syd Jackson, I believed that the world was going to change, that revolution was on the agenda, and that we would soon not only eradicate racism, but we would also begin to end capitalism. Now I recognise that it was not nearly as easy as we thought it might be.
We didn’t see the revolution we wanted, but we radically transformed many things in the world. The world would not be what it is like today had not been for those struggles in the 1960s, struggles that had a feeling of urgency.
And I am so happy to see a renewed urgency among young people today, among the millions of people all over the world, including in New Zealand, who have gone out into the streets and claimed solidarity with the movement for Black lives. And, of course, the movement for Black lives is a movement for all people. The meaning of that slogan, “Black Lives Matter,” is precisely this: When Black lives finally matter in the world, then all lives will matter.
One of the things that you’ve said is that it’s not an enough to be not racist. You must be actively antiracist. What do you mean by that? What does that look like?
Everybody is so quick to say: “I am not a racist.” But that’s not even the question. The question is not whether individual people are racist or not. The question is about rooting out the centuries of embedded racism, structural racism, institutional racism.
We have long identified the police and prisons as the most dramatic examples of structural racism. In order to make a difference against racism in the world, people have to become actively antiracist. They have to stand up against racism, wherever they are.
In their workplaces? You’re talking about the structures and institutions that people work within, as opposed to simply attending the rallies?
Absolutely. And of course the protests and demonstrations will not go on indefinitely. They have to wind down. But, for now, they mark an intense, expressive dimension of our struggle. As the writer John Berger put it: “Mass demonstrations are rehearsals for revolution.”
But the real change happens when we begin to systematically look at the way in which institutions are organised. We look at the healthcare system and we ask: “Why is it that Black people, Indigenous people, Latinx communities are the ones who suffer most from Covid-19?”
Our schools are also full of structural racism. It’s not only a question of what is taught there. It’s also a question of the conditions of learning. And one of the most important demands that have emerged during this recent period is to get the police out of schools.
Police are in schools all across the country. They’re called “school resource officers.” What they do is they criminalise the actions of children who are just being children. And many of them end up going into juvenile justice for, like, not agreeing to put a cellphone down when the teacher says so.
We have to look at all of our institutions and to begin to reshape them. And I’m hoping that we’re moving in a socialist direction, because something has to be done about a system which allows a small number of people to control the vast majority of the planet’s wealth.
I know that for a long time you’ve been an academic and a public intellectual. What is the greatest gift that you believe a student can receive from a public intellectual?
I think it’s very important for teachers, professors, public intellectuals to participate in the process of educating the public. And when I say educating, I’m not talking about simply giving them facts. I’m not talking about giving them information or telling them where the information can be found. I’m talking about helping people to learn how to engage in a deep process of questioning.
I’m talking about critical engagement with the realities that surround us. How do we encourage people not to take anything for granted, and to also question that which we frequently assume is unquestionable.
This is why I think the trans movement is so important — because people, in learning how to question the gender binary, will also learn how to question other things they take for granted, such as racism, such as misogyny.
I think the greatest gift a public intellectual can offer is to convey the need to engage in a continual process of raising questions, developing critical awareness, encouraging young people to do that.
I recall Louis Farrakhan (the African American minister and activist) saying that there was a danger that the voices of powerful Black leaders who had died were being deified, while the revolutionary voices of those that are still living are marginalised. Do you have any thoughts around that?
That’s true to a certain extent, but what I would also do is question assumptions about the leadership we had in the past. We most often imagine leaders as charismatic male figures. So when people are confronted with other forms of leadership, they don’t get it. They ask: “Where is your current-day Martin Luther King? Where is your Malcolm X?”
What we’re witnessing now is the impact of an antiracist feminism movement, where we see huge numbers of Black women, women of colour, Indigenous women, Latinx women, white working-class women.
But we also see a leadership that is collective, that does not have to rely on charismatic individuals. And I am so impressed by that. This emerges from the Black Lives Matter movement, and I think this is what is being offered by the younger generation now.
Do you have a message for Māori and Polynesians? And there’s also a third culture here of immigrants and Africans who’ve been joining together in solidarity with what’s going on in the States, but who are also challenging systemic racism here in New Zealand. Do you have a message for our people here?
I visited New Zealand some years ago and was extremely impressed by the work that Māori people have done, the ways in which Māori people have been in the forefront of struggles against racism.
We would like to thank you for the consistent solidarity. I can remember solidarity during the period when I was in jail that came, that emanated, from Māori people. And now I see solidarity in the struggle for Black lives and against the horrendous racist murders of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor, Ahmaud Aubrey, Rashard Brooks, and all the others.
This is a global era. Global capitalism has made racism global, and therefore our struggles have to become more global as well. We have to reach out to each other. And it is a responsibility of people who are struggling for freedom here in the United States to express solidarity with Māori people, solidarity with Indigenous people in Australia, solidarity with Black and Indigenous people in Brazil.
We have to do this work that will allow us to come together and join hands and look toward a better future, towards saving the climate, saving the environment. All of us have a major stake in the struggle.
When you were in jail, the movements around the world were communities of solidarity. Is this still the case? How connected are activists now?
We are connected, if only because of the new technologies of communication. Social media allow us to become more connected to, and aware of, what is happening in other parts of the world — and internationalism, I think, is key. It’s true that we don’t have the same structures that we had at that earlier time.
There were communist parties all over the world, and I was the beneficiary of the solidarities that were generated by those parties, and then other radical formations, other political parties.
We don’t have the same structural elements as we had then, but we definitely have to stand together. Racism is a global phenomenon. It emanates from colonialism and slavery, and it has affected the entire planet. It has infected the entire planet. Only a global movement can eradicate racism.
And your leader in the White House, the American president. How does that work?
I don’t consider the person in the White House, the person who occupies the office of the president, my leader. The majority of people in this country don’t consider him their leader. And I think that his behaviour during this period has demonstrated that he is incapable of giving leadership for the future. He represents the past, which we are trying finally to overcome. We’re finally attempting to extricate ourselves from the white supremacy of the past, whereas he is holding on to that past.
I have to believe that he’s going to be ousted from office. I have to believe that if he does not resign before November, then we certainly have to use the electoral strategy of voting him out of office. And even though vast numbers of people, including myself, are not excited at all about the opposing candidate (Joe Biden), we have to vote for him.
Not because we think that he’s going to lead us to freedom. Not because he represents our interests. But because we have to affirm our own collective capacity to produce the pressure that is going to bring about change. And so the question this coming election is which candidate can be most effectively pressured into doing the right thing.
We’ve got an election coming up this year, too. We have more Māori in our parliament than ever, but there are still huge challenges, because we’re still talking about them being inside a party inside an institution, inside a system, and there’s so much pressure that is put on Māori inside the system. What are your thoughts around that? Where do you put that pressure?
I think the pressure has to be placed everywhere. And I don’t discount the contributions that people can make from wherever they stand. There’s often the assumption that all one needs to do is change the political framework, elect more people to office.
But that’s only helpful if one has a movement that is pressuring the people who represent them to assume radical positions. So I see electoral strategy as part and parcel of a larger activist strategy to demand and then bring about change.
This interview was broadcast last week on Te Ao with Moana, which runs every Monday at 8pm on Māori Television. It’s been edited for length and clarity. (Updated 10am July 7 to correct transcript.)"
submitted by lolpolice88 to Maori [link] [comments]

2020.07.23 16:35 varansl Guardians of the forest, these beautiful women have the souls of trees and the power of the forest - Lore & History of the Dryad

You can read this post and see the pictures of the dryad across the editions on Dump Stat
The Dryad originates as a tree spirit from Greek mythology and would inhabit trees and forests. These creatures kept to themselves and avoided contact with most other beings. While they may not have worshiped the Greek goddess Artemis, they could often be found with her and are described as friends.
Dryad is often just a generic word for a tree-spirit nymph, there are several more specific dryads like the daphnaie, epimelides hamadryad, and the meliae. Each of these were tied to specific types of trees like the epimelides often inhabited fruit trees, the daphnaie resided in laurel trees, and the meliae could be found in walnut trees. The hamadryad is unique as it is considered to be more powerful than the regular dryads and they were actually an integral part of a tree. To cut down a tree occupied by a hamadryad was considered to be the same as killing the dryad and mortals would be punished for such crimes.
In Dungeons & Dragons, the Dryad retains many of these features but also develops its lore within the game. Elves, trees, and charm spells all make up the Dryad who becomes more like a mini-Lorax than a fey creature bound to a single tree.

