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World Hunger Games: 17th Hunger Games: Bloodbath + Day 1

2023.05.28 17:13 Mortimer_Whimsiwick World Hunger Games: 17th Hunger Games: Bloodbath + Day 1

This year’s arena was known as the Everglades. It was a swamp environment spanning four kilometers, making this slightly smaller than the vast savannah of the previous games. The arena was littered with tall mossy trees thin enough for tributes to climb. The high density of the trees along with the thick canopy of foliage above trapped a lot of heat within. There was some debate regarding the amount of water to be pumped in the arena. Due to Head Gamemaker’s preconceived ideas on the mutts and arena events, the crystal-clear swamp water that encompassed 80% of the arena was 15ft at its deepest. There were patches of raised grassland scattered throughout the arena, giving tributes a few areas of relief from the deep waters. The cornucopia stood in the center of a small clearing with the podiums in a semicircle near the southern perimeter. The depth of the water was ankle height, the gamemakers not wanting to hinder the tribute’s movements for the bloodbath. There were a decent number of supplies, however all food and non-weaponous supplies were stored in dark green waterproof bags floating in the puddles. Traditional Hunger Games weapons were also seen floating in the puddles and propped inside the small cornucopia structure.
When the podiums rose out of the arena, tributes felt the humid heat weigh down on them. A few tributes were relieved by the aquatic setting, especially the District 4 tributes. Pearl was wedged between Laurel (7) and Logan (11). She felt intimidated by Laurel’s muscles and decided to ignore her in favour of scanning for escape routes. After pinpointing two routes with more tree cover, she scanned the lineup for Mortimer. She spotted him between Wren (5) and Jack. He noticed Jack and gave him a greeting. Jack asked if it was true Tobias Stephens was dead, him nodding in response. Mortimer said “If it’s all the same to you, I’ll leave you alone for now. Just out of respect for Tobias and for helping deliver the weed to me.” Jack thanked him before searching for Cat. Cat was found standing between Nikita (2) and Neutron (12). Nikita tried to intimidate her, but she brushed it aside. She spotted Mortimer and Jack conversing, pleased it wasn’t confrontational. Mortimer spotted her and she waved to him. He stared at her for a moment before turning his eyes to the cornucopia. She looked at the cornucopia as well, aiming her sights on one of the bigger waterproof bags.
When the gong sounded, Cat sprinted forward towards the bag she set her eyes on. Nikita attempted to tackle her to the ground, but Cat was quick enough to somersault out of the way. She frantically searched for a way out, choosing to run northwest away from the careers. However, she spotted Pearl fighting Mishti (10) for a bag. Mishti was successful at obtaining the bag and pushed Pearl to the ground before grabbing a knife nearby. Cat bolted towards the two girls, hopping over the fallen Burlap (8)’s body. Before Mishti could strike Pearl with her knife, Cat tackled her to the ground. Cat pushed Mishti’s face under the ankle high water and used her knee to keep her head down. She wrenched the knife and pushed the blade into the back of her skull. She looked up to see Pearl already gone. She turned to see a sword propped against the cornucopia wall and decided to risk it.
Meanwhile, Jack hopped off his podium but was swept off his feet by the slippery mud. He frantically pulled himself up, but was relieved that all the nearby tributes were completely ignoring him. He witnessed the first death of the games when Andrei (2) stomped on Terry (5)’s neck, snapping it in an odd angle. He ran alongside the podiums to steer clear of the ongoing chaos all the while searching for Cat. He managed to spot her closing in on a sword. He ran towards her, unaware of an arrow courtesy of Jassy (12) narrowly missing his head. As he neared Cat, he noticed Logan (11) creeping closer to her with a heavy axe in hand. He yelled at Cat to look out, but she didn’t hear. Logan raised his axe at the unaware Cat. Jack jumped forward and pushed Cat out of the line of fire. The axe lodged itself into Jack’s head, sending him falling to the ground. Cat was horrified upon seeing her partner brutally killed in front of her. She decided she let his sacrifice not be in vain and retreated from the clearing with a bag and sword in hand.
Mortimer was one of the first to reach the cornucopia. He snatched a trident from the back of the cornucopia structure. He turned to exit the building only to come face to face with Laurel (7). She had an axe in her hand and voiced her intentions of killing him for her partner Wolvthorne (7). Mortimer warned her to get out of his way, but she charged forwards. Mortimer used his trident to catch her first swipe, pushing her backwards. He swung the trident, cutting Laurel’s face. She was unperturbed and tried striking him. This time, he dodged and thrust the end of his trident in her ribs. He used her brief moment of painful staggering to stab her in the head. He flung her body to the side like a ragdoll and ran back outside. He noticed two bags close together and decided to risk grabbing them. He scooped up both bags with his trident, with one hanging on each side before retreating. He fell to the ground after tripping over the corpse of Shoya (3). As he pulled himself up, he noticed Pearl hiding behind a tree beckoning him to follow her. As he ran, he heard Wolvthorne’s roars of anger after discovering his partner dead. So angry in fact that he managed to disembowel and kill Nikita (2) before escaping east.
When the bloodbath was over, Artemis and Luther followed the order of events. Artemis enjoyed this bloodbath as not only did they have a couple gory kills, but some rare moments of honor. Luther listed Terry (5) as the first death at the hands of Andrei (2), comparing it to the first kill of the 12th Hunger Games when Sparta (D2 female tribute) curb stomped Fleming (D6 male tribute). Cameras then spotted Burlap (8) stabbed in the eye by Olivine (1), making him the second death. On the opposite side was Shoya (3), whose throat was slit by Lionel (1). The next chronological death was Mishti (10), with Artemis wondering why Cat saved Pearl. Luther speculated that they were probably in an alliance. The fifth death was Laurel (7). Artemis felt bummed out to not see more of her as she seemed like victor material. The sixth and seventh deaths took place almost simultaneously. Number six was Neutron (12) after he was stabbed numerous times by Andrei (2). Two seconds afterwards was the death of Jack. Artemis declared his death as honorable and as a redemption from his disastrous interview. The last two kills of this year’s bloodbath were Ryetta (9) and Nikita (2). Ryetta was killed by Lionel when she jumped on his back and tried to gouge his eyes out. Lionel wrenched her off by the hair and bashed her head into the cornucopia structure. Artemis then moved to Nikita’s death and described Wolvthorne as savage. Luther wrapped the bloodbath analysis up and announced nine bloodbath kills, two more than the previous year.
Cat continued to create distance from the clearing. She followed as much grassland as possible, having to wade through the water at a few points. Suddenly, she came across a wide expanse of water with no land in sight. She slipped on a loose twig and fell to the ground at the edge of this lake. Her backpack spilled its contents upon impact, its contents consisting of a sandwich, four fruit packs, a pocket knife, a bottle of water, string, and a small medkit. The thoughts of losing the items she fought so hard for sent her in a panic. She reached out and tried to gather as much as she could. However, she failed to save the sandwich, the knife, and three of the fruit packets as they all sank below its depths.
After saving the rest of her items, she realized her hyperventilating continued. She crossed her legs and put her supplies to the side. The confused viewers in Maximus Square watched as she took deep methodical breaths while moving her arms up and down. They began to realize she was meditating in order to compose herself. Viewers watched as the gamemakers displayed her heart rate and the number slowly decrease. Soon, Cat was able to compose herself. She decided to inspect her remaining supplies, keeping her sword by her side. She opened the medkit and was disappointed by the lack of quantity. It consisted of one roll of medical tape, two bandages, and strangely a wax bottle of clear liquid. She inspected the label, which revealed the contents to be hydrogen peroxide. She took note of this and pocketed the medkit, string, and the one fruit pack.
Cat lastly picked up the water bottle and realized it to be empty. She internally debated collecting water from the lake in front of her. She cautiously dipped a couple fingers in the lake and then tasted the droplets on her fingertips. Tasting nothing out of sorts, she picked up her water bottle. She was interrupted by the mandatory cannons, signaling the end of the bloodbath. Cat quickly scanned her surroundings while carefully listening for tributes. After hearing nothing, she turned back to the water and felt her heart drop. The once clear water had now become cloudy and murky. Cat became dejected, knowing she couldn’t trust the water anymore. She let tears fall from her eyes for a few moments, mourning her dreadful situation. Artemis was about to tease her crying, when she was interrupted by Cat slapping herself in the face. Cat told herself aloud that she had to get it together and plan her next move. She continued to scan the lake and her surroundings. She noticed a near consistent path of grassland heading west around the lake. She decided to head that direction, whispering to herself that “sailor boy” was sure to head that direction. She packed her things and started her journey west along the lake’s borders, with her sword at the ready.
Back in the commentator’s booth, Artemis noted her determination to find the District 4 tributes, speculating whether she had a crush on Mortimer. Luther diverted the topic to the lake. He educated the audience on the layout of the lake, showing through schematics that it spanned at least 35% of the entire arena. At the end of the lake was a thick accumulation of trees and brush the cameras refused to go past. When he and Artemis questioned Head Gamemaker Grimstone, he told them there was a hidden surprise on the possibility a tribute figures out a way across.
The two hosts began checking tabs on the surviving tributes. Olivine and Lionel (1) had split from the clearing and were in the south eastern sector. They watched from the safety of a couple trees as Andrei (2) and Wolvthorne (7) gathered supplies at the cornucopia. Surprisingly, Andrei was indifferent to his new ally having killed Nikita. The two debated their next move, Wolvthorne desiring to find Mortimer for revenge. Andrei admitted that while he was their biggest threat, he would have to put his grievances aside for them to survive the arena. Cameras diverted their attention to Carnelia and Logan (11) as they neared the southeastern perimeter. In close proximity was Horace (10) who was stalking them, using the trees and small mud banks as cover. Vista (3) had climbed up a tree and rested there. Wren (5) had struck up an alliance with Jassy (12) when the two crossed paths in the centre of the arena. Peggy (8) reached the northern perimeter and planted roots at the shore of the lake. John (9) had retreated west and was camouflaging himself with mud. He was nearly seen by Cat minutes into her trek west, but decided against confronting her upon seeing her sword. Artemis urged Luther to point the cameras to the District 4 tributes, which he obliged.
Mortimer had successfully distanced himself from the cornucopia. Cameras captured him diverting the supplies from one of his two backpacks into the other, discarding the empty one in the mud. It was around this time when the cannons sounded. The combined supplies included an empty water bottle, three fruit packs, a sandwich, a bundle of sturdy rope, a sleeping bag, and a small cooking pot. He was half a kilometre away from the lake’s southwest shore when he stopped walking. He turned around and asked the forest if hiding from him was really necessary. Pearl stepped out from behind a tree, asking how he knew she was there. He claimed that he spotted her dirty blonde hair poking out. He asked why she was hiding from him. Pearl asked if he was going to kill her. Mortimer was confused by this and questioned why he would kill her. Pearl defended herself by pointing out how much he hated accepting help from others and thought he would go lone wolf. Mortimer rolled his eyes, muttering “This again” under his breath. He put his right hand up and solemnly swore he wouldn’t kill her, for Gill’s sake. Pearl cautiously stepped out and thanked him. He asked what she had in her bag. She showed her contents, seeing a rain poncho, a water bottle, two apples, and a flint and steel.
Mortimer revealed his contents as well, noting the emptiness of the bottles. He suggested they continue going west, but Pearl pointed at a tall tree nearby. She said she would climb it and get a good vantage point. Mortimer didn’t object as she marched over to the tree and began climbing. While she was climbing higher, cameras noticed how antsy Mortimer was. In the commentator’s booth, Artemis said it appeared as if he was tempted to ditch her. Luther agreed with her observation, but didn’t believe he would just yet. Pearl reached seven metres in height and began surveying the arena. She reported to Mortimer that everything looked the same until she looked northwest and spotted the lake. Mortimer declared they would go there. She agreed and the two began their journey.
Out of nowhere, Pearl asked if he had anything against her father Alexander Riverstone. Mortimer claimed he didn’t and thought he was an honest working man. She retorted by asking for his reason to not accept his or anyone else’s help. Mortimer became annoyed by hearing this question for the umpteenth time, but Pearl insisted he explain. She already heard the story from Gill and wanted to hear his perspective, explaining, “After years of waitressing and hearing all the gossip, I’ve learned there is always another side.” Mortimer sighed and admitted he should’ve accepted his and Gill’s help as they had no gain in doublecrossing him. He cited his mother’s abandonment and the resulting playground bullying as the cornerstone reasons for him not trusting others. Pearl asked how old his mother was when she left, him answering six. Viewers weren’t aware of this detail and felt bad for him.
Before Pearl could press for more, the two had arrived at the lake. They noticed the murkiness of the water and surmised that it was unsafe to drink. Mortimer wondered how it was murky when it was crystal clear earlier. Pearl said she noticed the water became cloudy the second the cannons sounded, deducing that the water will become much more unsafe to drink as the death toll increases. The commentators and gamemakers were impressed with her accurate deduction but pointed out it was Jassy (12) who discovered it first though in a joking manner. Pearl however was more curious about the smell, comparing it to the sewage port at the Cardiff Cliffs. Mortimer agreed and pondered over what to do next.
Pearl climbed up another tree and spotted the stretching shoreline. Mortimer hypothesised how due to the unnatural shape and location of the lake, along with recent Hunger Games trends, there could be something in the northwestern sector on the other side. Pearl sarcastically commented, “Add a boat to the list of things we desperately need.” Mortimer’s eyes lit up and said, “Why not make our own?”, pointing out how they could construct a raft out of the sturdier trees and tie them together with rope, adding that being on the lake would keep them far from other tributes. Pearl admitted it was a good plan, but considered water as the utmost priority. When asked to test the water, Pearl gagged on the taste. Mortimer pulled out his pot and gave it to Pearl, telling her to start a fire.
