Take Care (Deluxe Edition) [Explicit] by Drake on Amazon ...
Drake - Take Care - Reviews - Album of The Year
Drake's 'Take Care' & 'IYRTITL' Makes Rolling Stone's List ...
Take Care — Drake Last.fm
Drake - Take Care Explicit Version (Vinyl Used) Explicit ...
Drake – Take Care Lyrics Genius Lyrics
Drake - Take Care (Deluxe Edition) (2015) - Hip-Hop 320kbps
Drake : Take Care – Treble
Take Care is certainly a few notches above its predecessor and the effort that went into making the album a cohesive listen paid off handsomely. While Thank Me Later veered recklessly from party bangers to after party slow jams to lonely ruminations, Take Care focuses mainly on the latter, but with a large enough palette to keep things fresh ... Take Care Lyrics: I know you've been hurt by someone else / I can tell by the way you carry yourself / If you let me, here's what I'll do / I'll take care of you (I'll, I'll) / I've loved and I've Drake has two albums on Rolling Stone’s 500 Greatest albums of all time . Drake’s 2011 album Take Care and his 2015 “mixtape” If You’re Reading This It’s Too Late made Rolling Stone’s list for the 500 Greatest Albums of All Time. Take Care is no. 95 on the list, while IYRTITL comes in at no. 367.. Rolling Stone began their list of the 500 greatest albums of all time back in 2003. (Drake reportedly had a vinyl copy of Blake's debut LP on display in the studio while recording Take Care.) Its subtlety is a direct rebuke to the rash of in-the-red Eurotrance waveforms clogging ... Take Care is the sophomore studio album by Toronto, Canada hip hop artist Drake, released on November 15, 2011 through Cash Money Records. “Buried Alive” and “Good Ones Go” are Drake - Take Care (Vinyl Used) Explicit Version Explicit Version. Drake - Take Care. Practice 3:58. Take Care Featuring û Rihanna 4:37. Format: LP. Look What You've Done 5:02. HYFR (Hell Ya Fucking Right) Featuring û Lil' Wayne 3:27. With Take Care, Drake has his accelerated Kanye West moment — when a little too much ambition and all the asshole feelings he's got inside coalesce into an insular, indulgent, sad-sack hip-hop epic. Full Review. 8y. Best of 2011. Worst of 2011. Recent Reviews. 80. Consequence of Sound. Drake - Take Care (Deluxe Edition) (2011) Over My Dead Body; Shot For Me; Headlines; Crew Love (Feat. The Weeknd) Take Care (Feat. Rihanna) Marvins Room; Buried Alive Interlude; Under Ground Kings; We'll Be Fine (Feat. Birdman) Make Me Proud (Feat. Nicki Minaj) Lord Knows (Feat. Rick Ross) Cameras - Good Ones Go Interlude; Doing It Wrong; The ... I am also interested in paying for the good works by amazing talent, like this album by Drake. Take Care is enjoyable and reminds me of why I enjoy listening to all the different music artists over the years. For me, this album is worth owning and so I am happy with the value! Read more. Helpful. Comment Report abuse. Listen free to Drake – Take Care (Over My Dead Body, Shot for Me and more). 17 tracks (80:05). Take Care is the Grammy winning, second studio album by Canadian recording artist Drake, released through Young Money Entertainment, Cash Money Records and Universal Republic Records on November 15, 2011. Singles 'Headlines' and 'Make Me Proud" preceded the album's release, each attaining ...
2013.11.18 04:55 InfiniteDescentr/Drizzy
Welcome to /Drizzy! Keep up with Drake's latest releases. Enjoy the best and the worst of Drake meme's from Hotline Bling video edits to Drake in a wheelchair. There's something for every Drake fan, from the casual listener to the Drizzy wannabe. Come have a lurk or join in with the discussions. Aubrey Drake Graham is a Canadian rapper, singer, songwriter, record producer and actor, born and raised in Toronto, Ontario. Discord.gg/drake
2020.09.24 05:55 H0M3BR3W1NGDMHow do I change established lore-filled characters to fit your Homebrew game?
I'm fairly new to D&D but fell in love with it after playing just a few sessions with some friends (unfortunately stopped after only 4-5 sessions) and fell in love with the idea of DMing after watching Matt Mercer in Critical Role. I have some pretty cool campaign ideas but am wondering how to make it work I guess. To make a long story short, I want to include the idea of Tiamat (the 5 headed dragon), without it actually being Tiamat. The concept of the character and its mechanics are amazing, but nothing about her lore would fit into the world that I have created. Would it be wrong or nonsensical to take the Tiamat template and basically ignore the entirety of her history and lore to just.... kinda... create a completely different being entirely? The rest is just context. FOR THOSE WHO CARE: In my story - Creators don't really exist. They exist like the do in real life, different people believe in different things and live their life by whatever values they agree with or were raised by. They pray to whoever they pray to, but as far the history goes - there's no real evidence that they exist. "Gods" and Celestials live in their own planes that are connected with each other, and live in their own kingdoms with their own conflicts and wars, etc... equivalent to Devil and Demons. They're obviously extremely powerful and live for an incredibly long time and some humans praise or hate them depending on their worldview, but they aren't "gods" as we think of them. I imagine them as being more of like Thor from the Marvel Cinematic Universe. They fight with the Ice Giants, and both are extremely powerful, but neither are some unbeatable entity. It's not original, I know, but I like the concept. The idea of "Gods" just makes the world feel so stagnant, idk. Anyway, in my campaign, Dragons are just the result of evolution. Drakes, Dragonborn, Dragons, Dragon Turtles, Half-Dragons, etc. all exist. But they're just other creatures that exist in the world - Dragons just happen to be insanely powerful. Dragonborn are fairly common, Drakes and Half-Dragons far less so, and Dragon Turtles even less then that, etc. In this world, however, The Great Dragons (Chromatic and Metallic Dragons) have been pushed to brink of extinction, hunted down by humanoids due to their immense power and the danger they present. Almost all Chromatic and Metallic dragons have been killed and the Great Dragons as a species is near extinction. The last remaining of those Dragons have - in pure desperation - teamed up together to avoid complete annihilation. With their combined efforts, they hope to create "The Ultimate Dragon" (or reawaken/resurrect a long lost powerful one, haven't decided yet) and that would be the Tiamat template. Obviously because of my world, Tiamat being both a Fiend and a Goddess doesn't work very well. Nor does her having emissaries, plotting and conniving from hell, or even BEING in hell, or having any sort of relation with any of the Devils in hell, being chaotic evil, etc. But I also love the designs of the Abishai - which are what Tiamat uses for her emissaries. So I was thinking about using them for literally any other purpose (maybe as followers to another powerful being lusting for power). Is all of this common? It doesn't feel right, for some reason. Should I not be fucking with the lore this much? Am I doing something wrong? Am I like stealing work? Idk, I need thoughts.
2020.09.24 02:51 Lord_ClefspearAhperaitores - Pt 2 of 2
The second half of Ahperaitores. First part may be found here Criticism is always welcome, so be brutal :) --- [[Galactic Standard Timecode 0344-14/50-8/10-145AF, Geosincronous orbit over GB-0068a, Edgaila Expanse]] Had there been any eyes on GB-0068a, or anywhere in orbit, digital, optical, or otherwise, that were capable of tracking a United Terran Navy Loki class destroyer under silent running, they would have seen the sleek, triangular patch of void-blackness break away from the Federation task force formation and arc towards the far side of the moon. The small ship cut through space like a mino knifing through dark water. She pierced the atmosphere on the day side of the moon exactly two hours, thirty minutes after the evening terminator passed over the pirate stronghold. Decibel killers built into her flanks muffled the roar of her passing, and her retro impulse units slammed her to just below the sound barrier long before she reached an altitude where it would have been audible from the ground. Ten kilometers from the target, the Gallipoli went into a sharp spiral dive. She wound down, down, and down before banking up sharply and deploying her slender landing legs. They reached their full extension just as their tips settled gingerly onto the soft loam in the exact center of a jungle clearing barely a meter larger than the ship was, just about two-point-four-nine kilometers from the pirate base. Inside the bay airlock, Mimiala’Vol and the humans of OpsTeam9 had ridden out the atmospheric entry dive in strap-harnesses, the ship’s internal gravity field having been shut down to reduce her sensor profile. On the last leg of the approach, they had detached themselves from their restraints, and stood free in the center of the bay, facing the ramp, hanging onto anchor points and net straps to maintain balance as the ship maneuvered around them. Vol felt the Gallipoli give one final lurch as she touched down. The red light by the outer ramp flicked to green, and the ramp swept down smoothly, letting in the hot, moist jungle air of GB-0068a’s tropical zone. There was no shouting, no barked orders to disembark. The humans simply flowed right out of the bay and into the jungle. Vol followed them on instinct, her powered sabatons thumping as she sprinted after her alien squadmates. About ten yards into the foliage, the squad stopped, held up by a hand sign from Whitmin, and knelt, scanning the trees and bushes with weapons raised. “Blackbird, Eightball. All hands down and clear. Dustoff, dustoff,” Captain Whitmin’s voice crackled over the general communications net. There was a thrum of impulse drivers, and Vol looked back just in time to see the midnight shadow of the Gallipoli lift into the air and disappear into the night sky. When she returned her gaze to the humans, activating her helmet’s built-in low-light assistant, the humans were moving again, disappearing into the jungle. Literally, they seemed to vanish, fade right into the foliage around them. Vol realized that their grey uniforms had shifted color somehow, changing hew to match the same mix greens and blacks as the background around them- The same colors that Paulski had painted her armor, it occurred to her. “Stick ta me, Snake-Doc,” Spears’s voice came from a patch of green not a meter to Vol’s right. The human woman’s face, smeared green and half-hidden behind her own night-sight apparatus, peered out like a disembodied apparition. “Stay low, stay quiet. We don’t think they have patrols out this far, but that’s no excuse ta be sloppy now, is it?” It quickly became apparent that however adept Vol was at fieldcraft (and she didn’t consider herself an amateur by any measure) the humans were...unnatural at it. They were like ghosts. It was all Vol could do to even see Spears as the Chief slithered and flowed through the undergrowth. She had completely lost track of the others. It wasn’t that they were perfectly invisible, but somehow, the green patterned mess of their clothes seemed to blend perfectly into the vegetation. It was a remarkable and rather disconcerting visual phenomenon. And they were so quiet. Vol’s own sabatons made only muffled thumps on the mossy ground as she stepped carefully and slowly, but the humans didn’t even make a sound, even when they were right next to her. Even when she boosted her helmet’s audio pickups, she only got the sound of wind and the chirping of insects. That strange fluidity Vol had seen in the human crew of the Gallipoli display was amplified in these warriors, and it translated into a speed and grace that the darkalan officer struggled to keep pace with. Someone caught her arm, and Vol started. Paulski’s hairy, mud smeared face appeared at her shoulder. “Hold up, Doc,” he said in a nearly silent whisper, audible to Vol only through the comms net. “Squad, Roadkill. Hostile patrol two-oh-clock, eighty meters north-north-west.” “Roadkill, Eightball. How many and where are they going?” Whitmin’s voice hissed over the net. “Top, Roadkill. It sounds like 3 of them, Nshii, moving due west right across our line.” “You can hear that?” Vol asked. “I can’t hear anything.” “Quiet please,” Whitmin said. “Alright, we hold here until they cross our path, then angle north to give them a wide berth. Roadkill, shadow them and make sure they don’t change course.” Paulski gave a “wilko”, which was apparently the human word for “yes” because he quickly ghosted off in the direction of the still unseen enemy. Vol waited in silence, to all of her senses, completely alone in the jungle night. She had a vague feeling of the humans around her, maybe ten to twenty meters in any given direction, but she couldn’t hear or smell or even see them. Can they even see each other? Vol wondered, then, looking at her armor, newly repainted by the humans in their strange eye-tricking patterns, Can they see me? They have to. Otherwise, how could Paulski have found me? And their hearing… It took several minutes before the all clear was given. The trip resumed with special care. Vol paid special attention to step only on soft ground, doing her best to stay, if not as quiet as the humans, than at least as quiet as she could be. The hike had been long, and she noticed her stamina reserves beginning to feel the taxation. How far had they come? A kilometer? A kilometer and a half? In this terrain, that was a long way to have come in so short a time, even with powered armor. “Top, Box-Man. I have eyes on the compound. Watchtower at twelve-thirty. One man with a rifle up top.” “Acknowledged, Box-Man. Rabbit, find your infil. Snake-Doc, move thirty meters to your two-oh-clock and wait for Box-Man. Roadkill, on me. Deploying the hummingbird.” Vol’s “Moving, Top” joined the rest of the team’s acknowledgments. Despite Whitmin’s orders, she found Hao already waiting for her near the point where the jungle ended and the perimeter clearing of the compound started, a flat, open space around the compound’s wall. The wall itself was maybe three or four meters in height, constructed of prefab panels with improvised alterations. In the middle of the visible stretch of wall was the guard tower that Hao had mentioned. An adult dongada was perched atop it, idly gazing at the night sky, lights from inside the compound backlighting it’s blue chitinous hide and the outline of a weapon cradled idly in its arms. “What is the plan?” Vol asked Hao off coms. “Rabbit’s inside already,” he said, “found a place she could climb over. Top’s guiding her to the base of the tower with the hummingbird.” “What is the hummingbird?” “Compact aerial surveillance drone. It lets Top look down and tag hostiles so Rabbit can avoid them and move through the camp.” “Like our Drake’s Eye units,” Vol observed. “Something like that, but a lot smaller. He and Roadkill are set up in an overwatch position. Roadkill will take out that guard so we can move to the wall and find an egress. Probably that door at the base of the tower.” Hao pointed the door out to Vol, who nodded. “White-Rabbit, Roadkill. I have your bad guy,” buzzed over the net, then a second later, “Roadkill, Rabbit, in position.” “Rabbit, Roadkill. Five...four...three...two…” Vol barely heard the meaty sound of an impact, but she was looking in the right direction and saw the dongada’s snouted head jerk violently and the puff of pale purple mist that burst out of it. The body swayed and toppled off the tower and behind the wall. Barely a moment later, the door at the base of the tower was knocked open and Spears emerged dragging the still twitching corpse behind her. As Hao hustled Vol across the clearing to the base of the wall, Spears lay the dongada guard’s body face down in the runoff rut at the foot of the tower, taking a half second to strip his communicator link off of his coat and jack it into her own headset. “Eightball, White-Rabbit. We have ingress and a patch into hostile comms. Moving in now.” Spears nodded to Hao and Vol as they regrouped. “You ready?” Spears aimed the question at Vol. “If I am not, that we came an awfully long way for nothing,” Vol returned. “Let’s hope not. Follow me, stay as low as you can, do not speak unless you’re getting shot at. Box-Man, on our six.” Inside the pirate camp was a dump. Vol thought it would have been too cliche for the set of a holonet serial. Refuse and weeds littered every open space, the structures were cheap, abused prefabs covered in graffiti and mud. Diode lights cast harsh, but patchy islands of white in the darkness. The three infiltrators moved around those islands, guided by Captain Whitmin’s aerial surveillance and Spears’s preternatural senses. Vol could hear pirates around them, often as voices coming from inside prefab buildings, sometimes a few wandering pairs or trios. They chattered in GalCom about gossip, about the Federation coalition over their heads, how long the negotiations would take, whether the Feds would be brazen enough to damn the hostage and launch an assault, or about how their superiors were going to try to cheat them out of their cut of the ransom money. Absolutely none of them seemed worried about the possibility of intruders. Whitmin guided the trio to the central building, an old- very old- colony hub, designed to be dropped from orbit as one piece. From what they could tell, it was the pirates’ headquarters. Their radio transmitter was at its top, and the hostage was in its impact-buried storm shelter. According to the building’s design template, there would be an exterior secondary entrance hatch leading directly to that shelter, and that was their planned entry point for the building. There was, however, a not unexpected complication. “White-Rabbit, Eightball,” Whitmin said. “I have one Anoijan with a rifle guarding the back door. You should see him right under that lamp.” In fact, Spears had already seen the hostile and stopped the infiltration party in a shadowed ally. The Chief reached up gingerly and keyed her communicator, but didn’t speak into it, just letting it buzz once over the network. The humans had told Vol about this. They called it “click code” or “squelch code.” It was a method of using voice communication without speaking. One click meant either an interrogative or an affirmative response, two meant a negative. “White Rabbit, Roadkill, I see yer bad guy but I don’t have a clean shot. Round would go through him and ring that whole building like a fucking bell. You’d have to rush it loud after that.” The line squelched twice. “White Rabbit, Eightball. You got him, Chief?” One squelch. Without any further comment, Spears ducked back the way they had come. Vol began to follow, but Hao flashed her the universal “hold fast” sign. Vol cocked her head at him, but he just grinned back at her and mouthed “watch.” It was only then that Vol noticed Spears had entirely disappeared in that human way Vol was starting to get supremely annoyed by. They waited for what felt like hours, but Vol’s chronometer insisted was no more than ten minutes, when Vol saw what Hao had been anticipating. The guard, meandering boredly around the general area of the door, fidgeting constantly with this or that, wandered a little closer to the edge of the cone of light cast by the overhead lamp post. That was when Vol saw something, a shadow form like a nighttime phantasm, detach from the darkness and ghost up behind the guard. There was a jerk, a hushed gurgle, and Spears had her arm wrapped around the anoijan’s head, and her other hand wrist deep in the folds of muscle around its thick neck. The guard went limp as a rag doll and Spears heaved. The whole thing had taken less than a second, from the first movement to the guard’s feet disappearing into the night. Vol had never seen anything move, let alone kill, that fast. Spears darted around the light and rejoined then, wiping blood off a black knife on her shirt sleeve. “Let’s move,” the Chief said simply. --- Tekliena’Ker scratched idly at the crumbling sheet-plaster of the little basement room the pirates had stuffed him in and, far from the first time, wondered whether he would live to see starlight again. Contemplating one’s own death, he was discovering, was a rather banal affair. In fiction, characters always thought about deep, meaningful things. Loved ones, lifelong dreams, great destinies denied, that sort of thing. But Ker’s mind kept shifting to small things. The net-vid series he would miss the last episode of, the diagnostic he’d forgotten to run on the freighter’s interior lighting system, the breaks he’d never spend looking out at the stars. Ker loved the stars. He loved sitting in the dark, looking out at the universe and seeing light from a billion years ago reaching down to him. They were why he’d taken his sabbatical on a ship’s crew. Everyone went offworld, but usually just to see the Capitol or one of the colonies- Get out into the world and live a little while you’re young! Shipping on an Anoijan freighter around the Expanse? It had the air of danger about it, a story he’d brag about, about flying through pirate infested skies, but he’d never really thought there would be any real danger. Pirate attacks were something that happened in stories, to other people. Now his life rested on the patience of his captors and the willingness of the Federation to pay them. Father had the money. Father would pay it in a heartbeat. But the government had its principles to uphold. And when they threw him down here, cursing about a fleet in orbit...these pirates didn’t seem to be having their way with the situation. All in all, reality had started to seem distinctly unreal. Ker was pulled out of his depressed daydreaming. Was that a noise? There was a long silence and then There it was again, louder, a kind of snap-pop sound like children’s new-year pyrotechnics. Had the guard gotten bored and started throwing rocks or something? There was a thud on the door, then a scraping sound. Ker thought he saw something in the gap under the door, then the lock spun. Ker shrank back into the corner. Some part of his mind knew it wouldn’t do any good, that no matter what, he was at his captors’ mercy, but that part was suffocated by basic, animal instinct. When the door opened, though, it wasn’t the Pirates. Instead, two small people- barely as tall as Ker was- in ugly green and brown uniforms zipped inside, moving like water. And then came a Darkalan Knight. Her armor was that same hideous mix of colors as the smaller beings, but its shape was unmistakable. She was a Darkalan Knight, and the most epic and heroic holo-casts could never have done her justice in Ker’s eyes. She was across the room in two loping strides, and kneeling over him. “Sir,” she said, her helmet’s voice caster giving her a harsh, authoritative bark. In Darkalan, he realized. Not GalCom “I need you to tell me your name.” “I-im Ker!” Ker stammered. “I’m Tekliena’Ker. I’m Darkalan. I was on the ship- the ship when these…” “Alright, Ker,” she interrupted. “I need you to answer a few more questions for me, can you do that?” Ker nodded. “Tell me what the name of your pet sokal is.” “His name is Bara,” Ker said, confused. “What color is he?” “Blue,” Ker said, “He’s blue with white spots on his back.” “Very good,” the Knight said. “Now, I need you to tell me if you are injured. Do you have any pain anywhere? Any deep aches or trouble moving?” While she asked this she was already examining him all over, checking his limbs and torso with firm hands. “No,” said Ker, “I think they were scared to do more than bruise me.” “Look here for me.” She shined a bright light into first one eye than the other, then turned to her companions who had immediately taken up positions by the door. “It’s him.” GalCom this time. “Dehydrated and a little weak but no major injuries. We can move him.” “Switch,” one of the companions called, and it and the Knight changed positions. The small being- Is that a...human?- pulled something off of his comically large pack and thrust it at Ker. “Sir,” said the human, “I’m going to need you to put this on for me. It’s an armored vest. Your head goes through here...now this arm up...good. Hold still.” The human cinched the thing down. It was heavy, and he wondered why he needed it if he had been rescued. “Aren’t the Pirates...didn’t you beat them? Isn’t that why you’re here?” “Not our mission,” said the human, pulling him over to behind the Knight. “Now, this is Snake-Doctor. She’s going to lead you out of here. She’s your best friend. You see this strap? You hang on to that. Use both hands and hang on.” Ker grabbed the strap-like handle on the back of the Knight’s armor. “Good job, kid,” said the human. The other human spoke for the first time, apparently to a communications line. “Eight-Ball, White-Rabbit. We have the Package, exfil in progress.” —- The infiltration team hustled out of the prefab with unseemly haste, like thieves fleeing the scene of a robbery. Well, that is what we are, after a fashion, Vol thought. The Tekliena boy clung to her armor-harness, stumbling along behind her. Dispite the white-knuckle grip he had on her, she still kept an arm on his shoulder, just so they didn’t lose contact. The last thing Vol needed was to have lost the hostage ducking through the prefab camp minutes away from safety after all the effort it took getting here. It was less than 30 meters from the perimeter wall that things went wrong. And, in Vol’s experience, when things went wrong in the field, they went all the way wrong, and they did it quickly. The first thing that happened was Whitmin’s voice over the comms net saying “Where the hell did he come from?” Then she saw the line of harsh yellow light from an opening doorway cut across Spears’s back as she passed. Then confused Nshi clicking. Then Vol’s railgun shot was cutting the Nshi in half. The deafening crack of the shot had barely passed before the humans changed gears. “We’re made!” Spears snapped. “Snake-Doc, take the package and book it for the gate. Move!” “Looks like everyone’s awake now,” Whitmin commed. “Weapons free. Cover Snake-Doc. Roadkill, entry tower-” “I see ‘im, Top,” Paulski cut in. For her part, Vol grabbed the Tekliena boy and started running. Powered armor was less a suit of clothing than it was a wearable armored vehicle. Once it got moving, the list of things that could stop it was very brief. Vol ran right through a plasboard fence like it was tissue, and was in the main thoroughfare of the camp, dragging the boy behind her. The humans were flitting around like insects, firing, throwing grenades into doors and down allies. The pirates seemed to have realized that they were under attack and were starting to spray laser and mag-slug shots seemingly at random. “Please!” the boy panted, barely keeping his feet under him as Vol hauled him in her wake, “s-Sir knight! I can’t keep up!” “Just hang on,” Vol said. “We move or we die.” She slowed just enough to get a firm grip of her own on his shirt. A glebni in rusted flak-plate and holding something lethal looking in its tentacles flew at them from a prefab roof. Even as Vol made to push herself between it and the boy, it’s cephalopoid head exploded. The shot had taken it in midair. “Close one” Paulski commed. “Keep moving, Snake-Doc. You’re almost to the gate.” In fact, she was at the gate. She shoulder-barged through it and pushed Tekliena ahead of her. They stumbled across the moat-clearing with the humans hot on their heels. They hit the jungle treeline like splashing headfirst into dirty water. They kept going, chased by the sound of angry shouts and wild weaponsfire. “South!” Spears ordered. “South to the pick-up point. Top, how fucked are we?” “You pissed them all the way off, Rabbit.” Whitmin’s voice was panting and undercut with the heavy rustling of fast movement. “They’re scrambling in every direction. I don’t think they all know what hit them or which way it went. Me and Roadkill are moving to the extraction point, Eeh-Tee-Ay ten minutes.” “Acknowledged, Top,” Spears said mid-movement as she turned and loosed a burst at something behind them. Whatever it was screamed and died. They kept running. “Is that a technical?” Hao said. “Top,” Spears said, “You got eyes on that big- “EEEEEEAAAAAAAIIII!!” Tekliena stumbled, fell, and screamed. Vol skidded to a halt, her sabatons gouging deep furrows in the jungle loam as her momentum carried her several more meters. Turning, she had just enough time to see the boy sprawled out on the moss, one leg wedged in a crevice under a treeroot, bent at an unnatural angle. Hao was at his side in an instant. She took a step toward them. Then, something about the mass and speed of a dreadnought at full drive slammed into her armor’s chestplate and the world went inside out. --- Ker was half blinded by the lightning shooting up his leg. It was impossible. Nothing could hurt that much. All he knew was that he’d been running, he had put his foot down, had an instant to realize something was very wrong, then he was on the ground and someone that sounded a lot like him was screaming like they’d been murdered. The knight stopped. He saw her turn. Then she exploded. Something hit her, and she was thrown into the air and landed on her back meters away. “Rabbit! Kill that goddamned technical right the fuck now!” The human, the short one that had given him the order to hang on to the knight, was leaning over him and yelling at his companion in jargon. “Shape charge out!” The other one howled. There was a wooshing sound, a clang, and another explosion set Ker’s ears ringing. “Top, Box-Man. Snake-Doc is down. Snake-Doc is down. Bad guys had a heavy rail-driver on a vehicle. Package is wounded.” There was a pause. “She’s alive,” the other voice, the female, said. “Armor’s trashed, but she’s alive.” “Checking,” said the male. “Kid. Hey, buddy, look at me.” The short human smacked him on the face gently, getting his attention. “Kid, your leg is broken. I need you to tell me if anything else hurts, can you do that?” “I-I can’t move!” Ker babbled. Leg broken. If he couldn’t run… “Please! I can’t move! Don’t leave me. I don’t want-I don’t want to die!” “Listen to me,” the human said sternly, firing at something over Ker’s prone form, “You are not going to die. Hear me?” The female ran up, skidding to a crouch behind the tree. “Snake-Doc’s awake, but she’s not mobile. That armor’s clusterfucked. What’s the kid’s story, Box-Man?” “He’s whole, but he’s not walking.” “Go. Get to the exfil. I’ll cover you.” “Wait,” Ker said, “D-Don’t leave me!” “Oh, you’re coming with me, kid. Come here.” The human, Box-Man, grabbed a fistful of Ker’s shirt, another of the inside of his thigh, and heaved with a strength that belied his small, thin frame. The human tossed him over his shoulder, heaved to his feat, and in a flurry they were moving. They were moving very fast. --- Vol popped her armor’s seals. She sat up out of it and got to work undoing the leg fastenings as quickly as she could. The suit had saved her life from the rail-canon slug, but barely, and it had lost its own functionality in the process. She saw Spears firing into the jungle in the direction of something that looked like it used to be a vehicle before someone set it on fire, and Hao, with the Tekliena boy over his shoulders, running past her towards the extraction point. It suddenly struck Vol that for all the quickness that the humans moved with, she had never actually seen them run. Hao was running now, at a flat out sprint. He might as well have been a guided missile for how quickly he disappeared. “Snake-Doc,” Spears said, almost cordially. “Get up here and help me with these arseholes!” Vol yanked her comms-set out of her helmet and wrangled it over her head. She felt exposed and vulnerable outside of the armor, but she followed the humans’ example and tried her best to make speed be her protection. She slammed up behind the tree whose roots Spears was using for cover. “Take this,” the human said, thrusting her carbine at Vol. “Single shots, point and squeeze.” Vol took the black contraption of metal and polymer. The grip disappeared in her hand, but she managed to get a claw into the enclosed trigger. Hostiles were trampling through the jungle. Several of them had taken positions around the burning hulk of the ground-effect vehicle that had blasted her. If they had been confused about where their assailants had headed before, they were getting coordinated now. Vol sighted down the spine of the human weapon and squeezed the trigger. It bucked violently in her hand and the shot spanged off of a rock. She tried again, more meaning to give the enemy an incentive to keep from coming closer than out of an expectation of killing anything. Spears drew a much smaller weapon for herself from somewhere on her body-rig and started popping off shots two handed. “Rabbit, Eightball. Mind your left.” Whitmin and Paulski were suddenly with them, arriving from the left side. Paulsky leveled his long, scoped rifle and let loose a shot that rippled the air through Vol’s crest from three meters away. Whitmin had his hand over his left ear as he slithered between Vol and Spears. “Gallipoli’s just landed,” he said. “Did they make it?” Vol demanded. “Safe and sound,” Whitmin replied. “You and Rabbit fall back.” “No!” Vol said, shocked and afronted that they expected her to run. “What the Doc said, Top,” Spears said, loosing a string of shots into an anoijan that mustered the bravery to poke his head out from behind a tree. “All or nothing.” Whitmin took the insubordination in stride. “Alright. Half a kilometer to the ship. Pop smoke here and on that wreck. Snake-Doc, When we start moving, we run. Don’t worry about the rest of us, do not stop. Run straight to the ship. Everyone copy?” “Wilko, Top,” said Paulski, pulling a cylindrical grenade from his webbing harness. “Copy,” said Spears, doing likewise. Vol nodded. “Five, Four, Three, Two…” Paulski, Spears, and Whitmin clicked off the grenades and let their timers wind down in their hands as Whitmin counted. “Huck em!” The grenades landed in a line, one right in front of their own position, one at the wreck where the enemy had massed, and one in the laser and bullet chewed undergrowth between them. Even as they hit, they detonated in a ripple of *PaPaPapSSSSSSS* and burst into thick clouds of acrid chemical smoke that washed out that whole half of Vol’s horizon in the color of used dishwater. The humans did their vanishing act, and Vol was right behind them. Her feet pounded the jungle floor. Half a kilometer. Half a kilometer through thick jungle at full sprint with wild, blind lasers buzzing through every leaf and vine between her and that ship. She caught glimpses of the others, dark shapes flitting through the trees like blackened lightning. They moved around the jungle’s tendrily fingers. Vol just went through them. Branches, vines, and bushes snapped and tore on her under-armor bodysuit. Her bulk carved her own tunnel right through them all. A human appeared at her side. “Almost there,” Whitmin said. “The ship’s got eyes on-” A laser scorched past Vol’s leg and bored into Whitmin’s hip. The human didn’t scream when he fell. He seemed to seize up, clamping the pain behind a locked jaw full of gritted teeth. He looked more angry than injured. He stumbled, momentum carrying him into a headlong dive. He never hit the ground. Vol’s hand shot out and she had a fistful of his webbing before she even consciously made the decision to do it. Barely stumbling in her headlong rush, she heaved and the human’s light, small frame was in the crook of her arm, then up over her shoulder like a sack. She heard the pop of his weapon, shooting at something behind them. She didn’t look back to check what it was. “Thirty meters!” he shouted at her. “I don’t see it!” she shouted back. “You will.” He was right. Vol broke through into a clearing and suddenly the ramp of the Gallipoli was right in front of her, yawned open like the maw of a great, gulping fish. She ran right up it, and no sooner had she made it three steps than the ship lurched under her, impulse drivers pulverizing the ground below and tossing the little corvette into the air. Vol stumbled, trying to control her topple so that she didn’t land on Whitmin. The ramp clanged closed and suddenly the world was small and dark and quiet. “Medic!” someone yelled, the voice that would have been drowned in the din a moment ago was a ringing echo now. The room got very busy, but Vol didn’t pay attention. She rolled onto her back and just panted for a while. Someone leaned over her and she batted them away with exhausted hands. “I’m...fine…” she managed. “Whitmin...Whitmin’s hit…” “The Captain’s going to be alright,” the someone said. It was a human in white scrubs. He was shining a bright light down into Vol’s eyes which she found very annoying, but couldn’t find the energy to do much about. “We’re taking care of him now. He’s going to be alright.” “He...came back...” she croaked. “Back...for me” “He’s alright,” the human in the white scrubs insisted. “Now hold still.” “The others?” “They made it,” the human said. “They all made it.” Vol closed her eyes and let her head rest on the cold metal deck. Mission accomplished, she thought. --- Debreifings, in Vol’s considered opinion, should fall under the Federation sanction on torture. First, the humans had debriefed her, both separately and with the rest of the team. Whitmin’s wound, while severe, proved to be well within the Gallipoli’s ability to treat. The laser had burned through his hip, boring a hole in a rather complicated bone structure, but while it had come close to hitting a rather important organ (though nobody could explain to Vol what a “kidney” was or what it did) the damage was repairable, given time and surgery. Humans had a remarkable ability to heal, and what they couldn’t heal, they had no qualms about replacing, as Sergeant Spears’s leg would readily attest. When the humans were done with her, She and the Tekleina were shuttled to the Righteous Path with excessive courtesy. Their arrival was heralded with full fanfare. The Ship’s Commander saluted her as she escorted the boy out of the shuttle and along a corridor of knights with presented arms. There was an applauding crowd of crew ratings and a victory speech and talk of commendations. Then the debriefings again. Heavier and more pointed this time. The questions focused less on the pirates, and more on the humans. What exactly were their tactics? What were their weapons’ capabilities? What did the Hummingbird look like and how did it work? What was the effective range of Paulski’s rifle? She wasn’t ignorant of the interests of her people’s security, and she was a patriot. But she found that she didn’t have most of the answers they wanted, and she didn’t mind. The taskforce had launched a full scale assault as soon as the Gallipoli had lifted off. The majority of the pirates had surrendered the moment they realized their leverage had been lost. More than three hundred prisoners had been taken, most of them scattered outside the compound walls in every direction of the compass, all wildly pursuing the “army” that had attacked them. Ship’s Commander Dakverna’Gel did take the time to inform Vol that the assault force had found her armor. The armory-technicians had deemed it salvageable and had begun refurbishing it. Later that day, Vol stopped by the armory to make a request. It is not unheard of for a Darkalan Knight to change their heraldic colors, but it is considered momentous. The Mimialas still wear the blue and white on their armor to this day, with a stripe down the arm of ugly, mottled greens and browns. Fin
As mentioned in the Monday Mock Draft thread, I took on the task of doing a full seven round mock draft at this wayyy too early point in the season. A few housekeeping notes before we dive in.
I completed this along with my cousin (u/zedd.gaskin1), so if you caught his formated 3-round mock earlier this offseason, it'll have a similar format.
I used the Week 3 NFL Power Rankings as the Draft format. ESPN lists the Kansas City Chiefs as their #1, so they are treated as Super Bowl champions. Congrats Kansas City! Looks like a first round running back wasn't such a bad move.
A general rule of thumb...When I generally look back at team needs and who each team has, I really don't consider a rookie or second-year player to be a "solution" if they weren't taken in the first three rounds, unless they've shown otherwise. So, no, I don't really care that your team took someone at that spot in the 5th round last year. Just getting ahead of that one.
And similar to that, I think you're really only solving immediate needs in the first two rounds by and large, so generally philosophy is that rounds 3-4 are for players who can develop into starters/contributors, and then 5-6-7 is filling out the roster with simply whoever could be useful.