OD&D - Dryad

No. Appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 5
Move: 12”
Hit Dice: 2
% in Lair: 20%
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 1-4 or by weapon type
Treasure: Type D
Introductions to the Dryad take place in the Dungeons & Dragons Box Set - Book 2: Monsters & Treasures (1973), and where it is described as beautiful tree spirits with powerful abilities. It goes on to say that the Dryads have their own tree and that they never travel very far from them, which just means that they are homebodies and we can respect that.
Despite Dryads only hanging out a few hundred feet around their tree, they know every part of the woods around them and we can only assume that means somehow, they just know the woods they exist in… or they only live in very small forests made up of a few dozen trees. Who knows, Dryads are weird and mysterious.
With roots back to their Greek mythology, Dryads are naturally shy and abstain from violence, though that starts to fall apart when you see what they can do. These tree nymphs have a very powerful version of the charm person spell that allows them to completely charm any mammalian and man-sized creature that they want including sprites, pixies, kobolds, goblins, orcs, hobgoblins, and gnolls. This spell is considered to be powerful because those who try to save against it takes a 10% penalty on their rolls. Also, a charm person spell doesn’t end until someone casts dispel magic on you, so that’s going to be a problem if you were hoping to wait out being charmed.
Let’s say you want to visit the forest and, for whatever reason, want to avoid being mind-controlled by the local Dryad, you know because you don’t like being forced to do something against your will. Weird, we know, but it’s just a hypothetical. So let’s say you want to go into the forest, gather some firewood, and make it out without getting a new best friend. Easy, all you have to do is avoid the Dryad’s tree and don’t follow them around in the forest if you do spot them. If you do get too close to the Dryad’s tree, which is easy to do as they don’t exactly mark them, there is a 90% chance the Dryad will attempt to charm you. So, you’re screwed. But don’t worry, we aren’t given any specifics about what will happen to you, just that you’ll never leave the forest ever again. But hey, you might still be alive! Just picking beautiful flowers for your new Dryad goddess and never able to go back and see your family ever again!

Basic D&D - Dryad

Armor Class: 5
Hit Dice: 2*
Move: 120’ (40’)
Attacks: See below
Damage: 0
No. Appearing: 0 (1-6)
Save As: Fighter 4 [Elf: 4]
Morale: 6
Treasure Type: D
Alignment: Neutral
XP Value: 25
The Dryad is forced to wait until the 1981 Moldvay/Cook Expert Box Set but at least gets to show up again in the 1983 BECMI Expert Box Set. They are still described as beautiful though this time it clarifies that they are all women and if they are ever taken away from their tree, more than 240 feet or you destroy their tree, they die. Which really takes being a homebody to the next level.
Still extremely shy and non-violent, they are still more than happy to cast charm person on anyone snooping around or gets too close. The 1981 set remains the position that the person is never seen again with no information on what happens to the unlucky individual, while 1983 reveals just a tiny bit of information. If you are… fortunate? enough to watch, you can watch as your best friend gets charmed by the Dryad and then steps into the Dryad’s tree. You’ll never see that individual again and, even if you chop down the tree, you’ll never find a trace of them. Spooky.
Most of the time, Dryads have no interest in combat, though if threatened, and their charms aren’t working, they can fight though they are more likely to meld back into their tree and hope you run away. Which is good news for you! This means they won’t stop as you steal all their treasure that they hide under the roots of their tree.
What kind of treasure can you hope for from this tree hugger? Good news, you could be the lucky recipient of 1,000s of copper, silver, and gold pieces, which makes us wonder what they are doing with all that money, as well as gems and jewels and potentially some magic items. Obviously, these are all bribes from the Dryad to leave her alone, we’re sure the Dryad won’t mind if you take it all.

AD&D - Dryad

Frequency: Very Rare
No. Appearing: 1-6
Armor Class: 9
Move: 12”
Hit Dice: 2
% in Lair: 70%
Treasure Type: M (x100), Q (x10)
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: Dagger
Special Attacks: Charm
Special Defenses: See Below
Magic Resistance: 50%
Intelligence: High
Alignment: Neutral
Size: M
Psionic Ability: Nil
Introduced in the Monster Manual (1977), the first line of the description states they are beautiful and alluring tree sprites. We go onto learn that they are only ever found in oak trees and can now wander up to 360 feet from their favorite treehouse. While it doesn’t specify, we are given the impression that Dryads are all female, or at least, assume the form of females.
The Dryads are still the same old anti-social lot though if you are able to convince them you mean no harm, they might be willing to help you out. Maybe if you offer to make an Ikea run for them, since they are a bit tied to their tree, they’ll let you know what foulness is haunting their forest and where it is located.
Once again, they can disappear into their tree but this edition brings something new to the table. Dryads now get a new spell they can cast, dimension door. This allows them to run back to the safety of their tree and hide away from any creatures who show up unannounced looking to hang out for a bit longer than any normal guest should stay over for. Of course, their next bit of defense is their charm person spell which hasn’t changed for this edition, though Dryads are very interested in getting male humanoids with a Charisma of 16 or higher to hang out with them. Most creatures who succumb to a charm person spell are never seen again, but some might show up back in town in 1 to 4 years.
Dragon magazine #87 (July 1984) brings us a neat look at the Dryad in the Ecology of the Dryad by Shaun Wilson. Our narrator is an old sage named Malec, who is teaching his students outdoors along with a guest named Belzime, a druid of the Eastern Woods, and her three attendants. What better setting than this to talk about Dryads! We receive some in-depth details about the relationship between a Dryad and the oak tree. Individual oak trees had a special gift that allowed them to create a physical manifestation of their soul, which is a partial explanation for Dryads as Dryads can also reproduce with other humanoids to produce children who are always girl Dryads.
We find out that dryads do not need to eat, though they can and during the winter months they might eat some food to help their great oak tree out. They enjoy nuts and berries and spice up their food if there are certain roots nearby. During the winter, Dryads basically hibernate as their tree doesn’t have enough energy during the winter months to support their physical manifestation.
The Dryad herself lives within the tree, joining fully with its soul and becoming one with it. It should also be noted that a Dryad can merge with other trees as well, but will not stay within the tree for very long. When a Dryad feels seriously threatened, she can become immaterial, when she does this, she instantaneously teleports back to her home tree, safe and sound, and it merges with the tree's soul. If anyone attacks a Dryad, she would vanish, and teleport back to her tree, alerting her woodland allies in the process. Those allies include many powerful creatures, including treants, satyrs, elves, sprites, and druids.
The narrator continues by informing the students that Dryad's find attractive young humanoids, especially humans and elves, and will keep them as treasures, much like an adventurer keeps the loot they find in a dungeon. It goes on to explain what happens to those poor souls who disappear forever when they succumb to the charms of a Dryad. It's not done out of malice, but beauty enthralls Dryads, and they want to keep and admire them. Many times these men don't want to be rescued as the Dryad has completely entranced them and if they do escape, or the spell is broken, the Drayd will let them go willingly and perhaps even give them some gems or coins as a token of their appreciation.
In Dragon Magazine #101 (Sept. 1985), we learn more information about the Hamadryad, a powerful version of the Dryad with additional power and abilities. The Hamadryad still lives deep in the forest is bound to a tree. Unlike a dryad, a Hamadryad can leave the vicinity of the oak tree and travel any distance from the tree. It doesn't mean they will always be leaving their forest, as they have a deep disdain for other locations, but they can at least go on a pizza run for the rest of the Dryads. They are protectors of the entire forest in which they dwell, and while still shy, they will work with rangers and druid to keep the forest free of danger. They are more potent than common cousins, being able to use the following powers at will: animal friendship, entangle, pass without trace, speak with animals, and quench fire. It is also said that the touch of a Hamadryad can cure a horrible disease known as Nilbogism, which can cause certain goblins to go a bit crazy. However, this rumor is unconfirmed.
Hamadryad can still charm individuals though being charmed doesn't mean you are going to vanish for multiple years. A Hamadryad usually requires the charmed individual to perform one service to aid the forest, such as defending it from evil creatures intruding, or those that would seek to destroy trees. You now get a chance to become the Lorax! or… at least, a squire to the Lorax. Once you complete the task, you are then released from the Hamadryad's charm. Slight problem, though, is that you are probably set free in a Dryad grove, so there is a better than average chance that you will be charmed by an actual Dryad. Now you can start worrying about disappearing forever.
Now, you might be wondering how a Hamadryad got so powerful. Well, much like the plant life that surrounds them, they get their energy from sunlight, which produces chlorophyll in their bright green hair. Hamadryads appear to be stunningly beautiful elven or human females, with bright green eyes and long green hair. They are also formed from the greatest of ancient oak trees and have been around for hundreds of years. Unfortunately for these uber-Dryads, if their hair is cut off for 20 days, or they are removed from sunlight for that same length of time, they will die.
Lastly, in Dragon Magazine #109 (May 1986), the Half-Dryad playable race arrives. They are the result of a satyr and a human woman, or Dryad and a mortal man relationship. A half-dryad appears as a beautiful human woman, with luscious green hair. What’s interesting is that the previous Ecology of the Dryad stated that Dryads can only produce female Dryads with no mention of half-bloods, obviously, Dryads are too ashamed to talk about their half-children. At this point, a half-Dryad can’t bond or merge with a tree and they must come to terms that they aren’t a real Dryad, at this point, the Half-Dryad will then seek out human, half-elven, or elven humanoids to learn about their other half. If a half-Dryad is born in human society, they will find themselves developing an intense interest in all things forest-related.