Around the time Mortimer started his raft project, Cat was taking a break from all the trudging through the damp grassland. She held her only fruit pack in her fingertips and stared at it for several minutes. Viewers could tell she was speculating on whether or not to eat it. She decided against it and put it back in her backpack. She watched the still lake while licking her cracked lips to keep them moist. She dipped two of her fingers into the cloudy water and tasted the droplets. She instantly gagged and spit them out, using her sleeve to wipe her mouth. She then broke off a button from the backpack and stuck it in her mouth. Luther seemed impressed by this, educating the audience on this unique practice of preventing dry mouth.
Cat decided her break was over and stood up with supplies in tow. Suddenly, she heard voices coming from behind her. She listened carefully and recognized the voice of Olivine and Lionel (1). Cameras showed the two bypassing Andrei (2) and Wolvthorne (7) after the two journeyed north to hunt for tributes. While raiding the cornucopia, Olivine played with a pair of binoculars and spotted Pearl in the tree. The two decided to go after her. Cat frantically searched for a place to hide. There were no nearby upright trees and she didn’t have enough time to camouflage herself in the mud. So, in desperation, she burrowed her backpack in the mudbank and waded herself into the lake. Cat ducked her head underwater just in time for Olivine and Lionel to reveal themselves. Many viewers in Maximus Square were at the edge of their seats as the two careers initially began walking past Cat’s location. The situation was filled with more tension when the two stopped before moving out of sight. The two discussed their plan of confronting Pearl, knowing Mortimer is most likely with her. Lionel assured her that the two could take him together. Underwater cameras captured Cat’s face as she struggled to hold her breath. Based on the quality of the cameras’ footage, it appeared that Cat was able to overhear their conversation. Just when it looked like Cat was about to give up, the two careers finally resumed their journey west.
Cat thrust herself out of the water, taking in deep breaths. Supporters of Cat in Maximus Square breathed out in relief as well. Cat dragged herself to shore and flipped herself on her back. She laid there for a few moments catching her breath and wiping the mud off her face. When she held her arm up, she noticed a black spot on her forearm. She grabbed it, pulled it off, and turned it towards her. She instantly recognized it from its sucker and rows of teeth, straight from her studies in the fauna sector in the aquatic station. It was a black worm leech, a relatively new species introduced to the world through the crossbreeding of the European medicinal leech and the terrestrial leech. Cat’s face morphed into one of pure disgust and fright. It took all her inner strength not to scream when she looked down and counted eleven leeches on her legs and forearms. She shakily ripped the leeches off her body one by one, lip quivering as she did so. She tossed the leeches aside and crab-walked away from the shore.
Cat sat on a log for almost an hour, traumatized by the experience. After composing herself, she grabbed her backpack and was about to leave when she recalled Olivine and Lionel’s plan. Realizing Pearl and Mortimer were in danger, she pulled out her empty water bottle. Capital viewers were confused at first, expecting her to “run for the hills”. Their confusion turned to interest as Cat scooped up the leeches and put them inside her bottle along with some of the lakewater. In the commentator’s booth, Artemis was holding herself, cringing at the sight of the leeches. She wondered why Cat would pick them back up. Luther guessed she would use them either to help her allies or food, noting that the leeches were edible. Artemis squealed at the thought. As Cat was about to start moving again, a cannon sounded. It was revealed to be Vista (3) after she climbed down from her tree and decided to bathe in the river. She was also overtaken by leeches and screamed very loudly at the sight of them. Andrei (2) and Wolvthorne (7) heard her screams and found her writhing on the ground swiping at the leeches on her body. Andrei ended her suffering by plunging his sword into her head.
Two hours passed by without incident. Capital viewers still had some nuggets of tribute activity to entertain them. Carnelia and Logan (11) had successfully captured a handful of leeches and were attempting to cook them. Their stalker Horace (10) watched from nearby. The biggest area of interest was with the District 4 tributes and the approaching careers increasing the suspense in Maximus Square. While Mortimer was beginning the construction of the raft, Pearl boiled some water in the pot. She noticed her partner testing his rope on the logs he acquired and showing disappointment with it not being enough to secure the full measurements.
While the water boiled, Pearl gathered the moss growing off the trees and weaved some twine together. She tossed the twine to Mortimer and told him to test it out. She rolled her eyes at the look of skepticism on his face. She challenged him by asking why he was skeptical over some twine. Mortimer claimed he wasn’t suspicious of any malintent but was wondering why she would make it for him. Pearl simply stated, “We’re partners aren’t we?” Mortimer thanked her and tested the twine. He was satisfied with its durability and asked if she could make more. Pearl beckoned him to come to the fire. He walked over and was perplexed by the sight before him. The water still resembled the murky lake water. Pearl claimed she left the water to boil for ten minutes. Mortimer stuck his fingers taste tested it and spat it out in disgust. He said it wasn’t as bad tasting as the lakewater, but was still unsafe to drink. Frustrated, he went back to his raft while Pearl resumed making twine.
The two were unaware that Olivine and Lionel (1) were very close by and were able to pinpoint their location after hearing them talking. Lionel stepped forward and peeked his head behind a tree, ready to approach the unsuspecting Pearl. Pearl lifted her head to wipe the sweat off her face and was horrified to see him towering over her. She screamed at the top of her lungs and sprinted off not a second later. Lionel chased after her and swung his sword down toward her. Pearl shut her eyes preparing for the end, but only heard a single metallic thud. She opened her eyes to see the sword blocked by Mortimer’s trident.
Mortimer barked at Pearl to get behind him and she obeyed. Olivine made herself known brandishing a sword as well, having failed to secure a bow in the bloodbath. The arena and Maximus Square were quiet as the tributes slowly circled each other, Mortimer and Pearl taking measures to not be surrounded by their adversaries. Mortimer tried to make Olivine the closer enemy, knowing she was not nearly as experienced with a sword as Lionel. What he didn't know was she still had decent skills with the sword due to it being her "secondary weapon" that she decided to hide during training. Lionel swung first once again, his blade being caught by the trident. Olivine stepped in to strike while Mortimer was distracted. However, he spotted her and smacked her across the face with the back of the handle. She fell back into the water but before he could take advantage, Lionel went back on the offence.
The next three minutes kept the Capital at the edge of their seat. The two were evenly matched and trapped in a cycle of attack, block, and retaliation all while Pearl watched on, frozen to her spot. Lionel got his sword caught in the trident for the eighth time, but surprised everyone by twisting the blade downwards, pushing the prongs down and exposing Mortimer’s head. Lionel kept twisting in hopes Mortimer would drop his weapon, but he persisted. Just when it seemed like Mortimer was about to give up, he headbutted Lionel, dazing him long enough to free his weapon. Then in a swift motion, Mortimer thrust his trident up Lionel’s chin into his brain, sounding his cannon instantly.
Mortimer couldn’t celebrate for long as he heard Olivine charging towards him. She sliced at him in a frenzy, managing to cut his right eyebrow. She used this distraction to punch him in the face. Mortimer stumbled back a few inches, surprised by the power in her punch. Olivine brought her sword up high, ready to strike him down. Mortimer gave her a powerful uppercut, sending Olivine back three feet. The punch caused her to bite through her tongue, it falling to the ground. Olivine moaned in muffled agony at the sight of it on the floor as her mouth filled with blood. Mortimer thrust the trident in her chest. Suddenly, someone came rushing into the small clearing. It was Cat, having finally arrived to help Mortimer. She paused at the carnage laid before her and put her sword down. She said, “Guess you didn’t need help then.” Olivine’s cannon sounded seconds later.
The viewers in Maximus Square went crazy, cheering for Mortimer’s triumphant victory. In the commentator’s booth, Artemis and Luther were buzzing as well, the latter declaring this as one of the greatest fight sequences in the history of the Hunger Games. Historic documents reflected that sentiment as well. The cheering quickly died down, waiting to see his reaction to Cat’s sudden arrival. Mortimer furrowed his brows and backed her into a tree, saying, “You! You’ve been following us?!” Cat put her hands up and apologized for scaring him. She asked to at least explain herself. Pearl came to her defense and pleaded with him to hear her out. Mortimer relented and told her to spill.
Cat regaled her experiences so far, revealing the leeches’ existence and how she found them. Pearl rummaged through her things and pulled out the water bottle, but Cat warned her about the leeches inside. Pearl looked inside and identified the species, revealing they were edible. She walked towards the fire with the bottle. Cat turned back to Mortimer and told him, “I know you are reluctant to trust me, especially considering where we are. But seeing that I helped you with your training score and have something valuable to share, I think you need me as an ally.” Back in the Capital, Artemis said she admired Cat’s guts while Luther expressed interest in the dynamic they’re about to see, confident Mortimer would say yes. Mortimer looked back at Pearl inspecting the leeches, then the open backpack. He relented and accepted her invitation into the group, but warned he would end her if she did anything remotely bad.
Mortimer invited her to sit down by the campsite and go over what they learned. The small fire burnt out and Pearl was trying and failing to reignite it. Cat finally picked up on the rotten egg smell emanating throughout the arena. Mortimer noticed as well, claiming it was worse than before. Pearl asked if they noticed how it became worse the minute the careers died. The two were silent and realised she was right. Pearl speculated that not only will the water be rendered more undrinkable each death, but the smell will get worse. Cat compared the smell to the piles of feces left in Willard Alleyway by warmweed addicts and alcoholics. Mortimer suddenly had an epiphany. He realized that the rotten egg smell meant traces of flammable sulphur were present. Cat suggested they search for the source of the smell before it gets dark. The three fanned out. The search for the rotten smell garnered some moments of comedy. Viewers were laughing at the tributes picking up random objects and bringing them to their faces, left in tears at their disgusted facial expressions. It was ultimately Pearl who discovered the source, having explored the lake shore and found the source to be green algae barely touching the surface. She held her breath while collecting some and handing it to Mortimer. He wringed it off as much water as possible before shooting sparks at it with the flint and steel. After several tries, the algae ignited.
A fire was successfully crafted, and the trio resumed boiling the water. Cat speculated why boiling it wasn’t enough, recalling how it worked for Corpse Beckford in the 10th Hunger Games. Pearl suddenly squealed and stood up. One of the leeches escaped the bottle and began squirming on the ground. Mortimer picked it up and examined the creature. He noticed how sticky his fingertips were, his facing morphing into what Artemis coined as the “thinking face”. Mortimer used the tip of his trident to scrape some of the slime and thrust it into the pot. Cat was about to protest, but Mortimer recalled the species of leech and that it resided in the Rocky Shores neighborhood. He explained how the poorer citizens of District 4 would use the slime of discarded leeches to better purify dirty water. Cat commended him for noticing this and offered to ration the food for dinner. Pearl continued to create twine for the raft, but cameras noticed her constantly watching the nearby trees.
The sun was nearly out of sight and the water was still not fully purified. Mortimer was frustrated that the slime wasn’t enough. Cat told him to calm down and assured him they would figure it out. Pearl was still making twine for the raft when she cut herself with a tiny splinter entangled in the moss. Cat grabbed the first aid kit to bandage the wound before it became infected. Mortimer commented how he wasn’t aware therapists needed to know first aid. Cat responded, “Well, in a district full of addicts, you get a lot of practice.” Pearl asked her why she wanted to be a therapist like Phoebe. Cat explained how she used to be one of the young “zombies” hanging out in Willard Alleyway experimenting with new batches of warmweed. One day when she was thirteen, she had a respiratory attack. Her supposed friends were indifferent to her predicament and fled when Phoebe and peacekeeper escorts walked by. Phoebe spotted her, brought her to the hospital, and took care of her. In the commentator’s booth, Artemis was curious as to why she was dredging up traumatic experiences so nonchalantly. Luther guessed she truly moved past it and told her to keep listening. Cat further described a long conversation she had with Phoebe and how much it changed her life. After that, Cat strongly desired to get clean and was successful after nine arduous months. This was the part where Cat began to feel emotional. Cat explained that she wanted to help others get clean the same way she did, so no more kids are left to die in alleyways. She then revealed that when her mother died of an overdose, it was enough to convince her brother to get clean as well after years of begging. After years of dealing with erratic addicts, she claimed that no one scared her anymore, not even Mortimer. Mortimer apologised for being cross with her before, receiving an accepting smile in return.
While Cat bandaged Pearl’s wound, Mortimer noticed the small bottle of hydrogen peroxide. He examined it and put some droplets in the water. Suddenly, the cloudy substance in the water completely cleared. The three stared in amazement. Pearl asked who would test it first. Mortimer looked at Cat, who annoyedly said, “Fine I’ll do it.” She took a sip and said it tasted like water. After a few moments of no effect, Cat congratulated Mortimer for successfully purifying the water. Mortimer seemed really proud of himself. Suddenly, two sponsor gifts fell from the sky, one with a 4 and one with a 6. The D4 gift contained a mini chemistry kit with droppers, tiny bowls, and vials. A note attached read “I told you friends are the best - G”. The D6 bag contained a picnic of sandwiches and fruit. Pearl was ready to dig in, but Cat insisted they rest as the sun had fully set. Mortimer appeared disappointed, but admitted she was right. He volunteered to take first watch, blushing when Cat claimed he did so just to play with his new set. The two rested while Mortimer got to work purifying more water with his new kit. The portraits of the fallen were presented in the sky. The fallen included Olivine and Lionel (1), Nikita (2), Vista and Shoya (3), Terry (5), Jack (6), Laurel (7), Burlap (8), Ryetta (9), Mishti (10), and Neutron (12). This left 12 tributes remaining.
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2023.05.28 16:57 AllPainNoGain10 Can it be PCOS?