I think that's really it. So without further ado, here's Boanerges 7-Round Mock Draft 1.0. FIRST ROUND 1.) New York Jets - QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson - Neither Sam Darnold nor Adam Gase is inspiring much confidence right now. If the Jets clean house with Gase, it'd be hard for a new coach not to want the best QB prospect to come out of the Draft since Bo Callahan, I mean, Andrew Luck. 2.) Cincinnati Bengals - OT Penei Sewell, Oregon - Joe Burrow has looked solid in his first two outings as a rookie starter. The Bengals have a franchise QB, and thus, should look for a franchise LT (Williams can slide to RT or inside), to ensure Burrow isn't running for his life. 3.) Carolina Panthers - QB Justin Fields, Ohio State - After spending last year's draft focused on finding pieces to rebuild the defense, Matt Rhule and co. turn towards the offense with this pick. A big-armed athlete out of Columbus, Fields becomes the new QB of the Panthers. 4.) New York Giants - LB Micah Parsons, Penn State - Parsons may be the top linebacker in recent draft memory, an athletic freak who can deploy pretty much anywhere in the box. His explosiveness and size are an ideal blend for anyone needing ILB help, like the Giants here. 5.) Miami Dolphins - WR Ja'Marr Chase, LSU - Miami probably has a bigger need for a pass rush than another need for a wide receiver, but Chase is a better player and prospect than Rousseau, thus, the Dolphins add a dynamic pass-catcher to Tua's arsenal, joining DeVante Parker and Preston Williams. 6.) Detroit Lions - EDGE Gregory Rousseau, Miami - The Lions have Trey Flowers and that's about it in terms of pass rush. Whoever replaces Matt Patricia will probably want to join the modern era of football and get players who can get after the QB. Rousseau's length and athleticism allow him to do exactly that. 7.) Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Marvin Wilson, Florida State - The Jags have played well enough to push themselves out of the top group, but that does not stop them from picking up a stud defensive centerpiece in Wilson. After landing first-round edge rushers the last two years (Josh Allen - 2018, K'Lavon Chaisson - 2019), the Jaguars should have a young, dangerous trio to build around. 8.) Washington Football Team - CB Caleb Farley, Virginia Tech - Dwayne Haskins has started well enough to suggest he could be the long-term answer to the Football Team. After taking edge rushers just about every year, Washington bolsters their cornerback position with Farley, a prospect with fantastic size and fluidity at the cornerback position. 9.) Denver Broncos - OT Samuel Cosmi, Texas - The nicest thing to say about LT Garrett Bolles is that he's a mixed bag. Some good, but way too many mistakes and penalties not to upgrade this position if given the chance. For Denver, they add Cosmi to the fold, where his length should help keep QB Drew Lock from getting injured, which he unfortunately was this past Sunday. 10.) Cleveland Browns - G Wyatt Davis, Ohio State - As a former OL coach myself, I feel comfortable saying that Davis is probably the best interior OL prospect since Nelson out of Notre Dame. He'd be a major upgrade for Cleveland's offensive line, slotting in at RG with ease. 11.) Atlanta Falcons - EDGE Kwity Paye, Michigan - Paye is perhaps one of the biggest winners with the Big Ten choosing to play this fall. He'll have the opportunity to build off a quality 6.5 season in 2019 and match his freaky athletic potential with even more production, solidifying his status as a top-15 pick, one who could certainly help the Falcons here. 12.) Philadelphia Eagles - T/G Rashawn Slater, Northwestern - The Eagles have seen a multitude of injuries erase their OL depth. And with aging players in Jason Peters, Jason Kelce, and Lane Johnson, Philly will almost certainly need to address the position soon. Insert Slater, a stellar tackle out of Northwestern, with the versatility to stay outside or fill a need inside, wherever Philly needs him more. 13.) Miami Dolphins (via HOU) - LB Dylan Moses, Alabama - Moses would have gone in the top-15 or so if he had declared prior to last season. A season-ending injury has put his stock up in the air, and if he solidifies himself as the elite player he's shown, then a top-15 pick. Moses also fits very well in Brian Flores scheme, and should be able to boost that defense as Tua ignites the offense. 14.) Minnesota Vikings - DT Christian Barmore, Alabama - Too much money on Cousins' contract to look at moving on, so continuing to build a dominant roster around him is the play. Rather than reach on an interior lineman, the Vikings select Barmore, a major disruptor on the inside who can play multiple spots up front. 15.) Los Angeles Chargers - OT Dillon Radunz, NDSU - After a quality first start from Justin Herbert, Chargers fans should feel good about their QB situation going forward. The protection? Not so much. Adding a high potential tackle like Radunz would be a wise move for Anthony Lynn and co. 16.) Chicago Bears - QB Trey Lance, NDSU - If Mitch Trubisky could simply play the Lions every week, he'd be an All-Pro. But since he can't, the Bears probably will be looking at a replacement signal-caller. After an incredibly efficient 2019 season throwing no interceptions, Lance will have a chance to end up in the first-round for someone like Chicago. 17.) Indianapolis Colts - EDGE Carlos Basham, Wake Forest - One of the more underrated edge rushers in the class, I think Basham fits perfectly with the Colts. Equally adept at stopping the run and pressuring the quarterback, he'd give Indy a ready-to-go replacement if they don't re-sign Justin Houston. 18.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama - The Bucs already have one of the best WR duos in the NFL with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, but adding Waddle to the mix is too much fun to not do it. An explosive athlete with big play speed, Waddle would give the Bucs the best receiving corps in the league, if they don't already possess that title. 19.) Dallas Cowboys - CB Patrick Surtain II, Alabama - Safety is probably the top need for Dallas, but the Cowboys haven't always given that spot the attention most think it needs. And with no clear cut safety for this spot, Dallas takes a big, athletic corner in Surtain, who can help give them a quality trio at cornerback along with Chidobe Awuzie and Trevon Diggs. 20.) Las Vegas Raiders - G Trey Smith, Tennessee - The Raiders have a quality offensive line, but it's interior is aging, and in need of replacement soon (LG Richie Incognito is 36 years old). Thus, the Raiders go ahead and add a powerful run blocker in Trey Smith, as he'll continue to pave the way for RB Josh Jacobs in Las Vegas. 21.) Arizona Cardinals - C/G Creed Humphrey, Oklahoma - Since taking over the center gig in 2018 (when Kyler Murray was his QB), Humphrey has been one of the top interior lineman in CFB. The Cardinals have put together a quality team, but adding a dominant interior lineman like Humphrey to work in command with Murray would be a dream. 22.) Pittsburgh Steelers - OT Jackson Carman, Clemson - The Steelers may need two offensive tackles, or perhaps just one. Either way, Carman's been dominant since spurning Ohio for the Tigers. He'd give Big Ben the protection needed to milk every last ounce of his talent out before they look for a new QB. 23.) New England Patriots - WR Rondale Moore, Purdue - Cam Newton has held the fort together thus far, and assuming he's around for a little longer, giving him some additional weapons would make sense so long as the Patriots remain competitive. Adding Moore, an explosive if undersized playmaker would be just the kind of boost the Patriots offense needs. 24.) San Francisco 49ers - CB Tyson Campbell, Georgia - Richard Sherman's days of elite play are few, and so the 49ers should get serious about finding an elite replacement to step in. Enter Campbell, a long, athletic corner out of Athens, GA. While Campbell may not become Richard Sherman immediately, he has the potential to develop into an elite press corner. 25.) Tennessee Titans - EDGE Quincy Roche, Miami - The Titans are once again off to a good start, and so long as they have Henry and Tannehill playing well, they figure to be a competitor in the AFC. Thus, adding a quick twitch pass rusher like Roche to the mix can give them a boost, even if Jadeveon Clowney makes his stay long-term. 26.) Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) - RB Travis Etienne, Clemson - An explosive back, either in the rushing attack or out of the backfield, Etienne would be a major weapon to put beside Gardner Minshew. His versatility and leadership should make him a big piece of the Jaguars rebuild, which looks pretty promising with the amount of picks they've compiled. 27.) Buffalo Bills - DE Jayson Oweh, Penn State - Not too dissimilar to Kwity Paye, Oweh is another freak athlete terrorizing Big Ten quarterbacks. After five sacks as a sophomore, Oweh will have the chance to capitalize on his crazy potential and end up a first-round pick. The Bills will likely be in search of another pass rusher as Trent Murphy hits free agency. 28.) New Orleans Saints - CB Shaun Wade, Ohio State - Janoris Jenkins won't be around for too much longer, as he'll be 32 next fall. The Saints should plan accordingly, and consider taking an elite cornerback prospect like Shaun Wade, pairing him with another former Buckeye in Marshon Lattimore. 29.) Green Bay Packers - RT Jalen Mayfield, Michigan - The Packers wide receivers are playing really well to start the season. Well enough, perhaps, to avoid going wide receiver in round one and instead land their an elite athlete at the right tackle position. With Rick Wagner likely a temporary fill at RT, and David Bakhtiari getting older as well, the Packers could use a big investment into the OT position, and Mayfield has the tools to be elite. 30.) New York Jets (via SEA) - WR DeVonta Smith, Alabama - The Jets continue to revamp their pass catching corps, bringing in a high caliber option out of Alabama (the 5th Tide player in the first round here), adding him to a group with Denzel Mims and Jamison Crowder. Trevor Lawrence would likely approve. 31.) Baltimore Ravens - S Trevon Moehrig, TCU - After the departure of Earl Thomas, the Ravens will get a look at their young safety this season. Moehrig figures to be the top free safety off the board, and would fit like a glove in Wink's defensive scheme as the Ravens try to make a Super Bowl run. 32.) Kansas City Chiefs - C/G Josh Myers, Ohio State - The Buckeyes may have the rare opportunity to put two interior offensive linemen into the first round, as Wyatt Davis and Josh Myers are amongst the best in the nation. The Chiefs could use another dominant force on the inside, and Myers has the size and flexibility to play any of the three interior spots. ROUND TWO 33.) New York Jets - EDGE Patrick Jones II, Pittsburgh - The Jets finally manage to add an edge-rusher, a piece they've needed for awhile now. 34.) Cincinnati Bengals - EDGE Aidan Hutchinson, Michigan - With Carlos Dunlap getting older, the Bengals add a strong, high motor pass rusher to eventually replace him. 35.) Carolina Panthers - OT Alex Leatherwood, Alabama - Capable of playing just about any spot on the line (experience starting at both tackle spots and guard), Leatherwood figures to be a plug-and-play option. 36.) New York Giants - CB Paulson Adebo, Stanford - Even after bringing in former Panthers CB James Bradberry, the Giants still could use another high caliber corner. 37.) Miami Dolphins - SS Hamsah Nasirildeen, Florida State - After trading Minkah Fitzpatrick to the Steelers last year, the Dolphins land a similar style player to fill that role. 38.) Detroit Lions - WR Rashod Bateman, Minnesota - Needing to restock their WR room, the Lions add a crafty wideout with near flawless ability to release at the line. 39.) Jacksonville Jaguars - TE Kyle Pitts, Florida - The Jaguars continue stockpiling talent and weapons for Gardner Minshew, this time in the athletic tight end. 40.) Washington Football Team - WR Sage Surratt, Wake Forest - The Football Team adds a natural athlete who can win contested throws on the regular. 41.) Denver Broncos - DT Jaylen Twyman, Pittsburgh - The best player on the board, the Broncos add a disruptive pass rusher to the interior of Fangio's 3-4. 42.) Cleveland Browns - LB Chazz Surratt, North Carolina - After letting LB Joe Schobert walk in free agency, the Browns need a rangy LB like Surratt to fill the hole. 43.) Atlanta Falcons - CB Asante Samuel Jr., Florida State - The Falcons pick up the son of a legend, and a quality player himself who can work into their CB room in the slot. 44.) Philadelphia Eagles - S Jevon Holland, Oregon - After bolstering their offensive line in round one, the Eagles add a ball-hawking safety to the mix in the second. 45.) Miami Dolphins (via HOU) - EDGE Hamilcar Rashed Jr, Oregon State - A versatile edge defender who can stop the run and rush the QB. 46.) Jacksonville Jaguars (via MIN) - OT Tyler Vrabel, Boston College - One of the more underrated tackles in the 2021 class, Vrabel gives the Jags extra protection. 47.) Los Angeles Chargers - G Alijah Vera-Tucker, USC - An elite pass protector on the inside, Vera-Tucker won't have to move too far to find a useful spot for his talents. 48.) Chicago Bears - OT Daniel Faalele, Minnesota - An absolute mountain at 6'8, 400 lbs, Faalele can upgrade the RT position for Chicago and RB David Montgomery. 49.) Indianapolis Colts - CB Marco Wilson, Florida - Giving Jacob Eason a shot at the QB gig before selecting a QB leads the Colts to picking up an instinctive corner in Wilson 50.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - DT Jay Tufele, USC - A powerful duo on the inside with Vita Vea and Tufele wrecking offensive lines in Tampa. 51.) Dallas Cowboys - TE Pat Freiermuth, Penn State - Jarwin is a solid tight end, but Dallas showed how dangerous a star like Witten could be, and they find that here with Freiermuth. 52.) Las Vegas Raiders - LB Jabrill Cox, LSU - Originally out of NDSU, Cox is an athletic and instinctive linebacker who can give the Raiders a boost on defense. 53.) Arizona Cardinals - TE Brevin Jordan, Miami - The Cardinals add a dynamic receiving threat at the tight end position. 54.) Pittsburgh Steelers - CB Kary Vincent Jr., LSU - An underrated, quick twitch corner in the slot who could seamlessly replace Mike Hilton, who is on an expiring deal. 55.) New England Patriots - DT Tyler Shelvin, LSU - The Patriots add a run-stopper in the middle of the defense, bringing back the days of Vince Wilfork. 56.) San Francisco 49ers - RB Najee Harris, Alabama - A former San Fran native himself, Harris would be an exceptional back to pair with Raheem Mostert. Best player on the board by a wide margin. 57.) Tennessee Titans - WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, USC - Unless Corey Davis can get things squared away over the remainder of this season, the Titans could go in a different direction. 58.) Jacksonville Jaguars - S Paris Ford, Pittsburgh - With only an inconsistent Josh Jones at the strong safety position, the Jaguars take the tone-setting Panther. 59.) Buffalo Bills - CB Israel Mukuamu, South Carolina - Sean McDermott adds a long, lengthy corner with great traits to develop into a partner for Tre White. 60.) New Orleans Saints - QB Brock Purdy, Iowa State - Purdy has slipped from first-round status, but pairing him with Sean Payton should allow him to reach his potential as a franchise QB. 61.) Green Bay Packers - DT/DE Levi Onwuzurike, Washington - Whether as a DT or DE in their front, the Packers could use a run-stopper like Onwuzurike to improve their front. 62.) Seattle Seahawks - EDGE Patrick Johnson, Tulane - A fast defender who deploys all over the formation for Tulane. 63.) Baltimore Ravens - EDGE Chris Rumph II, Duke - A quick edge rusher who can align across from Matt Judon, Rumph would bring some quality pass rush to Baltimore. 64.) Kansas City Chiefs - WR Nico Collins, Michigan - With Sammy Watkins on an expiring contract, the Chiefs grab themselves a different type of big play threat in Collins. THIRD ROUND 65.) New York Jets - OT Alaric Jackson, Iowa - A powerful run blocker, Jackson and 2019 first-round pick Mekhi Becton give the Jets two bookend tackles, though Jackson can kick inside if needed. 66.) Cincinnati Bengals - CB Ambry Thomas, Michigan - A speedy corner who can play man-to-man or drop back, the Bengals add Thomas to the mix. 67.) Carolina Panthers - LB Cameron McGrone, Michigan - Back-to-back Wolverines as the Panthers add a linebacker with sideline-to-sideline range to replace Kuechly 68.) New York Giants - WR Seth Williams, Auburn - Adding to their largely slot receiver room, Williams gives the Giants a physical redzone threat to throw to. 69.) Miami Dolphins - RB Chuba Hubbard, Oklahoma State - The Dolphins add a home run threat back to pair with Myles Gaskin and Jordan Howard. Nice. 70.) Detroit Lions - DT Phidarian Mathis, Alabama - Despite the focus on run-defense from Patricia, the Lions are one of the league worst at stopping it. Mathis should help reverse that. 71.) Jacksonville Jaguars - CB Eric Stokes, Georgia - After taking C.J. Henderson in the first last year, the Jags add Stokes hoping to develop him with Henderson and Herndon. 72.) Washington Football Team - S Richard LeCounte III, Georgia - With Landon Collins at the SS position, Washington adds LeCounte as a deep free safety. 73.) Denver Broncos - LB Dmitri Moore, Vanderbilt - Instinctive linebacker who can give the Broncos an upgrade at the second-level. 74.) Cleveland Browns - EDGE Joshua Kaindoh, Florida State - More traits than production at this point, he did post 6.5 sacks last season and could develop into a starter down the road. 75.) Atlanta Falcons - LB Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah, Notre Dame - Coverage linebacker who can also add a lot of special teams value. 76.) Philadelphia Eagles - EDGE Shaka Toney, Penn State - Adding the explosive edge rusher should help prepare Philly for when Brandon Graham eventually retires. 77.) Houston Texans - CB Keith Taylor, Washington - The Texans don't have a lot of picks, so finding versatile guys like Taylor to assist in multiple roles would be wise. 78.) Minnesota Vikings - G Jack Anderson, Texas Tech - The Vikings dealt their second-rounder for Yannick Ngakoue, meaning they have to wait until the third to find a guard. 79.) Los Angeles Chargers - CB Chase Lucas, Arizona State - With Desmond King's long-term status up in the air, the Chargers add a versatile zone corner to potentially replace him. 80.) Chicago Bears - WR Terrace Marshall Jr., LSU - If Allen Robinson ends up getting dealt, the Bears would be wise to target a replacement like Marshall. 81.) Indianapolis Colts - OT Liam Eichenberg, Notre Dame - Eichenberg lands just down the road, giving the Colts a developmental option behind Anthony Castonzo, who will be 33 next season. 82.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - EDGE Victor Dimukeje, Duke - A quick edge rusher with plenty of power, Dimukeje would fit into the Bucs pass rush quite well with Shaq Barrett. 83.) Dallas Cowboys - S Andre Cisco, Syracuse - Dallas waits until the third round to add their safety, bringing in a high potential player in Andre Cisco. 84.) Las Vegas Raiders - DT Corey Durden, Florida State - Played out of position at FSU, Durden's ability to disrupt the QB on the inside would bolster Jon Gruden's defense. 85.) Arizona Cardinals - EDGE Joe Tryon, Washington - An exceptional athlete on the edge, Tryon can develop into the partner in crime that Chandler Jones needs to disrupt offenses. 86.) Pittsburgh Steelers - QB Jamie Newman, Wake Forest/UGA - The Steelers' backup options failed to impress in 2019, leading Pittsburgh to take a chance on Newman's upside as a long-term successor to Big Ben. 87.) New England Patriots - S Richie Grant, UCF - A rangy deep safety could be a good thing to have for New England, after trading Duron Harmon to the Lions. 88.) Washington Football Team - RB Journey Brown, Penn State - Washington adds a big play back in Brown, adding him to the mix of Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. 89.) Tennessee Titans - CB Jaycee Horn, South Carolina - Even after investing high in Kristian Fulton, the Titans would be well served by the high upside value of Horn, as Butler's eventual replacement. 90.) Los Angeles Rams - G Zion Johnson, Boston College - A transfer from Davidson, Johnson's easy athleticism have translated well into FBS football, and should bolster a Rams rushing attack. 91.) Buffalo Bills - G Deonte Brown, Alabama - Putting Deonte Brown into a downhill rushing attack like the Bills (with former Alabama OC Brian Daboll) would be fun to watch. 92.) Cleveland Browns (via NO) - TE Nick Eubanks, Michigan - Browns coach Kevin Stefanski loves multiple tight end looks, and Eubanks is an effective pass catcher who can offer some insurance in case Njoku departs. 93.) Green Bay Packers - WR Tamorrion Terry, Florida State - The Packers add a big wide receiver who gives great effort run blocking, and can win balls on the outside. 94.) New York Jets (via SEA) - RB Kenneth Gainwell, Memphis - Le'Veon Bell hasn't been the star the Jets hoped he could be. They turn to a versatile back like Gainwell for another weapon. 95.) Baltimore Ravens - WR Chris Olave, Ohio State - A speedy slot receiver heads to the Ravens as they continue to build a lethal and diverse offense. 96.) Kansas City Chiefs - LB Nick Bolton, Missouri - The Chiefs add a physical linebacker to the mix, bringing in a local talent in Bolton. 97.) Los Angeles Chargers - DT Jordan Davis, Georgia - Adding some extra beef on the inside for the Chargers, Davis is a strong, athletic piece up front. 98.) New England Patriots - QB Kyle Trask, Florida - Trask flashed plenty of upside in his first year as a starter, and could give Jarrett Stidham some competition whenever Newton departs. 99.) Dallas Cowboys - DT Tedarrell Slaton, Florida - Another Gator, Slaton will clog holes in the middle of the Cowboys defense, helping DeMarcus Lawrence get into 3rd and long. 100.) New Orleans Saints - LB Jack Sanborn, Wisconsin - A well rounded inside linebacker, Sanborn fills a big need for the Saints, being reunited with fellow Badger Zach Baun. 101.) Tennessee Titans - TE Peyton Hendershot, Indiana - A versatile tight end playing out of multiple alignments, Hendershot and Smith make a quality TE duo. 102.) Los Angeles Rams - EDGE Joseph Ossai, Texas - More raw than refined at this point, Ossai has scary athleticism, making him an intriguing option for the Rams. 103.) Minnesota Vikings - QB Tanner Morgan, Minnesota - With a Cousins extension preventing him from being moved, the Vikings may need a more economic solution to the QB position. Morgan's had success in the state thus far. FOURTH ROUND Not going to do the little piece after each pick, just some of the more interesting ones. 104.) New York Jets - CB Thomas Graham Jr., Oregon 105.) Cincinnati Bengals - WR Tylan Wallace, Oklahoma State 106.) Carolina Panthers - CB Deommodore Lenoir, Oregon 107.) New York Giants - EDGE Charles Snowden, Virginia 108.) Las Vegas Raiders (via MIA) - CB Josh Jobe, Alabama 109.) Detroit Lions - QB Desmond Ridder, Cincinnati - While a new regime could look for a new QB right away, Ridder could be a long-term upside play while Detroit rides out Stafford's contract. 110.) Jacksonville Jaguars - G Cade Mays, Tennessee 111.) Washington Football Team - OT Thayer Munford, Ohio State 112.) Denver Broncos - CB Robert Rochell, Central Arkansas - An FCS corner with an elite blend of size and speed would be an interesting addition for Fangio and co. 113.) Cleveland Browns - DT Osa Odighizuwa, UCLA 114.) Atlanta Falcons - S Aashari Crosswell, Arizona State 115.) Cleveland Browns (via PHI) - S JaCoby Stevens, LSU 116.) Houston Texans - G Myron Cunningham, Arkansas 117.) Minnesota Vikings - WR Damon Hazelton, Missouri 118.) Los Angeles Chargers - WR Anthony Schwartz, Auburn - Able to align inside or outside, Schwartz would fit well with Keenan Allen and Mike Williams. 119.) Minnesota Vikings - S Quentin Lake, UCLA 120.) Indianapolis Colts - DT Marlon Tuipulotu, USC 121.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - G Luke Wattenberg, Washington 122.) Dallas Cowboys - RB Zamir White, Georgia 123.) Miami Dolphins (via LAV) - G Ben Cleveland, Georgia 124.) Houston Texans (via ARI) - RB Kylin Hill, Mississippi State 125.) Pittsburgh Steelers - DT LaBryan Ray, Alabama - After seeing Javon Hargrave head across state to Philly, the Steelers land an interior lineman to fill the hole. 126.) New England Patriots - OT Cordell Volson, NDSU 127.) San Francisco 49ers - C Tyler Linderbaum, Iowa - Richburg's had some more injuries recently, and Garland will be 33 next fall. Grooming a talented replacement seems prudent. 128.) Tennessee Titans - DT Lorenzo Neal, Purdue 129.) Jacksonville Jaguars (via LAR) - RB Jarrett Patterson, Buffalo 130.) Minnesota Vikings (via BUF) - OT Landon Dickerson, Alabama 131.) New Orleans Saints - EDGE Ronnie Perkins, Oklahoma 132.) Green Bay Packers - LB K.J. Britt, Auburn 133.) Seattle Seahawks - G Alec Lindstrom, Boston College 134.) Baltimore Ravens - DT Robert Cooper, Florida State - A fearsome run defender, Cooper swallows up blocks at the point of attack, and should work well with Brandon Williams. 135.) Kansas City Chiefs - CB Elijah Molden, Washington 136.) New England Patriots - EDGE Malcolm Koonce, Buffalo 137.) Dallas Cowboys - QB J.T. Daniels, Georgia - The Cowboys will almost assuredly end up extending Dak Prescott, but improving the backup spot with Daniels' upside could be wise regardless. 138.) Los Angeles Rams - LB Kuony Deng, California 139.) Pittsburgh Steelers - WR Justyn Ross, Clemson 140.) Green Bay Packers - CB Camryn Bynum, California 141.) Kansas City Chiefs - EDGE Xavier Thomas, Clemson 142.) New England Patriots - LB Baron Browning, Ohio State
143.) New York Jets - C/G Drake Jackson, Kentucky 144.) Cincinnati Bengals - TE Charlie Kolar, Iowa State 145.) Carolina Panthers - TE Tre McKitty, Georgia - McKitty is a quality move tight end for the Bulldogs, and could fit well developing behind Ian Thomas. 146.) New York Jets - EDGE Jeremiah Moon, Florida 147.) Las Vegas Raiders - EDGE Tyreke Smith, Ohio State 148.) Detroit Lions - S Reed Blankenship, Middle Tennessee St. 149.) Jacksonville Jaguars - WR Chatarius Atwell, Louisville - After making 8 picks already, the Jaguars simply take the best player on the board in Atwell, a shifty playmaker. 150.) Washington Football Team - LB Paddy Fisher, Northwestern 151.) Denver Broncos - EDGE Jordan Smith, UAB 152.) Jacksonville Jaguars - CB T.J. Carter, Memphis 153.) Atlanta Falcons - RB Master Teague, Ohio State - If Gurley's knees hold up, the Falcons will have a high caliber back, but adding a talented piece like Teague to the rotation would still be warranted. 154.) Philadelphia Eagles - LB Palaie Gaoteote IV, USC 155.) Houston Texans - S Ar'Darius Washington, TCU 156.) Minnesota Vikings - S Kolbey Harvell-Peel, Oklahoma State 157.) Los Angeles Chargers - RB Michael Carter, North Carolina 158.) Chicago Bears - S Tariq Thompson, SDSU - A run on safeties in the fifth concludes with the Bears snagging Thompson, who can play as a box or slot safety. 159.) Indianapolis Colts - WR Ihmir Smith-Marsette, Iowa 160.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas 161.) Philadelphia Eagles - WR Dazz Newsome, North Carolina 162.) Buffalo Bills - LB Amari Gainer, Florida State 163.) Arizona Cardinals - CB Olaijah Griffin, USC 164.) Baltimore Ravens - TE Tony Poljan, Virginia - A former quarterback at Central Michigan, Poljan has made the transition to TE well and has picked up the position quickly. 165.) New England Patriots - RB C.J. Verdell, Oregon 166.) San Francisco 49ers - S Xavier Henderson, Michigan State 167.) Tennessee Titans - DL/EDGE Tarron Jackson, Coastal Carolina 168.) Cleveland Browns - QB Kenny Pickett, Pittsburgh - The Browns take a swing on the nearby Pickett, looking to find some competition at the QB2 spot. 169.) Buffalo Bills - TE Jake Ferguson, Wisconsin 170.) New Orleans Saints - TE Matt Bushman, BYU 171.) Green Bay Packers - RB Pooka Williams, Kansas - A trio of Aaron Jones, A.J. Dillon, and Pooka sure sounds like a fun-time with a versatile set of skills all-around. 172.) Seattle Seahawks - DT Bobby Brown III, Texas A&M 173.) Minnesota Vikings (via BAL) - RB Elijah Mitchell, Louisiana 174.) Kansas City Chiefs - DT Darius Stills, West Virginia 175.) Green Bay Packers - EDGE Jamar Watson, Kentucky 176.) Atlanta Falcons - G Jack Wohlabaugh, Duke 177.) Dallas Cowboys - Micheal Clemons, Texas A&M - With just about all their pass-rushers other than Lawrence on expiring deals, Clemons represents both upside and insurance. 178.) Baltimore Ravens - LB Monty Rice, Georgia 179.) San Francisco 49ers - CB Jack Jones, Arizona State 180.) Kansas City Chiefs - OT Ben Petrula, Boston College
181.) New England Patriots (via NYJ) - CB Mike Hampton, USF 182.) Cincinnati Bengals - S Brandon McKinney, Washington 183.) Carolina Panthers - LB Ventrell Miller, Florida 184.) New York Giants - QB Kellen Mond, Texas A&M - The A&M veteran lands in the Big Apple with a chance to compete with Colt McCoy for a backup role. 185.) Houston Texans (via MIA) -EDGE Deangelo Malone, Western Kentucky 186.) Detroit Lions - WR Charleston Rambo, Oklahoma 187.) Jacksonville Jaguars - DT Carlo Kemp, Michigan 188.) Washington Football Team - TE Cade Otton, Washington 189.) Denver Broncos - QB Anthony Russo, Temple - Jeff Driskel will get a chance to convince Denver he can be a long-term QB2. If not, Russo has a big arm and would fit well behind Lock. 190.) Cleveland Browns - CB DiCaprio Bootle, Nebraska 191.) Atlanta Falcons - WR Ronnie Bell, Michigan 192.) Philadelphia Eagles - RB Rakeem Boyd, Arkansas 193.) Houston Texans - DT Naquan Jones, Michigan State 194.) Minnesota Vikings - OT Abraham Lucas, Washington State 195.) Los Angeles Chargers - EDGE Tyree Johnson, Texas A&M 196.) Chicago Bears - G Robert Hainsey, Notre Dame 197.) Indianapolis Colts - QB Zac Thomas, Appalachian State 198.) Pittsburgh Steelers (via TB) - OT Alex Palczewski, Illinois 199.) Dallas Cowboys - T/G Dylan Wonnum, South Carolina 200.) Las Vegas Raiders - QB Jarrett Guarantano, Tennessee 201.) Arizona Cardinals - DT Alim McNeill, NC State - An explosive lineman, McNeill is able to penetrate gaps quickly, and would fit inside as a 3-4 DE or pass-rushing nose tackle. 202.) Miami Dolphins (via PIT) - TE Jeremy Ruckert, Ohio State 203.) New York Jets (via NE) - S Greg Eisworth II, Iowa State 204.) San Francisco 49ers - QB K.J. Costello, Mississippi State 205.) Tennessee Titans - C/G Michael Menet, Penn State 206.) Los Angeles Rams - WR Austin Watkins, UAB 207.) Buffalo Bills - WR Marquez Stevenson, Houston 208.) Houston Texans (via NO) - OT Brendan Jaimes, Nebraska 209.) Green Bay Packers - WR Damonte Coxie, Memphis 210.) Miami Dolphins - OT Adrian Ealy, Oklahoma 211.) Baltimore Ravens - S Damar Hamlin, Pittsburgh 212.) Tennessee Titans (via KC) - LB Josh Ross, Michigan 213.) Atlanta Falcons - DT Mustafa Johnson, Colorado 214.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - CB Coby Bryant, Cincinnati 215.) Atlanta Falcons - QB Brandon Peters, Illinois 216.) Philadelphia Eagles - TE Cary Angeline, NC State 217.) Chicago Bears - CB Tariq Castro-Fields, Penn State 218.) Green Bay Packers - CB Tre Norwood, Oklahoma
219.) New York Jets - DT Dante Stills, West Virginia 220.) Cincinnati Bengals - RB Javian Hawkins, Louisville 221.) Buffalo Bills (via CAR) - S Leon O'Neal Jr., Texas A&M 222.) Denver Broncos (via NYG) - S Talanoa Hufanga, USC 223.) Pittsburgh Steelers (via MIA) - LB Merlin Robertson, Arizona State - A versatile player, Robertson can play on the EDGE or off-ball with relative ease. 224.) Seattle Seahawks (via DET) - OT Spencer Brown, Northern Iowa 225.) Jacksonville Jaguars - OT/G Cole Van Lanen, Wisconsin 226.) Washington Football Team - LB Pete Werner, Ohio State 227.) Denver Broncos - RB Elijah Collins, Michigan State 228.) Cleveland Browns - WR Reggie Roberson Jr., SMU 229.) Chicago Bears (via MIA via ATL?) - EDGE Big Kat Bryant, Auburn 230.) Philadelphia Eagles - CB Rodarius Williams, Oklahoma State 231.) Houston Texans - EDGE Daelin Hayes, Notre Dame 232.) Kansas City Chiefs (via MIN) - G Liam Fornadel, James Madison 233.) Los Angeles Chargers - G Paul Grattan, UCLA 234.) Las Vegas Raiders (via CHI) - WR Josh Imatorbhebhe, Illinois 235.) Indianapolis Colts - EDGE Elerson Smith, Northern Iowa - Two Northern Iowa players make it into the seventh-round, as the Colts take a flier on the potential of Smith and his 6'7 frame. 236.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - S Ifeatu Melifonwu, Syracuse 237.) New England Patriots (via DAL) - WR Dyami Brown, North Carolina 238.) Washington Football Team (via LV) - QB Shane Buechele, SMU 239.) Arizona Cardinals - WR Cade Johnson, South Dakota State 240.) Tampa Bay Buccaneers - EDGE LaRon Stokes, Oklahoma 241.) New England Patriots - CB Trey Dean III, Florida 242.) San Francisco 49ers - WR Dez Fitzpatrick, Louisville 243.) Tennessee Titans - K Grayson Atkins, North Carolina - After a disastrous first outing from Parkey, the Titans may be looking for a new kicker soon, and Atkins figures to be one of the first off the board. 244.) Los Angeles Rams - QB Peyton Ramsey, Northwestern 245.) Cleveland Browns (via BUF) - WR Elijah Moore, Ole Miss 246.) New Orleans Saints - P Drue Chrisman, Ohio State 247.) Green Bay Packers - DT Ifeanyi Maijeh, Temple 248.) New York Jets (via SEA) - DT Tuli Letuligasenoa, Washington 249.) Baltimore Ravens - QB D'Eriq King, Miami - Admit it, this would be fun to watch. Whether as a backup QB to compete with RG3 and McSorley, or as an offensive weapon, Ravens getting even more dangerous. 250.) Kansas City Chiefs - EDGE Chauncey Golston, Iowa 251.) Dallas Cowboys - G Aaron Banks, Notre Dame