2e - Dryad

Climate/Terrain: Secluded oak groves
Frequency: Very rare
Organization: Solitary
Activity Cycle: Any
Diet: Herbivore
Intelligence: High (13-14)
Treasure: M (x100), Q (x10)
Alignment: Neutral
No. Appearing: 1 or 1-6
Armor Class: 9
Movement: 12
Hit Dice: 9
THAC0: 19
No. of Attacks: 1
Damage/Attack: 1-4 (knife)
Special Attacks: Charm
Special Defenses: See below
Magic Resistance: 50%
Size: M (5 tall)
Morale: Steady (12)
XP Value: 975
The Dryad is introduced in the Monstrous Compendium Volume 2 (1989) and later reprinted in the Monstrous Manual (1993). In both, they retain their description of being attractive and intelligent, that they are quite alluring with delicate features and with hair and skin that changes with the season. During the winter months, they could easily be mistaken for elf maidens with their snow-white skin and long white hair, while in the spring and summer, their hair turns dark green and their skin is lightly tanned.
While much of the Dryad stays the same, there are a few differences in this edition worth pointing out and the ecology of their kind is expanded upon a bit. While they still have a range that is dangerous for them to cross, this edition is 360 yards from their tree, and it isn’t that they will immediately die but rather will die within 36 hours if they don’t return to their tree. Which can really put a damper on a weekend vacation from the forest.
Additionally, a Dryad will also suffer any damage that her tree takes, and we do not recommend hurting a Dryad's tree. Doing such a heinous act will bring about the worst in a Dryad, and she will defend the tree with her very life, which is fair because if the tree dies, so does she. In very rare cases, these solitary creatures will congregate and up to six Dyrads may live in a single location. These Dryads and their trees will be within 100 yards of one another, and the dryads' will all be neighbors. They will defend each other and each other's tree, but they don’t really want each other’s company as they are solitary creatures.
The Dryad makes a brief appearance in Dragon Magazine #155 (March 1995) in the article The Folk of the Faerie Kingdom by Vince Garcia. This article is focused on the various fey and faeries that inhabit the world and provides some inspiration on how you can incorporate them into your own games. While there isn’t a lot of detail, it does describe one possible legend for the creation of the Dryad, for during the days of creation the Queen of Faeries was planting gardens. It is thought that at the center of these gardens, the Dryad’s sprouted from a seed and became the physical manifestations of the gardens and the defenders of it. Dryads can be used in your own games when their gardens and forests are attacked, using their charm abilities to help encourage adventurers and warriors.
The Hamadryad returns in the Monstrous Compendium - Annual Volume 3 (1996) and with their return, not much more information is revealed about them. They are still the powerful Dryads and have powers that other Dryads might kill for… then again, probably not. Dryads aren’t very violent creatures. Which is probably why the Hamadryad acts as the older, protective sister to the Dryads. She is often called on to help defend the ancient forests where she resides, and she travels the world without ill-effects from the distance away from her oak tree. Interestingly, Hamadryad gives away all of their treasure they find to the Dryads, letting them keep the treasure secure. It’s thought they did this because otherwise, while a Hamadryad is away stopping forest fires, adventurers might decide to cut down every tree in the forest and search for her treasure hoard.
Finally, in Dragon Magazine #251 (Sept. 1998), we find two new types of Dryad's and some new Dryad themed magical items in the article Beyond the Tree by Miranda Horner. The creation of these Dryads is based on the dragon purge in the Dragonlance series, which is located on Krynn. The first is a Quested Dryad, a Dryad who may leave her tree to go on a quest, or possibly a bunch of mini-quests that usually revolve around restoring places that have been corrupted to their original state. The Shaped Dryad also has a quest but is one of singular nature, and upon completion, the Shaped Dryad dies. A Shaped Dryad has had their tree destroyed by a dragon lord, but before she could die, the severity of the shock "cauterized' the wound, and the Dryad was able to survive. Her only objective is to wander the land in an attempt to restore her grove to how it used to be.
These Dryads are also given access to new spells and magic items to assist them in their quests, and there is even player information on how you could play as one of the two Dryads. Without much surprise, most of these magic items and new spells are focused on the growth of a forest or using nature to thwart your foes. One such item is the Spear of Entanglement that, when thrown and strikes a creature, wraps thorny vines around the creature and they are restrained by it. Every round they remain wrapped up in the thorny vines, they continue to take damage until they are able to escape or the wielder of the spear calls back the vines. Of course, the Dryad would only ever use ‘living’ wood for their spear and so they must water it for three hours every day or the spear ‘dies’ and loses all enchantments.