Hi, I'm 23f. I've been on bc since 17. Regular periods each 31-35 days. Stopped using the patch 7 months ago, and did hormonal profile cd3. Fsh on the higher end- 8.8, while lh normal 4.5. The rest seemed normal including E2. Had ultrasound on day 8 and been told by the gynecologist that it seems like I have a normal overian reserve and that I have pco (told me he sees a lot of follicles). I've been losing more hair than I've been on bc in the last 3 months, lost weight, and now I have acne, which I never had as bad as now before bc. Can it be pcos, even if my period is regular and lh/fsh low? Can a normal overian reserve be seen on ultrasound? Does pcos affect fertility or lower the age of menopause? Thanks in advance, I hope there is someone out there with symptoms similar to mine who can tell me if it's normal
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2023.05.28 13:08 woefulaircraft82 Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by woefulaircraft82 to Wannamateer [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:07 CarlyLewis3 Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by CarlyLewis3 to Candefrenz [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:06 NotableHomer Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by NotableHomer to Yeakrite [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:05 woefulaircraft82 Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by woefulaircraft82 to Weastenbaar [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:04 CarlyLewis3 Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by CarlyLewis3 to u/CarlyLewis3 [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:04 Papatya707 I have no motivation to do anything

My grades are horrible, I am overweight, I am exhausted all of the time, I have dark skin patches and acne everywhere and hirsutism and I can't even get up and do something about it.
Every time I tell myself I am going on a diet I just start binge eating. Then there are times where I lose my appetite so much that I don't eat anything at all. It's hard leaving my bed. I look absolutely horrible.
I thought that I am just incredibly lazy but I think it has something to do with my pcos. I need help. This can't continue.
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2023.05.28 13:03 NotableHomer Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by NotableHomer to Wiitbosster [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 13:02 woefulaircraft82 Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by woefulaircraft82 to u/woefulaircraft82 [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 12:59 NotableHomer Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? –