2020.09.23 17:52 jacetheOD[Sealed][Draft] The Zendikar Rising Forcing Spike Limited Primer
Hello again! Forcing Spike is back for another limited set review and this time we’re talking Zendikar Rising! Sorry for being a little late on this one. My brother got married a week ago and I have been horribly sick since (not with COVID-19), but I want to make sure all of the reddit spikes got their limited primer to take a look over and talk about, even if it’s a little late for your first sealed and draft events! I’m JaceTheOD! Nadahipster and I cohost the Magic the Gathering podcast, Forcing Spike. We’re two professionals (not at magic) trying to play better magic and help people like us play better magic! This time around, as requested by many of the members of the Forcing Spike discord, I’ll be reviewing EVERY card from Zendikar Rising. I still stand by my tenants that understanding what commons and uncommons are going to make up most of your limited games, but I also respect that there’s often a sweet rare that pulls you into a color or a rare you just might not be sure is better than that good uncommon and those are the decisions that get us into our colors, so we’re hitting EVERY SINGLE CARD. Be sure to have your card image gallery open so you can follow along: https://magic.wizards.com/en/articles/archive/card-image-gallery/zendikar-rising Let’s get to it! -----WHITE----- Allied Assault – This is a great place to start. I think most of the time your party is going to have 1 or 2 creatures in it (in the average deck). Of course, there will be decks with very few party creatures and decks where every creature can contribute to your party, and these cards need to be evaluated in that context. Remember, we’re looking for cleric, rogue, warrior, and wizard in the type line. If your deck is mostly 1 of these creature types, you’re probably going to have a party of 1. If you have 14 possible party members with a bunch of 2 creature types and 1 or 2 of the other 2 creature types, your average party may be 2 or even 3. This card is really good at X=2 and horrible at X=1. I think this is playable-to-good in aggressive decks, but I don’t feel like there’s a strongly supported “go wide” theme in this set. Angel of Destiny – This looks strange at first, but I feel this card is a bomb. You’re going to want this in your control decks (WU and WB) more than your aggro decks (RW and GW), and it takes a little to make it work. There will be situations where you’re so behind on board that this card won’t prevent you from losing, but if you have another 2 or 3 power flyer and you’re gaining 7 life every turn, it’s going to be hard for your opponent to win. There’s some tension here with not wanting to play this when you’re winning, because it changes your game plan completely, but it will break grindy matchups for sure. I think as long as you’re playing the game with this card in mind (speaking to my “have a plan” philosophy) this card is an amazing windmill slam. Angelheart Protector – I always say I dislike 3 mana 3/2s unless something makes them relevant, and this card is a great example. It’s got a relevant creature type and will allow you to make an attack that maybe you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise. I think this will rarely get cut. Archon of Emeria – This is really a constructed plant. Limiting spells cast to 1 per turn and making nonbasics enter tapped doesn’t really change limited much. That being said, a 3 mana 2/3 flyer is fine and the ability with sometimes be relevant. I think this is C+ish. Archpriest of Iona – This card REALLY wants you to have a full party. If you can get there, it’s great. If not, just playing this into another party member and swinging for 2 the next turn and maybe more the following turns just makes this card good. I think it’s a great 1 drop. Attended Healer – I think this is a B-. It’s going to be better than most playables, and in a deck with a lot of clerics or lifegain, it becomes quite good. Canyon Jerboa – This is going to be a key uncommon for a lot of the aggressive decks. Great card. Cliffhaven Sell-Sword – The 2 mana 3/1 we see often in white nowadays, but with a relevant creature type. It’s a C. Dauntless Unity – I think this is a reasonable combat trick, but you only want combat tricks when you want combat tricks (i.e. in your aggressive decks). Disenchant – Good sideboard card. Always has been Emeria Captain – I think this is going to be a 4 mana 2/2 vigilance, flying most of the time and often-enough a 3/3 or 4/4 flyer. I think this is a premium creature. Emeria’s Call – This is our first modal double face card and I want to take a second to talk about how intrinsically powerful these cards are. The ability to be a spell or land basically makes these better than just about any other playable. The worse of these should be taken as a C+. Emeria’s Call is EXCELLENT. If you draw this early, you play it as a land and it works. Later, you can likely bounce it if you’re playing GW and cast it. Otherwise, you draw it late and it’s a bomb. This card is nuts. Expedition Healer – The 2 mana 2/2 vigilance we often seen in white. This one gets vigilance, which doesn’t do much for a 2/2, but if you control another cleric it also has lifelink. This is a C+. Farsight Adept – White doesn’t usually get 3 mana 3/3s and it’s a common wizard in white for party purposes, but your opponent gets to use their card first. I think this balances to a C+. I like this card quite a bit, and the type line goes a long way. Fearless Fledgling – This card is nuts and is going to win a LOT of games it goes unanswered on turn 2. Felidar Retreat – This card is VERY powerful. It allows you to leverage the double face cards in the set helping you hit land drops, and it works very well with the green and white cards that return lands to your hand. It’s a bomb. Journey to Oblivion – This is very close to oblivion ring, which is always very good. I’d give this a B. Kabira Outrider – It’s nice if you have flyers or lifelinkers to pair this with, but it’s just OK. There are lots of warriors in white, so the type line doesn’t add much here. Kabira Takedown – This is going to be most functional in aggressive white decks, but these cards can always wiff if one of your creatures is killed in response to you playing this. That being said, it’s always a land at it’s worst and that’s a pretty high floor. It’s a C+. Kitesail Cleric – This card is my kind of Suntail Hawk. The problem with 1 mana 1/1s, even flyers, is that they’re usually so bad when you draw them late. This taps down two blockers and maybe allows you to alpha strike, while still being able to get in for a fair bit of damage if played on turn 1. Kor Blademaster – If you have some warriros and some equipment, this card can go NUTS. It’s probably a build-around B or so. Kor Belebrant – This is the kind of lifegain source I want for my decks that are looking for lifegain, and just OK outside of it. It’s a combo with Attended Healer, too. Legion Angel – If you manage to pick up 2 of these, just put them both in your deck. You really want to draw your 4 mana 4/3 flyer, and the odds of that double when you double the number of these in your deck. Luminarch Aspirant – This is a bomb. It makes any other creature in your deck a potential threat. If works well with lifelink, first strike, double strike, and flying. If your opponent doesn’t kill this immediately, it has the potential to run away with the game. Makindi Ox – A playable 5 drop for the decks that want them. Makindi Stampede – This is another one of the better modal spells. It’s a land when you need it and it’s an anthem late. I think I’ve already said go-wide strategies aren’t well supported, but this is probably a B-. Maul of the Skyclaves – I like that some of the equipment is coming in attached and I hope we see more of it in the future. Equipment being colored also makes it so that they can print more powerful equipment. 3 mana for +2/+2, flying, and first strike is a bargain, even with the equip cost of 2WW. This card is a powerhouse. Mesa Lynx – The disappointing cousin of Steppe Lynx. This will get cut all the time. It’s a junker. Nahiri’s Binding – Premium white removal. You need a lot of plains in your deck to reliable cast this, but it’s worth it. Ondu Inversion – Another A. It’s a powerful board wipe or a land. Control decks LOVE cards like this. Paired Tactician – Another 3 mana 3/2 with a good ability. You need warriors, but warrior tribal seems well supported. Practiced Tactics – I think this just deals 2 to an attacking or blocking creature more of the time, and sometimes deals 4. This is going to be the card I get blown out by the most and just never works out for me, I’m sure. Pressure Point – If you need a C level noncreature spell, here it is. Prowling Felidar – This card is going to play quite well I think. You’re not going to want a ton of 4 drops in your aggressive decks, but you could do worse than this. Resolute Strike – This will think in aggressive/warrioequipment decks. I think there’s only every going to be one player at the table that wants these and they’ll be able to get them. Sea Gate Banneret – This is another example of a playable 1 drop. OK early and OK late. Flexibility means a lot. Sejiri Shelter – This is a B+. Instant speed protection if already pretty good, and being a land when you need it makes it that much better. Shepherd of Heroes – This is going to be a 5 mana 3/4 flyer that gains 4 life quite often, which is very good. This is a 5 drop I’d always be looking to play if I’m not EXTREMELY aggressive. Skyclave Apparition – This is an interesting oblivion ring variant, where your opponent gets an X/X token back. It can’t hit cards that cost 5 or more, but will still be good at keeping 4 drops with good abilities or powerful equipment off the battlefield. I think this is a B. Skyclave Cleric – This is a durdly cleric or a tapped land which adds up to C+ or so. Squad Commander – This wants a full party, but at its worst is 4 mana for a 3/3 and a 1/1, which is above rate for white. You’ll often get 2 tokens or more and if you fill your party, you can start relentlessly attacking. This card will range from a B- to an A+ depending on your deck. Smite the Monsterous – This hits ONE white common, and I think the rest of this set is going to follow that trend. This isn’t a “battlecruiser magic” set, and I think this card should stay in your sideboard the VAST majority of the time. Tazeem Raptor – This card is better than it looks. It will get back your spell lands and trigger landfall late in the game. Tazri, Beacon of Unity – This card will probably be very good. It will be a 3 or 4 mana 4/6, which is a great deal, and it will allow you to pay 6 or 7 (if you’re playing 2 colors and a splash) mana to put 2 spells into your hand if the game goes long. The activated ability won’t come up often, but the rate on this creature is excellent. -----BLUE----- Anticognition – This is a bad quench early, dead for a bit, then an essence scatter late. I think this card is a D, but I could be wrong. Beyeen Veil – This can allow you to win some pretty complicated combat steps. I do usually loathe cards like this, because they’re so situational, but I would absolutely play this in my blue decks because it’s also a land. It’s a C. Bubble Snare – This card is excellent and I think anyone playing blue is going to snatch these up and play as many as they can get. Cascade Seer – I think a 4 mana 3/3 that scries for 2 most of the time is perfectly fine. Charix, the Raging Isle – This thing has a BIG BUTT. I’ve already lost to this a couple times. You’re basically never attacking through this and it makes removal more expensive. In stalled board states, if even attacks well, because your opponent can’t not block it, since they might take 10 points of damage, but it’s very unlikely they’ll have enough creatures to trade with it in a way where you don’t come out ahead. I think this is an A. Chilling Trap – There’s a spells/wizards deck in this format and I think it happily plays this card. No one else really wants it. Cleric of Chill Depths – This is a very respectable 1/3 for 2 with a good ability. Concerted Defense – This card just looks bad to me, but I could be wrong. It’s kind of like a spell pierce, but that’s not something I want in my limited deck. Confounding Conundrum – This is interesting. In limited, I’m pretty sure this is unplayable. I think this has some applications in commander. Coralhelm Chronicler – This is a build-around that asks you to play a lot of kicker cards. If you get to loot a couple times and it draws you a card, this is very good. I think you’ll need 7 or 8 spells with kicker for that to happen reliably. Otherwise, Grey Ogres are pretty bad. Cunning Gysermage – Man-O’-War this is not, but it’s fine. Deliberate – The spells/wizards deck may want some number of these. I think most decks won’t, but it is a filler-quality 2 drop. Expedition Diviner – A 4 mana 3/2 flyer that dies into a card is very good. Sign me up! (And don’t forget to play7+ wizards to reliably get your card) Field Research – Strictly better divinations are usually still just C’s. Glacial Grasp – These super-tappers that draw cards have turned out to be great ways to buy time in the early turns for decks that are looking to go long OR great ways to apply pressure for decks looking to attack early. This is C to C+ territory, I think. Glasspool Mimic – This isn’t as good as a normal clone, because you can’t copy your opponent’s best creatures with it. However, it has the land mode, and that makes up for a lot. I feel like this is a B. Inscription of Insight – I think this is a B-/C+ish quality card. It allows you to bounce two of your opponent’s creatures early, which might be their whole board on turn 4, and if you cast it kicked late, it allows you to make a 3/3 or a 4/4, draw some gas, and still gets 2 creatures off the board temporarily. It looks clunky, but I think the bounce mode hitting 2 creatures really makes this ok. You don’t want to bounce your opponent’s 1 and 2 drops with this, but bouncing a 3 drop and a 4 drop will buy you a LOT of time. I’m definitely going to try it. Into the Roil – This is a B. Draft ‘em. Play ‘em. Kick ‘em if you can! Jace, Mirror Mage – This is a B. 3 mana for 5 loyalty (after the first activation) and a scry 2 every turn is very good. Being able to kick and scry 4 is quiet powerful. Living Tempest – I thought this card was better, but it turns out that a 3/3 isn’t a great body to ambush with and this trades a lot. I think you want more of these in your control decks, but most decks don’t have too much room for 5 drops. It’s not bad, I just thought it was great and it turned out to only be OK. Lullmage’s Domination – Stealing stuff is super powerful. You can steal tokens for X=0. The creatures you steal also keep their equipment until your opponent moves it. This card will be very good. Jwari Disruption – A force spike that can also be a land is actually pretty good. I’d give it a B. Maddening Cacophony – Milling 8 cards vs half their library rounded up (maybe 12 or 13 cards by the time you have 6 mana) is only good if you’re turning on a LOT of cards that care about those first 8 cards in the graveyard. I don’t think this is a very good limited card at all, but this is going to be a GREAT commander card. Master of Winds – In the spells deck I think this is an A, and in any other blue deck this is probably a B or so. Either way, this is a good card. Merfolk Falconer – 5 mana 4/4 flyer that adds scry 2 to all of your kicked spells is pretty good. I’d play this with no kicker spells in my deck, because a 5 mana 4/4 flyer is going to beat just about anything in the sky that isn’t enchanted or equipped. Merfolk Windrobber – This is a nice Suntail Hawk you can cash in for a card later after the game has gone on and perhaps your 1/1 flyer isn’t doing much anymore. I’m in! Negate – Better in sealed and in your draft sideboard. Nimble Trapfinder – This is essentially an unblockable 2/1 in the right deck, and turns all of your creatures into saboteurs when your party is full. Good for equipment and auras, but you really want that full party for it to get some serious work done. I think this is a B, but might be worse. Risen Riptide – This card wants you to kick spells, but only really needs to be turned on once or twice to be good. I think if you have 5-ish kicker cards, this is very good. Roos of Drakes – I lost BADLY to this card already. Being able to be kicked for a drake immediately is powerful, and every kicked spell after it making a drake is insane. You really want to get 2 or more drakes from this, so you’ll need 5-6 kicker spells at minimum for this to happen reliably, but this card is excellent. Ruin Crab – This card cast on turn 1 has the ability to mill someone out. Don’t sleep on it. In a control deck, or in the UB mill/rogues deck it is a legitimate way to win. Sea Gate Restoration – When you cast this, you’re probably only going to be getting a few cards off of it, but because we have the land mode, this is another pretty good card. It would be an F without the land mode, but it’s a C with it. It’s just never dead. Sea Gate Stormcaller – Only copying spells that cost 2 or less is a little unappealing. I think this is just going to be a 2 mana 2/1 a lot of the time. Disappointing. Seafloor Stalker – A 3 mana 2/3 that can be unblockable in the late game is not bad. The ability will often cost 3, and it’s better if you have an equipment or aura to attach to it. Shell Shield – Instant speed hexproof is quite good. This card will just act like a counterspell sometimes. I’m a fan of these cards. Silundi Vision – This is a powerful card for the wizards/spells deck or any deck with 10+ noncreature spells. This is a B+. Skyclave Plunder – The non-creature spells that care about your party are a bit worse than the creatures, because they can’t count themselves in the party. This will often be 5 mana to look at the top 4 cards of your library and put 3 in your hand. I do like that the fail case is just a 5 mana draw 3. If you have 1 party member this is OK, and with 2 or more this gets to be pretty good. I think this card will be very good in he control decks that want a powerful way to refill their hand after trading resources. Skyclave Squid – This is just going to be a 2 mana 3/2 early in the game. I think it will often get cut for not having a relevant creature type though. Sure-Footed Infiltrator – This is the type of card I want in my rogue tribal deck! Tazeem Roilmage – I like this a lot. It reminds me of a similar card from Dominaria and I imagine it will play just as well! Thieving Skydiver – A 2 mana 2/1 flyer is ok, and being able to steal an artifact, especially an artifact creature or equipment in the late game is super powerful. This card is great. Umara Wizard – Another great card. It’s a 5 mana 4/3 that’s going to fly most of the time in the right deck, and it’s a land otherwise. Another easy B. Windrider Wizard – I love Wind Drakes with upside, and this one does not disappoint. Excellent card chase uncommon for the wizards/spells deck. Zulaport Duelist – This annoying little guy is going to mess up combat for people ALL THE TIME. Your opponent kind of broadcasts this if they’re making a strange attack, but be careful when attacking with your X/1’s. I think this is just a C though. -----BLACK----- Acquisition Expert – I think a good portion of the time, this won’t be played on turn 2, but your opponent is going to be revealing all or most of their hand (2-3 cards) and discarding something meaningful. I like this card quite a bit. Agadeem’s Awakening – This is just a stone-cold A. It’s a land when you can’t cast it, or it’s a HUGE board presence if you can spend 8+ mana on it. The flexibility of these cards is so valuable it’s hard to describe. Blackbloom Rogue – This is just a great card. The creature side of this is just good and being able to play it as a land in a pinch makes it a B+ easy. Blood Beckoning – These cards really require you to have bombs to get back, or creatures with excellent ETB effects to get back. What’s interesting here is that you can pay B to get 1 or 3B to get 2 creatures and that flexibility will make this more playable, but you still need good targets for it. Blood Price – This is a little more powerful than Read the Bones, but it costs a mana more, which may just make it a bit worse than RtB. That being said, RtB was very good and this card is probably perfectly-fine-to-good. Bloodchief’s Thirst – This is a B+. 1 mana to kill a small something or 4 mana to kill anything is quite good. I expect this will see a lot of constructed play as well. Coveted Prize – You really want a full party, or almost full party for this to work. Diabolic Tutor is just too expensive for limited. If you can make this cost 1B or B, then it’s probably good enough. If you can’t, this is probably a dud. Deadly Alliance – This is going to cost 4 mana often and 3 mana often enough to just be very good removal at common. Great card. You’ll probably play a few of these. Demon’s Disciple – This type of effect is usually underwhelming in limited, and clerics are everywhere in black. I’m disinterested. Drana, the Last Bloodchief – This is a stone-cold bomb. Drana’s Silencer – This reminds me of Blight-Breath Catoblepas and will probably play similarly. Dreadwurm – A 5 drop for the decks that need them. Expedition Skulker – Excellent for rogue tribal decks! Feed the Swarm – This is efficient and versatile enough you’ll often run it, but killing a 6 drop is going to be a tough pill to swallow. Ghastly Gloomhunter – The flexibility here makes it better, but it suffers from a lack of meaningful creature types. I’m dubious, but this is probably ok. Guul Draz Mucklord – Again, a 3 mana 2/3 that dies into a counter is alright, but this card is missing the meaningful creature type I want and that will probably mean it gets cut sometimes because of it. Hagra Constrictor – The +1/+1 counter theme is apparent, but awkward. Hagra Mauling – This is an A-. It’s always going to cost 4 in limited, but it’s also a land when you need one. This would be a B on the front and the land side just adds to that. Highborn Vampire – If you need a 4 drop warrior in black, it’s right here Inscription of Ruin – I think this is ok. On turn 3 it’s removal if you need it, or you can bring back a blocker if you’re under pressure in that way. It’s also a mind rot. Late in the game you can kick it for all 3 modes. I think this is a B-/C+ card Lithoform Blight – In limited, this is probably just unplayable. Malakir Blood-Priest – An acceptable 2 drop that fills your party and hits lifegain themes. Malakir Rebirth – This is another situational card I normally wouldn’t run, but it becomes VERY interesting with the land side attached. If you have any creatures worth getting back, this is quite good. I think this is a C+. Marauding Blight-Priest – Probably a centerpiece of the lifegain deck. Mind Carver – This seems like a powerful equipment for the UB mill/rogues deck. Mind Drain – This card is a strictly better mind rot, getting a mill and a drain for 1 in on top of the discard effect. The UB deck may want some number of these, and it will trigger all of your incidental lifegain matters cards. Nighthawk Scavenger – This is just a powerful card that gets better as the game goes on. It will be an A+ in the UB deck, and excellent in any BX deck. Nimana Skillter-Sneak – Another card for the UB mill/rogue deck. If this is reliably a 4 mana 4/4 with menace, it’s excellent! Nimana Skydancer – This is probably bread and butter for the UB deck. Nullpriest of Oblivion – This card is excellent. Early it’s an aggressive attacker in any deck, really pulls its weight for the lifegain deck, and later in the game it has a zombify stapled to it. This card is very good. Oblivion’s Hunger – This plays into our +1/+1 counter theme we’ve been seeing in black. You want to get the card if you can, but instant speed indestructible is ok. This is an acceptable trick if you can get the card some amount of the time. Pelakka Predation – This is a card that I would leave in the sideboard normally, but being a land on the back definitely makes this worth a main deck slot. Most of the time this will be a land, but not eating up a slot when you need to use the discard effect is super powerful. Scion of the Swarm – A good payoff for the lifegain we’ve seen in white and black. Scourge of the Skyclaves – The only time this isn’t amazing is when you’re the lifegain deck or your opponent is the lifegain deck. Otherwise, this card is probably just a 2 mana 5/5 or larger most of the time. I have a feeling this is going to be a new kind of Tarmogoyf and is going to affect virtually all constructed formats to some degree. Shadow Stinger – Another good card for the UB mill/rogue deck. That deck seems to have so much support, it may just end up coming together for someone every draft. Shadows’ Verdict – This is more of a constructed card. I can see a lot of disaster scenarios where you play this on 5 and your opponent just beats you down with their 4 or 5 drop, but I can also see this wrecking an aggro deck like nothing else. I guess that makes its best home the sideboard, but I’m not sure. The effect is powerful enough that it’s worth starting in the main deck. I’ll have to play with it to know for sure. Skyclave Shade – This card is great for aggressive decks, and I mean GREAT. Skyclave Shadowcat – A counter lord for our counter theme. Even with no other support, being able to cash in creatures for counters in response to your opponent’s removal is pretty nice. Soul Shatter – This is different from a traditional edict in that your opponent has to sacrifice their most expensive (in limited, this is also their most powerful) creature or planeswalker. I like this card quite a bit. Subtle Strike – A good combat trick for the aggressive black decks. Taborax, Hope’s Demise – This is a bomb. You don’t need clerics for it to be good, but it’s best if you can draw some cards on top of your creature getting huge. Thwart the Grave – This is going to realistically be 4 or 5 mana to get 2 creatures from the graveyard to the battlefield. At that rate, it almost doesn’t matter what they are as long as they aren’t junk. I think this card will be quite good so long as you have creatures to get back. Vanquish the Weak – Everybody plays 2, 3, and 4 drops and this will kill a LOT of them. I’m in. Zof Consumption – This will be most at home in the lifegain deck, but there are so many limited games I had a ton of mana and my opponent wont because I couldn’t deal the last 3 or 4 points of damage through their creature defense. I think this card is a C+. -----RED----- Akoum Hellhound – We’ve seen 1 drops that get +2/+2 from landfall and they haven’t disappointed. Having spell lands will only make cards like this better. I expect this common to be a high pick. Akoum Warrior – This is another rendition of double-face that I like a lot. We have a big creature on one side and a land on the other. Good at opposite times. No need to make hard decisions. Easy B-. Ardent Electromancer – I can see this allowing you to cast a 2 drop in addition to itself on turn 3, which can put you ahead on board VERY fast. I like this card a lot. Cinderclasm – This is a powerful effect and being able to control if it deals 1 or 2 damage makes it that much better. Excellent card. Cleansing Wildfire – Pretty sure this is unplayable. Expedition Champion – Warrior tribal has its support here. If this is reliably a 3 mana 4/3, it’s very good. Fireblade Charger – Great card. The haste bit doesn’t matter a ton, but dying and shooting something, even an X/1, on the way out is pretty nice. Fissure Wizard – 2 mana 2/1 that allows you to rummage. Playable. Goma Fada Vanguard – Keeps 1/1s from blocking and even larger creatures if you have more warriors. A good 2 drop. Grotag Bug-Catcher – This will be a 2 mana 3/2 trample often. I’ll sign up for that any day! Grotag Night-Runner – This is how red “draws” cards nowadays, and I like it. This card will be great if you get even 1 card off it. Inordinate Rage – A good 2 mana combat trick if you want one. Kargan Intimidator – This is great, even without other warriors. A 2 mana 3/1 that attacks as a 4/2 and is hard to block. The efficiency is there for sure, but not much else. Probably a B+. Kazuul’s Fury – This is the type of card that can win a game or do nothing, except nothing mode is a land drop on this card. I’m quite happy with it and would have a difficult time cutting them. Leyline Tyrant – A+ game winning sledgehammer. Magmatic Channeler – I like this card a lot, and the spells deck really gets to make the best use of it. It will draw cards and eventually become a 4/4. This is A-/B+ territory. Molten Plast – Boy are we paying our taxes for flexibility here. That being said, we’re going to pay our taxes and the first one of these is going to make the cut almost every time. Moraug, Fury of Akoum – Another A+ game winning sledgehammer. Nahiri’s Lithoforming – Turn excess lands into cards in the late game? You have to take a whole turn off to do this, but ripping this, paying X=5, sacrificing 5 lands, drawing 2 or 3 spells and 2 or 3 lands that get to go right onto the battlefield seems ok. If you hit all lands, they get to go right into play. The disaster scenario is hitting no lands and having a fist full of cards. This looks bad, but I’ve been wrong before. Pyroclastic Hellion – A 5 mana 4/5 that gets your spell land back and sends 2 upstairs at your opponent seems fine. Relic Robber – This is the best Goblin Chariot I’ve ever seen. Hopefully there’s nothing your opponent can do with their 0/1s that can’t block! Rockslide Sorcerer – This seems like one of the best cards you could have in your UR spells/wizards deck. Roil Eruption – A lightning strike with kicker is absurd, even at sorcery speed. I think this will be the set’s best red common. Roiling Vortex – This seems like a sideboard card against the lifegain deck and nothing else Scavenged Blade – There are enough cards that care about equipment, and this one is actually pretty good. Coming in attached helps a lot. Scorch Rider – A 4 mana 4/3 is mediocre, but the option of haste if drawn super late seems nice. It’s also a warrior, which is worth a little merit. Shatterskull Charger – This is interesting. There are some ways to give it a counter aside from kicking it, but I think this is really a 5 mana 5/4 trample, haste. You don’t want to spend turns 3 and 4 not developing your board. However, being able to dodge sorcery speed removal is quite nice. This card is just very good. Shatterskull Minotaur – This is essentially a 4 mana 5/4 with haste in the right deck, which is excellent. Shatterskull Smashing – Expensive removal with potential for card advantage or a land. What’s not to like? Sizzling Barrage – It’s strange that this card only hits blockers, but I like that it forces red to attack. Skyclave Geopede – a 3 mana creature that often attacks as a 5/3 trample. I’m very glad this is not common. Sneaking Guide – This seems unplayable. Song-Mad Treachery – Threaten effects can be great or awful. When they’re awful this is still a land. Again, these cards get a LOT better by having the very high floor of being a land. Spikefield Hazard – This is a narrow application instant with a low cost, or a land. Neither half is that impressive, but that flexibility has the value we want. Spitfire Lagac – Good 4 drop. It does lack that party type. Synchronized Spellcraft – I don’t think this is going to be as good as Roil Eruption, but you will probably want some number of them. Teeterpeak Ambusher – I love cards like this that force your opponent to really think about blocking. I also like better players will know when to not pump it in order to develop their strategy. This card is fine. Thundering Rebuke – 2 mana for 4 damage is a steal. I’ll take it. Thundering Sparkmage – This is going to be very good quite often. It’s going to be a 4 mana 2/2 that deal 2 or 3 damage when it ETBs. Tormenting Voice – Fine if you need a draw spell. TukTuk Rubblefort – Pretty sure this is an F. It does nothing. Valakut Awakening – I think the spells deck will really like this. I like that the cards go into your library and not the yard, so you don’t run the risk of milling yourself or turning on your opponent’s UB cards. It’s also card neutral. Plus, it can be a land. I think this is a B+. Valakut Exploration – I like that if you don’t cast the card removed with Balakut Exploration you don’t get to keep it, but if your opponent can’t snipe a sorcery speed card it exiles with instant speed enchantment removal. Well designed and pretty powerful. Wayward Guide-Beast – This card is going to be very, very good in landfall decks. Even if it doesn’t attack right away because you’re developing, it will block very well in the early game.
2020.09.23 15:47 jesseurena08Take care and If your reading this it's too late make it into Rolling stones 500 greatest albums of all time list with take care in the top 100 (Drake doesn't have a classic album tho!)