3e/3.5e - Dryad

Medium Fey
Hit Dice: 4d6 (14 hp)
Initiative: +4
Speed: 30 ft. (6 squares)
Armor Class: 17(+4 Dex, +3 natural), touch 14, flat-footed 13
Base Attack/Grapple: +2/+2
Attack: Dagger +6 (1d4/19-20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Full Attack: Dagger +6 melee (1d4/19–20) or masterwork longbow +7 ranged (1d8/×3)
Space/Reach: 5 ft./5 ft.
Special Attacks: Spell-like abilities
Special Qualities: Damage reduction 5/cold iron, tree dependent, wild empathy
Saves: Fort +3, Ref +8, Will +6
Abilities: Str 10, Dex 19, Con 11, Int 14, Wis 15, Cha 18
Skills: Escape Artist +11, Handle Animal +11, Knowledge (nature) +11, Listen +9, Move Silently +11, Ride +6, Spot +9, Survival +9, Use Rope +4 (+6 with bindings)
Feats: Greater Fortitude, QWeapon Finesse
Environment: Temperate forests
Organization: Solitary or grove (4-7)
Challenge Rating: 3
Treasure: Standard
Alignment: Usually chaotic good
Advancement: By character class
Level Adjustment: -
The Dryad appears in the 3rd Edition Monster Manual (2000) and then again in the 3.5 Monster Manual (2003). The two descriptions are quite different, but neither strays from the earlier edition's text found in the other editions, each just focuses on different parts of the Dryad's background. The 3e focuses on how shy and non-violent the Dryad is, immediately talking about the charm person spell being their primary form of attack and how they will defend their tree at any cost. In 3.5e, Dryad's charm ability and the passionate defense of her tree is detailed in the first paragraph. The focus then shifts to the mystery behind the Dryad, even going as far as to say that how other woodland creatures interact with Dryad is somewhat of an enigma. The biggest change between them is the looks of a Dryad, with 3e leaning towards the seductress-humanoid focused on charming handsome male humanoids while 3.5e paints the picture of a feminine figure but with bark for skin and hair that has a leafy texture, with no mention of its propensity towards seducing men.
Between the two editions, the Dryad gets slightly buffed with more spells, like gaining entangle, tree shape, suggestion, and others, which all helps it be more of a defender of the forest and she even gets a boost to her hit points and a big boost to her armor class.
Beyond the Dryad being a shy creature, not much else is revealed about her until the next few Monster Manuals. A few different creatures, like satyrs, forest spirits, and tree haunts can be found hanging with their favorite ladies of the forest, the biggest addition is that a Dryad can create a verdant reaver. Found in the Monster Manual V (2007), the verdant reavers were once the humanoid servants of Dryads who, after a year and a day of servitude, find themselves rooted to the forest floor upon waking up. Over the course of a day, they go through a rather painful process as their hair falls out and skin transforms into bark. A typical Dryad will not force one of their charmed servers to go through this process, rather dismissing them or stopping the process from happening, as it is incredibly painful and at the end of the day, wipes all of that creature’s past memories. Evil Dryads are more likely to have lots of verdant reavers as they are quite handy fighters and those Dryads don’t really care about the lives of humanoids.

4e - Dryad

Dryad - Level 9 Skirmisher
Medium fey humanoid (plant) / XP 400
Initiative +9 / Senses Perception +12
HP 92; Bloodied 46
AC 23; Fortitude 22, Reflex 21, Will 21
Speed 8 (forest walk)
Claws (standard; at-will) +14 vs. AC; 1d8+4 damage, or 1d8+9 damage if the target is the only enemy adjacent to the dryad
Deceptive Veil (minor; at will) ✦ Illusion The dryad can disguise itself to appear as any Medium Humanoid, usually a beautiful elf or eladrin. A successful Insight check (opposed by the dryad’s Bluff check) pierces the disguise.
Tree Stride (move; at will) ✦ Teleportation The dryad can teleport 8 squares if it begins and ends its turn adjacent to a tree, a treant, or a plant of Large size or bigger
Alignment Unaligned / Languages Elven
Skills Bluff +10, Insight +12, Stealth +12
Str 19 (+8) Dex 17 (+7) Wis 17 (+7) Con 12 (+5) Int 10 (+4) Cha 13 (+5)
The poor Dryad can be found in the Monster Manual (2008) and is shown no love. Beyond a simple stat block, and that Dryads love and will protect a forest, the common Dryad is bereft of information. On top of it all, there is no charm ability. The Dryad, without the ability to charm, is like a t-rex that is a herbivore. Another big change is that they are horrifying tree monsters, people only think they are beautiful elves or eladrin because they can throw an illusion on themselves. These Dryads go one step further since they can’t charm, in that they actively despise creatures in their forests and will be hostile towards them.
The 4th edition attempts to make up for such injustices by introducing us to the Briar Witch Dryad, a stronger Dryad with some fierce abilities. The Briar Witch Dryad has abilities that can trap its prey and if anyone walks too close to them, briars and thorns rip and tear at them. Also, if you think you can just grab on to the Dryad and try to stop her from attacking your allies as you try to explain your side of the story, we recommend you not do that. The moment you grab on to a Briar Witch Dryad, you immediately grab on to thorns and begin bleeding… profusely.
While the Dryad doesn’t get a lot of love in this edition, stripping it of many of its signature abilities, it still shows up in one more place, the Monster Vault (2010). This booklet has many of the most popular monsters in Dungeons & Dragons and is a resource book for more information on monsters, as well as providing additional stat blocks to use against your party. This book contains a few more stat blocks of lesser Dryads as well as some information about why the Dryad is so mean in this edition. It describes them as territorial and quick to act on their emotions, always scared that outsiders will destroy their forest. From day to day, they may change their mind on how to handle outsiders, from attacking them in their true form as a horrifying tree monster or warning them off as a beautiful elf maiden.
On top of that, they are linked to the Feywild and see it as their true home. Dryads are a common sight in the wilds of that plane, though they can only be found deep in the forests. Even the elven cities built alongside and with the trees are too chaotic and civilized for a Dryad who prefers seclusion and the natural beauty of a forest.
In 2011, the book Player's Option: Heroes of the Feywild was released, and with it came a wide variety of player options for playing unique races, how to create a character from such a strange world, and more all from the context of the Feywild. One of the character options you can be is a Hamadryad, and while not much changes for them, it does provide some insight on how a player might tackle such a challenge. It talks about how Hamadryads are used to getting their way, due to their beguiling beauty, and don’t understand why they can’t have things if they are denied it. Furthermore, it talks about how love, which is a somewhat foreign concept to the Dryads, might drag a Hamadryad out into the world to learn about it and fill the new yawning void in its life.