Why are there still people without health insurance in Mass. and what can be done about it? – submitted by NotableHomer to u/NotableHomer [link] [comments]

2023.05.28 12:58 REvrLoki so just caught my wife of 12 years cheating on me

OK so for context a year ago I found text messages from Instagram Facebook after I got a tip from someone on Facebook that my wife that worked at a Rite Aid had exchanged numbers with her boyfriend and we’re texting until 3:30 in the morning. She woke up and saw him texting her, she provided me with a few receipts nothing major so I proceeded to use the passwords that she had written down in a book to log into all her social media accounts and what I found almost made me throw up I have taken about 70 or 80 screen grabs of the text messages I gave her a second chance, and I thought we had moved past all of it. Things have been fast forward to Tuesday 5/15/2023 I wake up while she’s in the shower. Our kids are watching cartoons go to use the restroom her phones on the railing on top of a towel. Her alarm clock starts to go off I go to grab her phone to turn off her alarm for her, so it doesn’t vibrate off the railing. As soon as I go to hit the snooze or off button on the alarm a text message comes through and my thumb hits it instead the message opens to him saying he loved the night. We had the other night when the same night she had been out “doing laundry at the local laundromat” needless to say loads were bidding put in some thing, but it wasn’t lottery so I threw her ass out and I’ve tried to be civil around the kids but last night she came over to fill out the divorce papers together and be civil about it, she was argumentative from the moment she got there. I saw her getting out of her car, texting someone, not even 10 minutes after she got here two police officers showed up for a domestic dispute. Somebody had called in clearly it was the friend that lives down the road from us that she had texted as she got here her being difficult an argumentative was trying to get me riled up to start an argument. To make me look like the bad guy. I sent her a text message this morning to let her know that she’s no longer welcome at MY home unless I know she’s going to be here as previously I was letting her come and go to make removal of her stuff easier for her what should I do now?
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2023.05.28 12:05 Beginning_Ad_5614 need help

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2023.05.28 08:50 MUAotCModTeam Budget Beauty Buys: This Week's Top Drugstore Deals

MUA Actually on the Cheap!
Let's talk budget friendly buys! Share your affordable favorites, hauls, reviews, deals, coupon/extra savings tips, and more!
Weekly Ads:
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2023.05.28 08:18 Agitated_Pineapple83 Too strong but don’t want to bin

Tldr: i have 7 tubes of 0.1% and i don’t want to throw them out. What can i do to ‘thin’ this formula?
Okay, so basically where I live there is no coverage of tret unless it’s severe enough to be necessary (cystic acne). I have gone to a private doctor willing to ‘bend’ the rules, a regular pharmacist would never prescribe. I could not fulfill the recipe in my own country so that doctor arranges the import from another country. I pay consultant fee and med fee so I decided to order a fair amount. I now have 7, 6 still closed tubes that i paid 60usd each for that I would rather not get rid off but I came from 0,025% and this is just far too strong. A lot of peeling, rough patches and redness. What can I do to make the 7 tubes i have on hand useful? I am a woman (38) with. Mild acne Have been on treclinac for 4 months without result. Am water cicaplast spf Pm mild cleanser niacinamide tret cicaplast
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2023.05.28 07:33 Global_Relative_3177 Chapitre 9: Contrebande au nome de Khoun-Ipou