Synopsis: A young woman finds herself dead and is given the chance to reincarnate in another world with cheat-like magic powers. She accepts, only to find that the world treats magic users the same way ours did— by hunting them down and killing them for heresy. My name is MELAS?! As in Salem backwards? Oh my God, and my mother is a Witch. I am SO going to be burned at the stake! [Previous Chapter] [Chapter 1] [Cover Art] [RoyalRoad Index and Synopsis] [Patreon] Tags: Isekai/Reincarnation, Action, Adventure, Fantasy, Weak-To-Strong Protagonist, Female Protagonist I sat alone in the darkness of the night. The sound of the violent waves echoed in my eardrums as I looked upon the sea before me. The dim moon and star light was shadowed by the thick layer of clouds gathering toward the heavens; a strong breeze threatened to throw my hood back, but it barely stayed on as the cloth stuck to the mask on my face. I wore my Hunter’s outfit. There was something dissuading about prancing around the empty city streets past midnight while dressed in colorful, semi-rich clothing. Generally speaking, going out in the middle of the night was never a good idea unless it was necessary, but I needed this moment. There was something relaxing about this, despite the thundering waves and the roaring wind filling in the background noise. I did not move. My eyes did not wander off this portrait, but stayed glued onto it. I was almost fixated to this sight. “This is nice,” I sighed wistfully to myself. “It really is, isn’t it?” I jumped at the unexpected response; I whirled around, reaching down for my dagger and gripped the hilt of the blade, but did not pull it out just yet. I saw a figure standing behind me. He was a man with pale blue skin that was lighter than the sky at day, with long ears poking out of the side of his head. My eyes widened at his onyx black hair that almost seemed to become one with the shadows of the night, but his deep green eyes were focused straight at the ocean ahead. An Elf? I thought, surprised at seeing one for the first time. “Who are you? Where did you come from?” I asked, not masking the wariness in my voice. The man did not answer my question immediately. Instead, he leisurely lowered himself down, and sat on the natural gravel floor of the beach before replying. “That’s an odd question to ask someone, isn’t it?” “It is,” I said, feeling slightly embarrassed by how jumpy I might have come across. Still, I doubled down. “But it’s an appropriate one for a stranger sneaking up on me by the sea in the middle of the night.” He finally turned to face me, and he gave me an almost dismissive look. “If I wanted to harm you, I would have done so without alerting you of my presence.” True, but that did not mean I shouldn’t be cautious of you. I did not relax as the man continued. “However, since you’re curious, I am a Half Elf from Ghab-Ha, the last remaining Elven country, and the only other nation in Soli than the Holy Xan Empire. Well, that’s true in theory, but the reality of the situation is that our country lacks sovereignty in various different ways. I came to this continent decades ago to find help—” I didn’t ask for your full backstory! I tuned the strange man out as he began to tell me all about himself; he was talking about his seaborne voyage past Drake Island and how dangerous the waters got there. I didn't even know why he was telling me this. I simply rested my chin on the palm of my hand and stared at the waves crashing into the beach. I stayed there for a minute, and some time during that minute, the man stopped talking and I didn’t notice. “A lovely sight,” he finally said, breaking the silence. “Mhm.” “Tell me, why exactly are you here, young Miss?” he asked, ignoring my detached demeanor towards him. “I don’t believe a child such as you should be out in the middle of the night, let alone where a large wave could sweep you into the sea where you’d be lost forever.” “I just like beaches, that’s all,” I gave him a straightforward answer. “And you couldn’t go in the day?” “Was busy,” I said curtly. “You’re a peculiar girl,” he remarked, standing up. And I think you’re a weirdo, but you don’t hear me saying it, I quipped mentally; I was not going to say it out loud, but I was getting rather annoyed that my relaxation period was being ruined by some stranger. “Personally,” he started, “I find the ocean fascinating because of how vast it is. I know that somewhere, out there, is where my homeland lies. I will return to it, and they will hail me as a hero.” With that said, the man took a step back, and left me alone on the beach. I turned around to watch him go— making sure he truly left and wasn’t about to grab me from behind to kidnap me and sell me into slavery, before settling back down. What a weird man, I thought for one last time. I continued to stare into the undulating blue lines ahead as it shifted up and down accompanied by the howling wind, before something caught my eye. The Half Elf (or Elf?) was gone, yet I could have sworn I saw a figure hiding in the alleyways, watching me. I eyed the small alcoves and side streets surrounding the beachfront, but there was no one there. I carefully made my way further into the city, casting my gaze toward every possible hiding spot, but saw nothing. And yet, I still felt like someone was watching me. I started for the inn, but felt my pace getting faster and faster as the feeling never went away. My brisk walk turned into a jog, and my jog into a mad dash. I ran through the empty streets of Luke, trying to flee from this invisible stalker. My footsteps attracted the attention of gang members, thugs, and other criminals coming to poke their heads out of their alleys to see what was going on; many of them just gave me a weird look, yet that only exacerbated my unease and I felt my heart pounding faster and faster in my chest I needed to get inside. I wanted to get indoors. The calm serenity of watching the sea vanished as I screamed internally to flee. Where were the guards? Why were the streets so empty of life? I saw a dim light illuminating a building in the distance and decided to make a break for it. I almost felt like I was back in Bys, running for my life from the Abominations that were chasing me. My life was not in danger— it could not have been in danger— but a panic came over me like I had rarely ever felt before. Someone was following me. I knew they were. I threw the doors of the building open, and slammed it shut behind me. I waited with bated breath for a moment, taking a step back away from the entryway to the room, but nothing came after me. The overwhelming feeling of fear subsided, and I slumped to the floor, panting. I lay there for just a moment, not even taking in my surroundings, before I noticed the people staring at me. There were not a lot of people there, but those that were were seated on tables and others waiting behind a… desk? A… receptionist cocked her head at me. Blinking, I realized where I had escaped to: it was the Hunter’s Guild of Luke. “Um, hi?” the receptionist said. “Was there something you needed, little Miss?” I tried to ignore the other Hunters in the guild lobby staring at me, and quickly got myself up and dusted myself off. “Yes,” I said, walking up to the receptionist and pulling out my ID card. “I’m a Hunter, and I was hoping to take a look at the jobs around, and maybe collect any additional rewards for a previous job I completed.” May as well cross out a few items in my to-do list while I’m here. The Hunter’s Guild offered little jobs in the city of Luke. I would have expected there to be plenty of escort jobs available for the taking, but it seemed that most ships found it more efficient and cost-effective to simply hire Mercenaries to protect them from both sea Monsters and pirates. After taking a look at the also bare amount of bounties in place, I returned to the receptionist to inquire on my previous job with the Abominations; Gennady had told me the truth when he said I would receive extra payment once the Hunter’s Guild confirmed that we were not lying about the number of Abominations there were. Unfortunately, the Hunter’s Guild must not have done a thorough job of excavating the cave of bodies, since I was only given an extra hundred gold coins. It was a lot of gold— despite having seen a similar amount of money just the other day, I still found myself gawking when the receptionist handed over the small bag of coins to me. And yet, it was hardly the amount which I had expected to receive: the original job description suspected there to have been a few hundred Abominations at most. I ended up killing thousands of them, including an Atrocity, and yet my payment was merely doubled. It was not a fair compensation, but when I tried pressing the issue, I realized it would not have gone anywhere and gave up. I was certain this underpayment was a result of both neglect by the scouts the Hunter’s Guild sent, as well as the fact that they were probably going to revise the reward for exterminating Abominations if they really were more commonplace than was thought. Regardless, I stayed in the Hunter’s Guild until just before sunrise, when the streets of the city began to fill up with regular people going about their days, before daring to go out and return to my inn. The sense of unease was gone, and I found myself questioning whether I had suffered from a momentary panic attack due to whatever reason. I was back at the inn before I knew it and changed back to my other clothes; Gennady was still asleep, snoring loudly in his bed. I took a peek at the clock, and deciding that it would not have been an issue if I took a quick wink, I went to bed. The Dwarf woke me up just after noon, having come back from shopping for mana crystals and other tools he needed. He did not find what he wanted, but he managed to get away with two ‘high quality’ Superior mana crystals for a good price— that meant it had a good cut for its size, which made it far easier to inscribe on when tinkering with it. “Slept late last night, huh?” he asked, as he handed me a small bag of food; it had grilled fish skewered on thin wooden sticks. “You hungry?” My stomach growled in response, and he chuckled. “Hah, I knew it.” He winked at me as my face grew red. “I had a long night, ok?” I meekly defended myself. That was technically true, but I knew for a fact that my stomach would have reacted the same way even if I had gone to bed early last night. The scent of good food was enough to make me hungry most of the time. “I saw,” he said, glancing at the desk in the corner of the room. “You used up all your paper, huh?” “Mhm,” I made a noise in reply, as I chewed on my food. “We’ll get you some more later. First, we’ll be heading to the harbor— speak to the sailors and find if any are willing to bring us to Taw.” I nodded my head, and finished up the short meal before I spoke; “Well then, let’s not waste any time.” I hopped out of bed, and grabbed my staff while donning my pointed hat. “Let’s go, shall we?” The Dwarf snorted. “Don’t act like ye were tha one waiting for me, lass. I was the one waiting for ya!” I grinned, then we were off. We exited the inn and started for the harbor; it was in a different direction to the beach I had my weird surge of paranoia, or… ‘episode’... last night. That beach episode did not go the way I expected to, and I was glad that I was completely normal now. Could that Half Elf have done something to me? I thought, wondering if that was the result of some gaseous alchemical concoction. But that would not have made sense; if he was trying to attack me, why did he just up and leave? Plus, it only happened once he had been gone for a few minutes. I shook my head and shook away those thoughts for now. I focused on the task at hand: finding a ship. I strutted behind Gennady alongside the wooden pier of Luke’s harbor. He was stroking his bushy beard while carefully inspecting each boat we passed. “What kind of ship are you looking for?” I asked. He was probably finding one that looked sturdy enough to be able to last the voyage all the way up to Taw rather than any old dinghy, but I did not know what were the specifics he had in mind. “Well, I’d prefer a mana powered boat to bring us there since those are far better suited for the rough oceans, but I’m willing to settle for just a fully rigged ship with three or four masts.” I drew my lips to a thin line. “I have no idea what any of that means.” The Dwarf sighed. “It means I want a big boat,” He paused, glancing around, before pointing at something in the distance. “Like that.” I looked in the direction he was pointing and saw a large, thin ship with a single mast; I had expected it to be made of metal, but it was designed with wood just like any other boat with its name ‘The Lightbringer’s Vessel’ inscribed on its side. Its one distinguishing feature was the extra section protruding out of its quarterdeck and attached to a paddlewheel. “Whew,” I whistled. “That’s a nice boat. Probably expensive to ride on, huh?” “It would be, but we could get on it for free.” I paused, taking a moment to figure out what he meant. “You want us to offer them our services as Hunters?” I asked, snapping my fingers. “‘Course,” he said, grinning. “Why shouldn’t we? We’re Hunters. We’d probably have to fight any sea Monsters anyway even if we pay to ride on a boat. Might as well take advantage of our roles and hitch a free ride— or, well, voyage.” “But I’m not wearing my mask,” I pointed out, and instinctively pulled my shoulders and arms in as if protecting myself. Gennady shrugged. “You can just sit back for a bit. I’ll say me and a companion would like to offer our services to them. I’ll ‘introduce ‘Aria’ to them on another day if they say yes.” I slowly relaxed, and agreed to his terms, “Alright, that makes sense I guess.” We reached the ship he had pointed out, and found a group of sailors milling around on its deck. I stayed back, as he approached them. “Hoy there!” the Dwarf called out, raising a hand. “Is your Captain around?” The sailors gave him an odd look, and after a moment, one of them shouted back, “Go away, little man We don’t like your kind here!” I frowned, hearing the insult; Gennady however, seemed unaffected by it. “Come now, lads. I’d just like to offer my services to your crew,” he said casually. “Hah,” one of the sailors laughed. “As if we’d let a Dwarf tinker with our ship. You wouldn’t even be able to work with its mana crystal! We don’t carve on the crystals unlike you fools!” “I meant it as a Hunter,” Gennady said, his brows suddenly arching darkly over his eyes. I narrowed my eyes at the sudden change in his demeanour, but he was not finished. “But since ye lads dinna wan it, how ‘bout I teach ya a lesson instead?!” I blinked. The sailors blinked. We did not understand a single word he had just said. Despite that, one of the sailors still decided to taunt him. “Speak up, little man, we can’t hear you from down there—” The man was cut off when a hammer came flying through the air and smashed him in the face. Gennady lowered his hand, reaching into his backpack for something else. “Wanna go ya lassies?” “Hey, Gennady, I think we shouldn’t—” I started, but was immediately cut off. “He just hurt John!” “No one hurts John and gets away with it!” “Get him, boys!” I cursed as more than half a dozen sailors ran down the gangway and onto the pier, charging at my companion; the Dwarf just smirked, and continued throwing objects at them. Two sailors fell off the wooden plank and into the sea before the rest reached him. They swarmed him one by one, punching and kicking at him. Gennady was not an agile individual, and he simply took their hits, instead focusing on taking them out one by one. They struck him on the side, back, front— But he was not affected by any of it. He shoved a man, and he was thrown back nearly ten feet off the pier, joining his two buddies in the water. Another man charged, but the Dwarf whirled around and elbowed him in the gut. He collapsed, and puked in an instant. “That all ya got?” Gennady raised his arms to his sides, seemingly unimpeded in combat by the heavy bag on his back. “Ya fight like a bunch of kids!” The last two men shouted an insult back, and one of them pulled out a knife. “Die in Hell!” he yelled. The weaponless man dashed forward at Gennady, going to grapple him and hold him in place. He held on for just a moment, before the Dwarf pried him off and threw him off the pier as well. Gennady turned back just in time to see the other man swing his knife at him— And I swung my staff at the back of his head, knocking him out. I stared at the Dwarf, as he looked down at the unconscious man. “I had that just fine,” he said. “I don’t care,” I retorted, and pointed past him. “I care about that.” A bunch of angry sailors from other ships were staring at us with fury in their eyes; I could practically feel their hate burning from all the way where I stood. They were amassing into one big group of 20, and they were still growing. “Uh oh.” I looked blankly at Gennady as he turned back to me. “That’s a bit of a problem,” he said. “You think?” “We should run.” I rolled my eyes, then ran. I heard shouts and screams coming from the sailors charging after us; they were not happy about how we— two random individuals coming to this harbor for the first time— seemingly picked a fight with a prominent crew. “Wait…for...me!” Gennady called out from behind me, each of his thudding footsteps creaking the wooden floor below. I slowed a little, craning my neck slightly to check the distance between us and the angry sailors. They were getting closer! “Does this usually happen with you?” I asked, trying to keep my voice calm despite the rush of the moment. “No—” he panted, catching up to me slightly. “Never!” I narrowed my eyes but did not question him further since we were still running. We finally reached the start of the pier, back to the city area, with my feet finding itself on solid ground. I glanced around at the hundreds of people going about their business at this busy time of day. “We’ve got to escape into a crowd,” Gennady said, about to dash into a group of passersby. I grabbed his hand, and yanked him back; I shook my head. “No.” “What? But—” I cut him off by shouting at the top of my lungs. “Help, guards! Help!” “What are you doing?” The Dwarf cocked a brow, but I ignored him. Immediately, at my screaming, a handful of individuals stopped what they were doing and started for me. “What’s going on?” a man asked. “Get the guards! Please.” A susurration ran through the crowd and the message quickly found its way to a small patrol of guards. They pushed their way through gathering bystanders as I quickly ran up to them. “You have to help me,” I begged in a pleading voice. I looked up at them with my eyes, and gave them my best puppy-dog eyes. “That group of men— they attacked my dad! And they’re trying to attack me now!” I spoke hurriedly. “Calm down, little Miss. What’s going on?” the patrol leader asked. “Explain slowly.” I took a deep breath, and sniffed. “My dad brought me to his ship, The Lightbringer’s Vessel, like he usually does once a week. But then that group of bad men came and got mad at us. They attacked dad’s friends, and threw him off the ship. Now they’re chasing after me. Please, you’ve got to stop them and help my dad!” I buried my head in my hands, pretending to sob as I did; the guards exchanged a look, and the patrol leader spoke reassuringly. “We’ll speak to them and try to resolve this, ok?” he said. “Just wait right here.” “Ok,” I said softly. Then the group of guards walked past me, and intercepted the angry sailors right as they reached the end of the wooden wharf. I immediately shot a look to Gennady, and he nodded. We ran. We made a dash out of the dockside area of the city as the guards distracted the angry sailors; we did not duck into any side streets, choosing to stay in the main roads despite the fact that we could get caught. I doubted it would happen, plus I did not want to get into any more trouble in some dark alleyway. The Dwarf and I finally reached our inn, and it was only in our room did we breathe a sigh of relief. “That couldn’t have gone any worse,” I commented. “Yep.” “I mean, that was the first crew we talked to. And now we’re probably blacklisted by every ship on the harbor.” “We definitely are.” I glanced down at my companion who was still trying to catch his breath; he did not have the best stamina, probably due to his bodyweight and his age. He was in his 60’s, which was considered middle aged for a Dwarf. “What happened there?” I asked, raising an eyebrow. “You were so calm one second, and the next…” Gennady shook his head. “Nobody insults a Dwarf’s craft,” he said, straightening. “You may think us to be short, ugly, and maybe even too hairy— that makes no sense to me, but apparently Elves hate facial hair. “However, you never denigrate their tinkering abilities. Especially not mine. I was one of the best, if not the best, in all of Taw. I would never take such offense lightly. Sorry, lass, I know it made things much more complicated, but I had to defend my honor.” I eyed the Dwarf for a moment, realizing that the sailors genuinely hurt the man with their comments. I rested a hand on his shoulder. “Ignore them,” I said. “They’re just idiots.” “I know,” he snorted, and I smiled. I added, “Plus, you may be short and excessively hairy, but I don’t think you’re ugly.” “Now you’re just patronizing me.” “‘Course,” I imitated him and grinned. Gennady laughed and slapped me across the back. “Lass, you really are a fun one.” He paused, before quickly continuing. “And an interesting one too! I can’t believe you fake cried to get some guards and bystanders to help us! I’m glad I decided to stick with ya.” I shrugged. “You’d be surprised how often children lie to get what they want.” Even though I’m not a kid, I thought. “Well, good thinking anyways,” he said, laughing again. “So,” I started, finally deciding to discuss the elephant in the room, “what happens now?” Gennady grabbed a chair and slumped over onto it, wiping sweat off his forehead. “What do you mean?” he asked. “And before you respond, it’s a rhetorical question.” “Right.” I clamped my mouth shut. He continued, “We already had a plan if going to the harbor failed, didn’t we? Plan B if no ship was willing to take us.” “Ah,” I said, not surprised, but let down that he did not have some sort of super secret plan he didn’t tell me; instead, it was just the backup illegal plan we had in mind. “Hire some smugglers.” [Next Chapter]
Author's Note: Hehehe, I found the joke in the title funny. ...I'll see myself out. But before I do, was that a good misdirection? You'd think Melas would get into trouble which would force them to take the less-than-simple route to get to Taw, but she navigates through the dangerous streets of Luke just fine due to her experience in traversing the Free Lands alone. Meanwhile, it is Gennady who causes trouble while they're in the harbor, which caused it to happen.
2020.09.23 06:06 steveharringt0nRolling Stone Top 500 2020 LIST
Sorry this isn't formatted [artist - album] consistently, I found a random .json file (https://a8d9382kd.s3.amazonaws.com/best_500.json) but it was temperamental. Below is the best I could do. Rank Album 1 Marvin Gaye - What's Going On 2 Pet Sounds - The Beach Boys 3 Joni Mitchell - Blue 4 Stevie Wonder - Songs in the Key of Life 5 The Beatles - Abbey Road 6 Nevermind - Nirvana 7 Rumours - Fleetwood Mac 8 Prince and the Revolution - Purple Rain 9 Blood on the Tracks - Bob Dylan 10 Lauryn Hill - The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill 11 Revolver - The Beatles 12 Michael Jackson - Thriller 13 I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You - Aretha Franklin 14 The Rolling Stones - Exile on Main Street 15 Public Enemy - It Takes a Nation of Millions to Hold Us Back 16 London Calling - The Clash 17 Kanye West - My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy 18 Bob Dylan - Highway 61 Revisited 19 Kendrick Lamar - To Pimp a Butterfly 20 Radiohead - Kid A 21 Born to Run - Bruce Springsteen 22 The Notorious B.I.G. - Ready to Die 23 The Velvet Underground and Nico - The Velvet Underground 24 Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band - The Beatles 25 Tapestry - Carole King 26 Patti Smith - Horses 27 Enter the Wu-Tang - Wu-Tang Clan 28 Voodoo - D’Angelo 29 White Album - The Beatles 30 Jimi Hendrix - Are You Experienced? 31 Kind of Blue - Miles Davis 32 Lemonade - Beyoncé 33 Amy Winehouse - Back to Black 34 Innervisions - Stevie Wonder 35 The Beatles - Rubber Soul 36 Michael Jackson - Off the Wall 37 Dr. Dre - The Chronic 38 Bob Dylan - Blonde on Blonde 39 Talking Heads - Remain in Light 40 The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust... - David Bowie 41 Let It Bleed - The Rolling Stones 42 OK Computer - Radiohead 43 The Low End Theory - A Tribe Called Quest 44 Nas - Illmatic 45 Sign O' the Times - Prince 46 Paul Simon - Graceland 47 Ramones - Ramones 48 Legend - Bob Marley and the Wailers 49 OutKast - Aquemini 50 The Blueprint - Jay-Z 51 The Great Twenty-Eight - Chuck Berry 52 David Bowie - Station to Station 53 Jimi Hendrix - Electric Ladyland 54 Star Time - James Brown 55 The Dark Side of the Moon - Pink Floyd 56 Liz Phair - Exile in Guyville 57 The Band - The Band 58 Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin IV 59 Stevie Wonder - Talking Book 60 Van Morrison - Astral Weeks 61 Eric B. & Rakim - Paid In Full 62 Guns N’ Roses - Appetite for Destruction 63 Aja - Steely Dan 64 OutKast - Stankonia 65 Live at the Apollo - James Brown 66 A Love Supreme - John Coltrane 67 Jay-Z - Reasonable Doubt 68 Hounds of Love - Kate Bush 69 Alanis Morrissette - Jagged Little Pill 70 Straight Outta Compton - N.W.A 71 Exodus - Bob Marley and the Wailers 72 Neil Young - Harvest 73 Loveless - My Bloody Valentine 74 The College Dropout - Kanye West 75 Aretha Franklin - Lady Soul 76 Curtis Mayfield - Superfly 77 The Who - Who's Next 78 The Sun Sessions - Elvis Presley 79 Frank Ocean - Blonde 80 The Sex Pistols - Never Mind the Bollocks Here’s the Sex Pistols 81 Beyoncé - Beyoncé 82 There’s a Riot Goin’ On - Sly and the Family Stone 83 Dusty in Memphis - Dusty Springfield 84 Back in Black - AC/DC 85 Plastic Ono Band - John Lennon 86 The Doors - The Doors 87 Miles Davis - Bitches Brew 88 Hunky Dory - David Bowie 89 Erykah Badu - Baduizm 90 After the Gold Rush - Neil Young 91 Bruce Springsteen - Darkness on the Edge of Town 92 Axis: Bold as Love - The Jimi Hendrix Experience 93 Supa Dupa Fly - Missy “Misdemeanor” Elliott 94 The Stooges - Fun House 95 Drake - Take Care 96 Automatic for the People - R.E.M. 97 Master of Puppets - Metallica 98 Car Wheels on a Gravel Road - Lucinda Williams 99 Taylor Swift - Red 100 The Band - Music From Big Pink 101 Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin 102 The Clash - The Clash 103 De La Soul - Three Feet High And Rising 104 Sticky Fingers - The Rolling Stones 105 At Fillmore East - The Allman Brothers 106 Live Through This - Hole 107 Marquee Moon - Television 108 When the Pawn... - Fiona Apple 109 Lou Reed - Transformer 110 Joni Mitchell - Court and Spark 111 Control - Janet Jackson 112 Goodbye Yellow Brick Road - Elton John 113 The Smiths - The Queen Is Dead 114 The Strokes - Is This It 115 good kid, m.A.A.d city - Kendrick Lamar 116 Disintegration - The Cure 117 Late Registration - Kanye West 118 Hotel California - The Eagles 119 Sly and the Family Stone - Stand! 120 Van Morrison - Moondance 121 This Year’s Model - Elvis Costello 122 Nine Inch Nails - The Downward Spiral 123 Led Zeppelin - Led Zeppelin II 124 Achtung Baby - U2 125 Beastie Boys - Paul's Boutique 126 My Life - Mary J. Blige 127 Ray Charles - Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music 128 Queen - A Night at the Opera 129 Pink Floyd - The Wall 130 1999 - Prince 131 Portishead - Dummy 132 40 Greatest Hits - Hank Williams 133 Joni Mitchell - Hejira 134 Fugees - The Score 135 U2 - The Joshua Tree 136 Funkadelic - Maggot Brain 137 21 - Adele 138 Madonna - The Immaculate Collection 139 Black Sabbath - Paranoid 140 Bob Marley and the Wailers - Catch a Fire 141 Pixies - Doolittle 142 Born in the US.A. - Bruce Springsteen 143 The Velvet Underground - The Velvet Underground 144 Led Zeppelin - Physical Graffiti 145 Eminem - The Marshall Mathers LP 146 Parallel Lines - Blondie 147 Jeff Buckley - Grace 148 Channel Orange - Frank Ocean 149 John Prine - John Prine 150 Bruce Springsteen - Nebraska 151 Faith - George Michael 152 The Pretenders - Pretenders 153 PJ Harvey - Rid of Me 154 Aretha Franklin - Amazing Grace 155 The Black Album - Jay-Z 156 Let it Be - The Replacements 157 Oasis - (What's the Story) Morning Glory? 158 Erykah Badu - Mama's Gun 159 Synchronicity - The Police 160 Pearl Jam - Ten 161 Crosby, Stills & Nash - Crosby, Stills & Nash 162 Different Class - Pulp 163 Various Artists - Saturday Night Fever 164 Johnny Cash - At Folsom Prison 165 R.E.M. - Murmur 166 Buddy Holly - 20 Golden Greats 167 Depeche Mode - Violator 168 Can’t Buy a Thrill - Steely Dan 169 Billy Joel - The Stranger 170 Cream - Disraeli Gears 171 Sonic Youth - Daydream Nation 172 Simon and Garfunkel - Bridge Over Troubled Water 173 In Utero - Nirvana 174 Jimmy Cliff and Various Artists - The Harder They Come: Original Soundtrack 175 Kendrick Lamar - DAMN. 176 Public Enemy - Fear of a Black Planet 177 Rod Stewart - Every Picture Tells a Story 178 Otis Blue - Otis Redding 179 Notorious B.I.G. - Life After Death 180 Love - Forever Changes 181 Bringing It All Back Home - Bob Dylan 182 James Taylor - Sweet Baby James 183 Brown Sugar - D'Angelo 184 She’s So Unusual - Cyndi Lauper 185 Beggars Banquet - The Rolling Stones 186 Red Hot Chili Peppers - Blood Sugar Sex Magik 187 Ice Cube - AmeriKKKa’s Most Wanted 188 Electric Warrior - T. Rex 189 Dig Me Out - Sleater-Kinney 190 Tommy - The Who 191 Etta James - At Last! 192 Licensed to Ill - Beastie Boys 193 Willy and the Poor Boys - Creedence Clearwater Revival 194 Bad - Michael Jackson 195 Leonard Cohen - Songs of Leonard Cohen 196 Robyn - Body Talk 197 The Beatles - Meet the Beatles! 198 The B-52's - The B-52's 199 Slanted and Enchanted - Pavement 200 Sade - Diamond Life 201 Midnight Marauders - A Tribe Called Quest 202 Björk - Homogenic 203 Pink Moon - Nick Drake 204 Kanye West - Graduation 205 Cat Stevens - Tea for the Tillerman 206 David Bowie - Low 207 Eagles - Eagles 208 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter III 209 Run-DMC - Raising Hell 210 Ray Charles - The Birth of Soul 211 Joy Divison - Unknown Pleasures 212 Wild Is the Wind - Nina Simone 213 Fiona Apple - The Idler Wheel 214 Wildflowers - Tom Petty 215 American Beauty - Grateful Dead 216 EitheOr - Elliott Smith 217 Oasis - Definitely Maybe 218 TLC - CrazySexyCool 219 Raekwon - Only Built 4 Cuban Linx 220 Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young - Déjà Vu 221 Rage Against the Machine - Rage Against the Machine 222 Ray Of Light - Madonna 223 Imagine - John Lennon 224 Dixie Chicks - Fly 225 Wilco - Yankee Hotel Foxtrot 226 Derek and the Dominos - Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs 227 Here’s Little Richard - Little Richard 228 De La Soul - De La Soul Is Dead 229 Patsy Cline - The Ultimate Collection 230 Anti - Rihanna 231 Damn the Torpedoes - Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers 232 Giant Steps - John Coltrane 233 Tori Amos - Little Earthquakes 234 Black Sabbath - Master of Reality 235 Metallica - Metallica (The Black Album) 236 Discovery - Daft Punk 237 Willie Nelson - Red Headed Stranger 238 Trans Europe Express - Kraftwerk 239 Criminal Minded - Boogie Down Productions 240 Live at the Harlem Square Club, 1963 - Sam Cooke 241 Massive Attack - Blue Lines 242 Loaded - The Velvet Underground 243 The Zombies - Odessey and Oracle 244 808s & Heartbreak - Kanye West 245 Cocteau Twins - Heaven or Las Vegas 246 LL Cool J - Mama Said Knock You Out 247 Love Deluxe - Sade 248 Green Day - American Idiot 249 Whitney Houston - Whitney Houston 250 Buzzcocks - Singles Going Steady 251 Elton John - Honky Château 252 Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - Devo 253 The Piper at the Gates of Dawn - Pink Floyd 254 Herbie Hancock - Head Hunters 255 The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan - Bob Dylan 256 Tracy Chapman - Tracy Chapman 257 Coat of Many Colors - Dolly Parton 258 Joni Mitchell - The Hissing of Summer Lawns 259 Janis Joplin - Pearl 260 The Slits - Cut 261 Beastie Boys - Check Your Head 262 Power, Corruption & Lies - New Order 263 The Beatles - Hard Day's Night 264 Wish You Were Here - Pink Floyd 265 Pavement - Wowee Zowee 266 The Beatles - Help! 267 Double Nickels on the Dime - Minutemen 268 Sail Away - Randy Newman 269 Kanye West - Yeezus 270 Kacey Musgraves - Golden Hour 271 Mary J. Blige - What’s the 411? 272 The Velvet Underground - White Light/White Heat 273 Entertainment! - Gang of Four 274 Sweetheart of the Rodeo - The Byrds 275 Curtis - Curtis Mayfield 276 The Bends - Radiohead 277 The Diary of Alicia Keys - Alicia Keys 278 Led Zeppelin - Houses of the Holy 279 MTV Unplugged in New York - Nirvana 280 Get Rich or Die Tryin' - 50 Cent 281 Nilsson Schmilsson - Harry Nilsson 282 In the Wee Small Hours - Frank Sinatra 283 Donna Summer - Bad Girls 284 Down Every Road 1962-1994 - Merle Haggard 285 Big Star - Third/Sister Lovers 286 Californication - Red Hot Chili Peppers 287 The Byrds - Mr. Tambourine Man 288 The Modern Lovers - The Modern Lovers 289 Björk - Post 290 Speakerboxxx/The Love Below - OutKast 291 Destiny's Child - The Writing’s on The Wall 292 Van Halen - Van Halen 293 The Breeders - Last Splash 294 Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album) 295 Random Access Memories - Daft Punk 296 Rust Never Sleeps - Neil Young 297 Peter Gabriel - So 298 Full Moon Fever - Tom Petty 299 B.B. King - Live at the Regal 300 Come on Over - Shania Twain 301 New York Dolls - New York Dolls 302 Neil Young - Tonight's the Night 303 ABBA - The Definitive Collection 304 Just As I Am - Bill Withers 305 Alive! - Kiss 306 Al Green - I'm Still in Love With You 307 Portrait of a Legend - Sam Cooke 308 Brian Eno - Here Come the Warm Jets 309 Closer - Joy Divison 310 Wire - Pink Flag 311 Neil Young - On the Beach 312 Solange - A Seat at the Table 313 PJ Harvey - Stories From the City, Stories From the Sea 314 Aaliyah - One In A Million 315 El Mal Querer - Rosalía 316 The Who Sell Out - The Who 317 Billie Holiday - Lady in Satin 318 The Velvet Rope - Janet Jackson 319 The Stone Roses - The Stone Roses 320 X - Los Angeles 321 Lana Del Rey - Norman Fucking Rockwell! 322 From Elvis in Memphis - Elvis Presley 323 The Clash - Sandinista! 324 Coldplay - A Rush of Blood to the Head 325 Jerry Lee Lewis - All Killer No Filler! 326 Prince - Dirty Mind 327 The Who - Live at Leeds 328 Modern Vampires of the City - Vampire Weekend 329 DJ Shadow - Entroducing..... 330 The Rolling Stones - Aftermath 331 Madonna - Like a Prayer 332 Elvis Presley - Elvis Presley 333 Bill Withers - Still Bill 334 Abraxas - Santana 335 Bob Dylan and the Band - The Basement Tapes 336 Avalon - Roxy Music 337 Bob Dylan - John Wesley Harding 338 Another Green World - Brian Eno 339 Rhythm Nation 1814 - Janet Jackson 340 Doggystyle - Snoop Doggy Dogg 341 Siamese Dream - The Smashing Pumpkins 342 The Beatles - Let It Be 343 Greatest Hits - Sly and the Family Stone 344 Toots and the Maytals - Funky Kingston 345 Bruce Springsteen - The Wild, the Innocent & the E Street Shuffle 346 AM - Arctic Monkeys 347 GZA - Liquid Swords 348 Time (The Revelator) - Gillian Welch 349 Kick Out the Jams - MC5 350 Stevie Wonder - Music of My Mind 351 For Your Pleasure - Roxy Music 352 Eminem - The Slim Shady LP 353 The Cars - The Cars 354 Germfree Adolescents - X-Ray Spex 355 Black Sabbath - Black Sabbath 356 Gris-Gris - Dr. John 357 Tom Waits - Rain Dogs 358 Sonic Youth - Goo 359 Big Star - Radio City 360 Funkadelic - One Nation Under a Groove 361 The Black Parade - My Chemical Romance 362 Luther Vandross - Never Too Much 363 The Mothership Connection - Parliament 364 More Songs About Buildings and Food - Talking Heads 365 Madvillain - Madvillainy 366 Rocks - Aerosmith 367 If You're Reading This It's Too Late - Drake 368 George Harrison - All Things Must Pass 369 Mobb Deep - The Infamous 370 Lil Wayne - Tha Carter II 371 Anthology - The Temptations 372 Big Brother and the Holding Company - Cheap Thrills 373 Isaac Hayes - Hot Buttered Soul 374 Robert Johnson - King of the Delta Blues Singers 375 Green Day - Dookie 376 Neutral Milk Hotel - In the Aeroplane Over the Sea 377 Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Fever to Tell 378 Run-D.M.C. - Run-DMC 379 Moving Pictures - Rush 380 Mingus Ah Um - Charles Mingus 381 (Pronounced 'Lĕh-'nérd 'Skin-'nérd) - Lynyrd Skynyrd 382 Currents - Tame Impala 383 Massive Attack - Mezzanine 384 The Kinks - The Kinks Are the Village Green Preservation Society 385 Ramones - Rocket to Russia 386 J Dilla - Donuts 387 Radiohead - In Rainbows 388 Young, Gifted and Black - Aretha Franklin 389 The Emancipation of Mimi - Mariah Carey 390 Pixies - Surfer Rosa 391 Kelis - Kaleidoscope 392 Proud Mary: The Best of Ike and Tina Turner - Ike and Tina Turner 393 Taylor Swift - 1989 394 Diana - Diana Ross 395 Black Messiah - D’Angelo and the Vanguard 396 Todd Rundgren - Something/Anything? 397 Billie Eilish - When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go? 398 The Raincoats - The Raincoats 399 Brian Wilson - Smile 400 The Go-Go’s - Beauty and the Beat 401 Blondie - Blondie 402 Expensive Shit - Fela Kuti and Africa 70 403 Supreme Clientele - Ghostface Killah 404 Anita Baker - Rapture 405 Various - Nuggets: Original Artyfacts from the First Psychedelic Era 406 Magnetic Fields - 69 Love Songs 407 Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere - Neil Young 408 Motörhead - Ace of Spades 409 Grateful Dead - Workingman’s Dead 410 Wild Honey - The Beach Boys 411 Love and Theft - Bob Dylan 412 Smokey Robinson - Going to a Go Go 413 Creedence Clearwater Revival - Cosmo's Factory 414 Chic - Risqué 415 The Meters - Looka Py Py 416 Things Fall Apart - The Roots 417 Ornette Coleman - The Shape of Jazz to Come 418 Brothers in Arms - Dire Straits 419 Eric Church - Chief 420 That’s the Way of the World - Earth, Wind and Fire 421 Arular - M.I.A. 422 Let's Get It On - Marvin Gaye 423 Yo La Tengo - I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One 424 Odelay - Beck 425 Paul Simon - Paul Simon 426 Lucinda Williams - Lucinda Williams 427 Call Me - Al Green 428 New Day Rising - Hüsker Dü 429 Reach Out - The Four Tops 430 My Aim Is True - Elvis Costello 431 How Will the Wolf Survive? - Los Lobos 432 Usher - Confessions 433 Sound of Silver - LCD Soundsystem 434 Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain - Pavement 435 Actually - Pet Shop Boys 436 All Eyez on Me - 2Pac 437 Screamadelica - Primal Scream 438 Parklife - Blur 439 Sex Machine - James Brown 440 Loretta Lynn - Coal Miner's Daughter 441 Britney Spears - Blackout 442 Beauty Behind the Madness - The Weeknd 443 David Bowie - Scary Monsters 444 Extraordinary Machine - Fiona Apple 445 Close to the Edge - Yes 446 Journey in Satchidanada - Alice Coltrane 447 Bad Bunny - X 100pre 448 Dictionary of Soul - Otis Redding 449 Elephant - The White Stripes 450 Ram - Paul and Linda McCartney 451 First Take - Roberta Flack 452 Diana Ross and the Supremes - Anthology 453 Pretty Hate Machine - Nine Inch Nails 454 Can - Ege Bamyasi 455 Bo Diddley/Go Bo Diddley - Bo Diddley 456 Al Green - Greatest Hits 457 I Do Not Want What I Haven’t Got - Sinéad O’Connor 458 Southeastern - Jason Isbell 459 Kid Cudi - Man on the Moon: The End of the Day 460 Melodrama - Lorde 461 For Emma - Bon Iver 462 The Gilded Palace of Sin - The Flying Burrito Brothers 463 Eli & the 13th Confession - Laura Nyro 464 3x3 - The Isley Brothers 465 King Sunny Adé - The Best of the Classic Years 466 The Beach Boys Today! - The Beach Boys 467 Maxwell - BLACKsummers’night 468 Some Girls - The Rolling Stones 469 Clandestino - Manu Chao 470 400 Degreez - Juvenile 471 Jefferson Airplane - Surrealistic Pillow 472 SZA - Ctrl 473 Daddy Yankee - Barrio Fino 474 #1 Record - Big Star 475 Sheryl Crow - Sheryl Crow 476 Sparks - Kimono My House 477 Moanin' in the Moonlight - Howlin’ Wolf 478 The Kinks - Something Else By the Kinks 479 Selena - Amor Prohibido 480 Miranda Lambert - The Weight of These Wings 481 Belle and Sebastian - If You’re Feeling Sinister 482 The Pharcyde - Bizarre Ride II The Pharcyde 483 The Anthology - Muddy Waters 484 Lady Gaga - Born This Way 485 I Want to See the Bright Lights Tonight - Richard and Linda Thompson 486 Continuum - John Mayer 487 Damaged - Black Flag 488 The Stooges - The Stooges 489 Phil Spector and Various Artists - Back to Mono (1958-1969) 490 Linda Ronstadt - Heart Like a Wheel 491 Harry Styles - Fine Line 492 Nick of Time - Bonnie Raitt 493 Here, My Dear - Marvin Gaye 494 Presenting the Fabulous Ronettes - The Ronettes 495 Boyz II Men - II 496 Shakira - Dónde Están los Ladrones 497 Various Artists - The Indestructible Beat of Soweto 498 Suicide - Suicide 499 Rufus, Chaka Khan - Ask Rufus 500 Arcade Fire - Funeral
2020.09.23 03:48 WellTemperedClavierOutlanders Part 2 COMPLETE (Daria-Morrowind Crossover)