5e - Dryad

Medium fey, neutral
Armor Class 11 (16 with barkskin)
Hit Points 22 (5d8)
Speed 30 ft.
STR 10(+0) DEX 12 (+1) CON 11 (+0 ) INT 14 (+2) WIS 15 (+2) > CHA 18 (+4)
Skills Perception +4, Stealth +5
Senses darkvision 60 ft., passive Perception 14
Languages Elvish, Sylvan
Challenge 1 (200 XP)
Innate Spellcasting. The Dryad’s innate spellcasting ability is Charisma (spell save DC 14), The dryad can innately cast the following spells, requiring no material components:
At will: druidcraft
3/day each: entangle, goodberry
1/day each: barkskin, pass without trace, shellelagh
Magic Resistance. The dryad has advantage on saving throws against spells and other magical effects.
Speak with Beasts and Plants. The dryad can communicate with beasts and plants as if they shared a language.
Tree Stride. Once on her turn, the dryad can use 10 feet of her movement to step magically into one living tree within her reach and emerge from a second tree within 60 feet of the first tree, appearing in an unoccupied space within 5 feet of the second tree. Both trees must be Large or bigger.
Club. Melee Weapon Attack: +2 to hit (+6 to hit with shillelagh), reach 5 ft., target. Hit: 2 (1d4) bludgeoning damage, or 8 (1d8+4) bludgeoning damage with shillelagh.
Fey Charm. The dryad targets one humanoid or beast that she can see within30 feet of her. If the target can see the dryad, it must succeed on a DC 14 Wisdom saving throw or be magically charmed. The charmed creature regards the dryad as a trusted friend to be heeded and protected. Although the target isn’t under the dryad’s control,it takes the dryad’s requests or actions in the most favorable way it can.
Each time the dryad or its allies do anything harmful to the target, it can repeat the saving throw, ending the effect on itself on a success. Otherwise, the effect last 24 hours or untuil the dryad dies, is on a different plane of existence from the target, or ends the effect as a bonus action. If a target’s saving throw is successful, the target is immune to the dryad’s Fey Charm for the next 24 hours. The dryad can have no more than one humanoid and up to three beasts charmed at a time.
The Dryad returns in 5th edition in the Monster Manual (2014), and while at first blush, it looks like things have gotten better for the Dryad, if you look just beneath the bark, you can see it has been nerfed and it’s roots destroyed. No longer is the Dryad the soul of an oak tree given a physical form, now they are lesser fey creatures who have been sentenced to a type of imprisonment by a powerful fey. They are stuck to their tree and transformed into a Dryad, and can only travel a short distance around it, though there is no mention to how far they can travel. But it’s not all negatives, a trapped fey creature will remain beautiful and young so long as their tree remains healthy and alive, and if their tree perishes, so do they.
It seems more like a Dryad is shy and reclusive not because they dislike civilization but rather that they are scared of outsiders who might cut down their tree and end up killing them by accident. This is made all the more apparent thanks to their weakened powers. In the past editions, they were more of a challenge for level 5-7 characters, and now they are only a (minor) challenge for 1st level adventurers. So what has changed in their powers?
Well, they get a few spells like entangle or pass without trace, all good for avoiding combat or slowing down their enemies, but they aren’t going to be very useful when trying to permanently remove a logger who wants their tree. Of course, the Dryad could try and charm them, and while they can use their charm all day long, they can only target a single creature once per day and can only have a maximum of one humanoid charmed and up to three charmed beasts at a time. Which, is probably fine, don’t need that many servants out in the woods except… the charm only works for 24 hours… which, doesn’t help the Dryad out when the person comes back the next day and the day after that. No longer do people disappear for years but rather a few hours.
Beyond these horrible slights, there isn’t much else about the Dryad, even their physical form isn’t described but we do get a picture of a feminine form that appears to be part humanoid and part tree and is light greenish and yellow. The poor Dryad doesn’t get much else to talk about with much of her description simply a reiteration of the information in their stat block. The final bit of somewhat interesting-ness of the Dryad is that they do get a very minor appearance in two adventures Baldur’s Gate - Descent into Avernus (2019) where the Dryad trees were poisoned by a hag and were transformed into banshees. If you can distract them with a flower, a sweet kiss, or something else, you might appease them and they’ll leave you alone. The other adventure they are found in is Storm King’s Thunder (2016) where they are protecting a grandfather oak, if you can talk them down, they’ll let you retrieve a MacGuffin from under the ancient oak tree, or else they will attack. If you kill one, they disintegrate into the earth and animal spirits form where they died and attack you in revenge. It’s a shame that the animal spirits didn’t attack first as they are more powerful than the Dryads, could’ve saved the poor trapped fey spirits.
The Dryad is the physical manifestation of an oak tree, it’s soul walks through the forests and bewitches those who gaze upon her form. They haunt the forests with warm laughter and the loving touch of nature. Shy and uncomfortable with attention from outsiders, they love to flit between the trees and charm those they find handsome and beautiful. While their true powers, and background, change throughout the editions, they are always the guardians of their forest, capable of being gentle or cruel to those who might harm their homes.
Have something you'd like to see explored throughout the editions? Let us know!

Past Deep Dives

Creatures: Aboleth / Beholder / Displacer Beast / Flumph / Gelatinous Cube / Grell / Hobgoblin / Kobold / Kraken / Kuo-Toa / Lich / Lizardfolk / Mimic / Mind Flayer / Nothic / Owlbear / Rakshasa / Rust Monster / Sahuagin / Umber Hulk / Vampire / Werewolf / Xorn
Class: Barbarian Class / Cleric Class / Wizard Class
Spells: Fireball Spell / Lost Spells / Quest Spells / Wish Spell
Other: The History of Bigby / The History of the Blood War / The History of Vecna
submitted by varansl to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]

2020.07.22 23:04 Lerad Misty Mountain Orcs - De-Villifying the Orcs

Hello again DnDBehindtheScreen,
My last post here was met with a lot of discussion, some of it helpful, some of it less so. I don’t want anyone to think I’m ignoring their comments so I want to lay out why I am revamping Orcs. I’m making no attempt to erase the existing world of Orcs in DnD, in fact I make all of this with that very much in mind. I want to offer an alternative for the folks that, like myself, see the existing Orc depictions as racist, simplistic, and overall boring. A lot of my ideas on their culture is based on real world examples in the Pre-Columbian Aztecs, Viking Age Scandinavians, and Modern Maori and Fore people since making a whole culture from scratch is way more work than I’m willing to put in. I’m no sociologist.
If I offend anyone with my depictions, I apologize if anything I’ve used or portrayed is offensive and I am happy to make revisions if you let me know how I can fix it.
I don’t want to come off as seeming like I’m advocating against evil in DnD as a concept. Evil exists in all worlds. I’m fine with having evil groups and evil Drow/Orc/Goblin characters. However, when a whole race is objectively evil, those that rebel against their “nature” are seen as mutants, exceptions to the rules. They’re praised as a “credit to their race” and “not like the rest of their kind.” These sentiments sound inane enough but have real world parallels to microagressions. Moreover, to completely exterminate an evil race from the world becomes a valid argument if they are evil by nature. I do not accept genocide at my table. So, I’ve been reworking pantheons and origins and cultures in these races. Not to remove all evil from the world, but to accent that anyone can choose good and no one is destined for evil by nature of their racial origin. To accent that at the end of the day, we uphold the tenet that makes DnD worth playing: that our choices matter.
A small history lesson on fantasy Orcs before I get into the details. All modern depictions of fantasy Orcs are derived from Tolkien. His hulking, dark skinned, ugly monsters are borrowed from Germanic myths of trolls, but before him the word “orc” almost didn’t exist, the closest being a word for “hell-spirit.” They were created by Morgoth either by corrupting Elves and Men or by spawning them from the earth itself and are capable of mating with Men to create Half-Orcs. Tolkien’s depiction of Orcs is something worth looking at. In 1956, a film executive approached Tolkien with the prospect of making a film out of Lord of the Rings, neither the first nor the last attempt. Tolkien sent a letter in response to their script with many critiques one of which was a description of the Orcs which is as follows:
The Orcs are definitely stated to be corruptions of the 'human' form seen in Elves and Men. They are (or were) squat, broad, flat-nosed, sallow-skinned, with wide mouths and slant eyes: in fact degraded and repulsive versions of the (to Europeans) least lovely Mongol-types.
Now a bit of definition is important. In those days, “Mongol” and “Mongoloid” were a common term used to describe people with Down Syndrome and their supposed facial similarities to people from Mongolia. Obviously, we now consider this highly offensive to both people from Central and East Asia and people with mental disabilities. I’m not here to say Tolkien was evil or did a bad job in making the Orcs, just that he was not immune to prejudices of his time and his influence shouldn’t be accepted without critique. This is a major reason why I’ve been reworking the very nature of the Orcs. Reasons established, these are my proposed revisions.

Orcs: Sea Raiders

Elven and Human settlements that rest near the water live in nearly daily fear of hearing the distant sound of drums rolling down the coast. The boogeymen of the “civilized world,” Orc raiding parties ride in on longships, singing and shouting to the tempo of their drummers, striking terror into all that would dare face them on the field of battle. Seen by most as brutes obsessed with war and greed, demons that ride in on the tide to bring death and misery, the Orcish raiders are only a small portion of the full Orcish society. And Orcish society is far more deep and nuanced than one would assume.