Bonne lecture.
La nuit tombe en pleine journée puis quelques projectiles s’échappent des nuages ténébreux. Shedet observe le comportement instable des autres ouvriers, n’ayant jamais été témoin d’un tel phénomène il comprend directement l’ampleur de la catastrophe. Geburah rejoint le scribe se faisant protéger sans attendre par les larges boucliers des gardes pendant que d’autres Sittiu soulèvent son palanquin. Geburah est aussitôt mis à l’écart et semble recevoir un ordre avant que le scribe et ses collègues ne se rendent à Taremou. Les projectiles en forme de roses des sables atterrissent sur le sol tout en projetant du sable à l’impact. L’une des pierre cogne Shedet à la tête, le sang s’échappe immédiatement de la blessure. Par chance ce ne fut qu’un agrégat de la taille d’un oeil néanmoins projeté cette vitesse cela à l’effet d’un coup de massue. Les morceaux ratant leur cible se nichent dans le sable en formant une rose, exactement les objets que ramassaient les femmes. Le tonnerre gronde et dès ce moment tous les Sittiu se rassemblent près de Geburah abrité dans une ancienne quincaillerie aux murs noircies et aux établis dévorés par les termites. Shedet fait de même, si il disparait les gardes le considéreront fugitif et le tueront sans sommation. Le chahut masque la tempête de pierre.
— On fait quoi chef? — Pourquoi le scribe et les gardes sont partis? — Ouais, même les autres cafards nous ont abandonnés.
Le brouhaha est rapidement maîtrisé par Geburah, sa voix couvre le bruit des impacts de la pluie de pierre:
— Le scribe est repartit au port afin de rejoindre le nome de Khoun-Ipou, nous rejoindrons
Taremou demain matin mais pour le moment gardez votre calme. — Attends comment ça on va le rejoindre? — Je pensais que la mission d’aujourd’hui durerait seulement une journée.
Les esprits s’échau ffent face à l’incompréhension pendant que Shedet tente de s’abriter sous un petit préau de pierre suffisamment proche pour entendre les mots de Geburah mais assez loin pour ne pas se coller aux autres. Une pierre fracasse un volet de bois, certaines roses des sables dardent les murs de trous dont les éclats agressent quelques Sittiu.
— Il y a un changement de programme, une fois que la pluie aura cessé nous rejoindrons Khoun
Ipou… — A pied? — Evidemment! reprend Geburah tout agacé, nous traverserons le désert et si tout se passe bien
demain matin nous serons arrivé. Certains sont déçus, d’autres en colère et quelques un comme Shedet dépité de devoir traverser le désert. De plus d’après ses connaissances des prêtres auraient découvert des animaux étranges parcourir le sable de ce nome. « Le voyage hors de Bast est loin de s’achever ».
— Pourquoi on rentre pas directement chez nous, on a terminé notre travail! — Fermez-là! aboie Geburah. Je vous rappelle qu’il nous manque un bloc pour l’obélisque et le nomarque de Khoun-Ipou en a vendu un au scribe. Le pyramidion en or nous y attend aussi. Maintenant dormez ou reposez-vous le temps que la tempête s’éloigne. Après quatre heures de repos, ou de jeux de hasard pour certains, la traversée du désert débute après le crépuscule. Les nuages épais ont cessé d’agresser le nome néanmoins ils continuent d’obscurcir le désert faisant tomber la nuit plus tôt que prévu. Jamais Shedet n’avait vécu un tel évènement, le manque de soleil le rend anxieux. « On dirait que Horus a perdu sa bataille contre Apophis, cette région est décidément bien plus maudite que les rumeurs le faisait penser. Malheureusement ce qui me navre le plus est de rester aux côtés de ces chiens sans quoi le griffon du désert me dévorera ». Marchant en file indienne, les Sittiu profitent de cette isolement pour chanter, chose qui n’est pas interdite sauf si l’acte est pratiqué dans une autre langue. Shedet n’en comprend pas un mot cependant il ressent un profond malaise l’envahir, le chant lui donne la nausée réveillant de plus belle sa douleur à l’estomac. Leur dialecte se transmet de bouche à oreille en toute discrétion, la loi Égyptienne en interdit tout apprentissage mais cela ne les effraie pas assez d’après ce qu’entend le déchu. Geburah laisse trainer derrière lui une sphère émettant de fortes vibrations dans le sable, ainsi les scorpions, serpents et surtout le griffon Amset n’attaquera aucun des membres du groupe. En se retournant vers le village de sable le déchu observe la partie Est de la ville subir la pluie de roche, le bruit des impacts fait écho comme des feux d’artifices. Par chance cette intempérie ne les atteindra plus. Le sable parait enfin normale dans ce désert jaune, durant le déblaiement Shedet avait constamment l’impression de sentir la terre vouloir l’engloutir.
— Qui veut de l’eau? demande Raphaël à ses congénères. — Gardes-en pour plus tard Raphaël, dit un de ses amis, la route est encore longue. Shedet sort de sa coiffe un morceau de viande séché dérobé à un soldat Égyptien, très rapidement et en cachette il l’engloutit. Situé en fin de la file le déchu entend les Sittiu débattre sur une sorte de tournoi de lutte clandestine approchant à grands pas à Bast.
— Me dis pas que tu as parié sur ce nabot Sammel! s’écrie Ilan. — Nabot? s’insurge Raphaël. Il a juste perdu en graisse pour avoir plus de muscle… — Le poids fait pas tout mais Manoa reste aussi fort qu’un bloc de granite, interrompt un ouvrier. — Au lieu de dire des âneries attend un peu, reprend Ilan, on n’a qu’à le lui demander. Manoa!
Le fameux combattant est derrière à se brosser les dents avec une plante, elle se trouve près du Nil en Moyenne-Égypte mais grâce à la contrebande des Sittiu ennemis, il a pu se procurer une boîte en échange d’un galet d’opale. Le goût de cette brosse à dents naturelle est comparable à un doux réglisse, idéal après un repas fade le soir en rentrant du travail. En enlevant la plante de sa bouche le combattant répond sèchement:
— Au lieu de gaspiller votre énergie continuez de marcher, je veux partir d’ici au plus vite. De toute manière vous n’avez pas honte de parier? Je vous rappelle que c’est proscrit dans nos traditions. Tous se taisent de peur que Geburah entende ces paroles, par chance son attention est portée ailleurs. Shedet aussi observe l’horizon avec insistance, « des bêtes semblent se rapprocher ou alors le manque de nutriments me fait perdre la tête. Il faut que ces chiens accélèrent la cadence ». Le nome Khoun-Ipou est encore masqué par les hautes dunes de sable, néanmoins les voyageurs ont la possibilité de profiter de la fraicheur nocturne du désert. Le seul inconvénient est que la clair de lune empêche de voir les dangers se cachant dans cette prison naturelle. Shedet s’en sort assez bien même si la famine commence à le tourmenter, afin de s’y extraire il réfléchit au moyen de dénoncer les agissements de Geburah dans le but qu’il plonge ou mieux se fasse exécuter. La loi Égyptienne est très clair à ce sujet, sans preuve une condamnation ne peut avoir lieu. Tous sont plongés dans leurs pensées, la fatigue commence à arriver, sans ration et très peu d’eau, la marche dans le désert devient insupportable. Tout à coup un Sittiu hurle si fort qu’il en fait sursauter ses camarades.
— J’en ai un! J’en ai un! crie-t-il en brandissant un cobra, par le Tout-Puissant! Ce monstre allait me mordre. — Donne m’en un peu Carmel, s’insurge un jeune ouvrier, je meurs de faim. — T’a qu’à t’en trouver un et puis c’est un cadeau du Tout-Puissant en personne, tu me crois assez bête pour le partager. — Carmel, dit calmement Geburah en contemplant le Nord, ne sois pas radin comme les égyptiens et partage, de toute manière tu n’es pas capable de le manger sans retirer le venin. Le regard du contremaître sur Shedet après sa raillerie l’énerva grandement, cependant le déchu est préoccupé. « On marche depuis tout à l’heure sur un sol étrange, au loin je voyais des pans entiers de sable s’effondrer, ce foutu contremaître ne s’en est pas aperçu et nous mène sans doute droit dans un gouffre ». Le groupe de nomade effectue une courte pause, Sammel aide à dépecer le serpent pendant que d’autres ouvriers se reposent en se massant les pieds ou allument des torches. Raphaël s’assied sur un rocher mais dès que son poids s’y abat la pierre dévale la pente en l’emportant. Des centaines de mètres cubes de sable entrainent la moitié du groupe poussant des cris de terreur, Shedet en est épargné lui qui avait reculé de quelques mètres en cachette. « Bien fait pour eux! Même si je ne pensais pas que ce simple rocher allait exaucer mon souhait. Maître Ouadji avait raison sur ce désert, des trous se forment et avalent tous les imprudents ». Sur la vingtaine de Sittiu seulement cinq en ont réchappés, le visage pâle et les doigts tremblotant tandis que les supplications de leurs congénères émanent du gouffre obscure. Curieux de la tournure soudaine des évènements, Shedet se penche et découvre que l’ancienne dune de sable cachait bien une crevasse, les Sittiu sont tous accrochés à la falaise, la moindre erreur les plongerait dans un abîme terrifiant. Les rescapés au sommet plantent les torches dans le sable tout en hurlant et tendant leurs mains. — Gardez-votre calme! ordonne Geburah lui-même tenant fermement la falaise ainsi qu’un de ses amis de l’autre main. Elio! Reste tranquille ce n’est qu’un mauvais moment à passer, les autres vont nous aider. Elio, un adolescent, est terrifié par les ténèbres du gouffre, les rescapés au sommet aident leurs camarades sans perdre de temps. Geburah soulève un de ses congénère puis descend plus profondément sans hésitation récupérer le reste des survivants. « Ô Amon punit ces gens souillants ton sol, il ne mérite que cela… ». Shedet sent le sable à ses pieds se dérober sans la moindre prévention, des dizaines de mètres cube de sable supplémentaire se font avaler dans le gouffre l’élargissant davantage. Le déchu se cogne aux rebords avant de plonger presque trente mètres sous terre. Ses mains saignantes, et quelques ongles en miettes, commencent à le faire glisser sur ces prises tranchantes. — Elio! Non! hurle Geburah quinze mètres au-dessus de lui. Le ciel obscur empêche de mieux contempler le sommet du gouffre cependant Shedet en a la certitude, un homme vient de chuter près de lui. Rassemblant toutes ces forces, encouragé par la peur des ténèbres, le déchu escalade, non sans douleur, la paroi escarpée. Du sable tombe sans cesse notamment par le mouvement des Sittiu remontant à la surface. Les torches scintillent comme les étoiles apparaissant progressivement dans le ciel. « Au nom de tous les dieux je ne dois pas mourir, pas maintenant, Osiris ne me laissera jamais accéder aux champs de roseaux… ». Sa main droite touche la cheville gauche d’un homme, un Sittiu silencieux priant à voix basse et tentant aussi de s’extirper de cet enfer. — Qui est-ce? demande le Sittiu avec un sang-froid presque effrayant, non je pense savoir qui c’est. Déchu? Je te croyais à la surface! Shedet ne répond pas à cet homme croyant subir une énième provocation, il gravit le mur mètre après mètre puis s’arrête. « Plus de prise! Par Amon il y en a mais… impossible de l’atteindre ». Le Sittiu coincé le rejoint et établit le même constat en tâtonnant avec sa main. — Geburah! crie-t-il mais aucune réponse ne parvint. C’est pas vrai, ils font trop de bruit! Déchu aide-moi à escalader. — Et puis quoi encore? Comment je ferais pour monter? — Une fois la prise atteinte tu prendras appuies avec ma jambe… — Menteur! Laisse-moi passer en premier, je ne te fais pas confiance. — Déchu si tu montes en premier et que Geburah te vois il pensera que tu m’avais abandonné une fois que j’en serais sortit. Allez aide-moi et je te le revaudrai plus tard. Les mains de Shedet brûlent tant elles le font souffrir et ses forces s’amenuisent. N’ayant plus le choix, ni la patience, il se laisse marcher sur l’épaule gauche permettant au Sittiu d’attraper sans problème une prise en forme de poignée. — Allez le déchu agrippes-toi à ma jambe! Geburah! Hé! Shedet s’accroche à la cheville mais glisse à cause du sang recouvrant sa main, il manque de peu de dégringoler. L’obscurité est moindre même pour l’oeil restant du déchu constamment agressé par la poussière et les grains de sable. Enfin à la surface, le Sittiu retrouve ses camarades, les cris de joie fusent alors que Shedet grimpe les trois derniers mètres. Une fois à la surface il s’éloigne autant que possible du gouffre comme l’a fait le groupe comptant les rescapés. « Bon sang mes mains sont complètements ravagés par les entailles. Ô Thot donne moi ta force pour achever ce périple et prolonger mon existence en ce bas-monde. Heureusement que je n’ai pas eu cette horrible douleur au ventre, en tout cas je n’arrive pas à savoir qui était avec moi dans ce gouffre ». Les Sittiu sont alignés en aidant leurs confrères blessé tandis que Geburah termine le comptage par un visage dépité en voyant que Shedet est en vie, assis à une dizaine de mètres d’eux. — Geburah! On est tous ici? demande un ouvrier. — Non il manque Elio, le Tout-Puissant l’a rappelé à lui mes amis, je n’ai rien pu faire. Son regard devient celui d’une bête, il se rue vers Shedet prêt à le rouer de coup mais un de ses congénères le retient. — Tu es fou chef! Si tu l’agresses sans raison il se vengera. — Et alors? — Il a dû entendre des tonnes de choses sur nous, répond le Sittiu, si tu le laisses tranquille il ne fera rien. — Je suis certain que c’est sa faute si… — Si quoi? Des pans entiers de sable se sont dérobés sous nos pieds, ne sois pas aveuglé par ta rage tu sais très bien que Raphaël a provoqué cette catastrophe en touchant le rocher. Le groupe tourne le dos à Shedet, ce dernier se préparait à subir la raclée mais par chance rien n’arriva. « C’est bien la première fois que l’un de ces chiens prend ma défense. Ah d’accord je comprends mieux, sa cheville gauche est tachée de mon sang. Au moins cela aura servit à quelque chose ». La marche reprend, selon Shedet trois heures de route suffiront pour atteindre la destination. Le soleil se lèvera dans deux heures, le groupe est proche de sa destination. Les Sittiu ne sont pas épuisé par le trajet, ils marchent en file indienne avec pour consigne de ne plus rien toucher, au contraire de Shedet cherchant du regard la moindre plante du désert à becqueter. « Sacrilège que de marcher dehors presque en pleine nuit, ces chiens n’ont aucun respect pour les traditions. J’espère que je reverrai le soleil, il ne manquerait plus que Horus perde sa bataille contre Apophis ». Les Sittiu avancent dans le calme, certains fredonnent tandis que d’autres se languissent de pouvoir rentrer revoir leurs épouses et enfants, le seul réconfort dont ils disposent. Shedet remarque des scorpions et serpents disparaître dans le paysage silencieux, sans l’objet que Geburah traine sur le sol tous seraient déchiqueté par les enfants du désert. Chaque pas est difficile à aborder mais pour Shedet cela s’apparente à un entraînement, son endurance ne cesse d’augmenter grâce aux terribles épreuves auxquels il fait face, enfin c’est la sensation à laquelle il tente de croire. « Depuis ma déchéance je ne me sens ni plus fort, ni plus faible. Aujourd’hui j’en suis conscient j’aurais dû mourir depuis longtemps. J’ai largement dépassé mes limites, plus qu’un corps ne peut le supporter et cela n’a rien d’encourageant. Je suis sûrement en train de me détruire de l’intérieur mais pourquoi je ne succombe pas? ». Les voyageurs du désert exultent soudainement de joie lors de l’escalade de la dernière dune. Le nome Khoun-Ipou ou de sel et Natron apparait enfin après cinq heures de marche éreintante, la montagne du pôle Nord sur la droite du groupe et le Nil au loin sur leur gauche, le paysage est digne d’un rêve. Le soleil matinal apparait progressivement entre les cornes de la statue de vache sur le temple d’Isis. Les prêtres exécutent leur rituel en rendant visite à la statue de la déesse au fin fond du temple. Les Sittiu du nome s’apprêtent à débuter leur travail de récolte du Natron. Un sel naturel non comestible, ou presque, servant à l’embaumement des Égyptiens, la HauteÉgypte en est le plus grand importateur. Shedet gravit la dune en dernier et à quatre pattes, de son visage constellé de grain de sable il observe ses camarades glissant comme des enfants en direction du port proche du palais du nomarque. Le bloc pour l’obélisque est discernable au milieu des tonneaux de bois noirs contenant sûrement des kilos de sel. « Vivement que l’on en finisse, au moins j’aurai survécu à tous ces obstacles ». Il braque son oeil encore viable sur chacun de leurs faits et geste dans l’espoir de déceler le plus de faiblesse, il n’a pas oublié que leur chef va conclure une transaction illégale. Le nome est spéciale, le Nil la traverse avec ses canaux tentaculaires tout autour de l’immense lac Nitrie. Son eau est gorgée de natron, impossible de la boire et tout corps y plongeant en ressort pétrifié, telle une véritable statue. Cependant lorsque l’eau est traitée, le natron permet de garantir l’immortalité du corps et empêcher sa décomposition, le corps du défunt est plongé dans ce sel selon des rites très précis et surtout secret. Evidemment un noble ou un roturier peut être embaumé grâce à cette technique cependant le natron utilisé sera de moins bonne qualité selon la somme d’argent versée. Des montagnes de sel comestible disséminées autour du lac permettent au déchu de se reposer. Ses pieds sont brûlés et la douleur aux mains s’est réveillé lors de son contact avec le sel. Il ne reste plus qu’à attendre que son groupe récupère la cargaison bientôt prête. En cachette il en mange une petite quantité et en récolte plusieurs poignées qu’il dépose dans sa poche de fortune. La ville de Taremou est calme, les habitations encerclent le lac enfin surtout par des Sittiu. Le nomarque vit dans son palais à l’écart des maisonnettes à l’allure pitoyable. Le bras du Nil évite le village pour s’achever dans sa demeure rendant le lieu plus beau et agréable à regarder. Contrairement à sa position pleine de terre et de roche sombre transperçant la plante des pieds, le nomarque a pu se créer un luxuriant jardin grâce à l’eau du Nil. D’après les locaux ce souverain n’est ni méchant ni gentil, il ne se mêle que rarement à la population même pour surveiller et obtenir des comptes. Cette tâche il l’a délégué à ses scribes. Shedet observe avec attention le lac Nitrie, une mouette s’y est empêtrée à une vingtaine de mètres en croyant qu’une des bulles, ressemblant à un poisson en mouvement, ne soit sa prochaine proie. L’animal est piégé et se solidifie à vue d’oeil, « par Thot, on m’avait raconté ce phénomène mais jamais je n’y crus. Si j’y pousse ce chien de Geburah, subira-t-il le même châtiment? ». En parlant de son chef de groupe impossible de le voir, le bloc pour leur obélisque est bientôt posé dans une autre barque. Malheureusement pour le déchu, Geburah réapparait sur le ponton, le sourire aux lèvres et la poche gauche bombée. « Bon sang! Je ne pensais pas que ce serait aussi rapide pour lui, tant pis je trouverai un autre moyen de leur faire mal ». Le déchu rejoint le groupe en faisant mine d’avoir prit part à l’effort, le scribe de Bast arrive tout juste en felouque à voile solaire dont la couleur orange est similaire au soleil matinal. La voile se redresse le long du mât en acier tandis que le fonctionnaire pose le pied sur le ponton. — Geburah! appelle-t-il après avoir baillé, la cargaison est-elle en bon état? J’espère que tu as vérifié avant de la charger. — Bien sûr, répond-il tout souriant au grand dam du scribe et de Shedet l’écoutant à l’écart, tout est parfait nous allons seulement devoir le tailler un peu et graver les hiéroglyphes. — Je signe le manifeste et nous partons, inutile que je m’attarde plus longtemps. Être en retard pour ma fête à Memphis me rendrai fou de rage, marmonne-t-il. Shedet s’apprêtait à rejoindre le scribe pour lui décocher deux mots au sujet de la contrebande mais se retint aussitôt. « Par Thot, je suis certain qu’il est au courant, Geburah ne cache même pas sa poche sûrement pleine de gommier rouge. Je pensais les scribes plus éthiques. Bon sang! ». — Par contre il y a un problème avec le pyramidion, déclare Geburah. — Je sais, interrompt le scribe le nez plongé dans son papyrus holographique, j’en ai été informé. Tu le récupéreras demain à Bast. — De… demain? — Oui demain quel est le problème? — Nous étions censé finir aujourd’hui, demain sera le jour de la cérémonie. — Ce n’est pas mon problème, il vous faudra la journée pour placer ce bloc et achever les finitions donc même si tu l’avais eu tu n’aurais pas pu l’installer. Demain vous vous lèverez plus tôt, l’inhumation débutera au zénith. Le stupide sourire de Geburah disparut lors de l’échange avec le scribe tout comme ses congénères craignant le pire pour le lendemain. Shedet se frotte les mains, contempler la détresse sur leur visage l’emplit de joie. Le voyage d’une journée hors de Bast s’achève enfin.
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2023.05.28 07:14 Skyseoroundtable Sign & Awning Company NYC - Truartsignco