Chapter 3 Jane invited Daria to come over to her apartment not long after the confrontation took place. Daria declined, stating she had to make sure Quinn got home safely, but said she'd visit some other day. Jane gave directions, just in case. Quinn lingered with Synda for a little while. Daria watched, pretending to read her book from afar. Quinn never had trouble making friends. Why was she so fixated on this particular Dunmer? Probably because Quinn was as alone, scared, and confused as Daria was. Jane already felt like a lifelong friend simply for being some kind of an anchor. Could she be trusted, though? If Jane was planning something, there'd be no way for Daria to find out. Not in Morrowind. She dismissed this as unlikely. Jane was Dunmer, but she was a fellow outlander. That put them in the same benighted social stratum. Synda, on the other hand, was an insider. Quinn finally departed. Daria caught up to her and they walked home in stony silence. The odor of spilled kwama egg still lingered in the air, and Quinn gagged the moment she stepped inside. No one else was home at the moment—Daria assumed that her mother was meeting some of the other advocates. Putting her hand over her mouth and nose, Daria braved the kitchen. Jake had cleaned up as best he could, but smears of egg yolk still streaked the tables and floor. He'd tossed the ruined egg in the metal wash basin. Trying to ignore the worsening stench, Daria looked into the jagged opening made by Jake's clumsiness. Sure enough, some kind of gray fleshy thing was coiled up at the bottom of the egg, encased in filmy yolk and other fluids. She remembered Jane's comment about the larva. And she did have directions to Jane's apartment. Not quite believing what she was doing, Daria went upstairs and grabbed some clean linens. Taking them downstairs, she laid them on the table next to the sink, still trying not to breathe too deeply. She rolled up her sleeve, ignored her fear, and then plunged both her arms into the egg. Her hands broke through the cold and oily film, fingers feeling the slimy larva flesh underneath. They ran along a too-soft underbelly. Daria's gorge rose. Her cheeks puffed out. If her glasses fell in there... Daria gritted her teeth. Eyes watered from the smell and the feel, but she focused. At last her hands found a harder surface. Digging in, she pulled, the larva loosening with a series of wet pops. She lifted it out, and moments later found herself cradling a curled pinkish-gray... well, it looked more like a centipede the size of her arm than anything else. A translucent, segmented shell ran along the back, with a half dozen tightly curled legs flanked the underbelly. Daria Morgendorffer: Insect Midwife, she thought. She decided she'd stick with her savant training for a while longer. Daria laid it out on the linens and wrapped it up as best she could. Then she turned on the faucet and washed her hands and arms, using a bit of the soap to get rid of the smell. Water splashed down into the empty egg, mixing with the yolk and spilling down the drain. She hoped it didn't clog anything. Placing the scrib in a canvas bag, she headed off to Jane's. ********* The endless adobe rows of Labor Town served as a shabby reflection of the Commercial District across the river. Workmen and porters crowded the streets cheek to jowl, trudging under the watchful eyes of bonemold-armored Hlaalu guards. Paupers sat cross-legged on threadbare rugs spread out across the flagstones, tracing the sign of the Tribunal on their sunken chests whenever a coin clinked into the waiting earthen bowl. Daria saw more outlanders, furred Khajiit and scaled Argonians roaming purposefully in small groups, the Dunmer majority keeping as much distance as they could but letting them pass without comment. Faces looked harder there, worn down by work and cheap food. And cheap alcohol. Daria smelled it in the air, fighting a losing but never totally lost battle against the sour bug stench and the more quotidian odor of trash. Not that different from the Commercial District, she reminded herself. Daria still carried the canvas bag with the scrib inside. The weight of the thing dragged on her skinny arms. She held it closer to her body as she navigated the narrower streets of Labor Town. Some of the people here looked hungry enough to grab it from her. Was it still good? Did scribs go bad if left in a broken egg for too long? She had no idea what counted as fresh. Jane would know, she was sure. The apartment lay just a few rows east of the Odai River, the short distance only made far by unfamiliarity. It looked like its neighbors, a two-story adobe house with an exterior staircase running up the side to a second floor concealed by walls around the roof. A wooden sign hung outside the front door, marked with what looked like a barrel. Going by Jane's description, it had to be the sign of J'dash, the Khajit junk merchant who served as Jane's landlord. Knowing her friend lived on the second floor, Daria walked up the stairs. Jane was already on the roof, seated in front of an easel with a piece of charcoal in her right hand. The canvas proclaimed her work, a woman painted in black angles, her body contorted into a spiral and her exaggerated teeth clenched in a rictus grin. Fear and pain leapt straight from the image and into Daria's head. She'd never seen anything like it before. "Uh, I hope I'm not interrupting," she said, speaking loudly to be heard over the crowd below. Jane looked over her shoulder, smiling when she saw Daria. "Oh! I wasn't expecting you. Well make yourself at home. I usually paint outside so the fumes don't get to me." "Always sensible." Daria again felt a faint chill looking at the image. All the artwork she'd ever seen consisted of stately portraits and landscapes. This was different. Pure feeling in paint. Noticing that Daria was staring, Jane shifted in her seat. "It's just a little experiment. Don't worry, I know exactly how to capture the figure of Man or Mer. But sometimes I like to practice with something less conventional." "No, I like it," Daria said. "You do?" "Yeah. I've never seen anything like this before." "My attempt to do something new," Jane said. "Traditional Dunmer art has bold black lines and lots of angles, but it's almost all religious or historical. What you see on this canvas is what I see whenever I look at people like Synda or Magistrate Lli." "Twisted people going slowly insane under the weight of their hypocrisy and cruelty?" "See, you get it! Not that I have anything against religious art. All respect to ALMSIVI, of course," Jane said, briefly bowing her head, "but I think that the Dunmer gods and saints are probably sick of people making the same images of them over and over again." "Do you sell these?" "I wish! Like I said before, I mostly sell portraits to rich merchants. Gallus got me started." "Gallus?" Daria asked, noting the name as an Imperial one. "An outlander art dealer in the Commercial District. He introduced me to a lot of my clients, and he's the one who pulled strings to get me into the academy. It's not like I'd have had the money otherwise. Stuff like what I'm painting now is just what I do for fun. When I have time." "It's unique." "Too bad unique doesn't sell," Jane said. "Here, let's go inside. It's starting to get cold." Jane opened the door to her apartment and Daria followed. What looked like all of Jane's worldly possessions jostled for space inside. Pigments and canvas filled up a full half of the available room, other samples of her bold and bizarre personal laid out on a narrow bench. A rug and pillow served as bed, spread out next to stacks of neatly folded clothes. Daria barely had enough room to stand. Jane motioned for her to sit down on the bed. "Are you okay standing there?" Daria asked. "It's fine," she said, leaning against the wall. A single narrow window let in the ruddy light of the setting sun. It fell on a small, triangular stone next to the bed, decorated with a stylized robed figure pointing forward. "It's a shrine to St. Veloth," Jane explained. "A pioneer who led my ancestors to Morrowind, always searching for something new. I guess I could relate, a little bit." "I didn't know you were religious," Daria said. Jane smiled. "Not exactly. See, Dunmer religion's different from others. Our gods are right there in the flesh. You don't need to have religion to believe in something if it's standing in front of you." "Have they ever stood in front of you?" Daria knew about Morrowind's three living gods—though all the documents she'd read described them as nothing more than powerful sorcerers. Jane's piety disappointed her, somehow. The Tribunal Temple didn't think much of outlanders like Jane, so why would their supposed gods be any more accepting? "No, they haven't. But my dad saw Almalexia make an appearance at a Midwinter's Feast down in Mournhold. He said when she spoke, you could feel the presence of all the Dunmer generations past in that very spot, back to Resdayn and beyond." Jane's lips twisted into a regretful half-smile. "This was before I was born. I know it probably sounds kind of crazy, but I believe him." More likely, her father had just seen some Dunmer priestess painted in gold and covered in jewels. Daria decided to change the subject. "I brought you a gift," she said. "But I don't know if it's still good." Jane's expression brightened. "By all means, show me!" Daria opened up the bag, holding her face away to avoid the smell. "It's the scrib from the egg I was telling you about. I don't think anyone in my family's brave enough to eat it, but I thought you might appreciate it." Jane gasped, her hands shaking in anticipation. "Appreciate it? Daria, you just made my day! Hell, my entire week. And yes, that's definitely still good. Here, let's take this downstairs. I bet J'dash will let me use his kitchen if we share a bit." "Wait, if we share a bit?" "You're eating this Daria, whether you want to or not!" ********* Slimy as the scrib had been, Daria had to admit that something in the kitchen smelled good. While Jane busied herself with the scrib, Daria sat in the crowded little junk shop with J'dash, an older Khajiit with streaks of white in his russet fur. He rested in his chair, wrapped in a threadbare linen robe, his left hand grasping a clay cup filled with warm sujamma. J'dash's golden eyes fixated on the far wall, as if he could see through it to the distant jungles and deserts of sugar-blessed Elsweyr. Daria sipped her own sujamma, the drink's earthy taste adding to the warmth. Candles flickered on the table, the flames like red jewels in the dark. Her family, Synda, and the Camonna Tong all felt very far away. J'dash's long tail swished on the dirt floor as meat sizzled against hot metal in the kitchen. "It's ready!" Jane called. Jane came out of the kitchen, the scrib coiled up on a big redware plate. Daria breathed in the smell, thick and buttery with a hint of herbs. But it still looked like a bug. She took a deep breath. From the looks of things, this was a rare treat for Jane. Insulting her friend by refusing wasn't an option. She'd already eaten scrib jelly, so this couldn't be much worse. Except seeing it there in front of her, its too-many legs glistening in the candlelight, just reminded her of exactly what she'd be consuming. "Ahh, Dunmer is a good cook," J'dash said, his eyes on Jane. "Oh, don't listen to him. Seriously, don't: life's easier when expectations are low. Anyway, cooking's not my strong point, but I did pick up a few tricks over the years. Meals like this don't come often, so you want to make the best of them. Jane took a seat and uttered a quiet prayer. J'dash lowered his head in respect, perhaps thinking of his own gods. When she finished, he extended his left hand, fingers outspread. Polished white claws slid out from the fur, and he stuck one into a gap between the segments. Daria's teeth clenched as she watched, wondering about the Khajiit's hygiene and feeling a bit guilty for doing so. The scrib suddenly snapped, the soft flesh beneath the shell exposed to the air. A heavenly scent wafted out. Making a purring sound, J'dash motioned for Daria and Jane to dig in. Jane tore a chunk of scrib flesh from under the shell, and popped it into her mouth with relish. Not letting herself show her unease, Daria reached in. The sauce's heat stung her fingertips and she pulled back, more from surprise than from the heat. Trying again, she gripped a piece of meat and ripped it free, not allowing for any hesitation before she put it in her mouth. Hot, crisp, and tender with only a trace of the sourness. Juices burst between her teeth as she chewed, a bone-deep warmth spreading throughout her entire body. "This is delicious!" she exclaimed. "See, our cuisine has its high points," Jane said. Daria tore off another piece, the many-legged monster before her suddenly as appetizing as a holiday feast in the old country. She'd never tasted anything quite like it before, the flavor alien but somehow perfectly aligned to her palate. Maybe, she thought, there was something worthwhile in Morrowind. It wasn't easy to find, but it was there. And finding it ushered her into a very select group, one bound together by this knowledge of secret splendor. They finished all too soon. Leaning back in their chairs, all uncomfortably full, they accepted as J'dash broke open another jug of sujamma. All of Daria's cares seemed to spiral away in the comforting darkness. "This one is pleased, but thinks it is a shame that Dunmer's brother could not share in this meal," J'dash said. "I'm sure Trent's having a grand old time up in Caldera. Assuming he's still employed. Which is a pretty big assumption." "Trent?" Daria asked. "My brother. The only blood relation I have in Morrowind. He's a musician, so he's on the road a lot. Usually he plays for room and board at whatever cornerclub will take him. He'll come by here eventually." Daria nodded. How long had Jane been on her own? Part of her envied Jane for it. How nice it'd be to not have to watch out for Quinn, or deal with her parents' relentless social climbing. Just shut herself away in a little apartment with a job for the day and books for the night. A fatherly landlord like J'dash might be a nice bonus. Couldn't be easy, though. Not if Jane got that excited over what seemed to be a fairly basic food item. "Where are your parents?" Daria asked. "If you don't mind my asking." "They left for Cyrodiil oh, I don't know... eight years ago? No clue if they're still there. Dad's a painter like me, mom's a sculptor, so they go wherever there's work. I've got some other siblings scattered around." J'dash made a rasping sigh. "Khajiit had many litter-mates once, in the land where the sun is warm upon the sands. But the world is a cruel place, and drove this one to damp and chilly Morrowind. Strange place for Khajiit, yes?" He looked at Daria. "And where is Imperial's family?" "In the Commercial District," she said, feeling a little abashed. She wondered if J'dash's journey to Morrowind had been a voluntary one, but didn't think it was right to pry. "Imperial is fortunate," J'dash said. "The world is cold, but shared blood makes it warmer." "Uh, yeah. Fortunate." Daria took another sip of her sujamma, the alcohol in the brew warding away some of the awkwardness. She heard no judgment in J'dash's words. Just a statement of fact. She was lucky in some ways. Chapter 4 Jane refused to let Daria wander alone through the darkened streets of Labor Town, and insisted on her staying the night. The two girls retreated up to the apartment. Daria refused to let Jane give her the makeshift bed, so she sat on the narrow bench and leaned against the rough wall. Not an easy position to sleep in, but she'd had worse on the long boat ride to Morrowind. She woke up to a sliver of dawn's light, reddened by a fresh plume of smoke from Red Mountain. A hint of brimstone in the morning air stung her nostrils and made her eyes water. Behind her, Jane yawned. "Hope you slept okay," Jane said, her voice still sluggish from sleep. "Well enough." Daria groped for her glasses, finding them next to a set of brushes. The foggy world turned sharp once the lenses came over her eyes. "Do you have to go to the academy today?" Jane asked. "No. This is one of the days where I help my mom provide legal protection for greedy Imperial merchants." "Fun," Jane said, yawning again. "No sessions for me today, either. I'm not really a morning person, so I think I'm going to sleep a bit longer. Feel free to stay." "I should probably go," Daria said. Jane was already asleep. Daria crept down the stairs on stiff legs, the morning streets already busy with workers. Following landmarks she'd noticed on the way there, she soon reached the stone bridges spanning the Odai River, the busy but slightly neater Commercial District on the other side. She walked past the academy campus, a few early risers already present. Curiosity led her to scan the courtyard for Synda, but she saw no sign of the girl. Synda didn't strike her as someone who'd wake up any earlier than absolutely necessary. The academy disappeared behind another row of adobe shops. Daria squeezed through a shaded alleyway that led behind the milliner's shop, and from there just a few blocks to home. Pain exploded in her left side, just beneath the ribcage. Daria staggered, her arms flailing as she tried to reorient herself. Another hit, this time on her right, and she fell forward. Palms smacked painfully against the stone road as she broke her fall. "I'll be taking these," came Synda's haughty voice. A hand wrenched the glasses from Daria's face. The street turned into a muddle of harsh light and muted colors as her jaw fell. "Synda? Dammit, I need those!" "Oh, I'm sure you do." A figure, blurred to little more than a shadow, stepped in front of Daria. Daria bared her teeth. Fear and rage coursed through her, her hands ready to strike. If only she could see. Another blow cracked against her back, and forced her on her belly. Her teeth cut into the side of her mouth, blood rushing over her tongue and down her throat. Two figures walked around the prone Imperial to flank their boss. Fear started to overwhelm rage. She had to stay calm. "What do you want?" Daria asked, words distorted by her swelling wound. "Want? It's not what I want, it's what I demand. You Imperials think you can just walk all over us. I'm here to tell you that we Dunmer do not respond well to threats." "What was I supposed to do?" Daria wheezed. "You tried to take my sister—" "Your sister was no more than a curiosity. What matters is your attitude. I will not accept your insults or threats. And neither will the Cammona Tong." Daria froze. This couldn't be happening. Something heavy fell to the ground in front of her. Straining her eyes, she could just make out a glittering object on the street. Synda's foot slammed down, and the splintering glass left no doubt as to what she'd just crushed. "You insulted the honor of my people and family—not like you Imperials care about family. I could have killed you, but I decided to be forgiving and just destroy those weird things you always wear," Synda said. "I'll consider us even. But if you decide to escalate... make sure you're ready. And I don't recommend telling anyone about this, because that will most certainly escalate things." Daria tried to scoop up the shattered spectacles. She gasped as glass cut her fingers. She heard footsteps and laughter as Synda departed with her thugs in tow. ********* "Here's your money, or whatever," Synda said, once they were a safe distance away. She handed a few drakes to each of the two toughs. "I'll take it, but I don't like you telling outlanders that we're part of the Cammona Tong," said the bigger of the two, Todis. "If the real Cammona Tong finds out that we've been pretending—" "They won't. You did your job, and that's the last either of us will hear about it. She didn't see you, and I'm sure she'll be too scared to do anything." Todis shook his head. "Still a dumb idea. You should've warned us you were going to do that." Synda sniffed. She brushed off her dress once the toughs left to whatever cesspit had spawned them. Sure she was clean, Synda returned to the academy. All outlanders revolted her, but the Imperials most of all. Each was a tyrant and a liar, hiding steel with honeyed words and false treaties. And they brought their lackeys with them: savage Nords, half-breed Bretons, and even the decadent Altmer her ancestors had fled so long ago. With that the taxes, her family's plantation funding the war machine that suppressed them. Morrowind reduced to a sideshow, ancient families of honor and faith kowtowing the pleasure of plump Imperial bureaucrats. The Imperials couldn't even show basic decency to their own kind. Her stomach turned at the memory of Quinn denying her sisterhood with Daria. She'd been so willing to sacrifice the bonds of blood to avoid embarrassment. How did such a people survive long enough to conquer the world? They might have conquered the world, but they'd never conquer her spirit. ********* No one back in Cyrodiil had known how to deal with Daria. Her sharp words punctured even the proudest and boldest. She knew words. She did not know violence. Daria suspected her family's safety depended on her covering her tracks. She'd cast aside the handful of copper drakes in her pockets, and stumbled around blind until a guard found her. She'd almost bolted at the sound of his voice, the throaty rasp unmistakably Dunmer, but he'd been kind enough. A robbery. That's what she told her parents. And as they gasped and fretted and hugged her she burned inside, knowing it wasn't the truth. That for all of the Empire's might, her family was small and surrounded by hostility. Daria lied, and she lied well. She kept the story simple and the details consistent. There was doubt in Helen's voice, but Daria had been her mother's best pupil. Jake at least found a Dunmer glassmaker who said she might be able to recreate the lenses. So he took the shards to her while Daria waited. Blindness rendered the world incomprehensible. She opened up a book and ran her fingers across the pages, as if she could feel the patterns of the ink and turn them into words and images. "Uh, Daria?" came Quinn's voice. "What?" "That Dunmer girl at school was asking about you." Daria turned cold. "Which one?" "Me." Daria thought she recognized Jane's voice and raised her eyes from the book. The hazy gray figure next to Quinn gave her pause. All Dunmer sounded so similar. She tensed, beads of sweat forming on her brow. "Daria?" Jane said. "Oh!" Daria blurted out, trying to regain her composure. It wasn't fair to think that about Jane. She'd only been kind. The events of the last few weeks spun around Daria's head, and she took a deep breath to calm down. "I noticed you hadn't been in for a while. I asked Quinn, and she led me here." "Uh, thanks Quinn." "Sure," Quinn said. "I'll leave you two alone." Daria relaxed as her sister's footsteps grew more distant. "I'd get up to hug you Jane, but at this point I'm just as likely to knock you over." "Hey, I like a bit of risk, but if it makes things easier..." Jane put her arms around Daria, squeezing gently before letting go. "Do you want to talk about what happened?" Jane asked. "Quinn said it was a robbery..." Daria thought about it. Was it safe for Jane to know? "Yeah. A robbery." "That really sucks. I've never been robbed, but it's happened to Trent a few times. Guess you just got unlucky. What about your glasses?" "Dad says he might be able to finagle a new pair. Let's hope he's right. There's not much demand for a savant who can't read or write." "Right. You know, since I'm here, I could read out loud for you." Warmth welled up in Daria's chest. She'd been stuck in her own head for days on end. "If you don't mind," she said, keeping her voice steady. "Nah, it's fine. Which book do you want?" "Could you get A Dance in Fire? It's the brown one with the red bookmark." "I think I see it." Daria heard the book being slid out from the shelf, and the comforting sound of rustling pages. She could escape once more. And this time, take someone with her. The End (Hope you all enjoyed! As I mentioned in the intro, there are more stories in this series. Most of the characters from the show do eventually make an appearance, and Daria gets to visit some of the surrounding locales, as well. Please let me know what you think.)
2020.09.22 23:20 fishydesuHow to beat every darksouls 1 boss
How to Beat Every Boss in Dark Souls Asylum Demon- Do a plunging attack off of the ledge above it to do a huge amount of damage at the beginning of the fight. After this, try to stay behind the Demon for the entirety of the fight. Be aware of which way he’s swinging his hammer and you shouldn’t be hit once. Two-hand your weapon to do more damage; your shield won’t do much in this fight. Also, it would be wise to keep your camera unlocked during the fight. This makes getting around, and dodging the Demon much easier. Combining all of these tips should result in you besting Dark Souls’ first boss! Taurus Demon- Every time you go into the fight, it is a good idea to take out the two archers on the tower above you. If not, they will shoot at you during the whole fight and cause a lot of trouble. When the Taurus Demon jumps down from it’s tower, immediately run back to the ladder and climb up it. Apply lightning to your weapon (you can find gold pine resin in Undead Burg, in a chest next to where the flaming barrel tumbled down the stairs) and do a plunging attack on it. After this, stay close to the Demon while you attack it. Be wary of the broken section of the bridge; if the Demon attacks you near it, you can go flying off the bridge and die. When the Demon is about to strike, roll towards it and through it’s legs. Keep doing this and it will eventually die. Bell Gargoyles- After your first attempt at this boss, always be wary of the gargoyle’s first appearance. It will be standing just on the other side of the fog gate, ready to strike you as soon as the fight begins. It’s a good idea to mostly roll sideways during the fight (if you are staying locked-on). Rolling backwards will sometimes result you in being struck by an attack. The gargoyles are weak to fire damage, so any fire-based attacks, (charcoal pine resin, pyromancy, etc.) are effective. Once the first gargoyle approaches half-health, start being more aggressive. You want to do as much damage as possible before the second gargoyle enters the fight. In this second phase, try and focus your attacks on the one that is already damaged. Get the gargoyle to do his fire-breath attack, and then attack it. This is because it will be locked into a long attack and you can get in a couple of hits. (Be sure to be aware of the second gargoyle’s location during this. If he hits you, you are in a really bad position, between the two gargoyles.) If you are having a lot of trouble with this fight, you can use the Drake Sword (obtained by damaging the Hellkite Dragon enough times in the tail). This will be able to demolish the gargoyles’ health. Moonlight Butterfly- Stay unlocked. Being locked-on during this fight makes it more awkward to dodge the magic attacks on the narrow bridge. Continue to dodge the magic and then attack the Butterfly when it lands. The Butterfly is weakest to fire damage, so when it’s about to land, use charcoal pine resin and two-hand your weapon. When the Butterfly lands, you want to put out as much damage as possible. If you’re having trouble, it would be wise to wait a while before fighting the Butterfly. This is because if you don’t do enough damage to it, the fight could take very long. (It is quite a boring fight, so you don’t want it to go on any longer than it has to.) The hardest part of the fight is learning to differentiate each of the Butterfly’s magical attacks. It’s not a very tough boss, so you can definitely kill it, after a little practice. Capra Demon- The first three seconds after entering the fight are the hardest moments of the fight. If you can dodge the two dogs and Capra’s initial attack/s, then you could easily beat the boss. Having a shield equipped for the fight is a good idea. After entering the fight, immediately run up the staircase (after dodging a few attacks). Turn around and hold up your shield. After the dogs attack your shield, attack and kill them. At the top of the staircase, you can turn right and walk on a skinny ledge; do this. Stay at the back-end of the ledge with your shield up. Capra will eventually fall down from the stairs, and you can do a plunging attack on it. (Side-note: After Capra falls down is a good time to apply a buff to your weapon. It is weak to fire damage, so charcoal pine resins are a good idea.) You can either continue doing this, or fight him normally. If you fight him normally, dodge to the side, through his attacks. (You can also do this fight without your camera locked-on, but it’s not as effective as it is in some other fights.) Try and get behind Capra for the biggest openings. Also, be sure to watch out for it’s jumping strike, because that can deal huge damage. (Or you could completely skip the fight by throwing a couple dung pies into the arena from outside the fog gate.) Gaping Dragon- Make sure to kill the channeler in the Depths before fighting the Dragon. He can buff the Dragon and shoot projectiles at you during the fight, making it much harder. Since, the Dragon is so huge, you should fight with your camera unlocked. This gives you the most control and it makes getting around the Dragon much easier. Be sure to buy lightning weapon buffs from the vendor outside the doors to Blighttown, as the Dragon is weak to it. The Dragon can smack you, body-slam you, jump up into the air and charge into you (the charge being the most deadly). As long as you apply gold pine resin to your weapon, keep your camera unlocked, keep attacking it’s feet and stay clear of any charging attacks, you should be fine. It’s also a good idea to two-hand your weapon. Your shield will do very little against the Gaping Dragon, and every bit of damage helps against its enormous health bar. Even if you get hit, it’s so slow that you have plenty of time to heal before it attacks you again. Play consistently enough and soon the Gaping Dragon will be dead. Chaos Witch Quelaag- Quelaag is weak to lightning. For this reason, it would be wise to bring a spare gold pine resin with you, for her boss fight. During the whole fight, stay to her side, and attack the spider legs. Always pay attention to Quelaag’s human body, so you know when she is about to do her AOE attack. (This is telegraphed by her leaning forward.) If you get caught in front of her, get ready to dodge her three-attack combo. Always assume that she is doing her three-attack combo because even if she is winding up to do her big stab attack, the animation is so long that you can dodge again, once you’ve already dodged mistakenly (sorry if that was worded poorly). You want her to do her lava-spewing attacks because this is when you can do a lot of damage. (She will be stuck in place for a long time, similar to how the gargoyles are stuck during their fire-breath attack.) Speaking of her lava, make sure to stay aware of where it is. If you get caught in it, it can do massive damage and kill you easily. I suggest keeping your camera unlocked during the fight, because this way it’s easier to more reliably strike her spider legs. Also, it helps keeping the lava on your screen, so that you don’t mistakenly stumble into it during the fight. The fight sounds complicated, but when you memorize the timings for her sword attacks, it gets much easier. Stray Demon- Very similar to the Asylum Demon, but with magic attacks, too. It also has much more health, so you should fight it much later in the game. Just like the Asylum Demon, keep your camera unlocked. This helps you get behind the Demon easier. Also, like the Asylum Demon, it is a good idea to two-hand your weapon during this fight (unless you have a high magic-defense shield). This is because your shield won’t do all that much against the Demon’s attacks. The hardest part of the fight by far are the magic AOE attacks. When you see that an AOE attack is going to go off, get behind the Demon and run. These AOE attacks are telegraphed by the Demon slamming its hammer or by the Demon swinging its hammer through the air. Sometimes it’s hard to tell whether an AOE attack will go off, so play it safe during these instances. Try to stay behind the Demon and eventually you will kill it. You might want to use some sort of weapon buff in this fight, because you want to end it as fast as possible. This is because the fight is so RNG dependent, based on what attacks you get (some are easily-dodged and heavily punishable and others are very hard to avoid and allow little time after to damage the Demon). Keep in mind that the Demon is weak to magic and bleed damage. If the fight proves too difficult, you can always come back later in the game to defeat the Stray Demon. Great Grey Wolf Sif- Sif is weak to lightning so bring a gold pine resin to the fight. Whether you lock-on your camera or not is largely up to preference in this fight, because neither lends a significant advantage over the other. Try to stay under Sif during the whole fight. He won’t be able to hit you as long as you’re under him. If he jumps away and lunges back at you, dodge the attacks by rolling towards Sif, and get under him. Most of his attacks are heavily punishable, because you can get under him after almost every attack. Once you are under him, two-hand your weapon for maximum damage. Once he jumps away, you can pull out a shield again, if you use one. Poor Sif. Iron Golem- Be sure to kill the giant that is located directly above the fog gate before you enter the fight. If you don’t, he will constantly throw explosives at you during the fight, making it much harder. Once entering the fog gate, dodge the Golem’s first long-range attack and get to its feet. Try and do a lot of damage very quickly in this fight to each of his feet. Two-handing your weapon during this fight is a good idea because a shield will do very little against the gargantuan Golem. The Golem is weak to lightning damage, so try to either use a lightning-infused weapon or gold pine resin during the fight. Also, try to kill the Golem with your camera unlocked. Locking-on will keep you from seeing some of the Golem’s attacks and it makes hitting its feet harder. While you can kill it normally, there is a much easier way. If you do enough damage, it will start stumbling and be thrown off balance. Once again, do a lot of damage very quickly to each of its feet. Except this time, make sure to aim your attacks in the direction of a huge drop. The Golem will be thrown off the fortress if you deal enough damage to it quickly enough. It is easier for you to get the instant fall damage kill by standing on the long ledge on the far side of the arena. However, it is very easy to be thrown off, yourself, if you get hit. Balance positioning with controlled aggression and you will come out on top. Ornstein and Smough- This is considered to be an incredibly difficult fight, so make sure you use a powerful weapon and a weapon buff. I suggest using the crystal halberd during this fight. You can find it earlier in Anor Londo. It’s to the left, once you leave the room housing the first bonfire in Anor Londo, inside the mimic. Be aware, though, that the halberd can break easily, so use it when you start getting good at the fight, to the point where you can finish it soon. For the weapon buffs, Ornstein is weak to fire and Smough is weak to lightning. For this reason, I would suggest using charcoal pine resin in the first phase and gold pine resin in the second phase. Once you enter the fog gate, be ready to dodge Ornstein’s lunging attack. (Sometimes he does it and sometimes he doesn’t.) During the first phase of the fight, you want to play incredibly carefully and only attack whenever you are absolutely sure that you have an opening. The basic game-plan for the fight is this: Run to the opposite side of the boss room if Ornstein and Smough are close to you. Use the six pillars as cover constantly throughout the fight. At this point, hope that Ornstein does a lunging attack so that he gets close to you. Attack him once (maybe twice) if you have an obvious opening to do so. Try to always keep Ornstein and Smough on-screen so that they can’t surprise you by stabbing you in the back. I suggest two-handing your weapon when you get the opportunity to attack Ornstein. This is because these opportunities are few and far between. You want to make the most of it every time. When Smough starts getting close to you run to the other side of the arena and repeat. Keep your camera unlocked for most of the first phase. Only lock-onto Ornstein when you’re going to attack him. You want as much control on your camera as possible during this fight. Killing Onstein in the first phase is preferable, because doing it this way is easier and more reliably done. During the second phase, always keep a pillar between you and Smough. Whenever he finishes one of his attacks, run to him and hit him once (twice if he finishes his lightning butt-slam attack). The only attack you really need to watch out for is his lightning butt-slam attack. It is very difficult to dodge and does very high damage. When you see him jump in the air, either run back or roll back twice (if you can fast-roll). Take this fight very slowly and it gets easier. Overcome this duo and you will have defeated what some believe is the toughest boss in the game! Crossbreed Priscilla- Before the fight starts, apply charcoal pine resin to your weapon. Priscilla is weak to fire, so the resin, along with pyromancies are very effective against her. Do your strongest attack first; Priscilla doesn’t start fighting you unless you attack her first. After she goes invisible, you must locate her, based on her appearing footprints in the snow. If possible, get behind Priscilla when attacking her. It’s a very simple fight, but that doesn’t mean it’s easy by default. Similarly to Sif, it is up to your preference, whether you lock-on or stay unlocked. I prefer staying unlocked, because it allows me to more easily dodge her attacks. Try not to get greedy, and you will eventually defeat her. If she’s too difficult, you can come back later to fight her. Dark Sun Gwyndolin- Gwyndolin has three attacks, so learning them and reacting to each of them differently shouldn’t be that difficult. There are pillars on either side of the hallway that I recommend using to dodge some of his attacks. Firstly, and his most deadly attack: his big orb blast attack. This will shoot at you very quickly and is able to go through the pillars on either side of the hallway, so it’s a good idea to do a roll even if you’re not sure if this attack is going off. His small homing orbs attack is when you want to hide behind the pillars, though. They move much slower than his big orb blast attack. His final attack is dart attack. This is the one you want him to use, because it is easily the most punishable. Whenever he uses it, just run side to side, whilst approaching him. (Side-note: his big orb blast attack is also punishable, it’s just harder to dodge than the dart attack.) You don’t have many opportunities during the fight to attack him, so using a fire damage is suggested, since he’s weak to it. However, Gwyndolin is also weak to physical, bleed and occult damage, so instead of pyromancies, charcoal pine resin would be better in this fight. Just like Priscilla, whether you lock-on or not, during this fight is entirely up to your preference. For me, personally, I prefer staying unlocked to dodge his projectiles, but locking-on when I run up to attack him. I’m over complicating the fight; just run up to him, attack, repeat. Pinwheel- This is widely considered to be the most difficult fight in the Dark Souls series, and one of the hardest bosses in any game, period. Most of this fight boils down to lightning-fast reflexes and deep knowledge on the gameplay mechanics, but that doesn’t mean that I can’t try to give some tips. Once you enter the fight, immediately run up to Pinwheel. Start attacking him/her until he/she teleports away. (At this point he/she should be around half-health.) Pinwheel will start summoning copies of themself. Find out which one is the real Pinwheel by attacking his/her copies once. After you find out which one is real, attack him/her. Done. Seriously, though, if you come here earlier in the game, Pinwheel can put up a small challenge. Even at that point though, the catacombs to get to Pinwheel is much harder than the boss itself, so you are absolutely fine, even if it takes a few attempts. Gravelord Nito- Using a charcoal pine resin/ pyromancies is a good idea in this fight, as Nito is weak to fire. I prefer fighting Nito with my camera unlocked so that I can more easily manage his skeletons. After you take fall-damage from falling into the fight, find a small opening to use your estus flask. It’s risky to use it immediately after falling because sometimes Nito will use his floor attack (where he summons a weapon from the floor beneath you). During the fight, stay close to Nito unless you need to heal. Focus your attacks on him, until he summons too many skeletons. The skeletons put up more of a fight than Nito, so periodically take out some skeletons, from time to time. When you see Nito charge up for his AOE attack, run away and it will kill all of his summoned skeletons. This is when you want to charge Nito and deal as much damage as quickly as possible. Repeat attacking him, taking out skeletons and dodging his AOEs and you will kill him. Seath the Scaleless- When the fight starts, immediately run around Seath. There will be a glowing crystal behind him that you must strike and destroy (it’s destruction will result in Seath’s vulnerability). Now that he’s vulnerable, start attacking his tail/s while he turns around. Run far away from him to bait one of his long range attacks. Once one has begun, run up the his front and attack him. Keep attacking him until you see him charging up his next attack. Run away to escape his attack. At this point Seath should be close to cornering you in the boss room (if not, run up to him and attack the front of him again). If cornered, run around him and attack his tail/s until he turns around. Repeat these few steps and soon Seath will be dead. If you are having trouble against Seath, remember that he is weak to lightning damage. I definitely suggest staying unlocked during the fight, just like I do for pretty much every large boss in the game. The Four Kings- This fight will be inaccessible until you defeat Sif, and equip the Covenant of Artorias ring. This fight is basically entirely dependent on your DPS. If you are capable of doing a lot of damage quickly, this boss will be easy. If not, then it will be very difficult. For this reason, it is wise to use some sort of weapon buff before the boss appears. Fire damage is most effective against them, so that is what I suggest. During the fight, be sure to stay close to each king so that they don’t do any projectile attacks. When the first king does appear, run up to him and dodge his first combo. Try to get behind him and attack him (try to get behind him so that you are able to get one or two more attacks off before the king goes into another combo). The only two attacks you have to watch out for is the grab attack and the AOE blast. (The AOE blast is telegraphed by the king spinning in circles.) After a while, a second king will spawn into the fight. This is why DPS is so important to this fight. If you can’t do enough damage, then you will eventually have to deal with up to four Kings attacking you at once. It is wise to play very aggressive in this fight so that you only have to fight one king at once. If your DPS in this fight is lacking too much for you to prevail, I suggest for you to fight this boss later in the game. You can acquire the lord souls in any order, so if you want to, you can put off this boss until late in the game. Ceaseless Discharge- Dodge his fist-slam attack and then attack his... tentacle-fist thing. Possibly the simplest boss in the game. Only thing to be aware of is that you shouldn’t run too far from him, or else he will shoot out lava (which can actually be brutal). Demon Firesage- This fight is very similar to the Stray Demon fight, the biggest difference is that now you are probably much better equipped than when you fought Stray. It’s the Asylum Demon with an AOE and fire. Because of their similarities, many of the strategies used against the Asylum Demon or Stray Demon apply here, too. Ironically, the Demon Firesage is actually weak to fire damage. Pyromancies and charcoal pine resin are especially effective against it. Try to stay behind the Demon. Not many of its attacks will be able to hit you. If not behind, then stay right in front of it. Most of his attacks will miss you, you just need to watch out for the AOE attack. However, your best bet is to just stay behind the Demon. Centipede Demon- When you enter the fight, you will be on a tiny platform of land surrounded by lava, and the Demon will be approaching you. If you are able to, take a right and follow the path along the wall, eventually ending up to the right of where you entered the fight. This piece of land is much larger than the one you were on before. Now, wait for the Demon to approach and dodge his initial attack. If you want to maximize your damage output, be sure to utilize some sort of lightning or magic damage, as the Demon is weak to it. I also strongly suggest keeping your camera unlocked during the fight. If not, the camera will be awful, and you will barely be able to see what’s going on. Back to the fight, when the Demon is finally standing on a safe platform, run underneath him and start attacking his legs. He will keep doing jump attacks but just roll a few times in any direction and you should be fine. That’s pretty much the whole fight; get under him, attack, dodge the jump attack, repeat. Bed of Chaos- Oh god. There are many ways/strategies to get around this awful fight. There is a very safe strategy involving firebombs, but it is too complicated to explain here and I’m not too comfortable with the strategy, myself. If you’re interested, you can watch it in most no-hit runs of the game. If not, then you’re in for a rough fight which will likely entail many deaths, with an enormous run-back to the fight every time. Here’s how the fight goes: Slide down the huge slide and run to one of her two sides. For the time-being, the only attack you have to worry about is a close-range attack; stay far away. Destroy the yellow ring inside of the orange orb. This is pretty much where the real fight starts. I suggest quitting out of the game and reloading so that you can respawn in the center of the room. The floor of the boss arena will start to collapse, so you must be careful where you stand. While doing this, you have to watch out for attacks coming from the boss, herself. Eventually, make your way over to the other orange orb and break it. Once again, I suggest quitting out for the same reason. Now, you must run straight at the boss and jump down to a tree root revealed by the crumbling floor. The boss will try everything she can to stop you, so be ready to die a few times while attempting this. Run into the center of the Bed of Chaos and break through the sticks blocking you. Deep inside, you will find a bug- kill it. This is by far the most annoying boss in the game, so one of the biggest challenges of the fight is going to be staying calm. There aren’t very many definitive strategies for this fight (at least not that I know of) so you are going to have to experiment. If you truly can’t beat her, once again, try looking up the firebomb strategy that people use during no-hit runs. If you were able to find the resolve within yourself to defeat the Bed of Chaos, you can pride yourself on knowing that you’re over with one of the worst fights in the series! Gwyn, Lord of Cinder- The difficulty in this fight is greatly dependent on one thing; if you can parry. If you can parry, this fight is pretty easy, but if you can’t, then this will be one of the harder bosses in the game. For this reason, I will describe two different ways of defeating this boss, depending on if you can parry or not. Before that, though, keep in mind that Gwyn is weak to fire. Exploiting his weakness will lead to a swifter victory. Locking-on in this fight is up to your preference, but I prefer locking on. If you can parry: Get the first parry off on Gwyn when he lunges at you, beginning the fight. While he’s getting up, circle behind him. Fast-roll backwards thrice and prepare to parry his lunging attack. Keep circling behind him and rolling and parrying him until he’s dead. If you mess up any of your parries, reposition yourself and then later parry one of his normal attacks. This lets you get back into the parry loop. If you can’t parry: Try to wear fire-defense armor. Try to use a fire-defense shield (some of Gwyn’s attacks come out too fast to reliably dodge). I find it easier to get behind Gwyn if I play with my camera unlocked, however you should not do this if you have any type of thrusting weapon. The basic gist of the fight is this: Dodge Gwyn’s combo of fire sword attacks and hit him when he is finished. He has a wide variety of attacks that range from ridiculously fast, to relatively fast, so you need to learn how to differentiate each of his tells for each attack. He has grab attacks, combos, thrusts, leaping attacks, etc. He can close the distance between you, so don’t think you’re safe to use estus if he jumps backwards. If you do need to use estus (or if you’re in need of downtime during the fight, for whatever reason) be sure to take advantage of the stalagmites around the boss room. Usually, this buys you enough time to buff your weapon, use estus, or apply something to yourself, magically. Gwyn is a tough, straight-forward fight. It’s a classic duel. Learn his attacks and you will prevail, eventually. Congratulations on completing Dark Souls! [I am unable to provide any useful guides for the Artorias of the Abyss DLC, as I have only finished it once. However, if I ever do it again, (which is likely) I will be sure to repost this, with information about the bosses in the Artorias of the Abyss DLC.] [If you think I missed any useful tips, be sure to reply and tell them to me. If they seem genuinely useful to know, I will consider adding them.]