Gruumsh’s Kingdom

Gruumsh One-Eye is the chief Orcish deity and sits at the head of the pantheon. Also known as the Watcher and the All-Father, the origins of his singular eye are a matter of debate. Some tribes maintain that he plucked out his own eye in order to give the Orcs their wisdom when he created them. Others say it was clawed out by Corellon Latherian in one of their first meetings. Others still attest that he was simply formed without it in exchange for his great wisdom. He is a wide reaching god, governing wisdom, war, birds, wolves and dogs, knowledge, the right of rule, poetry, and death. An involved god, many stories tell of him wandering the Material World in disguise, testing the mettle of his people. If they impress him, he bestows upon them supernatural gifts. If he is disappointed or insulted by them, he will curse or outright kill them. Clerics of Gruumsh will often cover their left eye in reverence of him, some cults even going so far as plucking out their own eyes to show their loyalty. His single eye means he never blinks so that he is constantly on watch for his people. Those that die in glorious battle are said to join him on Ysgard to drink, eat, and train to one day battle with the evil of Yutrus. These dead warriors are guided by his personal guard of beautiful and terrifying warrior women who scour battlefields for valiant dead, called Spear Maidens.
Bahgtru is arguably the next largest figure in the pantheon but is often omitted from the creation myth that birthed the first Orcish gods. Often considered Gruumsh and Luthic’s son, he is considered the guardian deity of orc-kind. Also called Bone-Breaker, he’s considered the strongest of all the gods and governs storms, masculinity, fertility, heroism, and to lesser extent sacred trees. He’s the one worshiped most fervently by Orcish warriors as he’s considered all but unbeatable in single combat with dozens of stories of his strength attesting to him lifting whole islands from the oceans floor, ripping a fingernail from Surtr to give the Orcs fire, and wrestling with a primeval dragon (supposedly Tiamat herself.) He’s considered a bit tactless and quick to anger, but these just accent his youthful nature all the more. His chariot was drawn by an aurochs which is seen as his sacred animal. While these beasts are still often used for labor, meat, and war, most Orc tribes revere them as vitally important and treat them with care. Mistreating one can gain the ire of Bahgtru.
Luthic is the eldest goddess of the pantheon and serves as a matronly figure to the pantheon. Her realm is that of love, marriage, motherhood, hearth and home, agriculture, wealth, magic, and peace. Her concept of peace is often very different than most others as hers is usually the peace that comes after the guilty have been punished. Stern and strong, but also deeply caring for her fellow gods, especially Bahgtru. She supposedly warded him against every form of death, making him all but unkillable. Some tribes see her as the acceptor of sacrifices in rites and rituals, even orcs that sacrifice themselves.
Ilneval is the god of hunting, fishing, and war in all its facets. While Bahgtru is the god of single combat largely, Ilneval is the one that governs the outcomes of battles and of wars. Considered the smartest of the Orcish gods, commanders and war leaders often pray to him on the eve of battles for tactics and luck. He has many epithets like “The Cunning,” “Breaker of Armies,” “Horde Leader,” and “Lieutenant of Gruumsh.” While seen as hulking and powerful, most often Ilneval teaches his faithful to be strong of mind, to work around that which cannot be broken and that all strength needs to be applied in the right place and way to be effective. In the fray of battle, he’s often depicted with his tongue splaying out wildly, a symbol of his power and ferocity.
Shargaas is a confusing figure in the pantheon due to both disagreements between tribes and by his role in many myths. He governs the domains of earthquakes and undeath, night and darkness, stealth and theft, and on a much larger scale the pushing of cultural norms and taboos. Some tribes say that the other gods punished him for some supposed crime, chaining him in the depths of the Abyss for siding with the two beings of stone and ice that existed before everything. Other tribes paint him as a shapeshifting trickster that pranks and befuddles his fellow gods. Some say he connives and works against his fellow gods in secret, but maintains his place by appeasing them. Others still claim he’s not truly a god, but a half-orc half-fiend that will one day betray his kindred by siding with the fiends. In any case, worship of him is limited and met with distrust. He holds no formal ceremonies and almost all worship of him is done silently or in private, so as not to draw prying eyes. Younger orcs can sometimes get away with worshiping him as he is the god of ambition as well, but even this is met with healthy amounts of suspicion.
Whereas Shargaas is a matter of debate, no Orc sees Yurtrus as anything but evil. Yurtrus is a male or sometimes genderless deity that governs old age, disease, deep caverns and underground places, and the governor of the Grey Wastes of Hades, where Orcs who did not die in battle would go. Every bad thing that befalls an Orc is said to be due to Yurtrus, from stubbing their toe to the destruction of their tribe. A conniving and horrible creature, they’re seen as hybrid between a great lizard and an Orc, and either eats or enslaves the Orcs that are sent to them. Yurtus is an ambitious god who seeks to one day break out of Hades and flood the rest of creation with demons, devils, and monsters of all sorts. How to avert this varies, with some saying Yurtrus is building a ship from the finger and toenails of the dead that will carry them across the world so the dead's nails must be clipped to slow this process. Other tribes claim Yurtrus eats the dead so corpses must be cremated to prevent them from being devoured. One tribe even says that the deceased's family must eat their corpse instead to prevent Yurtrus from eating them.
While Yurtrus is considered wholly evil, being the god of disease does mean that some desperate Orcs, when stricken with a terrible plague, will attempt to bargain with them for their own or a loved one’s life. These bargains often come at a terrible cost with the disease being passed to another or for the sick person being driven mad or even turning them into carriers to spread their sickness to everyone around them.
A uniqueness of Orcish religion is that most Orcs have no churches or monasteries or dedicated halls of worship. An Orc is expected to worship in their home, sacrifice on specific days, and attend festivals on others. While dedicated priests do exist, they are rarely excluded from the day to day responsibilities that any other Orc has. Priests have their own land, sow their own crops, have families, and go on raiding parties same as any other able bodied Orc. It’s more common for Orcish women to fill this role as magic is considered a woman’s domain, but Orcish men sometimes become priests though the feminine connotation is taboo.
Some sacred places exist in Orcish societies, but most of them are outdoors like sacred groves or plains. Orcish religion is full of tutelary deities, meaning they believe that locations have spirits or souls. Often tied to one location or object such as a massive rock or a waterfall or a grove, these spirits are responsible for the growth, fertility, and safety of a location. These are usually where large sacrifices or important events like the crowning of a new chieftain or king take place. Courts of law are also considered to be sacred, but not places where one worships. They’re only sacred so much as to attack another Orc within them is considered an offense to the gods. This concept of sacred places also extends to objects or practices. For instance, a husband killing his wife is against the law but is also seen as sacrilegious. Gruumsh would never hurt Luthic, so neither should an Orc hurt his wife.

Recorded Orc History

Orcish doesn’t have a native written script meaning no long term written history of the Orcish people exists. Most of their history is either passed down orally from generation to generation or contained symbolically in carvings, knots, and woven works of cloaks or tunics. Originally from a peninsula cut off from the mainland by a mountain range, the Orcs expanded their territory in the northern areas until they started to feel confined on the relatively small land. With an expansive coastline, fishing is a common food source amongst the Orcs and many sailing expeditions took place in their early history, creating multiple settlements in the nearby archipelago. Many of these settlements became isolated and culturally and politically separated from both the mainlanders and other islands. However, many of their individual traditions and beliefs have stayed the same over different tribes.
These differences lead to quite a bit of fighting and raiding waged across different tribes, with certain kings and chieftains rising and falling from power with decent consistency. This history of Orcish infighting has often painted the Orcs as a war-hungry race, but is more the product of limited resources and a cultural expectancy to prove oneself in feats of strength. The exact reasons for their expansion remains a matter of debate, but nearly 1000 years ago, Orcish explorers made contact with a coastal Elvish monastery which was filled with gold and silver offerings. The Orcs, who did not understand that they had encountered a religious site, saw it as a poorly defended keep filled with riches. The raiding tribe pillaged the monastery, killed the priests and clerics, and sailed back to their home with tales of undefended riches ripe for the taking. Thus began the first Orcish raids on Elven territory.
These raids continue even now, with sea raids continuing on coastal Elven, Human, and a few Dwarvish cities among others and some orcs sailing inland through rivers in search of riches. Orcs have also set up permanent settlements in formerly Elven and Human territories much to their chagrin. Orcs have begun trading extensively with other peoples, though the origin of many of their goods is something many distrust. Orcish kings and chieftains have taken varying stances on the raids, some keeping their fleets from attacking others at all in an attempt to foster peace, others making deals with certain kingdoms and warring with others, and some waging expansionary wars against almost every settlement they encounter. Their recent contact with the Dwarves has resulted in them adopting their script for use in their own language, something certain tribes and kingdoms are still not yet implementing.