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2023.05.28 06:55 psyopticnerve Nothing Grows Here [Part 1}

"Nothing ever grows here."
This was a sentiment my father expressed often, referring to a particular plot on the east side of our property, murmuring the words bitterly. No matter what crops he planted there, no matter the attention he gave them, they would either wither and die or grow in a sickly, twisted fashion.
When I was young I watched him work the land and brought him food and water as the sun beat down upon us, dreading the day that he often told me would come- the day I was old enough to toil alongside him.
My interests were books, knowledge, the arts. Things they taught at school, and the more interesting topics I could learn about from Thomas, our neighbor who lived a mile down the road from us. Though he was several grades above me, Thomas was always kind, treating me as one would a younger sibling and entertaining my curiosities. It was from him that I found myself immersed in works of fiction and fantasy, things that my father would glance at and grimace.
"These things aren't meant for people like us, Leroy. No, we weren't dealt a hand to indulge ourselves in the luxury of idle pleasures for men who do not work with their hands."
He never said these things with a tone of anger or resentment, but rather in a measured way, meant to let me understand that he would derive no pleasure in keeping me from my interests or from walking to the school in a few short months. No, he said these things regretfully, wearily. He too, had once dreamed of a life away from his family's struggling farm. The only of his three siblings to survive adolescence, he chose to stay and aid my grandfather after my grandmother passed and he began succumbing to the bottle.
While my father never gave in to such vices, seeing him grow stiffer and harder of breath each day, I knew that I soon would assume the role he had once played for his father. And so I clung to my remaining days of freedom with a feverish fervor.

"...and it's entirely made of ice?" I asked, insistent and intrusive at Thomas's side.
"No, it's a continent covered by and surrounded by ice…" he replied distractedly, keeping his eyes on his book as we walked, "The, uh, Vikings found it I think… maybe the Spaniards. It's interesting though, no one owns Antarctica… Besides maybe the penguins."
"The Spanish find everything.”
“Mm. The Nazis went there too. My father told me.”
“Does he ever talk about the war?”
Thomas raised an eyebrow but didn’t look up from the page. His father, Sheriff Russell, patrolled Mt.Harmon with an efficiency that could only have been instilled by combat. Nothing ever happened in our sleepy little town, and he often seemed disappointed by this.
“Does yours?” Thomas replied.
“No. Mostly worries about the Russians these days. ”
“You’d think we’d be tired of war by now, wouldn’t you? And yet we continue to find new and horrifying ways to kill one another. Seems if we invent the weapons we’ll invent a reason to point them at someone.”
“Why do we keep making them then?”
“It’s profitable.”
There was a long pause between us. I decided to change the subject.
"What are you reading?"
"Frankenstein, or; The Modern Prometheus. It's by a woman named Mary Shelley. Gruesome throughout, it's about a monster created by a man who becomes a monster himself… You'd like it, I think. You can borrow it when I'm finished."
“How does one become a monster?”
“Inwardly. You’ll see when you read it. Conversely, the monster begins to appear more human.”
I pondered the meaning of what he had said and we neared a bend in the road. Thomas suddenly stopped in his tracks and dropped Frankenstein to his side. He stared straight ahead, eyes squinting at something through thick coniferous branches. I followed his gaze, finding nothing.
"Do you see that?"
"No…" I whispered. I followed his finger until I was able to see the camouflaged Great Horned Owl roosting there. Its sharp eyes were trained on us.
“How bizarre,” Thomas remarked.
“Not really. That’s one of the most common species of owl in this region.”
“It’s not bizarre that it’s here. It’s bizarre that it’s awake in daylight and that there are so many in one place.”
Taken aback, I realized the forest we were staring into was staring right back at us. Dozens of these owls were scattered throughout the trees.
“Incredible… Enjoy this moment, Leroy. We’ll never see anything like this again.”
We lingered for a while, soaking it in. After a silent agreement was reached that we had appreciated them sufficiently we turned away and journeyed on.