2020.09.22 22:22 Verz[Draft] ZNR Draft Guide and Format Analysis
I originally intended for this to be a short overview of my thoughts of the set but I got a bit carried away so apologies if this is a bit long but I put a lot of thought into making it as in-depth as I could. A bit of context on myself as this is my first post in this sub. I am a relatively new Magic player. Although I've been playing other TCGs (Namely Yu-Gi-Oh! and Hearthstone) for over 10 years, I only started playing MTG around Guilds of Ravnica and I've been playing pretty much exclusively draft since then (Other formats aside from commander don't really appeal to me). I usually make it to mythic when I have the time to grind out games on MTGA (Currently #59 Mythic https://imgur.com/a/u4fSpyY) but recently I've found the past few draft environments boring and haven't played them much. ZNR has been pretty fun for me so far and I've been non-stop drafting since it came out and have grinded my way up to top 100 mythic. I'm here to share my thoughts about what I've had success with and what my impressions are of the set. I won't go over specific card evaluations (I think there's enough of that kind of content out there although I wouldn't mind giving my thoughts if people are interested), which are really only applicable in a pack1/pick1 scenario since card evaluations will change depending on the synergies you have in your deck. Instead I think it's a lot more productive and conducive to discussion to talk about what actually makes a functional, synergistic deck and the underlying concepts to take into consideration when drafting. That being said I will still give examples of key cards for different synergies. I have found that ZNR is an extremely synergy oriented set. In this draft environment synergy seems to be the name of the game. Synergies are just as, if not more, important than card quality in this set. Each color combination is trying to do a specific thing and leaning hard into that thing is usually the best way to draft a good deck. There are a lot of different synergies going on in this set, with each color pairing focusing on one in particular but more often than not you'll have multiple synergies going on in any given deck. In addition to each color pair having specific synergy themes, each individual color has 2 tribal themes and various secondary themes. All this structure may make it sound like the set is very on the rails for drafting, (Much like a Core Set) but there's actually a lot of complexity ingrained into the set that makes drafting a little more thought intensive than I would have first assumed. I will not be discussing rares/mythics for the most part in this guide. I only included commons and uncommons because these are the cards that you will see most often in the average draft. Yes you will sometimes pull a bomb rare early and end up building around it and in that case it will completely warp your card evaluations. In those scenarios general guide information won't be too relevant. However, most of the time your decks will consist of a ton of commons and uncommons so that will be my focus. I'll start by going over the major and minor themes of each color, the premium removal spells, and how many members of each party tribe are present at common/uncommon.
Primary Themes: Clerics/Life Gain, Party, Landfall Secondary Themes: Warriors/Equipment (7 Clerics, 6 Warriors, 1 Wizard, 0 Rogues) Premium Removal: [[Journey to Oblivion]], [[Nahiri’s Binding]] White is the color of Warriors, Clerics, Landfall, and Party in this set. White is the king of synergy here and is a great support color. It has a lot of commons and uncommons that synergize well with other colors and themes. White has a few reasonably statted creatures that can serve as curve fillers and slot into most decks even if they don’t synergize perfectly. White’s downfall is that it does lack a little in the removal department and has no card draw aside from the symmetrical [[Farsight Adept]] but by pairing it with Black or Blue you can more than make up for that. I think all of White’s color pairings are powerful with White/Black being the best of them.
Primary Themes: Wizards/Spells Matter, Kicker, Rogues/Mill Secondary Themes: Party (7 Wizards, 4 Rogues, 1 Cleric, 0 Warriors) Premium Removal: [[Bubble Snare]], [[Lullmage’s Domination]], [[Into the Roil]] Blue is the color of Rogues, Wizards, Mill, and Party. Blue, along with black are probably my picks for the best standalone colors of the set. Blue has access to some good removal spells, some good card draw, powerful value creatures, and fliers. Blue kind of does it all. I have sometimes found myself drafting Mono Blue (or nearly Mono Blue) decks. The fact that blue has good removal, card draw, and creatures makes it a powerful color. Aside from Blue/White, which is just okay, I think the Blue color pairings are incredibly powerful although Blue/Red is reliant on specific uncommons.
Primary Themes: Rogues/Mill, Party Secondary Themes: Clerics/Life Gain, +1/+1 Counters (7 Rogues, 4 Clerics, 1 Warrior, 0 Wizards) Premium Removal: Bloodchief’s Thirst, Deadly Alliance, Vanquish the Weak, Feed the Swarm Removal Removal Removal. I mean Black is technically the color of Rogues, Clerics, Mill and Life Gain but we all know you’re playing this color for it’s ample suite of powerful removal spells. With 3 premium removal spells at common this is hands down the best color for getting rid of annoying creatures. The Rogue and Cleric synergy cards are fine but not particularly inspiring without support from Blue and White respectively. The other creatures in Black are pretty mediocre. This color also has some of the weakest MDFCs (I'll get into these later) in my opinion but they are all still playable. Despite the creatures being on the weaker side I think Black is one of the most powerful colors in the set due to, you guessed it, the powerful removal spells it offers. Aside from Black/Green, which is mediocre, the Black color pairings are all incredibly strong.
Primary Themes: Warriors/Equipment, Party Secondary Themes: Wizards/Spells Matter, Landfall (8 Warriors, 4 Wizards, 2 Rogues, 0 Clerics) Premium Removal: Roil Eruption, Thundering Rebuke Red is the color of Warriors, Wizards, Equipment, Party, and to a lesser extent, Landfall. Red has some nice aggressive creatures and a few decent removal spells which can lead to some early leads where you deal a ton of damage before your opponent can stabilize. Where red fails is when it stumbles or the opponent plays a big blocker. In both of these situations Red finds it hard to catch up or get in for damage. Due to this, Black and Blue are great pairs for Red. The removal and evasive creatures Blue offers and the removal and grindy value cards that Black offers allow Red decks to close out the mid/late game. Red/White is playable but suffers from the problems that most aggro decks suffer from, getting in those last few points of damage. Red/Blue has some powerful Wizard synergy but is really reliant on a few key uncommons. Red/Black is the best combination for Red in my opinion, and Red/Green is far and away the worst.
Primary Themes: Landfall, Kicker Secondary Themes: Party, +1/+1 Counters (3 Warriors, 3 Wizards, 3 Rogues, 3 Clerics) Premium Removal: Rabid Bite, Khalni Ambush Green is in a very weird spot in this set. Green doesn’t focus on any specific Party tribe and the Party payoffs for Green are incredibly lackluster. This makes any deck featuring Green inherently a little less synergistic since every other color has at least a minor Party focus. Green does make up for this to a degree with some powerful Landfill synergy, some of the biggest creatures in the set, and a few decent removal spells (although not premium removal a single copy of [[Broken Wings]] is definitely maindeckable in this set). Green has the best synergy with White Landfall and Blue Kicker. Green/Black is playable but mediocre and Green/Red is abysmal.
In this section I'll give an overview and analysis of what I think are the mechanics with the most complexity. Kicker, +1/+1 counters and the various tribal themes are all pretty straightforward so I won't cover them here. Party: There are 25 common/uncommon cards featuring the keyword Party. 6 White, 4 Blue, 5 Black, 5 Red, 2 Green, and 3 colorless/multicolor. Each color has Party synergies but in my opinion the best colors for Party are White (6 playable Party payoffs), Black (5), and Red (5). So White/Black, White/Red and Red/Black are all going to be good choices for party payoffs. Due to the tribal themes of each color, color pairs will struggle with certain party members. White/Black will often have a bunch of Clerics, a few Warriors and Rogues, and very rarely have any Wizards so cards like [[Farsight Adept]] and [[Stonework Packbeast]] are important pickups for White/Black Party. White/Red will often have a bunch of Warriors, a few Wizards and Clerics and very few Rogues making cards like [[Sneaking Guide]], a 1/1 for 1 actually playable in some decks. Using this logic we can see that even though Blue (3 playable payoffs. I don't consider [[Concerted Defense]] a playable card) only has few Party payoffs, it is a good combination with White specifically for Party. This is because of the distribution of party members. Blue has a lot of Wizards and Rogues while White has a lot of Warriors and Clerics, making it easier to assemble a larger party. For the same reasons Black/Red is probably the best deck for party overall, with Black and Red each having 5 playable party payoffs, Black having a lot of of Clerics/Rogues, and Red having a lot of of Rogues/Wizards. It is the color combination most likely to have a good balance of party members and payoffs. Overall Party seems to be a pretty powerful mechanic but it does require you to build around it. Most Party cards should be evaluated based on how many of each Party class you have in your deck. At a baseline of having 0 creatures in play before playing them, most Party cards range anywhere from mediocre to okay. However just having 1 other Party creature type in play makes pretty much all of them decent. Having 2 makes them pretty good and anything more than that makes them insane. In the average Party focused deck I've drafted you can typically have 2 party members out at most times and when picking Party cards I imagine how good they are at 2. Obviously you will sometimes have the situation where you have 0 out and cards like [[Practiced Tactics]] literally do nothing but from my experience, if you prioritize Party members highly in draft, this is rarely the case. Modal Double Faced Cards: Each color has 4 Modal Double Faced Cards (MDFC) at uncommon. Typically one side of the card is an overcosted or situational spell while the other side is a land that enters the battlefield tapped and taps for 1 color. Neither of these options are particularly appealing, however, the flexibility of using the other side when needed makes these cards incredibly powerful. I've found that the power of these cards isn't immediately obvious to many players based on how frequently I see them wheel. One way to put it into perspective is to think of the card as a land rather than a spell. A land with a situational upside. These cards aren’t pure upside, however, a land that taps for 1 color and enters tapped is worse than a basic land. However the degree of difference between a tapped land and a basic land is very small when compared to the many benefits MDFCs offer. Most decks wouldn't mind playing a tapland that has the upside of being a card that really impacts the game when you don't need the extra mana. For example [[Song-Mad Treachery]] would be a terrible card on it's own. Cards with this type of effect are typically only 3 Mana and are only good if you win the turn you cast them, which is a case that comes up on occasion. Every other time, however, the card is just sitting dead in your hand. The power of Song-Mad Treachery being a MDFC means that when it is good, it will win you the game and when it isn’t good it is still playable as just a land. Situational cards that can lead to huge blowouts always have the downside of being a dead card when the specific situation doesn’t arise. MDFCs completely remove that downside at the cost of playing a land that enters tapped. That small cost is far outweighed by the benefit of being able to have those occasional blowouts. Another benefit of MDFCs is that they essentially allow you to have a higher spell count in your deck. Typically a draft deck has around 23 spells and 17 lands. By having 4 MDFCs in your deck you can effectively play a 13 land deck. The upside of playing a lower land count is that you flood less often. The downside is that you will be stuck on mana more often. MDFCs give you the best of both worlds with none of the downside. When you’re flooding you can cast them as spells, when you’re stuck on mana you can play them as lands, letting you play a high spell count with very little downside. This makes MDFCs a particularly high pick over other cards when drafting. For example: [[Umara Wizard]] Is a 4/3 for 5 mana that sometimes has flying. [[Living Tempest]] is a 3/3 for 5 mana that has flying and flash. In a vacuum Living Tempest is probably a slightly better card for the fact that it always has flying and has flash so it can ambush creatures. However, in most cases I would pick Umara Wizard over the Living Tempest. This is because the flexibility of it also being a land is so powerful. There will be many situations where you won’t get your 5th land in time and Living Tempest would just be sitting in your hand dead. Umara Wizard never has that problem because it can always just be a land. Living Tempest also takes up a spell slot in your deck. If you are running Living Tempest, a 5 drop, you probably want to play 17 lands which means you only have room for 22 other spells. Umara Wizard can be put in the land slot, meaning you can still play 23 other spells. In my opinion that more than makes up for the fact that the Tempest is slightly better than the creature half of the Wizard. MDFCs also have synergy that overlaps with landfall. The primary Landfall colors, White, Red, and Green, each have a card at common that can return lands to your hand. [[Tazim Raptor]], [[Kazandu Stomper]] and [[Pyroclastic Hellion]]. These cards allow you to play your MDFCs early and not worry about wasting the spell half of the card because you can simply bounce them and recast them later. All of the benefits of MDFCs may seem small on their own but combined they make these cards incredibly powerful. Landfall: There are 15 common/uncommon cards featuring the keyword Landfall. 4 White, 2 Blue, 1 Black, 3 Red, 4 Green, and 1 Multicolor. Landfall is a very interesting mechanic in the sense that there is a lot of decision-making during gameplay and deck building. For example: deciding when to play extra lands or keep them in hand for triggering landfall and how many lands to put into a deck with landfall synergies. There are a also lot of little synergies that aren't immediately obvious. For example although there are only 15 cards that explicitly have the Landfall keyword, there are many other cards that support landfall strategies. The MDFCs are a great way to include more lands in your deck without increasing your risk of flooding. Some landfall decks may want to play more than 17 lands in order to trigger landfall more consistently. By counting MDFCs as creatures you can effectively have extra lands when you need them or cast the spell side if you've already got enough lands to trigger landfall. The creatures that bounce lands are also particular good at helping trigger landfall. Cards like [[Cleansing Wildfire]], [[Roiling Regrowth]], and [[Scale the Heights]] are also great for triggering landfall multiple times in one turn.
The Color Pairs:
Each color pair focuses on a specific theme. I will describe each theme and provide 3-4 key commons/uncommons for each theme. I will not include generic cards that are good in most decks. Cards like draw spells and removal spells won’t be included as key cards because pretty much any deck would happily run as many removal spells as possible and the first or second copy of any decent draw spell. Instead I will highlight cards that are significantly better when played in a specific color combination.
Party Control Key Uncommons: [[Emeria Captain]], [[Spoils of Adventure]], [[Skyclave Plunder]] Key Commons: [[Shepherd of Heroes]], [[Seafloor Stalker]], [[Stonework Packbeast]] Blue/White is typically the color for fliers in draft formats. Usually filling a blue white deck with a bunch of flying creatures, removal, and a few ground blockers is enough for a good deck. In this set, however, most of the commons/uncommons with flying lend themselves to other synergies. I find that as Blue/White it is better to lean into the Party theme than just try to be a generic fliers deck. In this deck you should highly prioritize Party payoffs as well as Party members. White has a variety of good Clerics and a few playable Warriors to choose from and Blue has a few good Wizards. Seafloor Stalker and Stonework Packbeast are particularly important in this color combination because many of the Rogues in Blue are very lackluster outside of Blue/Black making these two the best Rogues you can hope to have. This kind of deck aims to lock down the opponent's big creatures with removal and outvalue the opponent with lifegain and card draw. When you have a good array of removal and draw spells it isn’t difficult to get way ahead in card advantage and get the board to a state where your opponent cannot attack and have enough cards in hand to answer their next play. I usually find myself in a spot where a I outvalue the opponent and a single Shepherd of Heroes or Seafloor Stalker chipping in for damage is enough to win a game. Overall I think Blue/White is better than Red/White for Party but not as good as Black/Red. I also think Blue/Black and Blue/Green are better controlling decks so overall my initial impression of the color pairing is that it’s definitely playable but isn’t amazing.
Rogue/Mill Key Uncommons: [[Soaring Thought-Thief]], [[Relic Golem]], [[Blackbloom Rogue]] Key Commons: [[Zulaport Duelist]], [[Anticognition]], [[Nimana Skydancer]] Blue Black is the Rogues/Mill deck. This deck can play either as a control deck or as more of a midrange beatdown deck. I tend to think the midrange version is a bit better. The control version relies on removal and mill to grind out a game and kill the opponent via drawing from an empty library. The midrange version leverages mill to turn on the 8+ cards in graveyard bonuses that many Blue/Black cards have. Cards like Anticognition are okay on their own but turn into amazing cards once your opponents have 8+ cards in the graveyard. There are also a lot of playable cards with incidental Mill that help trigger this. I believe it is best to draft a tempo oriented deck that doesn’t go all in on mill as a win condition. I think the problem with the Mill/control version is that many decks in this set can go over the top if the game goes on too long, particularly the Landfall and Kicker decks. This leads to it being very difficult to actually eke out the last few cards in the opponent’s library before they kill you. Many of the Blue/Black mill payoffs also lend themselves to a more midrange strategy. Cards like Relic Golem and Blackbloom Rogue reward you for milling the opponent by giving you an overstated creature and Mind Carver gives your creatures a huge power boost. These payoffs are kind of a waste if your game plan isn’t to win through damage. I think Blue/Black is best when it just plays good cards with incidental mill and removal/discard spells to turn on the synergies. Overall I believe Blue/Black is an incredibly powerful color pairing. The payoffs for milling are powerful and the cards with incidental mill are already playable so you don’t have to work too hard to get the synergies to going.
Party Aggro Key Uncommons: [[Shatterskull Minotaur]], [[Ravager's Mace]], [[Thundering Sparkmage]] Key Commons: [[Malakir Blood-Priest]], [[Ardent Electromancer]], [[Grotag Bug-Catcher]] Red Black in draft is pretty much always the aggro deck and that’s no different in this set. Party is more of a subtheme in this deck that compliments an already strong aggro shell. This deck leverages the powerful aggressive creatures in red with the ample removal spells in black to deal a ton of damage early and run away with the game that way. The 2 drops are the priority picks for this deck. Stonework Packbeast is great at turning on all the Party synergies. This deck more than others is perfectly happy to play a 2/1 for 2 as that is a statline that lends itself to aggro. This deck appreciates the reach damage of cards like Malakir Blood-Priest more than most other black decks. I’ve often found myself in situations where the opponent is at 5 or less life and has the board stalled. A single Malakir Blood-Priest in conjunction with [[Thwart the Grave]] or [[Bloodchief’s Beckoning]] can lead to squeezing out the last few points. Grotag Bug-Catcher is another high priority 2 drop for this deck as it will often be a 3/2 with trample on offense for 2 which is a great rate especially for a common. Even in the fail case that you have no other Party members, a 2/2 trampler on offense for 2 is still playable in an aggressive deck. Ardent Electromancer is another card that can lead to insane tempo swings and game winning attacks. Assuming you curve out a 2 drop with Warrior into Electromancer you should gain 2 mana which is usually enough to play another 2 drop. Having 3 creatures to attack on turn 4 is a lot of pressure, especially if you can back them up with a pump spell or removal spell. Although I usually don’t like combat tricks like[[Subtle Strike]] and [[Inordinate Rage]], this is definitely the deck where they shine and I wouldn't mind playing a copy or two. Overall I think great removal and aggressively statted creatures makes this color pairing the best aggro deck of the format.
Landfall Aggro Key Uncommons: [[Skyclave Geopede]], [[Brushfire Elemental]], [[Skyclave Pick-axe]], Key Commons: [[Akoum Hellhound]], [[Canopy Baloth]], [[Territorial Scythecat]], [[Kazandu Stomper]] Red/Green is usually the big stompy creatures deck, however in this set there are very few of those. There are however a few creatures that can grow to monstrous sizes, mainly by triggering landfall. The goal of this deck is to stack up multiple landfall creatures and just play out lands and turn the team sideways forcing your opponent to chump or take a ton of damage. Cleansing Wildfire and Scale the Heights are surprisingly powerful cards to allow triggering your landfall creatures multiple times in a single turn. In practice I find that this deck struggles to come back if they stumble in the early turns. Overall I think White/Green is a much better version of landfall. Skyclave Geopede is a powerful card but the other Red Landfall payoffs are pretty lackluster. White brings better Landfall payoffs to the table along with stronger removal spells. Red/Black is a much better version of Aggro. Green doesn’t offer the same extra reach of black life drain cards or the wide array of removal spells that black has to help to complement Red’s aggressive creatures. Overall Red/Green is stuck in a weird place where it does a little bit of everything but it doesn’t do anything great. Ideally I try not to draft this color pairing as I think Green/White and Red/Black perform a lot better on average.
Landfall Midrange Key Uncommons: [[Canyon Jerboa]], [[Fearless Fledgeling]], [[Murasa Rootgrazer]] Key Commons: [[Prowling Felidar]], [[Canopy Baloth]], [[Territorial Scythecat]] Green/White is the Landfall deck Red/Green wished it could be. The synergy between the commons is in this color pairing is incredible, rivaled only by the Black/White Cleric synergy and the uncommons feel like rares with how much power they bring to the table. Prowling Felidar and Territorial Scythecat are the MVPs of the commons. Landing one early and steadily powering it up is an easy road to victory. Gnarlid Colony is another common that shines in this deck. I typically find myself running it out as a 2 drop and just using the passive ability to give Trample to any Prowling Felidars I play later. MDFCs are also particularly good in this deck as you can use them to trigger landfall and then pick them up later with Tazeem Raptor or Kazandu Stomper. Canyon Jerboa and Fearless Fledgling are strong pulls into playing this deck as they can run away with the game if unanswered. Murasa Rootgrazer doesn’t win the game on it’s own, but when paired with any Landfall creature, it turns into an incredible value engine. This deck also leverages [[Taunting Arbormage]] particularly well, and can create situations where your opponent has to chump with their entire board. As much as I hype up the powerful synergy, this deck is still particularly soft to removal. A removal spell or two aimed at your Landfall creatures can be devastating. This is why I value [[Sejiri Shelter]] as a particularly high pick for this deck as it can come in clutch saving your creatures from removal. Overall I think Green/White is one of the stronger color pairings in the set due to it’s powerful synergy at the common and uncommon level and is the better of the two Landfall decks.
Cleric/Life Gain Key Uncommons: [[Attended Healer]], [[Scion of the Swarm]], [[Cleric of Life's Blood]], [[Relic Vial]] Key Commons: [[Kor Celebrant]], [[Shepherd of Heroes]], [[Marauding Blight-Priest]] White/Black is the Cleric/Life Gain deck. This deck leverages the synergies between cheap creatures to gain a ton of life and drain the opponent at the same time. uncommons are typically cards that can dominate a game in the right situation but when you have synergies at common that can run away with a game you’re really in a good spot. The synergy between Kor Celebrant and Marauding Blight-Priest is incredible. On their own they are each decent cards but when you have both in play they turn into a powerful engine that drains 1 life from the opponent each time you play a creature. The real power of this combo is the fact that it is cheap, both creatures are only 3 mana, both are decent blockers, and both are common so it is not unlikely to have multiple copies of each on the board at the same time. Draining the opponent for 2, 3 or even 4 each time you play a creature will make it hard for the enemy to kill you and put a serious clock on the opponent without even having to attack. This combo is also especially resilient to enchantment based removal. Even if your opponent puts one of your creatures under a Nahiri’s Binding or a Bubble Snare, you can still utilize their abilities. Aside from those two, there are several other powerful Clerics at common in both Black and White. There are also several Uncommon haymakers like Relic Vial and Cleric of Life’s Blood that accelerate the life drain strategy. Cards like Attended Healer and Scion of the Swarm can easily run away with the game on their own. Overall Black/White is one of the most synergistic decks in the set and leverages lifegain in multiple ways. The synergies between commons makes drafting a good Black/White deck pretty easy even without any bomb Rares or a ton of powerful uncommons.
Wizard/Spells Matter Key Uncommons: [[Umara Wizard]],[[Windrider Wizard]], [[Rockslide Sorcerer]], [[Umara Mystic]], [[Relic Amulet]] Key Commons: [[Expedition Diviner]], [[Tazeem Roilmage]], [[Chilling Trap]] Blue Red is another incredibly synergistic deck although unlike Black/White this deck relies more on opening powerful uncommons to build around. This color pairing works best as a tempo deck that also has a very reliable late game due to the Wizard synergies and the multitude of spells and Wizards with Kicker. This deck has some powerful uncommon synergies but if you don’t open them, this is a very mediocre deck to try building. The reasons to jump into this deck are Relic Amulet and Rockslide Sorcerer. They may not seem amazing at a glance but repeatable removal is an incredibly powerful effect and it isn’t difficult to trigger multiple times over the course of a game with the multitude of cantrips in Red and Blue. I’ve seen Relic Amulets do 10 or more damage over the course of a game just by casting tons of cards like Chilling Trap and [[Tormenting Voice]]. This is a deck I would never move into without having one of those key uncommons but if you do it can be a powerhouse. Overall the deck is pretty powerful, you just have to be careful to go into it only if it’s open and only if you get the right payoffs.
+1/+1 Counters Key Uncommons: [[Skyclave Shadowcat]], [[Iridescent Hornbeetle]], [[Moss-Pit Skeleton]] Key Commons: [[Guul Draz Mucklord]], [[Hagra Constrictor]], [[Gnarlid Colony]] Black/Green is one of the least synergistic color pairings. Although I do tout synergy as the most important factor in this set it is not the end all be all in every case. Black/Green is one of the only color pairings that can rely purely on card quality to make a functional deck. Many of the Party and Tribal cards are weak without the proper support and Green doesn’t focus on either of those mechanics. Even so, Black’s ample removal coupled with Green’s beefy creatures can lead to a functional, albeit boring, deck. The +1/+1 counter theme given to Black/Green is really more of a token gesture than anything. Hagra Constrictor and Gnarlid Colony giving your other creatures bonuses if they have +1/+1 counters is okay but in practice it doesn’t do enough. The uncommons do pull a little more weight but even then they aren’t the game dominating uncommons that other color pairings have. All in all Black/Green is a playable deck but not one that I would look to draft unless I get a few of the key uncommons or it’s wide open.
WarrioEquipment Key Uncommons: [[Relic Axe]], [[Kor Blade Master]], [[Kargan Warleader]], [[Gonna Fada Vanguard]] Key Commons: [[Scavenged Blade]], [[Expedition Champion]], [[Cliffhaven Sell-Sword]] White/Red is the Warrior Tribal/ Equipment deck. As usual, this color pairing is a low to the ground aggressive deck. This deck suffers from a similar issue to Blue/Red in the sense that it relies very heavily on key uncommons to thrive. The difference is a Blue/Red deck without key uncommons is just a mediocre value/tempo deck but a White/Red deck without key uncommons is still a reasonable aggressive deck. The combination of ample 2 and 3 drop commons with high power and reasonable removal in both Red and White makes this deck still playable without the key cards but once you have them it becomes a real steamroller. Gonna Fada Vanguard is a baseline 2/2 but doesn’t need a lot to be a pretty powerful 2 drop. With 1 other Warrior in play you can prevent most other 2 drops, and some 3 drops, from blocking which is great for a 2 mana investment. Equipment are a high priority in this deck as there aren’t many of them. Scavenged Blade and Relic Axe specifically are incredibly high picks as they make all of your 2 drops hit incredibly hard and trade up with opposing 3 and 4 drops. Expedition Champion, Cliffhaven Sell-Sword, and Grotag Bug-Catcher are ideally going to make up the bulk of your deck. Simply having a strong 2 drop into a 3 drop and playing a few removal spells can win a lot of games against slower decks. Red/White also has some reasonable Party synergy which makes cards like Stonework Packbeast, and Sneaking Guide slightly better in this deck since this color combination doesn’t have many Rogues. [[Grotag Night-Runner]] is another Rogue that is incredibly powerful in Red/White even if you don’t have a ton of Party synergy. Backed up with a pump spell or removal this card can amass an incredible amount of card draw in a color pairing that has very little. All in all Red/White is pretty strong. It doesn’t do party as well as Blue/White and it doesn’t do aggro as well as Red/Black but it does both strong enough that it does warrant it’s own spot close behind them as powerful color pairings.
Kicker Key Uncommons: [[Roost of Drakes]], [[Murasa Sproutling]], [[Vine Gecko]], [[Lullmage's Familiar]] Key Commons: [[Cunning Geysermage]], [[Tazeem Roilmage]], [[Gnarlid Colony]] Blue/Green is typically the color for ramp. Although the ramp in this set is scarce (Only 3 cards at uncommon), Kicker and Kicker payoffs make Blue/Green decks function even if they don’t reach the all-important 6th land drop. Kicker is an incredibly powerful mechanic that this deck leverages well. Most Kicker cards are reasonable on both mana costs which allows you to not feel bad about playing them early if you have to and turns them into powerful value cards in the late game. Although all of the key uncommons are pretty strong, Roost of Drakes is far and away the best of them. Roost of Drakes should almost never be played on turn 1, but on turn 4 it’s a 4 mana 2/2 flier. Alone that is probably a mediocre but almost playable card. If you play even a single card with Kicker afterwards, this card becomes incredibly powerful. Generating 2 2/2 fliers for 4 mana is a great rate. But that’s not the end of the story, in a typical game playing Blue/Green and resolving Roost of Drakes it’s not unlikely to get 4-5 triggers off of it. The additional fliers it generates block for you and allow you to stall for time and draw into more kicker cards which in turn gives you more fliers. I’ve often found myself in situations where I’ve resolved a Roost of Drakes and then Cast a Kicked Tazeem Roilmage getting back another kicker card from my graveyard. At that point the game is usually heavily in my favor. Aside from Roost, the baseline cards in this deck are all reasonably powerful on their own. Cards like [[Shell Shield]] and [[Risen Riptide]] are also reasonable inclusions in this color pairing on the strength of the synergy alone. Blue’s arsenal of card draw and removal go well in a deck that has access to a few ramp options. All in all Blue/Green is a reasonable deck that gets kicked into overdrive if you have Roost of Drakes.