Orc Communities and Traditions

The minutiae of Orcish cultures vary from tribe to kingdom to town. But certain core elements remain the same across them all. Most Orcish individuals are radically different from the raiders that most other races know them as. Mainly consisting of farmers, shepherds, and fishermen, the standard Orcish town looks much the same as any Human or Elven settlement. The most notable difference is that almost every Orc you see in any given town will be armed in some way. Even beggars and street urchins usually have daggers tucked away. While outsiders might see this as a grouping of violent and distrusting individuals, Orcs see it differently.
The Orcs believe that strength is the highest virtue and by extension weakness should be fought against at every turn. Their homeland is rife with sea monsters, dragons, giants, and dangerous predatory beasts, meaning at any given moment, an Orc must be ready to fight for what they have. This means that every Orc of age is not only allowed but expected to own a weapon and keep it close with them. Orcs are taught that they must always be ready to defend what they have, which makes them see cities with most of the population unarmed as weak and unprepared. While most raiders do so as a full time employment, there is some overlap between professions. Orcish farms spend most of the year snow laden and spend most of the summer growing, so some Orc farmers spend winters and portions of the summer abroad pillaging and gaining wealth and return in spring and fall to sow and reap their crops. These are usually married individuals who can leave behind heirs and partners to manage the homestead while away. Orcish shepherds and fishermen rarely join raiding parties since their trades offer or require more year-round attention and revenue. Most other professions such as shipbuilders, weavers, masons, and midwives don’t join the raiding parties and stay home full time.
Growing old and infirm is considered one of the grimmest realities to Orcish warriors. To those that value strength so highly, losing it to the erosion of time is a miserable fate. Old warriors gain respect as their strength overcame all that dared to challenge it, but the lack of a valiant warrior’s death is something other warriors see as disgraceful. While the respect of their elders exists for their lifelong experience, their slow deterioration is a sad thing that many orcs have a hard time accepting. Elders who have mastered a craft such as tattooing or law are highly revered as it’s seen that the strength of their spirit is still alive and well even if their bodies grow weary with age. Elderly Orc women often command more respect in their old age than in their younger years, usually because most Orcs see a woman’s strength coming from their spirit and mind, not just their physical form, which is honed by the ages.
Orcish families tend toward consisting of a husband, wife, and a handful of children. Wealthier Orcs will live in a household with servants, but most Orc’s families are identical from their household. While they rarely live with their extended family, they do consider almost any and all relatives they can trace on the wife and husbands side as members of the family, with inheritance from wealthy individuals spanning as far as third cousins at times. While male Orcs are considered to be the leaders of the household, if they die with no male heir of age, it’s very common for the widow to inherit their estates and possessions with the expectation that they will pass it on to the male heir should he come of age. If only daughters exist, it’s customary for the daughter to inherit the wealth, though many female Orcs remarry after widowing simply due to the added financial and social stability.

Orcish Courts

Orcish law is rather unusual to an outsider. All free Orc men in a community meet periodically (the frequency of which varies from community to community) and hear disagreements from individuals. These assemblies usually last several days and often have a fairly festive feel to them. Traders and merchants come to set up shops, brewers peddle ale, and marriages often happen here as well. Lacking a written script until very recently, most of these meetings have a dedicated law-speaker that recites a community's law from memory. Usually these meetings are led by a local chieftain or ruler who hears the disputes, but all members present are expected to weigh in on the nature of the crime. The punishments range from simple fines to being branded an outlaw for a period. The most severe punishment most of these courts dole out is being branded an outlaw for life. They would be, as the name implies, considered outside the law and have no rights or place in society. Orcs would be forbidden to help or even acknowledge them, their property would be confiscated, and other Orcs would be legally allowed to kill them if they saw fit. The few of these outlaws that survive often flee to other communities or join raiding parties to find new homes.
If a clear answer can’t be reached by the assembly, the two feuding parties will call on a third party to arbitrate, usually the local chieftain or king. They hear the case and decide on a fitting punishment or agreement that both parties are bound to. In more severe cases, the two parties can agree to a duel to determine the outcome with the loser having to either pay a fine or be branded an outlaw. These duels are usually to first blood, but many cases have been settled to the death. This is usually only between two able-bodied adults, as only the disputing individuals are allowed to duel. Calling for substitutions or representatives is a sign of both disrespect and weakness on every level.

What Does An Orc Look Like?

Orcs are visually distinct from the other races through a variety of features. Standing taller than most Humans and Elves, they average a height of around 6’5” (1.95 meters) with stocky builds very different from the lithe and slender Elves. Tending to have large rounded faces, most Orcs have sizable lower canine teeth, with males generally having larger ones than females though different communities have some so small, they’re almost unnoticeable. Their skin is usually a shade of green, ranging from a light and muted artichoke color to a deep almost black-green. Hair color is mostly black and brown amongst them, though some Orc societies have families with blonde hair. Their hair is long for both genders, usually braided and combed being the standard of beauty for both.
Orcish fashion is just as distinct as their physical features. The art of tattooing is incredibly common and in many places expected of all Orcs. Tattoos are seen as signifying an Orcs transition from youth to adulthood, but also signify an Orc’s social status and family history. Locations of the tattoos are different across the genders, with men usually getting tattoos across their whole face, torsos, shoulders, and thighs, and women getting tattoos on their lips, chins, foreheads, necks, and backs. These tattoos are identifiable by their flowing rounded form that can connect across the whole body. These tattoos follow a similar symbolism as their carving and weaving patterns which are used to convey meaning in lieu of a written language. The tattooists are usually priests and law-speakers, elderly Orcs who serve to pass on the oral histories and traditions. They’re highly revered and considered sacred in a sense.

Orc Sex and Gender

Orcish gender roles are very well defined. Men are expected to lead the household and usually are the only ones to lead war parties or kingdoms. They’re expected to be strong and defend their home and kin if needed as well as work the fields, fish, and hunt to provide for their family. They serve the role of defender and provider, but rarely that of nurturer. Crafts like woodworking, shipbuilding, masonry, fletching, and many other manual labor jobs are considered to be in the masculine domain. Poetry is also a mainly masculine pursuit as poets record the history of a people and king, though female Orc skalds do exist. While leading in war is usually masculine, waging war and going on raids in not a solely male endeavor. Women who are married without children or women of age who are widowed or unmarried are welcome on raiding parties, with some warships being mostly female. The battlefield tests all equally. Women who are married with children are sometimes allowed on raiding parties, but usually on shorter ones and only if there is an elder child to care for younger ones in a household. Most Orcish mothers choose to stay with their families once they have them however.
Women are seen as managers and protectors of the household in different ways than men. They care and tend to children, sow and reap crops, handle financial matters such as trades or debts, and tend to the livestock if they have any. Weaving and tattooing fall into the feminine domain as well as do most other delicate creative practices. Healers and magic practitioners are all but exclusively female as well, with men performing them to be taboo. The one exception to this is with bards. Elderly women of great magical skill are highly sought after by kings and influential families as they are thought to have powers of divination. They often weave whilst a battle is taking place in an attempt to sway the outcome. These “Warweavers” are often former midwives who have honed their skills in the magic of life and death. These women are seen as outside almost any ordinary law and are deeply sacred amongst other Orcs. Killing or injuring one of these holy women is seen as sacrilegious and would bring the retribution of Luthic down on you.
Outsiders may call the role of women in the society “subservient” when seeing how many female Orcs remain home to have and raise children, but that is something Orcish women strongly protest to. They see childbirth as a form of warfare. In fact, Orcish women who die in childbirth often receive funerals of the same type as those who die in battle. Orcish tradition states that when a woman gives birth, she opens up her body and spirit to take the soul from the gods themselves, akin to when a warrior captures an enemy in battle. Should she emerge victorious, she brings a baby into the world. But if she fails in her battle with the forces of nature, she pays the way all warriors pay; with her life. These funeral rites are considered exceptionally delicate and often are only done by fellow women as the spirit of the deceased is said to linger after death in hope that the baby is born despite her death and can fly into a terrible rage when she sees that it wasn’t. These warrior spirits are brought to the side of Gruumsh and become his Spear Maidens to shepherd the spirits of the dead as they had once done in life.
Gay and transgender Orcs are usually met with a certain level of confusion or even scorn. Gay male Orcs are generally more accepted, but mostly the ones who fall into the stereotypically “masculine” or dominant roles, while the “feminine” or subservient role is viewed as weaker or lesser. Gay female Orcs are usually met with confusion, though the same feminine/masculine roles in the relationship are expected. In most communities, they accept or at least tolerate same-sex relationships so long as these Orcs still bear children and contribute to their community. Some male/male and female/female couples will pair up and live in nearby houses so that they maintain the illusion of the standard marriage relations.
Transgender Orcs are usually accepted, though transgender female Orcs face quite a bit more scorn. While both genders in Orcish society aspire for strength, females are considered the weaker of the two in society and many Orcs see transgender females are “weakening” themselves. Orcish women tend to be more accepting of transgender Orc women than the men. That said, many myths about Shargaas describe him shapeshifting back and forth between a man and a woman, giving transgender orcs an mythical explanation for their experience. Shagraas’ own moral standing brings its own set of troubles however.