“You’re getting better with that,” I noted, watching my father adjust the radio’s dial to his favorite station. He often asked me to tune it for him.
“There is a part of me that still dislikes it greatly. Yet I find myself compelled. It doesn’t do us well to be uninformed.”
The broadcast spoke of the weather. The next week was to be warm, uncharacteristically so for this time of year. To this he grunted, “Figures.”
“How does that figure?”
“Maybe it doesn’t. But it gives me something to blame. Might as well be the weather.”
“And what do you blame on the weather?”
“Whatever you want. It’s the perfect scapegoat.”
“I’ll keep it in mind.”
“Let the cat out.”
I journeyed to the porch with the orange creature weaving itself between my feet. It wasn’t our cat, but it was here often enough for us to feel responsible for it. We weren’t sure who it belonged to, if anyone. It scampered out into the night, where a thick fog had settled over the grass. I listened to the chirping of crickets mingle with the muffled chatter of the radio while settling into a creaking rocking chair. The glow from the lamp inside gave off just enough light as I examined the cover before opening Frankenstein, flipping through to see what annotations Thomas had made in his scribbled, slanted way of expressing his thoughts between the printed lines. They always intrigued me as much as the original work. I smiled, returning to the first page.
It was on a dreary night of November that I beheld the accomplishment of my toils…

“...Well, what did you think of Duck and Cover?”
Thomas was clearly excited to discuss the schoolwide atomic weapon safety protocol video we had been shown that morning. I was less than eager to reply. Practicing the drill had left me feeling ill.
“A desk would never save us from an explosion of that magnitude.”
“Why not build a bunker?”
Thomas laughed, “It costs money. Besides, would you want to be trapped in a bunker for years until the radiation decays? I’d rather die, frankly, than become a human sardine.”
“If the government really wanted to make dealing with the aftermath convenient, they’d have us each dig our own grave beforehand. When the alarms blare we would simply lie down in them, and wait.” Thomas crossed his arms over his chest and mimed falling backwards.
I forced the resemblance of a chuckle out of a throat that had constricted.
“You don’t look well.”
“Why should I?” I turned to him, exasperated, “I don’t have a desk at home. Even the illusion of shelter might be nice.”
Thomas softened his voice, “I’m sorry, I was trying to make light of the absurdity of it all… I try not to mention that you’re leaving school. I force it from my mind so often that it sometimes slips away completely.”
“It’s not just that.”
“Then what?”
“...Doesn’t it bother you? To know that there are decisions being made for us? Ones that we do not get a say in- like who to bomb, or being forced to hide under a desk in the face of certain death?” I could feel my eyes beginning to water.
“...Of course it does.”
“And yet you laugh about it?”
Thomas shrugged, “I try to. Sometimes that’s the only option left.”

“What was your reasoning in choosing a Chevrolet over a Ford?”
My father was patching a tire, I was pestering him while he worked in the barn.
“Truth be told, I could give a damn about brands, makes or models. They all drive, they all break down, they all require special attention to certain faulty components… I simply needed a truck, and this is the one I could afford the day I was buying.”
“So you don’t ever find yourself admiring a Ford?”
“Sure. The grass is always greener, as they say...”
“And as you say. That's an idiom you use often.”
“Perhaps. I’m a practicing pragmatist.”
“You consider yourself to be a pragmatist?”
“...Should I surmise from your tone that you disagree?"
“I… didn’t say that.”
“Not in so many words.”
A pair of owls hooted rhythmically from somewhere to the east. He placed the tire back on the hub, giving me a stern look before winking at me as he began tightening the bolts to the rim. His point was made and my tongue was tied. He gave a curt nod at my concession and lowered the jack, running his hands across the repaired tread to make certain that no air was escaping. Once he was satisfied that it had been patched successfully he wiped them on his coveralls and stood up, grunting and groaning as his tired limbs protested just as loudly.
When he spoke again his voice had lost some of the sharpness it typically held, “There was another matter I wished to discuss with you before this task took precedence this evening”
“I’m all ears.”
“Tell that to the mouth you’re always running…” he chuckled softly, his usual gruff timbre still absent from this remark, “Leroy, I’ve decided to hire some help around here.”
I stared at him, sizing up the implication of what he’d said.
“Do you forget who manages your finances?” I asked, incredulous, knowing that we didn’t have a quarter to spare.
“That only adds to my point. You are a child, yet you understand these things as well, or perhaps even better, than I.”
“Indeed, which makes your statement even more foolish.”
The gruffness came back to his voice with his response.
“Not at all. There is hope for you yet. You haven’t made the poor decisions I have and tied yourself to this cursed piece of land… Nothing grows here. And what does is meager…”
“...Meaning that you will need my help to succeed.”
“Nonsense. You will be at school for the spring and the fall, and in the summer you will have chores. But I cannot bear keeping you here with me. I will hire help.”
There was a finality to what he had said. A weight had been simultaneously lifted from my shoulders and placed firmly in the air between us. Impenetrable and inarguable. I found my lips trembling.
“Were you ever happy here?”
My question took him aback. He regarded me for a while before he spoke, his voice once again lowered to a softer cadence and volume.
“...I suppose I was for a time. We told ourselves we would return home to a hero's welcome… To parades and medals and our loved ones. And we did… To all the fanfare and the admiration… For what we had done. Who we had killed. The enemy- young men just like us. Scared, tired, hungry, sick men that we were told to kill with distorted reasoning, manipulation, for fear of being called a coward or a traitor… Through similar methods they were coerced to do the same to us. At the end of the day, we were only ever trying to survive, no matter which uniform we wore.”
He leaned against the frame of the Chevy.
“So I was happy to survive… I was happy to return to my infant, my wife…” he sighed heavily, staring down at the ground, “And then she left us... She was not happy here.”
“We… Couldn’t we have gone with her?”
“No,” he shook his head, “No, it wasn’t like that, Leroy… She was- is- a spirit meant to be free. She would have never been happy with us. Perhaps I was a fool for ever thinking that she could be…”
I had never heard him speak of her this frankly. I could see his eyes sadden as memories of their time together flashed through his mind. I nearly regretted broaching the subject.
“She was- she is- a good woman, in her own way,” he concluded, looking back at me.
“...And you are a great man,” I told him.
He rubbed his face with his sleeve, quickly concealing the mist forming in his eyes from my sight. When he lowered his arm he was once again composed.
“And you are a great son, Leroy.”

The next morning Thomas was not waiting on the porch for me on the way to school as usual. Instead I was greeted by Sheriff Russell after I knocked on the screen door. Seeing him dressed in a robe and slippers instead of his uniform was oddly disorienting.
"Good morning, Leroy. I'm afraid Thomas has had a fever through the night. His mother believes it best for him to stay in bed for the day. Just getting over mine," he added, seeming to feel the need to justify his attire.
"Oh, well pass it along to him that I hope he feels better soon."
"I'll do that, I'll do just that..." Russell yawned, coffee mug in hand. The sound of bare feet bounding down the steps came from inside and Thomas appeared, looking pale and tired.
“Young man, you ought to be resting!” Darcy poked her head around the corner to half-heartedly scold him.
“I’ll go back up in a minute, Ma, relax!”
Russell scowled at him.
“Did Pop show you this?” he asked, grabbing something off of the kitchen table and pressing it against the screen for me to see.
"Is that what I think it is?"
"Only if you believe it to be a Geiger counter."
“I figured we ought to have a few at the station in case we… Well, you never know these days,” Russell said grimly, “They’ve been giving off odd readings though.”
“Have they been calibrated?”
“Do you really think I didn’t zero them in?” Thomas answered before his father could speak.
“It’s just a question… Were they stored with packets of desiccant? Have you made certain that the ionization chambers have not rusted? That the welds are intact? They will be useless if any air gets inside.”
Thomas looked toward Russell to reply.
“I… don’t know. Well, Leroy, Thomas always told me you were sharp,” Russell said, seeming to have gone from seeing me as a child to an equal in that moment. Darcy reappeared around the corner.
“Thomas, get back in your room and rest!”
He grimaced at her.
“I’ll be better in a day or two,” he grumbled, “I’ll see you then.”
“Feel better. Good to see you, Sheriff,” I said, turning to depart.
“One moment, Leroy,” he called, and I returned to the porch, “Have you ever been to the library in Augusta?”
“No, sir. I’ve never been to Augusta at all.”
“You don’t say? Well, with as much as the two of you read, it occurs to me that it would be a worthy pilgrimage to make. What do you say we all take a trip down once we’ve recovered? I imagine they have a few books in the capitol library that you could never find in our little town.”
“I… I’d love to, Sheriff,” I murmured, flustered by this act of kindness, “I’ll… I’ll ask my father.”
“Good man. And Leroy, you may call me Russell,” he smiled.

This was the night that the monster visited me.
It waited until my sheets were soaked in cold sweat and my teeth chattered uncontrollably to make itself known.
It rose out of the darkness, a form that slowly took shape out of billowing shadow. And then it was before me. Massive. Cadaverous. Its suppurating flesh crudely sewn together in multicolored patches.
But worse was its grin. Something so hideous was not meant to express the joy it conveyed from the cruelty of its intentions. Blackened teeth and bloodshot eyes bore into my very essence as the form of Mary Shelley's literary creation was brought to fruition before me. The scream in my lungs would not release itself. It felt as if a great weight had settled over my throat and ribs.
But no, it was the screaming in my ears that made the tapestry of my nightmare begin to fray.
My eyes shot open and the tethers of sleep paralysis released their grip on my limbs.
There it was once more, shrill and agonized, the sound of something suffering in the throes of its final moments before death.
I was on my feet. My door slammed against the wall. My father's door was already open. As I careened down the hallway I was just able to make out his silhouette, a shotgun in his hands.
"Stay here, Leroy," he barked.
A change had come over him. He was no longer the stiff-limbed, patient father I knew. His posture straightened, his voice was callous. He burst into the night, once more a soldier storming into battle. Even in my panic I could not help being awed by the transformation I had witnessed.
A shot fired…
And another.
Then a complete and deafening silence.
I crept to the door, pushing it open just enough to peer out. An impermeable fog clung to the air, making it impossible to make out anything past the porch.
My toes were on the top step now, slowly inching their way to the damp grass.
Still. Silent.
The owls began hooting and the crickets started up their chatter once more. Altogether, the creatures around seemed to release a breath they had held collectively. Even the fog relinquished its grip on my vision.
I could just make out his slumped form. My feet slapped against the cold earth as I sprinted my way toward him, anticipating the worst.
"Dad, are you okay? Dad!"
Then he was on his feet once more, gripping me by the waist and hoisting me up.
"There is nothing for you to see, Leroy... Nothing at all. Close your eyes, son. Please, close your eyes…"
Despite the desperation and sincerity in his voice my curiosity got the better of me. I squinted through my eyelids, just able to make out the pile of scattered limbs through my lashes. I forced bile back down my throat and clenched my eyes tightly, shocked to find myself wishing to return to the nightmare that had awoke me.
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2023.05.28 06:47 AffectionateTwo8033 Zinc cream