I think nearly all the color combinations are powerful with Green/Red and Green/Black being noticeably weaker than the rest. Otherwise I love the design of this set. I think there are a lot of situationally powerful commons and uncommons that are good in very specific color combinations but mediocre in others. This makes drafting a very fun and thought intensive experience. This makes finding the open lane and reading the signals incredibly important in this set. If you see something like a Kor Celebrant or Marauding Blight-Priest going late you know it’s unlikely someone is in White/Black. Same for Green/White if you see a late Prowling Felidar or Territorial Scythecat. I hope this guide gives you some more insight on the intricacies of the ZNR draft environment and the synergies of the colors. Thank you for reading :)
2020.09.22 20:05 throwawaymustangguyIf songs like “the catch up”, “Paris Morton music 2”, “tuscan leather part 2” speak to you more than any of his other songs, you’re a leader among sheep, a true king
These songs are constantly on repeat every year for me. If not the more I’m on my purpose the more I listen to them. They’re like success music to me. I just feel like drake really pours his heart out on these songs because at this age he was really HUNGRY. He had to prove himself again after “take care (TC)”....TC was NOT enough and he proved that. These songs are the ones that really solidified my respect for him. Every time im struggling either mentally, or emotionally, or even when I want to remind myself WHY I’m doing things in my life and what I’m doing them for, I play these song and I bet back on my feet. Every time I hit a wall I always have this support system to bring me back and drakes music is one of my tools
2020.09.22 18:00 OpheliaCyanide[The Extramundane Emancipation of Geela, Evil Sorceress at Large] --- Chapter 33: An Old Friend, Deep Within the Academy
Synopsis:After hoodwinking Darkos, a holy priest, into escorting her back to her castle, Dark Enchantress Geela has one item left on her list: revenge on her ex-husband. With a confused Darkos in tow, she sets out. However, Geela isn't the only one with secrets. And Barney isn't the only old enemy who's about to get a visit. IndexPrevious Chapter Next Chapter on Friday! PatreonTalesByOpheliaCyanide “Alllright dearie, now hold out your thumb just like this. Ooh you’re a smart girl, very good, very well done. Almost done honey now I just need you to sign your name— oh look at you, so clever, such a smart cookie.” Geela could have strangled the old woman who held Geela’s and Darkos’s future identifications trapped in her gnarled old hands. And because of this hostage situation, Geela was forced to bare her teeth in a terrifying grin while Old Sondra showed Geela how to make an ID. “Got my first ID when I was twelve,” Geela said, through the aforementioned grit smile. “It’s not that hard.” “Well you are a feisty one,” Sondra warbled. “Wish all my clients were as good as you.” The woman was, according to Jane, seventy years old, blind, senile, and thought she was still working at the official ID registry. When Geela had first heard the story, she’d let a rare hint of empathy twinge her blackened heart. That empathy had died the moment the woman started talking and now Geela wanted nothing more than to cause another City shattering explosion. “Good good. You’re all set Mrs. Bronwyn. Why don’t you wipe your little bitty thumb over on this rag.” Geela gagged as the old rag was thrust in her face and she pushed the gnarled hand away. “I’m good.” “Alright then, now to Mr. Bronwyn.” She smiled, a truly horrifying sight. Somehow, the woman had all of her teeth, despite not a single one being in good condition. The more Geela inspected the yellowed tusk, the more Geela realized that there were closer to forty of them than thirty… “Let me take those hands of yours and I’ll show you where to sign.” Darkos, who’d spent Geela’s half of the appointment grinning, now suddenly grew very subdued as the withered hand gripped his fingers. “Ooh very strong hands. You got yourself a real manly type, Mrs. Bronwyn. Very handsome.” Geela glared at Jane, who all but died under her black stare. She gave Geela a weak stare. “You did really well, Gale.” Geela was ‘Gale’ now because everyone decided on names closer to their real names. Darkos was Drake, because he got to have a cool name and life wasn’t fair. “Alright Mr. Bronwyn, put your thumb heeeere.” They got out eventually, wiping their sooty thumbs on their own clothes to avoid touching any of Sondra’s moldy rags. “That’s so… sad.” Darkos didn’t quite look like he bought his own sympathy. “Living alone like that. In squalor. Poverty.” “Oh no, she’s not poor,” Jane said, fumbling for Geela’s and Darkos’s hands, trying to wipe their fingers off on her own apron, until she was rewarded with a slap by Geela. “She’s an ID crafter. They made buckets. She just spends it… creatively.” Geela spat on her thumb, wiping it on Jane’s cheek. “How do you mean, creatively?” “Uh. She’s got a collection of dragon models?” Darkos’s whole face furrowed in surprise. “Model… dragons.” “Like the ones that con men try to play off as baby dragons?” Jane said. “Baby dragons? I thought they came from eggs.” “Darkos, really? You know they don’t just hatch full grown!” Geela’s pale cheeks were glowing red in anger. “Well of course they don’t hatch full grown. It’s just that—I’ve seen dragon eggs and those things are like, two feet tall, right?” He turned back to look at the looming building. “How big are these model dragons that you could pass them off as a dragon?” Jane followed his gaze to the top of the building. “Big. And expensive. The whole place is hers. It’s filled with them. They don’t grow and are completely mindless but she loved them.” “Getting old must be difficult. I don’t blame her for taking on some strange hobbies.” Geela eyed him. She was older than ‘Old Sondra’ by a few years. So her sympathy was very thin but on the other hand, if she pointed this out to Darkos… well it wasn’t exactly bragging to say she was older than the crazy dragon lady. It didn’t help that some people also called her crazy. They were wrong of course but the rumors were there. So Geela held her tongue and dragged her guide and her newly minted ‘husband’, Drake Bronwyn, back to the Lounging Loon. “I need a shower and a nap,” Geela said, her temper short and not ready to take any arguments. “I’m going to the academy this afternoon, after my nap, alone, to scout it out.” Darkos looked at Geela in a way she didn’t much like. He used to fix her with that same pitying confusion back before he knew her true identity but she hadn’t really seen it since being eaten by the frog. But she wasn’t going to assure him that she wasn’t angry because she couldn’t tell what it was about the old lady that got her so pissed. She needed to rest and clear her head. Then off to the academy, because visiting her old stomping grounds would definitely make her feel better and not leave her with any strange or conflicting feelings whatsoever. — The last time Geela had laid eyes on the structure stretching thousands and thousands of feet into the sky, she had been flying away from it, cackling and shooting at blood whelps, campus security, and Silver Guards as she made a wild and theatrical escape. The first time she’d looked upon it, she’d been twelve, bright eyed, and so enthusiastic. She could see that memory as clearly as the memory of her escape sixteen years later. The pigtails. The apron. The bow. The rivals. She inhaled deeply. The smell was the same. Something sharp, the scent of paint and grass and ink and magic. The oil from the busses that rolled around the campus, the whirr of wings from the messenger drones and delivery drones, the chattering of students and faculty and that hum of magic just filling the air, a dozen different flavors and a hundred variants. Getting into the academy was child’s play. The security could only be so good. There was simply no way to make a system simple enough that children could get in while also keeping out trouble. Instead, the security focused on keeping eyes and ears all over the entire grounds and responding like lightning to infractions. It was all they could do but Geela didn’t really mind one way or another. She wasn’t here to hurt. Not yet. As she coasted through, she blended right in with the eccentric students. Thousands and thousands and thousands of students, aged six to twenty two, all of them at the start of their careers, all of them just ready to go out and take the world by the reigns. Or placate frustrated parents past their primes and desperate to have one last thing to brag about. Then there were the faculty, student teachers, grad students, teacher assistants… Robes and suits and gowns, resplendent all of it. There was no dressing down at the academy. Between the tens of thousands of other inhabitants, no one was going to notice a woman in black with black hair and black eyes. She was outlandish enough to fit in but not enough to stand out. Geela had no trouble finding the faculty directories. The academy was surprisingly well laid out, even given half of it had been demolished some thirty years ago. She pulled down the book containing all the office rooms of all the teachers. “Professor Elle… Professor Elle…” She trailed a finger down until she came upon it. Elle, Eve. Realm Studies. Atrium Building. 10a, Room 18. Professor Eve Elle. How very very fitting, Noire. But this would be an easy room to get to. Main building, only the tenth floor, first realm, and a room in the first twenty. Geela on the other hand had been stuck on floor 73a. Clearly Heads of Departments got preferential treatment over adjunct professors. Which, you know, made sense, but it didn’t balm Geela’s ego too much. Anyway, this was technically the end of Geela’s any kind of mandatory joint casing. She could go back to the inn and just turn her back on the massive monument to academia that she’d spent sixteen years at, go play parcheesi with Jane and Darkos... Her next stop was Atrium Building, floor 32b. It made sense to interrogate more than just one professor anyway. Otherwise it would stick out that she’d gone straight to Eve Elle. So Geela was off to visit the office of Professor McPlumpy. Geela loved the name, absolutely adored how bratty little nose-in-the-air, image obsessed Ocra Niss had gotten hitched in an arranged marriage to Gorgy McPlumpy. Geela had attended their wedding since it was tradition for the children of High Families to invite every professor unlucky enough to mentor them. The thin blooded woman had looked so miserable next to her surprisingly pleasant husband, who had bestowed upon the wretched vanity a fitting last name. It had been some forty five years since then, so the girl was in her late 50s now and probably a lot more mellow but Geela just had to see. Ever since she’d seen the girl had been hired on, Geela had wanted to see how this would play out. But knowing that she was on a B realm, well, that was even worse than a higher level. Geela reached the base of the staircase and stepped onto a rider. She hopped onto the platform on the side of the wall and tapped her desired floor with the tip of her shoe. When she’d first showed up, a young teen enthusiastic to learn about the world, she’d stared at the atrium room in its massive, thousand floor glory, and wondered how the hell she was supposed to get up there. It would take days to scale all the levels and it’s not like there would be inns on the staircases to keep her fed or rested while trying to get up there. The idea was simply ludicrous. Of course, being civil and sensically designed, every stairwell that ascended three or more stories, had riders on the side to whisk you to the top, which Geela now coasted up, admiring the center of the great tower building. It took just under five minutes to make it to level 32, which opened up to a massively open library, the kind that made Geela’s eyes glaze in boredom just watching. When Geela hopped off, she turned to the Realm Closet just to the left of the stairwell, and tapped the big blue button. It flashed back an angry OCCUPIED at her. Good to see the Realm Closets were just as annoying and slow as they were almost half a century ago. After another minute, she hit it again. OCCUPIED. “Ma’am?” Geela whirled to see a small girl with a pug nose and shining eyes. “Yes?” “That closet’s broken. Closest is by the restrooms.” The girl pointed, beaming. Geela sighed before slogging over to the Realm Closet by the restroom. But then she remembered that this must’ve been Ocra’s every day commute to her office and she smiled again. This time when she tapped the button, the door opened. Inside, there were three buttons, A, B, and C. So they’d expanded even further. C realm must be a pit. But it also wasn’t her destination, so she pressed B and the door slammed shut. The room shuddered and shivered and so did Geela’s stomach. The dizziness intensified for just a moment before the room gave a loud PING and the door opened. This time when Geela stepped out, she was treated to a long hallway. Much more suited for professor offices. She strode down the hallway, long, fine black hair drifting behind her, something she quite liked. Perhaps she’d consider combing out her hair a bit more once it was gold again. The driftyness was a good feeling. The B realms were always cramped and packed since they cared so little about the actual physical layout of the floor but she finally made it, up and down the halls, to room 302. Professor McPlumpy, Professor of Fire. Interesting. The girl had been pretty mediocre at her flame studies if Geela remembered correctly. She knocked twice against the door and waited. “Oh do enter,” trilled a voice that Geela would recognize anywhere. “I don’t remember if I have an appointment but that just means this will be interesting.” Geela entered, eyes appraising the room. The walls were plastered with pictures of a young girl at various stages in her life. Ocra holding the girl as a baby. The baby taking a step. Another step. Falling over. Being picked up. Stepping again. The girl on the back of a horse. Back of a cow. Back of a bear. Another horse. Then a giraffe. Elephant. Tiger this time. Had the woman really hired all these to be drawn? They looked too good to be image blinks, unless she’d dropped a lot of money. “Can I help you?” the high voice asked again, a sing-songy tone that had Geela’s teeth on edge. “Yes. My name is Gale Bronwyn. My husband and I are touring the city and looking to see if this establishment may be a good fit for our Petunia.” Ocra McPlumpy’s face widened to a big O. Her rust colored lips, big fake blue eyes, even her plushy cheeks rounded out further. She didn’t really look too bad for a woman pushing 60. “Aw and Petunia is your daughter?” Geela cocked a two inch thick eyebrow. “No. She’s our bulldog.” Ocra laughed. “Oh well, you never know. Could be a niece. You could be a teacher from another school inquiring about a ward.” She gestured at the seat in front of her desk, also plastered with pictures of the girl. As Geela sat down, she waved a hand at the large framed picture of the girl at ten now, holding a large, ornate chalice. “This is… your daughter, I imagine.” The woman sighed. “Ohhh yes, that is my darling Preeny. She is just the light of my life. She’s 18 now.” “Goes here?” A huge cloud crossed Ocra’s face. “No. No she uh…” the woman wrinkled her nose. “Well she’s at the Lunar Academy. To be closer to her father.” “Lunar Academy is certainly on our list.” Geela pursed her lips. “Why send your daughter there versus here? After all, being here would be closer to her mother.” Ocra sniffed before forcing a smile. “Oh, I suppose that is a good point. I should have thought of that before letting Gorgy take her down there with visitation rights twice a year.” The woman narrowed her eyes as if giving Geela a pointed hint about not pushing her. “Interesting. Then the Celestial Academy must not be so good if the school wasn’t enough to sway a judge into letting you keep her here. Unless, of course,” Geela tapped her chin, “you didn’t want her here. Because I can’t imagine that it was your parenting skills that would outweigh the benefits of her growing up here.” “The Lunar Academy is as prestigious as it is exclusive,” Ocra said. “And Preeny is lucky to be there.” Geela nodded. “Noted. Then I may consider sending my daughter there, thank you. I have a meeting with Mistress Highland later this week and wanted to make sure I interviewed some of the staff. I’ll let her know your opinions on the matt—” “I’m not losing my job over the bastard who stole my daughter.” She glared down at Geela. “Did you just come here to hear about my strife? Are you working with him?” “Oh no, not in the slightest.” Geela traced a finger over the picture frame. “I simply like to know the caliber of the professors at this school.” “I don’t see how my personal affairs are any of your business in the slightest.” “Then, my dear, you have encountered a failure of imagination. I’m sure it was instrumental in you losing custody.” Geala rose to her feet. “Thank you for your time.” This little visit had more strategic value than just making Geela feel good. The woman was clearly obsessed with her daughter and Geela could use that to her advantage. Having easily exploitable staff on hand, to be easily slid into her pocket, was always an advantage. Geela made three more stops with professors. Yarl Ron, Professor of Ice, was the grandson of Nia Ron, an old prefect of Geela’s who’d looked after her when she’d first started and cried a lot at night and after tests. Yarl was struggling paying off bills at the local bars. All of them. Beets Marie, cook, was the same cook that had been there when Geela had been a child. Geela wasn’t sure how or why but it certainly bore investigating if she should have need of any secrets of the school. Finally was Joe Show, Professor of Planes, who was the littler brother of one of Geela’s students, Aloe Show. Every now and then Geela had to count her blessings. ‘Geela’ may have been a nickname but it wasn’t that bad. Joe was a beloved professor that had no obvious exploitable flaws beyond his name and his tendency to make up songs to get his students to remember the different plane clusters. So Geela put him in the ‘no easily exploitable flaws’ category. Not everyone was a winner. Finally it was getting closer to 7 PM. Dinner would be in about an hour and she really must head back. There was just one more stop she had to make. Deep, deep beneath the ground floor, the cellars beneath the academy wound deeper than Geela even really knew. Every time she thought she’d found the bottom, she’d later hear of someone going deeper. But Geela wasn’t going to the bottom. No, she twisted her way through the basement halls and passages until she found herself in a large chamber that opened up into the blue sky, hundreds of feet above her. The hole that opened up to the world above had been blasted there by Geela decades ago during the collapse of the Cult of the Blood Witch, Berta. The chamber itself was dusty and decrepit. The markings on the ground were long blasted out. Any of the statues or runes or artifacts were long gone. Geela inhaled the air deeply. Despite many many years having passed, she could still smell blood. She took a side path down away from the hall where she’d spent so many hours, bloodletting and chanting dark texts with her disciples. Back when the room was cloistered away from the rest of the world. The corridor she took now took her back into the dark underground. She followed the ground, guided by her feet, by pure instinct and muscle memory, just a short way, before pressing her hand to what may have once been a doorway. “It’s been a while, dear,” she whispered, and cut her palm, bleeding onto the doorway. The door shifted but made no other visible change. Still, it was all Geela needed and she stepped through the solid rock into a tiny antichamber. The little space held only a large stone, which Geela again pressed a bloody palm to. This time when the rock shifted, the dark color melted away to reveal a red crystal, glowing a color so dull that it drew light from Geela’s torch. It was a viscous substance, shifting within the barriers of its diamond-like prison. The gem stood in the middle of the room, taller than Geela, but it was not the stone itself that held her gaze. For though the material of the rock shifted and moved, as it bending away from a nonexistent threat, the figure inside remained frozen. No, the crystalline liquid simply moved around her as she remained still, in space and in time. God had she always looked so young? The short, cropped brown hair stayed in place even as the bloodrock flow pushed between the fine strands. Her eyes held a pained but determined gleam. Geela had once thought the look to be one of bravery. A young woman of nineteen sacrificed to stop the cult once and for all. But now Geela was quite a bit older and just saw a silly girl who’d gotten in way over her head, swayed by a teacher who admittedly had also been in over her head. “I’m sorry, Vera.” Geela touched a hand to the wall of the crystal. “Admittedly, you did well.” “Are you back then?” Geela fought the urge to whip around in terror. Dark sorceresses weren’t snuck up upon and if Geela reacted with shock, then it would be obvious that she’d been surprised. “That depends who wants to know,” she answered. The man who’d spoken hadn’t sounded at all familiar to Geela, which ruled out probably eight people in a city of ten million. “We’ve awaited your return, Mistress Scilatia.” Geela turned to find a man, perhaps mid twenties, with soft fine hair and soft thin eyes looking at her inquisitively from beneath a hood. His face was respectful but he didn’t bow or scrape. He knew her name, even without knowing her face. Of course she’d come down to Vera’s Grave to pay the young woman a degree of homage, but even that left open the door for a lot of different possible identities. But he’d got it in one. Geela had to know more but it was hard to say without revealing her ignorance. She opened her mouth to say that she didn’t know his face and didn’t know why she should listen to him, but then she realized both of those weren’t true. She did recognize his face, especially as her eyes adjusted, for the man shared a sharp jaw and silky hair with the woman locked in stasis beside him. “Who was she to you?” Geela asked the man. “Grandmother?” He nodded. “I wouldn’t be surprised if you’d never heard of me. She kept my mother and aunt a secret. Left them with her parents and ran off to join a cult, as the story goes.” He stood next to Geela looking at the frozen woman. “That’s not the real story though, is it.” Geela frankly had absolutely no clue. What she did have were about a hundred questions and dinner plans. “Meet me later this evening, at the chamber of the sanguine, at the fourth strike of midnight, as the clouds cover the moon, as the owl screeches, as the world takes on a liminal glow.” Geela took a mental note of each condition, to ensure a perfect entrance for later this evening. “Questions shall be answered and more too shall be opened. For it is our nature to speak queries but answers not hear and it is the nature of the answers to, before our eyes, disappear.” With the last word of her somewhat shabby rhyme, her charm took place and springboarded off her illusion magic to render her invisible. Geela hated invisibility because she was far too clumsy to make it long without alerting someone to her presence. Fortunately, the man looked sufficiently awed by her stupid riddle and disappearing act. He turned on his heel and sprinted from the chamber, an eager look in his eye. Geela gave him about thirty seconds before evacuating, slowly and smoothly, so as to keep her ankles in one piece. It wasn’t until she was long out of the academy that she disappeared into a small grove of trees and reappeared, fully visual now. There was a lot clanging around in her head as she vacated the premises but it would have to wait for that evening. She’d skipped lunch and barely had a thing for breakfast and nothing, not her old school, not a slowly growing list of blacklists and bribes, and certainly not the grandson of one of her favorite students, which she’d had to sacrifice years ago, was getting in the way of her meal. This bodes well... what could this man want?
Part1 / Part 2 / Part 3 It's recommended to read the preceding stories. Or not. You do you, dear reader. You do you. -==- "He's coming!" shouted the red dragon fearfully, exhaling small bursts of flame as he spoke. "What? He's already here!" said Lancelot confusedly, pointing at Koizuul. "We've already done that bit!" shouted Raida, and we all know why Raida shouted. "Is there two of me now?" asked Koi, midflop in his excruciatingly slow race to the tavern with Sethos. "No!" shouted Smoulder. "Not that idiot. HE'S coming!", the red dragon's voice dropped in awe as he continued, "the most mighty of dragons is almost upon us. He's so cool and dangerous and gnarly. And he's coming!" "But I am already here, amn't I?" said Koizuul, who really wasn't sure if there was in fact two of him. He also wasn't really sure if he was here. He stopped flopping to dwell on this new possibility. Sethos, who was pretty sure he was definitely here and also pretty sure he was not the terrifying dragon Smoulder was talking about, continued his determined waddle to the tavern. Our ever-patient barmaid sighed yet again. "Yes Koizuul. You're definitely here". Before Koi could ask yet another stupid question, she spoke again, "and there is definitely only one of you". Koi seemed unconvinced, but nonetheless resumed his pathetically slow leaping towards the tavern. The barmaid turned back to Smoulder, but Bolton asked his question first. "Who is coming? It's not your sister, is it?“ he asked as he removed his earplugs. The barmaid sighed again. She had, of course, heard Smoulder perfectly clearly. He had said "He's coming", not "She's coming". And while she could forgive Bolton for not hearing the dragon correctly with his earplugs in, and she even could forgive him for putting his earplugs back in after Efrigid had come out singing her terrible song, she probably couldn't forgive him for mentioning Smoulder's sister. Because she knew how Smoulder would react. Smoulder looked around in terror and screamed in a most un-dragonlike high pitched voice. "My sister is here? No! I must flee!“ he screamed as he took to the skies and set to flee, which was exactly the reaction the barmaid had expected. It must be explained, dear reader, that Smoulder was a very emotional dragon indeed when it came to other dragons. And his chief emotion was fear. He was fearful of his ice dragon sister, and fearful of Koi (but of course, only when Koizuul transformed into a water dragon. Smoulder wasn't very fearful of gigantic fish). There was only one other dragon, the barmaid reasoned, who would provoke such a strong emotional response from Smoulder. "Raida, go and get him back here, will you?" she asked the lightning warrior. "Tell him his sister isn't here." "IMAWNIT!" screamed Raida as he mounted his unicorn and set after the fleeing red dragon, shouting wildly. The barmaid had chosen well. Aside from his speedy unicorn, Raida was the only one who could possibly be loud enough for Smoulder to hear from the air. "Baberu-Taimu!" shrieked Raida as he charged after Smoulder. "Charged after" is, in truth, a little inaccurate, as rather, he "charged at" the red dragon. Little is known, even by Raida himself, about how Raida manages his many abilities. But what is known is that he excels at shouting, he excels at healing, and he excels at using his lightning blade. The shouting had little effect on the terrified Smoulder, and the healing was entirely irrelevant, as Raida was in motion and furthermore, Smoulder was in prime of his health. The lightning blade, however, drew a powerful lightning bolt from the sky, which hit Smoulder clean in his terrified face and sent the dragon into a catatonic state. Silently, the red drake dropped like a stone, narrowly missing Raida and his unicorn as he crashed into the ground. The barmaid winced. This was not quite the way she'd hoped Raida would "get him back here". She and everyone else watched as Raida threw the dragon on top of his unicorn. Raida's steed was indeed noble, because it took the full weight of the unconscious dragon without complaint. It was a unicorn, after all, and unicorns are amazing creatures. Raida began to ride back to the tavern. "What's that?" shouted Leif as Raida arrived back with Smoulder in tow. "It's Smoulder!" yelled Raida. "I know that. But what's THAT?" shouted Leif, pointing past Raida at a speck on the horizon. "It's a speck on the horizon!" shouted Bolton. "It's a hammer!" shouted Leif, and we all know why he shouted that. "It's a slime!" shouted Koizuul, and we all know why he shouted that too. Everyone ignored him. They knew better. "It's an ICE ICE BABY!" yelled Efrigid again from inside the bar, her voice followed out by an a capella version of a bass line Fee didn't recognise. Efrigid had very good hearing - Fee reckoned she must never have to damn her eagle.. Ears? And unfortunately, Efrigid was as skilled at doing a capella bass lines as she was at singing. Meaning of course, that she was terrible. "We've already done that bit!" said Raida very quietly (this is not remotely true). "Be quiet, you sozzled woman!" shouted the barmaid into the tavern at the sozzled woman. "Nobody is talking to you!" "OK! I'll be quiet over there" said Koi sadly, as he continued his slow journey towards the bar. "Be quiet, you stupid fish!" shouted the barmaid at the stupid fish. "I'm not talking to you!" Koi said nothing, but stopped again to ponder if the barmaid was indeed talking to him. He thought it really seemed like she was? Hadn't she said "be quiet, you stupid fish" to him just now? He was pretty sure he was a fish, and so logically she must have been talking to him. Another thought struck him violently - Wasn't he walking on the ground? "Oh no!" he thought to himself, "what if I'm a slime?". That would mean the barmaid couldn't have been talking to him. She had been talking to some stupid fish after all! Having resolved his own confusion in a typically idiotic fashion, he resumed the most boring race in the world against Sethos, who was still waddling furiously. He was way behind now, at least six or seven tiny leaps. The nearly blind fish could barely make the scorpion out anymore. Fee had actually seen the speck herself, maybe even before Leif had. Damn her eagle eyes, even when they worked! It didn't look like a dragon to her. It wasn't flying, for a start. Connie stepped forward and began tending to Smoulder. "He's coming!" murmured Smoulder, who had began to stir under Connie's care. "We've already done that bit!" yelled Raida again. "He's here!" yelled Smoulder, who, now recovered, flew into the air excitedly. "We've already done that bit too!" yelled Raida. He was indeed here, and the mix of heroes quickly made room for the large, purple, flightless dragon hovering into their midst. Mostly because the purple crystals circling around him were very painful to the touch. Raida shrieked in pain as one of them grazed him, and fled into the tavern like the coward that he is. Smoulder flew wildly around the newest arrival, screaming incoherently. The best translation of the red dragon's words would be something like; "IT'S GNARLY NARLAX HE'S SO GNARLY AND PURPLE AND OMIGOSH HE'S GOT CRYSTALS FROM THE VOID MAN FROM THE VOID AHHH LOOK AT THE VOID CRYSTALS THEY'RE SO AMAZING HE'S SO COOL AND AWESOME AND GNARLY MAN OH MAN YOU'RE SO AWESOME MAN AHHH!" And then Smoulder passed out as the void crystals he loved so much knocked him unconscious for the second time in as many minutes. Narlax, for that was his name, rolled his eyes at the red dragon's sleeping form and sniffed haughtily. The adoration Smoulder felt for the purple dragon was in no way reciprocated. Mostly because Smoulder got so excited at Narlax's presence he would start spouting hippy gibberish. The barmaid sighed, for she loved sighing, and told Narlax to move, which Narlax duly did. Connie again stepped up to the red dragon and began tending to him again. The red dragon woke quickly once more under Connie's care and began flying around (albeit this time at a safe distance from Narlax and his crystals) screaming incoherently again. The best translation of the red dragon's words would be something like; "SQUEE MAN! SQUEEEEEE!". Fee made a note to ask her friend how she was able to resuscitate dragons. She wasn't aware necromancers were good at resuscitation. Narlax spoke in deep voice, like all dragons appear to do, so long as they're not worrying about their sister. "I need a drink. I may have made a huge mistake." he said, a guilty look on his face. The barmaid motioned everyone back into the tavern, but stopped as she noticed Narlax's guilty look. "Wait. Why the guilty look? What have you done?" she asked, her brow furrowing. Narlax cleared his throat before speaking. "Well, I may have been talking to Yan.. ", he started, before trailing off. The barmaid spoke. "And?" she enquired, her brow furrowing further. "And.. She may have asked me to take her to the void again.." continued Narlax, before trailing off again. The barmaid spoke again, her eyebrows furrowing even more. "And?" she enquired again, a slight idea forming in her head of what Narlax had done. "And.. I may have brought her there. Maybe. Just for a second.." he continued again, before again trailing off. The barmaid spoke once more, her brow furrowed so thoroughly it looked like it was trying to escape her face. "And?" she enquired yet again, now fairly sure of what Narlax had done. "And.. She may have been corrupted by the void. Maybe. A little.." he continued, before trailing off once more. Narlax waited for the "And?" from the barmaid, which never came. That wasn't good. Her face must be sore from the angle her eyebrows were now at. She knew exactly what was coming next, and she wouldn't like it. He continued anyway. "And.. She might, possibly, be on her way here. Theoretically." he finished, averting his gaze from the evidently furious barmaid. A silence set over the heroes as the gravity of what Narlax had done set in. Or at least, it set over some of the heroes. Koi and Sethos were too involved in their woeful race to hear, Raida was hiding in the tavern toilet with his knees knocking, and Fee had no idea who or what a "Yan" was. She thought better of asking, as the barmaid looked distinctly unhappy. Narlax swallowed awkwardly. If he had had feet, he'd have been shifting his weight between them nervously. But he didn't have feet. Or even wings. He was an odd kind of dragon, really. But he was extremely nervous. Even his crystals started to spin slower as he awaited the barmaids reply, but, none came. This only increased Narlax's nervousness. He hated being nervous, especially of these "humans" with their tiny minds and corporeal forms. They knew nothing of the majesty of the unending void! They were pathetic mortals, barely deserving of his presence. Especially that idiot Smoulder, "Man, I hate that dude" he thought in an ironically hippy-ish way. But he was, despite his immortality, and his majesty and his power, terrified of this barmaid. He was pretty sure he'd cry if she were to whistle at him right now. But the barmaid didn't whistle. Or even sigh. Instead, she spoke in a clear, low, terrifyingly calm voice, puncturing every word with righteous anger. "Get. Inside. Now." The purple dragon winced at her tone and floated into the tavern as quick as his lack of legs would take him. "What's that?" asked Fee, noticing a form in the distance. "It's a.." began Bolton, Azura, Koi and Leif. But the barmaid cut them off, still speaking in that dangerously low voice that cut through the air like a hot knife through butter. "It's not a bird. It's not a plane, it's not a Superman, it's not dragon or slime. And it's not a hammer" she said. (I would attempt to describe, dear reader, the tone the barmaid used to say these words, but your very soul would shiver with terror at the anger she spoke with. It pains my own soul to even consider her tone at this point. You should consider your ignorance to be bliss) Leif made to speak again, but the barmaid cut him off with a glare. "And IT IS NOT a Fixit Felix Jr" she glared at the dwarf. Yes, that's right. She glared words at Leif. Without speaking. That's what our barmaid is capable of. Even Leif fell quiet now. He was drunk, quite brave, and fairly stupid. But even he wasn't drunk, brave or stupid to antagonise the barmaid at this point by opening his mouth. Fee's damnable but excellent eagle eyes adjusted, and she realised what was heading towards them was indeed not a bird, a plane, a Superman (whatever that was), a hammer, a slime, a dragon or a Fixit Felix Jr (whatever that was). It was a masked woman, floating gently but speedily across the ground. She's didn't know what 'the void" actually was, but it appeared to be a place where everyone hovered or floated, as both this odd woman and the dragon before her seemed to travel entirely above the ground. She made a mental note to ask Connie about this "void" thing- Connie could float now, so maybe she'd been there? Fee didn't understand the difference between floating and flying very well. She made a mental note to ask Connie about that as well. "Everyone, listen." said the barmaid calmly, but no less angrily. "She uses dangerous time magic, and she can cast spells from a great distance. The void increases her power tenfold, and the only way to defeat her is to remove that mask. We need to knock her unconscious to do so. So everyone!" the barmaid pointed at the fast approaching time mage, "Stop her clock". The heroes looked around at each other confusedly, unsure what "Stop her clock" meant. The barmaid sighed and shook her head. "Attack her! It means attack her!". Fee nocked an arrow and let fly. Bolton and Connie began reading from their spellbooks (Fee damned her eagle eyes yet again - How had she not noticed the spellbook hovering in front of the blue haired mage? And why did everything hover?). Koizuul began to transform into his mighty dragon form, rotating gracefully as he lept into their air. Hogan picked up Bacon, hoisting the pig onto his shoulder and prepared to fling him like a shot put thrower. Smoulder began to flap his mighty wings, creating a fantastic gale. The lava rock man transformed into a ferocious looking creature, impressively dual wielding flaming swords of molten rock. Lancelot raised his sword, covering the heroes in a shielding light. Sethos continued waddling towards the tavern, as he was too far away to hear the barmaid. Raida continued sobbing in the men's toilet about his now fully healed graze (he did excel at healing) from Narlax's crystals like the coward that he is. A clap of lightning struck the ground behind the approaching woman, followed by a second, third and fourth clap of lightning striking the exact same spot. Bolton winced, his magic was terribly inaccurate. Fee's arrow, however, struck true, catching the woman in the mask. Unfortunately, it seemed to have absolutely no effect. Connie's bunnies rushed forward to protect the Volma, but after that, things took a very bad turn for our heroes. "Your time is MINE!" the masked woman shouted, and at almost the same time, a purple haze slammed our heroes and the barmaid from above. Time seemed to slow to a crawl, mostly because this Yan woman had used her time magic to slow time to a crawl. Even as Fee strained her arms to nock the next arrow, the woman continued her approach with impossible speed. Around her, Fee saw all the heroes, and even the barmaid, react in the same, slow fashion. Koizuul was still rotating through the air midslam. Sethos was waddling somehow even more slowly towards the tavern, blissfully unaware of the trouble they were all in. Connie was reading from her spellbook, but she'd never finish the spell in time. Lancelot was beginning to run forward to meet the time mage, but the slowing spell combined with his tiny legs meant he would never be able to engage her in time. "We're all helpless!“ Fee thought to herself helplessly. "We're out of time! We're doomed!" And then Azura stepped forward, apparently completely unaffected by the slowing spell. A mighty battle between two powerful women was about to take place! Azura's moon began to glow, before it produced a powerful, focused light beamed onto Yan. Then a second, then a third! The masked woman howled and began casting her own spell before firing a reddish coloured ball at the moon girl. Just before the ball hit her, Azura raised her arms and repeated the gentle healing spell she had used to heal Lancelot and Raida earlier, and the cleansing magic did its work, removing the horrible slowness from the bones of our heroes. Unfortunately, the reddish ball then hit Azura, knocking her unconscious in one blow as she was extremely frail. "So that's why she was at the 'used to be meta' table" thought Fee. Yet Azura had bought them valuable time! The heroes (and bunnies, and wolves, and pig) began to move at a normal speed again, charging (and flying) up to meet the time mage. Fee launched her second arrow and summoned Silver and Silver, the two wolves ran towards Yan, snarling angrily. Koizuul began his descent in his dragon form. Lancelot was nearly at the woman! Hogan had thrown his pig! They were going to win! They weren't doomed! Then with a sudden gesture, Yan raised her hand to the air, violently teleporting the heroes, wolves, bunnies, pig and barmaid back to the tavern entrance. They stood around groggily as the woman attacked, laughing maniacally. Reddish coloured balls crashed into Bolton and Connie, only Lancelot's shielding spell stopping them from passing out. The shock of their sudden teleportation wore off, and the heroes readied themselves to attack. And then, things took another very bad turn for our heroes as another purple haze slammed into them from above, slowing them all to a crawl again. Fee could only watch as she desperately tried to nock a third arrow. Another reddish-coloured ball crashed into Bolton, sending him flying unconscious through the air through the tavern door. Leif soon received the same treatment. "We're falling like flies!" thought Fee helplessly. "and I hate having these helpless thoughts!". A third ball slew one of her wolves, and she prayed silently to the gods of the forest for Silver's soul, although she honestly wasn't sure which Silver she was praying for. Koizuul was still in midair, hanging as if by magic (because he was hanging by magic). Smoulder was furiously trying to beat his wings, but they simply refused to move fast enough. The lava rock man was closest to the time mage, but was moving impossibly slowly and would never reach Yan in time. They were doomed! Again! Then, from inside the tavern, came the sound of singing. Terrible, terrible singing. "With MY FREEZE RAY I will stop the world!" sang/yelled Efrigid as she stepped through he tavern door, singing a song that nobody knew and probably shouldn't even exist, and singing it as badly as she sang every other song. What was different this time was that as she emerged she swung her arms wildly into the air, firing not one, not two, but three circular blades of ice directly at the time mage. The blades passed straight through the lava creature, freezing him in place, before continuing right into the time mage, who also froze in place mid-deranged-cackle. There heroes looked around awkwardly as Efrigid continued singing, but nobody was listening to her. They knew better. The barmaid finally found her tongue as the second, powerful slow spell wore off, and she used it quite expertly to whistle shrilly at the ice woman, who, true to form, turned around and dejectedly walked back inside the tavern. Fully recovered, the barmaid walked past Koizuul and Sethos (who were now arguing over who had won the "race"), past the frozen lava creature, who looked none too happy about his new, statue-like posture, and straight up to the time mage, who stared at her hatefully through crazed, reddish coloured eyes (which, Fee noticed, of course matched her reddish coloured outfit) and removed the mask covering most of her face. Her voice, again in that low, dangerously angry tone, spoke only two words. "Hello Yan". Yan (for that was her name) blinked as the raw, violent insanity of the void left her body and mind, and in an instant looked sheepish as she surveyed the angry looking heroes staring at her. And that, dear reader, is the story of how a drunk ice queen and a brave barmaid defeated a void-possessed, insane, mask-wearing time mage. But even with that story told, you no doubt have even more questions, dear reader. Questions like, what happened next? What did the barmaid say to Yan? What possessed Efrigid to even go outside again after the barmaid had whistled at her to shut up? Will Smoulder gain Narlax's affection and respect? Who actually won the race between Koi and Sethos? Is there actually a song with the words "with my freeze ray I will freeze the world"? Who would write such a song? Neil Patrick Harris? That guy from How I Met Your Mother? That guy? What? Really? How does Hogan make animals bigger? Why doesn't his trick work on people too? What's up with that lava rock guy anyway? My my, so many questions! Well, you know what that means, dear reader. An even longer part 5 of The Tavern. OK, one quick answer. Yes, there is such a song, and it's hilarious(ly bad)
2020.09.22 01:10 nixiawrites[This Quest is Bullshit] - Chapter 30: Drakes Have Hoards Too
New? Start here! Eve stood atop the shallow hill, carefully surveying the valley below with narrowed eyes. “This has got to be the shittiest dragon hoard I’ve ever seen.” Wes cocked an eyebrow. “And how many dragon hoards have you seen, exactly?” “None,” she chirped. “But this one’s still the worst.” She had a point. The layer of stolen shoulder packs, bedrolls, and broken tents demonstrated just exactly how the draconid had come across its ill-gotten gains. Most notably, an inordinate number of pots and pans littered the trash heap. Eve wondered if the drake had intercepted a shipment of cookware or simply attacked a particularly well-equipped chef. “Aww, cut her some slack,” Preston said. “It’s not like she had an entire mountain of goblins desperately mining to bring her tribute. She did what she could.” Alex grimaced. “You mean she killed innocent people to steal their supplies.” “Wait,” Wes stepped in. “She?” “Male drakes don’t lay eggs.” The healer pointed across the hoard towards a grass nest where a glimmering eggshell lay shattered. A muffled squeak rang out from somewhere amidst the clutter. “Shit,” Eve cursed. “There’s a baby somewhere in this mess, isn’t there?” Preston perked up. “We have to help it!” “We have to what?” Alex asked. “We just killed its mama. The poor thing needs us.” “We killed its mama that, need I remind you, ate an innocent person while we fucking watched!” “To be fair,” Wes chuckled, “I wouldn’t exactly consider bards ‘innocent.’ Or ‘people’ for that matter.” “Hold on,” Eve interrupted. “If we killed its mama, does that mean there’s a papa around here somewhere?” Preston shrugged. “Paperwork only mentioned one. Either papa’s already dead or he’s wandered off somewhere. I don’t know enough about drake behavior to say for sure, but if he were here we’d probably know.” The Striker tilted her head. “That’s good enough for me. Come on, let’s see if she hoarded anything worth salvaging.” She took off down the hill eager to sort through the massive collection of odds and ends. She might not have gotten a level for killing the drake, but she sure as hells was going to get some loot. Wes waded in after her. “Be careful!” Preston called as he too carefully descended into the clutter. “You don’t want to accidentally step on the little guy.” Eve rolled her eyes at the warning, but nevertheless minded her step as she maneuvered around a broken wagon. Baby monsters aside, there were enough sharp points and broken edges in the vicinity that tripping and falling would be ill advised. Still she continued, picking through the frayed ropes and spent torches for anything worthwhile. Even Alex joined the effort, shifting the chaff aside with the butt of her spear to see what hid below. Unfortunately, only the women seemed to put any real effort into the search for valuables. Preston spent the time peeking around and under various pieces and making soft cooing noises, while Wes understandably flicked between picking through the hoard and reading his status messages. Eve was just in the middle of shoving a coiled rope into her pack when a muttered expletive drew her attention. “Bandir’s balls,” Wes cursed. “Look at this!” In his hand he held a battered iron pan into the air as if it were a torch. For a moment, the other three adventures simply stared in silent confusion at the gesture, before, like a torch, the dented metal came alight with orange flames. The crackling blaze licked at the dark iron, consuming it with the same insatiable hunger as it did all things. In her awe at the impressive display, Eve failed to notice the shadow that fell across Wes’s face or the flash of fear that flickered with it. He recovered well. “Wes, that’s awesome!” Preston said. “Isn’t it? No more fireproof golems for me.” He looked up at the flaming cookware, still structurally sound even as the inferno claimed it. “Looks like it’ll take a while to make its way through, though.” “That’s a good thing,” Eve said. “If you could burn through walls, you could burn through buildings. You don’t want one stray Fire Dart to burn down a dungeon with us inside.” “True enough,” he replied, “but I can always extinguish anything I start with Flame Manipulation.” A wide grin overtook the mage’s face. “Oh and by the way, it’s not Fire Dart anymore.” The Striker laughed. “Let me guess, Dart of the Devouring Flame?” Wes snorted. “No, I’ve only got three abilities ‘of the devouring flame.’ It’s Fire Bolt now.” “Look at you,” Preston lifted his head from where he’d been searching. “You’re a full-fledged fire mage now.” “You kidding?” Eve smirked. “He’s not a full-fledged fire mage until he knows Fireball.” “Hey, I’m better than that. Fire Mage is a tier 2 Uncommon.” “Hold up,” Alex’s voice broke apart the lighthearted banter. “I think I’ve found something.” She reached into the debris to withdraw a wooden club topped with a fist-sized chunk of steel lined with brutal ridges. It looked like something that would leave a dent. “It’s not enchanted, but we could definitely sell it for a few dozen silver.” Eve and Wes shared a look as they recalled what the blacksmith had told her. “Actually,” Eve announced, “I think I could use it. It’ll be hard to keep hold of, but something blunt would be great for an opening blow with a Charge!’s worth of momentum behind it.” The Survivor paused opening her mouth for a few seconds before actually speaking. “Right. Looking at you, I keep forgetting you have a lot of physical force behind your mobility.” Eve furrowed her brow, looking down at her admittedly stick-like frame. “I’m not that frail.” Alex pointed the morningstar at Wes. “Standing next to him you are.” She rolled her eyes at the overly muscular fire mage. “Everybody looks frail next to Wes. Just give me the mace.” Wes opened his mouth to either protest or brag, but Alex didn’t let him. “Right, right,” she said, wading through the sorry hoard to hand over the weapon. “Here you go.” Eve grasped the leather-bound handle, swinging the powerful club. The weapon felt eerily light in her grip, bringing up memories of dragging the rusty sword through the dirt with both hands. She marveled at the difference an extra seventy strength made. “Okay, next question,” Eve wondered aloud as she held the weapon to her waist. “How exactly does one belt a morningstar?” “I think it’s a special strap,” Alex offered. “I’m sure any leatherworker could make you one.” More things to buy, Eve thought to herself as she shoved the mace into her pack. There’s always more things to buy. She turned to Wes and Preston. “Come to think of it, Alex and I both bought new weapons with our dungeon money, but you two are still in the same gear. What gives?” Wes chuckled. “I can’t believe it took you so long to ask. I commissioned a staff from a local enchanter; it wasn’t ready in time for this job, but I oughta be able to pick it up once we get back.” Preston didn’t look up from his search as he called out his own answer. “I’m saving it. Sent some to my da, but I’m holding on to the rest in case something happens. You don’t have to spend all your money the moment you get it.” “Yeah, well, that’s easier when you don’t have a speeding ticket that needs paying and worn out clothes that need replacing and a deadly mana generating thing that needs dealing with.” Wes grinned. “Not to mention Mr. Priestess over there gets free housing at the cathedral.” The healer turned up his palms. “We can’t all be Ayla’s chosen.” “Thank the gods for that,” Eve muttered as she returned to her search. Minutes turned to hours as the four adventurers filtered through the hoard, turning over broken carts and damaged gear to find those few pieces still intact. In addition to the rope and morningstar, Eve soon found her pack stuffed with a set of cutlery, a pair of dark leather boots that looked vaguely her size, and a brown, hooded cloak with only a few bite-holes in it. The party’s pile of things to sell, on the other hand, grew substantially. The collection was mostly made up of basic steel weapons, given their resistance to biting, clawing, and other drake-borne damages. A few of the swords, axes, and spears were stained with blood, evidence that their former owners had at least put up a fight before falling to the draconid’s maw. Most shined clean. The vast majority of any defensive gear they came across wasn’t even worth considering. It made sense that armor of any kind wouldn’t survive its wearer’s death by drake. To be entirely honest, Eve was rather impressed the beast had managed to remove so many cuirasses, vambraces, and chausses from its meals with as little damage as it had. Of course, ‘little’ was relative. Most pieces were significantly chewed up if not outright torn in half, but they remained recognizable. Mostly. Alex practically cheered with uncharacteristic enthusiasm as she strapped a metal kite shield to her back. Sure, it was a bit dented, and whatever sigil that had once colored its front had been long scratched away, but it fit the Survivor well. After all, what good was a tank without a shield? Eve was just evaluating the ruined state of yet another bedroll—apparently the creature had thought them chew toys—when a yelp rang out behind her. She turned just in time to find Preston frantically hopping on one foot as he tugged at his boot. “I found it!” Wes was the first to reach him, helping stabilize the healer as he removed his right boot. Eve and Alex made their own way over as the men hunched over Preston’s discovery. The Striker arrived to find a foot-long lizard wrapped around the Priestess’s arm, its claws harmlessly retracted into its tiny little feet. “Look at him,” he gushed. “He likes me.” “Good for it,” Alex replied, reaching for her belt knife. “Now let’s put it down before it bites you.” Preston spun to put himself between Alex and his new charge, otherwise completely ignoring her comment. He looked up at Wes. “Do you think he’s hungry? He looks hungry.” “Only one way to find out,” the mage said, digging through his pack for a piece of jerky. Tearing off a bite-sized chunk, he held it out towards the hatchling. Sure enough, it wolfed down the morsel with a vengeance, expertly avoiding Wes’s fingers in the process. “Awww, he knows his mommy.” Preston stroked the creature’s head with the tip of his index finger as it ate. “Wait, how come I’m its mommy?” Wes protested. “You’re the Priestess.” “You two can’t be serious,” Alex spoke up as they boxed her out. “That’s a dangerous animal.” “I’m gonna name him Reginald,” Preston continued to ignore her. “Does he look like a Reginald to you?” “That thing is going to grow to be the size of a gods-damned house!” “Eh, let them have their fun,” Eve said. “They can always release it once they realize how stupid an idea this is.” She shook her head. “Come on, let’s get moving.” She nodded towards the stack of weapons they’d collected for sale. “We’ve got packing to do.” The warrior grumbled and rolled her eyes and gripped her knife, but did eventually turn to follow Eve to the hillside where they’d left their spoils. They had to leave a few of the more worse for wear pieces behind for lack of bag space, but by the time Eve’s, Alex’s, and Wes’s packs were stuffed full, the party had more than enough wares to sell upon their return. After a quick stop to carve off a few scales from the fallen drake to prove they’d killed it, their job in the hills was well and truly done. So it was that laden with food, supplies, trophies, and enough weapons to arm a small village, that Eve, Alex, Wes, Preston, and Reginald turned around to make their way back home. Previous CoverDiscordPatreonMap
Views is Drakes second best album after NTWS. This album is too overlooked its sad. Majid Jordan, Dvsn, Rihanna, just a few examples of great features. The production is so good. 40 did a great job. Views is literally a refined take care. Drakes Singing & Rapping is much better. Album is more cohesive. This project deserves more recognition as a top 3 drake project.