Orc Raiders

Orcs are best known outside of their kin as warriors. Fierce and unstoppable, they will attack any and all locations if they believe there’s gold or treasure there. Outsiders see this as outright evil, attacking peaceful settlements and defenseless monasteries, raiding and plundering with abandon. But as mentioned, not every Orc is a raider. Orcish raiders are usually unmarried young people who are either seeking new opportunities for wealth or glory or usually both. Some are destitute outlaws who were either conscripted or willingly joined a war band, while some are the sons and daughters of noble lines who feel the need to prove themselves of their name on the battlefield. This small but far reaching minority makes up the majority of what other races see of them.
Orcish raiders don’t see themselves as attacking defenseless civilians, since in their minds, no one should be defenseless ever. Their homelands are rife with monsters that would kill them without a second thought. Orcs must know how to fight because eventually a fight will come to them whether they’re prepared or not. They will spare the elderly and very young in most cases should they flee, but see every other able bodied person as expected to fight and defend what they have. Orcish armies led by kings and chieftains are less likely to attack defenseless civilians as their leader is more intent on facing off against a rival army to secure victory. Though after a victory, their victorious march into a city isn’t always peaceful.
Many armies, before facing an Orcish horde, will see them perform a ritual dance on the eve of battle. One Orc chieftain or king or other leader will lead their troops in the dance as they pound their chests, stamp their feet, tremble their hands, cry out at the top of their lungs, and stick their tongues out (this grimace in particular is something only male Orcs are allowed to do.) Most other armies see this as a psychological warfare tactic, but these ritual dances fill many more roles than just war. The dances are a celebration of life itself and there are several different styles of dances for different occasions. These dances are performed at weddings, funerals, coronations, holidays, birthdays, and even simply for fun. While the dance on the eve of battle is meant to instill fear in their enemies, these dances serve a multitude of purposes.
These celebrations of life are equally offset by the Orcish acceptance and certainty of death. All things will die, every Orc knows this. Even the Gods, in their final battle with Yurtrus, will die and the whole world will be destroyed by their battle. The Orcs know this, as do their gods. But fighting in spite of certain doom is what heroes do. This knowledge shapes how Orcs live and fight. Since death is coming, one must strive to enjoy life while you have it. And since death is coming no matter what, it’s better to get to decide how and where you die than have it decided by fate. Some of the great Orcish poems depict the hero horribly outnumbered and overwhelmed with no chance of escape, but still the hero, using cunning and force of will, tricks or outsmarts the villain so that even in their defeat, they get the last laugh. In Orcish, there’s a phrase used to describe a victory that came at a heavy price which roughly translates to “a laughing death.”

Orcish Thralls

[Important Note: The topic of slavery that is often brought up with the Orcs is something you should discuss with your table before introducing. It’s a sensitive subject and not one that everyone wants to have in their fantasy world. I don’t like having it in my games, but I’m going to attempt to make it both realistic and understandable.]
Orcish raiders will often attempt to capture enemies alive as a show of absolute domination over them. Amongst the warriors, being captured means that not only did your strength fail you, but you didn’t even get the honor of a valiant death. These captured Orcs serve as a slave class in society, called thralls. Orcs rarely capture other Orcs from their same tribe or kingdom but will often go to other Orcish territories for thralls. They do sometimes capture humans or elves, but their lack of understanding of their crops, customs, and livestock often makes them less than desirable thralls. They serve as farm hands, house servants, stone layers, washers, and meal makers. As thralls become more trusted, they can become midwives, nannies, overseers of other slaves, or even personal attendants. All thralls have their hair cropped short and wear a thin metal collar marking them as an owned individual.
Children born to enslaved mothers are considered the property of the mother’s master. Male slaves having children with a free woman is very uncommon and has different rulings across tribes and kingdoms. Killing another Orcs thrall is not considered murder and has a punishment more akin to killing another Orc’s livestock. Thralls also cannot legally own weapons, though many use dangerous farm tools like sickles or picks which are sometimes used to rebel against unjust masters. While considered less than human in a legal sense, thralls do have some rights. If injured or sick in service to their master, a thrall is expected to be cared for and healed on their master’s coin. Failure to do so results in penalties akin to mistreating a child or wife rather than a sheep or cow. Some wealthier masters sometimes give their more trustworthy thralls portions of land to grow crops or tend livestock relatively unsupervised. While thralls can’t own property, they can still accrue personal wealth by selling crafts or services not done under orders of their master.
Being a thrall, while constricting, is not a role that was necessarily lifelong. It’s expected that if a thrall serves faithfully for long enough, a good master will grant them their freedom. Equally, if a thrall accrues enough wealth they can purchase their own freedom from their master. Other Orcs can purchase the freedom of another's thrall as well, though this is a rare process. Once free, the former thrall is usually expected to attend a local feast to cement their newfound freedom. This feast is usually paid for by the former thrall with their former master being a guest of honor. There, the former master is expected to remove the thrall’s collar and place it on a sheep or pig. The former thrall is presented with a sword, in recognition of their new status as a free citizen, which they use to kill the animal in a symbolic destruction of their past self. While some Orcish slave owners don’t take kindly to losing their “property” there is a level of renown that comes from allowing a thrall their freedom. They’re considered to have made that thrall stronger under their care and are thus a figure to be admired and idolized, similar to a trainer of warriors.

Orc Traders and Explorers

The influx of Orcs into the continent has brought with it a wealth of new trading opportunities. While the Orcish reputation as raiders and pillagers has decidedly preceded them, Orcish traders are not an uncommon sight amongst Human or Dwarvish communities. Trading mainly in weaponry, furs and hides, meats, grains, ivory from whales, wool, and even ships, their expansion of the seas to distant lands has also allowed them to bring in exports from previously inaccessible areas. Wine and spices, textiles, silks, countless things from far off lands that rarely made it to the main continent have flooded in with the expansion of Orcish raiders and traders.
Elves have not been keen to accept Orcs into their towns considering they were hit first and hardest by Orcish raiders as they arrived on the world scene. Many Orcs take offense to this scrutiny as the raiders may have come from completely different tribes and resent the implications that they would infiltrate and undermine the city in such a cowardly way. Dwarvish communities have had the most success in defense against Orcish raiders since their cities usually lack a direct waterway for Orcs to attack from. Thus, Orcish traders are usually welcomed with little worry or skepticism. The Dwarves' jovial and rough nature often makes the Orc traders feel right at home.
A long post, I know, but thank you for reading it. I look forward to reading your comments and critiques soon.
[EDIT] Changed instances of "transsexual" to "transgender."
submitted by Lerad to DnDBehindTheScreen [link] [comments]