Is it just me or does anyone else ever feel like the moment a drake album drops it’s easier to get your life back together, be on top of your shit for everything (I’m a uni student), and overall just function better? I swear I feel like I have life figured out whenever drake drops. All my attention goes on the album and I take care of myself just fine. He needs to drop CLB soon fr
Things were slow between me and amy. I rarely taked to her. Any time she was around i would fumble my words and not know what to do. I would get so nervous. Then one day drake invited me to go out to eat with him and some friends. Naturally, i agreed. I got in his car and saw her. We both had to sit in the back seat because his front seat was full, then entire ride she talked to me about Kenny, and how she and him were rocky. She told me about how he hasnt been acting like himself and just generally talking to me about advice. It was the best car ride that entire year. It was also the shortest car ride, as the place we were going to eat was only 5 minutes away.
“Kenny has been sending me some weird things.” “Like what?” “Well, hes never asked me for nudes. Hes never asked me for anything sexual actually.” “Okay, so what did he send you?” “He sent me a picture, a meme, that said this” She then showed me what he sent. It was a picture explaining why men should have sex. Kind of a scummy thing to send without any prior talking about it in my opinion. I think she thought so too. “Thats weird. Has he seemed to be craving anything sexual recently?” “I dont think so. Hes still been doing what he usually does but this was just out of the blue.” In this moment, no other woman had ever talked to me about this kind of stuff. I was often avoided through highschool. Don’t ask me why, I dont know. But her talking to me about this, i didnt know if it meant she trusted me or if she had no one else to turn to. We hadnt talked too much before this. It was kind of out of no where. But i didnt care, i was enjoying this conversation. No one else in the world existed. It was just me and her. I drowned out what drake was saying, it was just me and her. And I wouldnt have lived it any other way. Then we got where we were going. We went to Braums and got ice cream. Amy sat next to me, drake sat across from me with his friend Jailyn. Amy didnt like ice cream, so she just ordered a cheese burger plain, with fries and a doctor pepper. I got a medium mint and chip shake and drake got some weird ice cream that i cant remember. We were there for almost and hour. Amy was closer to me at this point than ever. The booths were small so we were basically touching eachother. My mind was racing, my heart was racing, everything about me didnt want to do something weird and make her think im weird. She finished before all of us and just sipped her doctor pepper. I found out that night that doctor pepper is basically all she drinks. Rarely drinks water and rarely drinks any other soda. When we all finished, I had to go home first. It was about 11 but amys curfew was 10:30. We dropped her off and i remember her having to sneak into her as if she was afraid. I was concerned why so I asked Drake. He told me how she has an abusive father and a mother that always screams. From the moment i found that out, i hated her parents. Halfway through the play we were performing, which was a combination of every hallmark movie, Drake and Amy were talking in tge lightjng room. Amy was trying to teach drake how to do lights while i worked on getting my sound cues down. I was extremely extra with the sound board, so I read the entire owners manual to find out how everything worked prior to this. Drake made fun of me for doing this but it ended up helping me. When I realized she was teaching him the lighting board, i found out the model number and started to read the entire manual for the lighting board as well. After the play finished and we started our next one, i asked her to train me on the board. I already knew most of the things i needed to from reading the manual, but she didnt know that. As she was trying to teach me, i kept messing up that was she would spend more time with me teaching. It was a very enjoyable time. I learned how she thought when she used the board. I learned how she would do her cues and i thought it was perfect. I thought she was perfect. A little while later, we started practicing in choir for our big end of the year concert. We had a few songs to sing and in one of my choirs songs, we had to dance as well. She was in a choir above me and she was also running lights for the concert. She would be in the light booth during performances and i ended ip sneaking my way in as well. We sat and talked together for almost the entire performance. She told me about her father. She was wearing a dress that night that showed her back, but she was scared because the day before her father pushed her against a wall and it left a mark. She was afraid people could see the mark and she didnt know how she could cover it up. She ended up crying about her father, not know why he would do it and she leaned into me to cry. I was hugging her. I was actually hugging her and i didnt know what to do. I was so scared of messing it up that i froze and stayed like a statue while she cried. That was the night that i realized that her touch meant more to me than anything. I would do anything to hug her again. After the concert, drake was driving us both home again, but he was taking forever to get out of his uniform. Me and her sat in the car and she seemed really freaked out. I asked her what was wrong and she told me her mother wasnt answering. She was scared her father did something to her mother and thats why she wasnt answering. She started crying again, and this time she didnt even wait before jumping into my chest. While she was crying, someone came up to the window to poke fun about how she was sitting with another guy in a dark parking lot hugging me. I had to told him that there are personal things going on and that it wasnt the best time. I could tell he felt bad, because he made a very bad attempt at cheering her up with a very bad joke. Me and her still laugh about it to this day. Drake came out and hopped in the car. At this point she was feeling mostly better but was still scared. She told drake what was happening and he started to speed home. None of us were wearing seat belts. He took a turn and her door flew open. Her bag fell out and i wrapped my arm around her and held as tight as i could. He stopped the car and i got out to help get her bag and all her stuff that fell out. The rest of the ride home, she sat in the middle seat. She got home and me and drake talked the rest of the ride home and about how we wanted to kill her father. Of course we never did it, but it was always in the back of my mind. All i cared about was that Amy was safe.
2020.09.20 16:12 Dtking23What happened in the Reverie and chapter 1000 predictions
Disclaimer: this theory is mainly based on intuition and speculations, I won't try to argue its solidity, but I have a strong feeling that this is where Oda is aiming and I have a need to share it.
Chapter 956 analysis
In the Reverie 4 shocking things happened, from Morgans we have learnt that:
The Shichibukai system was abolished with the supporting votes from most of the presenting kings, who btw would had brought these news to their countries regardless of Morgans publishing them in the newspaper or not.
And 3. A death and an assasination attempt, Morgans wondered which one of these 2 the WG wanted to cover up, which means both of them happened after the kings has left Mary Geoise, otherwise the kings would had witnessed it and spread the news anyways. Garp also mentions that something happened with Nefertari family shortly after they and supposedly all of the other kings left Mary Geoise.
Right after Morgans commands to move their base he gets a call from Wapol who informshim with some more information to which Morgans shockingly replies "WHAT??!!".This means 2 things - one, that Wapol was somehow involved in what happened there,and two, that this situation he was part of continued to take a turn beyond the deathincident or the assasination attempt.
The next thing we see in this chapter is how the scene changes to Alabasta's crying citizens reading the news and the narrator telling that the specifics of the incident that the WG failed to cover up were spread across the world like a wild fire, hinting that the incident they wanted to cover was related to Alabasta, and then we see revolutionaries' reaction to Sabo's death news, what also implies that Alabasta is related to the other incident, the incident of the assassination attempt. Notice that before Garp reveals that Alabasta has some troubles he provides a long prelude about conflicting kingdoms meeting each other in the Reverie and as long as no blood is spilled between them he says these meetings are peacefull but this time something went wrong (in other words blood was spilled), and you can be sure Oda doesn't waste so much screen time on some side explanations unless they are VERY relevant and if the next big bolded words after such prelude about conflicting kingdoms is Alabasta kingdom you should have no doubt that Alabasta was involved in a bloody conflict with other kingdom. I emphasize this because people tend to believe that the WG are the ones to try out an assassination on Nefertari, which just can't be the case because A) the Nefertaris are the only keys to Pluton and the WG should be interested in obtaining it B) we have seen Im-sama staring at a picture of Vivi without cutting it into pieces like he/she did with the pictures of the people he/she wants to destroy C) if they wanted to assassinate them they could do that at any other moment, the Reverie is not an opportunity for such task..
Alabasta's assassination attempt
Now thinking of kingdom that Alabasta could conflict with at the reverie we shouldn't go too far because they actually already conflicted at the reverie in the past, if you forgot let me remind you:
In the midst of his rule, Wapol attended the world meeting in Mary Geoise. There he was told of the revolutionary named Dragon and how he would be a threat to the world in the next five to six years. Wapol, not caring about the situation at all since he believed his Drum Kingdom would not fall to Dragon, simply picked his nose and shrugged the whole matter off. Nefertari Cobra, the king of Alabasta, not believing Wapol's selfish reply, scolded him for not taking the whole situation more seriously. Angered for being scolded by Cobra, Wapol tried to get even by intentionally hitting his ten year old daughter, Vivi, and saying it was an accident. Despite being hit however, Vivi simply apologized to Wapol instead of making a big deal out of the whole matter. Afterward, Vivi was seen crying with Igaram, and Dalton saw her crying. Wapol, unable to accomplish anything with his actions, decided to just leave and go back to Drum." (From wiki, Chapter 142 p.5-6)
At this point I'm completely sure that this was solely a set up for what i'm about to describe :
Cobra awaits to enter Gorosei's room as Wapol exits it and approaching him with a provocative comment which he ignores and wonders what kind of deal he had with them.
As he meets the Gorosei they tell him that they got reports about his daughter having ties with the SH so they warn him to not get involved with them nor even talk about them publically despite the fact they helped their country since they are criminals of the highest threat otherwise Alabasta kingdom would be excluded from the WG and be treated as rebellious.
Cobra assumes that Wapol gave him away and is compelled to agree.
He goes to tell the news to Vivi and then he sees that she argues with Wapol who is mocking Luffy, Cobra tells her to ignore him and to not talk about the SH anymore since now the Gorosei know about her relation to them and they will keep an eye on them from now on.
Vivi too assumes that Wapol gave her away and being angered by that she calls him piece of trush and spits on him.
Wapol being offended hits Vivi and pretending it was a mistake just like last time.
This time Vivi doesn't give it up and hits him back which leads to a tussle between the two.
At this point Cobra notices that Chaka and Pell are not around to hold her and Igaram is standing without interfering so he shouts "what are you looking at?! hold her!".
The marines rush in to stop them.
Held by the marines Vivi decides to play Wapol's game and starts to shout that Wapol is a liar scheming to turn the WG against their kingdom by falsely accusing them for being allied with pirates.- Wapol says that he has no idea what she is talking about and insists that he didn't accuse them for anything.
The Gorosei enter the scene, one of them orders the marines to free Vivi and Wapol, then another one confirms that they did got reports about Alabasta having ties with pirates, and then a third one proceed to say "but Wapol has nothing to do with it, we have another source for this information.."
Vivi is confused..Cobra is shocked..and then HE steps in...." That's enough Vivi... there is no point to hide it anymore.. it's time for everybody to know that we are.. (pulls out the guns from his hair pointing at Wapol)..WE ARE MUGIWARA PIRATES!!!"- And shooting the shit out of Wapol.
Then he grabs Vivi and Cobra and begins to escape, CP0 are chasing him.
Cobra will shot "ARE YOU GONE OUT OF YOUR MIND??!! THEY WIL CONSIDER US CRIMINALS NOW!!WHERE IS CHAKA AND PELL?!! RELEASE US NOW AND SURRENDER TO THEM!!.
Igaram with a typical poker face will say something like " Cobra I'm sorry but I can't do it, they plotted to capture you and torture you to reveal the location of Pluton, they disabled Chaka and Pell as well".
Cobra is completely shocked "that can't be!!" but Vivi actually believes him and says something along these lines: "Pell!! Chaka!! I had a bad feeling about this meeting, we shouldn't had attend it!" (begins to cry)Igaram: "don't worry Vivi, we are about to meet them".Vivi: " Huh? So they are okay?!".Cobra: "Igaram! what are you up to?!"
He stops as they reach a warehouse at the end of the planted forest near Mary Geoise and gets inside.
Pell and Chaka are lying chained there.
Vivi hurries to check if they are alright, Pell barely breathing coughing blood hands her a vivre card and tries to say: "Ge..cough cough..Ko..cough..they are coming to save.." And blacks out.
Vivi gets distracted by the sound of her father hitting the ground, she turns back and sees several CP0 agents stand behind Igaram while Cobra lays infront of him.
"Vivi, we are here to save you... to save you from.. Mugiwara pirates!"
Bounty hunter or undercover mayor of Whiskey Peak? Baroque works' top agent or Alabasta royal guard's captain? Vivi's spying instructor or just a fatherly figure for her? No guys, Igaram is a Cipher Pol agent who infiltrated Alabasta royal guard's ranks to get closer to Cobra and Vivi in order to reveal the location of Pluton and leak it to the Gorosei. Well Oda surely will write it better than this but you got the point, the assassination attempt that Morgans was informed of is not the assassination of Nefertari family but an assassination BY Nefertari family, because we weren't introduced to anyone who would want to kill Cobra or Vivi, the only one there who had some history with them is Wapol and he definetly wouldn't want to try to kill them he doesn't want any problems on his head and especially not SUCH problems as messing up with celestial dragons, I'm sure he's pretty much satisfied the way he's now and doesn't hold any grudge against them, actually he said that he doesn't hold grudge even against Luffy anymore.
So yes Im-sama seemingly got what he wanted, justifying the capture of Vivi without turning Alabasta's citizens against the WG, and I would have said get prepared for Vivi rescue arc by now, but that would be too predictable for how Oda writes One Piece so far, so I tried to think how this event could turn for Vivi actually managing to escape without the SH rescuing her and find if there are actual hints for this to happen, and then I remembered there is a 4th incident that Morgans was informed of which shocked him, and here are the hints about it:
X-drake: "So that's what happened..!!??"
Koby: "yeah, it will be impossible for us to clean up this mess now! Even with the combined force of all of the marines in the world!
Koby: " that's why, in regards to that thing we were discussing before...our soldiers won't be able to make a move, just as we first expected.."(chapter 956).
Their talk suggests that some huge incident happened (a "mess" ) which requires enormous amount of power to stop it because he offers the combined force of all of the marines (battleships, troops, guns, canons and etc.) to clean it up which can speak alot about the nature of that thing. Now let's think what is this thing that Alabasta kingdom has that could rescue Vivi from that desperate situation and that even the combined force of all of the marines in the world can't stop it... Yes, it can only be the ancient weapon Pluton. Notice that in the panel where Alabasta's citizens are shown reacting to the newspaper characters that relevant to Vivi are not shown reading the news although in Sabo's case all of the characters that are relevant to him are shown reacting to his supposed death.As if Koza for some reason is not in Alabasta right now. Can he be somehow involved in bringing Pluton to Mary Geoise? Honestly I don't see how Koza would be able to access Pluton that is hidden who-knows how deep in Alabasta's sands , but I know who can.... Let me introduce you to the boss man of the blue sea, a person so genius that he intentionally forgets to breath in order to train his brain's utilization capability of oxygen, the one and the only... my man GEDATSU!!! If you ask yourself whodafuk is this then you're probably not familiar enough with the pantheon of the gods of one piece world and I suggest you to read the cover story "Gedatsu's accidental blue-sea life" (the longest cover story even till this day). I'm pretty sure that by now he dug every possible cubic meter of sand in Alabasta and proceeded to search for hot springs at the core of the planet, so I would be surprised if he didn't find Pluton yet, and we have seen in the cover story that he had teamed up with Koza, it's actually quite a popular theory so most of you should understand what I'm talking about..
After receiving a SOS signal from Pell through his vivre card Koza calls my man Gedatsu and tells him to prepare the monster, they are heading to Mary Geoise.
Emergency call from G-5 base straight to Gorosei's cabinet, enormous machine of mass destruction is reported to arrive at the horizon of Mary Geiose, looking through the window and dropping down the den den mushi in disbelief the Gorosei are recognizing it as the ancient battleship Pluton, and they seem to know what this monster came for.
Having no choice but to surrender they free Cobra and Vivi and let them go.
Lookig at Luffy's vivre card that Sai or Leo had Vivi notices that it's shrinking and folding which indicates that his life is in danger.
Riding pluton they decide to head to Wano to help Luffy.
On their way they meet and pick up the rest of the Grand Fleet members.
The third act in a kanuki theater is always ending very tragically. Moreover it's the 1000th chapter of a 20 years going franchise so this chapter must be VERY shocking and significant. What should we expect in that chapter to happen? Firstly I expect the actual reunion and rebirth of the Rocks pirates, because an alliance of only 2 former Rocks can't be really counted as a rebirth of the whole pirate crew. So should we expect the arrival of another Rocks legend in Wano? Yes and there is actually an hint for that - back then when we were only introduced to Queen and King when they scolded Jack they mentioned that they're waiting for the arrival of a special guest and they talked about it in an honoured manner so no they didn't talk about BM who didn't form an alliance with Kaido yet. There only 2 former Rocks pirates we know of that are expected to make an appearance and play a big role at some point - the golden lion Shiki and Miss Bakkin. I think the guest that they are waiting for is no other than Shiki because Kaiвo and Shiki are actually chasing the same goal - to bring chaos to the world by starting the greatest war the world has ever witnessed, and according to Oda there are only around 200 more chapters to expect for One Piece so there is no time to introduce a separate plot for Shiki. Also there is that moment when the old Kurozumi hag talked to Orochi and changed several appearances - one of them was young Shiki which could hint that he's going to get involved in Wano somehow. Oda said that Marineford is going to be a child's play compared to what's going happen in Wano, in Marineford we had 2 yonkos, 5 admiral level marines, pacificsta and 7 warlords, so in Wano we should expect all of this but even more - but even 3 yonkos, the intervention of marine forces (SSG? some admirals?), 9+ worst generation pirates and the presence of the 7 former warlords won't be enough to outplay Marineford so significantly, so what will? Firstly the warlords - they're not the same group they were back then at Marineford, they're missing Doflamingo, but at the other hand they have gained another Joker - the almighty Buggy, and now they have Weevil who is a force that is compared to young Whitebeard which is no joke! So if Weevil will arrive with all of them and they will fight seriously and not like they were pretending to fight in Marineford (especially Mihawk) I'd even argue that their presence in Wano will outweigh their presence in Marineford, so yes Weevil MUST appear in Wano and he will replace Whitebeard's spot in the reunited Rocks crew! Secondly the marines - they can't bring all of their forces to Wano all of a sudden, maybe 2-3 admirals at best but that won't be even close to what they had in Marineford, so in my opinion another force is going to top up the absence of marines in Wano - the revolutionaries, or more specifically Sabo and the 3 other commanders that were sent to Mary Geoise, in other words - the characters of Reverie will turn out to be relevant to Wano somehow, the constant change between Wano's events and the events at Reverie throughout the arc may turn out to be a setting for the merge of these 2 plots! And this farther solidifies the idea that Vivi will come to Wano as well, and if she will bring an ancient weapon along the way that will undoubtedly make this war greater than Marineford. But now we have another problem which is how the Rocks are going to counter a weapon that can destroy the world? Not just that but the combined forces of RA, Marines, SSG, Warlords, Worst generation, minks and Wano samurais? They have no chance unless... Remember the Egg that was on Roger's ship 27 years ago when he fought against Shiki who heard that he obtained an ancient weapon and wanted to get his hold on it himself? Many speculate that this egg was Uranus, but did you asked yourself what happened to it after Roger died? I think Shiki did get an hold on this ancient weapon afterall, and the reason for that - Crocus. The one thing that surely no one noticed and brought into question is how exactly Shiki even was informed that Roger got an ancient weapon? Roger is not stupid to announce this to the world, moreover he should try to keep it a secret as much as possible, so did Roger had someone in his crew who could tell that to Shiki, a spy? Actually yes, remember that cover page where a mysterious man drinks sake with Crocus? If you compare this man's clothes with Shiki's you will notice that they're absolutely the same. What Shiki had to talk about with a Roger pirate? The only reasonble explanation I can think of is that Crocus was actually once a crewmate of Shiki, and he may turn out to be the one that delivered Shiki the intel about Uranus! So if Roger died and hid Uranus somewhere Shiki might know exactly where it is. Uranus btw in my opinion is an enormous magical bird that hatched from that egg rather than a dragon, in one of One Piece's early versions Luffy joins a girl, prototype of Nami, who has a magical bird, and they're fighting a magician named Spiel the Hexagon who captured the bird in order to use its magical properties which are said to be able to destroy the world in the wrong hands. So here is how I see chapter 1000:
The reunited Rocks pirates are overpowering the alliance, everyone is desperate and doesn't know what to do.
In the horizon Pluton is arriving with the Strawhat Grand Fleet, Usopp is confirming that Vivi and Koza are steering the ancient battleship.
Everyone in the alliance is encouraged and getting hope.
At the same time Shiki is talking with Kaido about the secret weapon he has, then an enormous magical bird appears from the clouds and hovering above Pluton, Shiki introduces Uranus.
And then he says "let me demonstrate its powers, Kaido", and the bird is charging an heavenly attack on Pluton, seemingly destroying it and all the Grand Fleet.
While everyone is shocked BM is piercing Luffy through the belly.
Kaido fascinated by Shiki's addition to their crew is hitting the ground so hard that it gets cracked and an volcanic vent opens up right beneath the Strawhats and they all fall down into the lava.
Luffy is laying dead on the ground, Big Mom picks him up and throwing him to the lava as well.- Kaido, Shiki and BM are laughing.
End of act 3.
But of course in act 4 it all will turn out false, under Wano there is an underground kindgom that Oars' ancestors built, the capital of which is the emerald city, they all will end up there as Marco followed them through the lava and kept them safe with his flames, Luffy although will really die but Marco will use his awakened power and revive Luffy sacrificing his own life in the process.
And I'm willing to breed other aprimons on my breedable list, if you can offer 30+ fossils! (Looking for exactly: 36 Fossilized Fish and 34 Fossilized Drake, but I could take even more Drake ones ) Open to suggestions!
2020.09.20 12:39 Philosophy_is_DadWho is doctor Vegapunk, Eustass "Captain" Kid's backstory + more crazy theories
Ok, this will be more based on intuition than on concrete evidence because only subtle hints exist.But as I see it:
Vegapunk is a revolutionary.
Kid is Vegapunk's son, raised as an orphan, and will become an ally to Straw Hats.Here me out.
Vegapunk is an incredibly important character that is yet to be introduced. We know he has some important connections with Kuma, programming his last wish to protect the Thousand Sunny. Even though he was born in the grand line, I think he eventually went to the South blue and became a secret revolutionary there, because both (cyborg) Kuma and (inventor) Lindbergh are from South Blue. Kid is also from the South Blue, and obviously savvy with technology, making kibernetic arms with his magnetic powers and he has an attack called "Punk rotten". I think Kid was orphaned after Vegapunk was captured by the Marines (maybe he left willingly on a secret mission, but that's besides the point). Kid was raised by the streets, which explain his cut-throat, thug personality. Also, his deep connection to Killer hints to a similarity between Luffy, his brothers and the Straw Hats - friendship is that much more important when you grow up without a family. When he grown up, he became a pirate and not a revolutionary because he was disgusted that his dad was still working for the World Government. Maybe he thought that revolutionaries are taking too much time, being too passive, or maybe he resented them because he felt they "sacrificed" his dad's life for their own goals. So instead he decided he will take matters in his own hands and get One Piece by himself. In the Wano arc, Kid fights on the side of the Straw Hat's, and he will grow to respect Luffy by seeing him in all the crazy action. After Wano finishes, Chopper will heal Killer's SMILE defect, and Kid will finally lower his guard and become an ally to Straw Hats. People might object because Kid has Conqueror's Haki and wants to get One Piece, but in this theory, Kid's only goal is to destroy the World Government and release/avenge his father Vegapunk, which is complementary to Luffy's goal. He wants One Piece because he knows it will disrupt the WG, so he really doesn't care for it on it's own, Luffy can take the treasure. On the side note, I think Law will not betray Luffy, but will rather join Sword (maybe he already joined when Drake released him). This makes sense because Law's Inherited Will was of a secret marine Corazon. As I see it, Sword has connections with the Revolutionary Army through Vegapunk. Fujitora is certainly in Sword, and he was vouching for the dissolution of the Seven Warlords system because he knew of Vegapunk's new inventions. So, when it all comes together, almost all members of the Supernovas will become Luffy's allies, and by doing so will connect the powers of Sword (Law, Drake), revolutionary army (Kid, Bonny) and pirate crews (Bege, who will maybe even bring Katakuri on SH side) in a struggle against the World Government. What I don't know is what role is Shanks and Elbaf going to play. Kid was specifically targeting Shanks at one point, which might hint at another connection. ...P.S. I think Rocks D. Xebec is in some way "alive", similar to Voldemort. Possibly even possessing Blackbeard's body, which would explain his ability to have 2 devil fruits in the same time. But enough for now. Edit: Kid's ship is called Victoria Punk, and this picture of young Kid supports my idea of him being a poor orphan: https://pm1.narvii.com/6312/46bf6c654bccbf5447f61d0a50c0b68a62cbd9ce_00.jpg
Drake - Shot For me ( Take Care ) ( Lyrics ) - YouTube
Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude (Medley) - YouTube
Drake- Take Care Full Album - YouTube
Drake - Jaded x Take Care [Mashup] - YouTube
Drake & Rihanna - Take Care (Slowed & Reverb) - YouTube
Take Care - YouTube
AVAKIN LIFE💙 Drake take care feat. Rihanna - YouTube
Drake ft. Rihanna - Take Care (LYRICS) - YouTube
SHOT FOR ME --- http://EliteRingers.info --- [Drake - Verse 1] I can see it in your eyes: you're angry Regret got shit on what you're feeling now Mad cau... 🔊 🎧 Follow Erick Rose: Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/erick_rose Twitter: @erick.rxse Instagram: @erick.rxse 🎵 Follow Remix Planet: Snapchat - @plane... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. For More New Music: http://CantStopHipHop.com http://Facebook.com/DailyNewMusic http://Twitter.com/OfficialDNHH Drake Ft. Rihanna - Take Care [Lyrics on Scre... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube. Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group Cameras / Good Ones Go Interlude (Medley) · Drake Take Care ℗ 2011 Young Money Entertainment/Cash Money Records ... #drake #rihanna #avakinlife Provided to YouTube by Universal Music Group Take Care · Drake · Rihanna Take Care ℗ 2011 Cash Money Records Inc. Released on: 2012-01-01 Producer: Jamie 'xx... Enjoy the videos and music you love, upload original content, and share it all with friends, family, and the world on YouTube.