Zinc cream by arganite. I wish I had pics to show how well this stuff is working. But my 16 year old son had bad acne, like cystic ect. We’ve tried everything. A friend told me about zinc, and I ordered this off Amazon, and he is less than 2 weeks in, and his acne is damn near GONE!!! I know different things work for different people, but if I can help someone I’d like to try. It was less than $10. Disclaimer, it is really drying… he is using aquaphor at night to help with the dry patches. But very happy something is finally working! ❤️
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2023.05.28 05:18 Disastrous-Sapphire A Player Seeks Revenge After the Wizard Kills Their Character

As a TLDR: I killed a fellow PC and that character made a PC for revenge.
I’m playing a very shy, skittish tiefling wizard and the problem player that I’ll just call Mike was originally playing a dwarven fighter. We had ended up in a battle against my character’s former mentor. He was an evil wizard who only took her under his wing as a means to have a servant. She had learned magic through sneaking peeks into his spell books and one night she had been caught. He had meant to lock her away, leaving her to starve in hopes the secrets she had learned would go with her to the grave. Luckily for her, she had been planning her escape for weeks now and had managed to get her hands on a scroll for dimension door without his knowledge. Fast forward several years into the future in-game and the party had learned that he was aiding the BBEG of the campaign had stormed into his hideout to question him and stop their evil plans. During the fight, since my character is a support, I was instantly targeted by the crafty wizard. Usually in fights, I support the martials. Because of this, Mike and I had a good relationship because I could cast haste on him, making him even more of a powerhouse. Her former mentor used dominate person on her and I failed the wisdom save. He started using me to buff himself and forced me to attack my party. Due to most of them being melee or tanks, none of them really wanted to attack me and kept trying to restrain me. However, by some curse bestowed upon the dice gods, I rolled high and they rolled low in their attempts to grapple me. Eventually, Mike and the Barbarian whittled down the wizard’s HP; he decided on a Hail Mary. If he was going to die, we were all going with him. So, he commanded my little wizard to use a spell in her arsenal she had only even used once before. Fireball.
I not only casted it at the highest level, level 6, but Mike and the Barbarian failed their saves. Barbarian only lived thanks to his resistances, but Mike? His character died along with the wizard. The DM had asked Mike to start making death saving throws, but Mike had different plans.
Mike: Can I just willingly fail?
DM: Uuuhhh, yeah sure. Are you wanting to play a new character or something?
Mike: No, I just don’t think my character could work with OP after she attacked everyone like that.
DM: What? Oh, no! This wasn’t a betrayal, the wizard cast dominate person on her.
Mike: Yeah, I know that. But my character doesn’t know that.
I felt bad at this point. I had never killed a fellow PC before and Mike had a good friendship with my little wizard. I tried to express this by having my wizard drop to her knees and sob upon realizing what she had done. We held a funeral for the fallen fighter before continuing on our task of searching the wizard’s hideout. The entire time, Mike hadn’t said a word.
Next session rolls around about two weeks later. Mike had brought in a new character; a human paladin who instantly took a dislike to my character. Calling her names such as devil-scum, a heartless demon, and warned the party I was not to be trusted. I didn’t think anything of it at first. I thought he was playing the holier than thou paladin stereotype and that eventually after seeing my character wasn’t a threat would warm up to her. And in the meantime, this will create an interesting dynamic as the two will have a one-sided rivalry while my wizard tries to prove he's misjudging her. We made it to the next town that session. Our DM likes to have rest and relaxation between huge encounters to give us time to digest what we’ve learned and stock back up on supplies. Mike goes off on his own instead of staying with the group and he tells us that his character wouldn’t go off with us yet since he doesn’t really know us. Fair enough. But, now that I think of it, he never really gave his character a reason to go with us; he never said what his goals were or that he would accompany us on our journey. He just followed along, and I think I overlooked this since he was a returning player. Just with a new character. Little did I know, his paladin had his own secret motivation for tagging along with our group.
It started at the tavern. Once night rolled around, we paid for our rooms and drank before heading to bed. The barbarian was making some jokes about the music being awful at this bar and was making a bet with a very furious bard that he could play the lute better with one hand. We laughed as he rolled performance with disadvantage and got a natural 1. The DM described that not only could he barely hold onto the lute, but the strings he did try to strum sounded so terrible everyone in a 10 foot range had started covering their ears. It was at this point that Mike tells the DM to check his messages. DM did and sounded concern, giving him the typical, “are you sure?”.
I was then asked to make a perception check. Wisdom is one of my dump stats so I easily fail the check. The DM tells me that I don’t notice anything and the night continues. I eventually describe getting a refill on my drink.
Mike: (gleefully) Did you drink all of it?
Me: Yeah, I did.
Mike: DM, she has to make a Con save.
Me: (laughing) Oh, to see if I’m drunk? This should be good.
DM: No … No, not for that …
I’m confused but I roll, getting a 18. The DM tells me that I start feeling very nauseous, like I need to lie down. Mike is very quiet at this point, not saying anything as I describe my character hurrying to her room to turn in for the night. After a couple of minutes when everyone’s characters start doing the same, Mike says he wants to take off his armor once he gets to his room. I thought he was just adding a bit of flavor into the RP, describing how his paladin removes his armor before he sleeps. But, that’s not what this was. Not at all.
He had his character sneak down the hallway to my room and open my bedroom door. I don’t see the obvious red flags and tell the DM that since my character was drinking and had gotten sick then she probably would be fast asleep. The DM asks me if I’m sure and I instantly get a bad feeling, but I stick to what I said to avoid metagaming. The next thing I know, Mike is rolling a grapple to grab my character and cover her mouth.
And this is when it starts going down. Unlike before when we faced the wizard, I’m repeatedly failing my rolls to get myself out of the grapple. And because my mouth is covered there are several spells I can’t cast since most of them that I have that would get me out of this situation are verbal. Mike brags about how there’s no way I’ll be able to break free since he took the grappler feat. Mike describes how he’s using one arm tucked around my character’s neck, holding her in a choke hold while using his bicep to cover her mouth. In his other hand, he had his sword and, you guessed it, is casting smite on it as he proceeds to stab into my little wizard.
She’s dying. He's murdering her right under the party's nose and none of the other players can do anything because they don’t know this is happening.
I’m looking through my spells, trying to figure out what to do when I realize that thunderclap is only a somatic spell and will create enough noise to draw attention to my room. I cast it, awakening everyone in the tavern. The party members rush to my room and barbarian manages to wrestle me away from the paladin who begins screaming at him, asking him what he thinks he’s doing. Mike claims that this is what his character would do, he wouldn’t see my wizard as a person, just a monster to dispose of. The party goes back and forth in character for a bit while the bard helps patch up my little wizard. Mike’s paladin then turns to her, vowing that he will rid the world of my kind, before stomping back to his room. Barbarian volunteers to sleep in my room with me for protection. As the session continues after the group’s long rest, Mike keeps making comments about how his paladin isn’t going to stop trying to kill my wizard and how she got lucky. He also reveals that the reason my wizard had gotten sick before was because he had snuck a poison into her drink and luckily, I had passed the DC. Mike was actually mad about this; the DM had lowered the DC for me since he was trying to poison a fellow party member. As the night continues most of the party has left the voice chat, including the DM. We’re alone, so I eventually tell Mike that I’m a little sad that he made a character that would be so hostile towards mine, but he throws his fighter’s death back into my face. Saying that he’s not doing anything that I already didn’t do.
I remind him that I wasn’t in control of my wizard at that point and that I would never willingly try to kill him. But his response is just that his character wouldn’t know that, so his dwarf died thinking my character betrayed the party. I asked him if that’s why he made this paladin; to kill my wizard. He responded with that he purposely made a character he knew my wizard wouldn’t like, but whether she died or not would depend on how I played. I just awkwardly tell him okay before getting off.
I’m not sure if I should tell the DM about Mike’s plans or intentions with his paladin. Mike and I usually play well together so it’s shocking he’s being so hostile in this instance. I’ve tried messaging him a couple of times trying to tell him I’m not okay with this behavior and I don’t want my character to die for metagaming reasons. If she does die, I want it to be natural. Not because he purposely invented a character that will hate her. He denies that it’s metagaming and is telling me to play smarter. I told him that my wizard would be very weary around him now, wanting to avoid him as much as possible.
His response?
Mike: Good.Me: Don't you care?Mike: No, my character really wouldn't care about what a devil--spawn thinks of him.
Me: Don't you at least care how I feel about it?Mike: Your character was the one who started this. How can she be okay with killing but not being killed herself? Seems kind of hypocritical.
Me: She's not okay with killing, she didn't have a choice! I just really don't want her to die over something like this.
DM: It's just a character, character's die all the time. I should know since you killed mine.
It's like he magically forgets my character was being controlled and refuses to acknowledge my emotions can extend outside of the game when it comes to him purposely trying to kill my wizard. He keeps throwing the it's just a character line out there while also simultaneously being upset about his fighter's death. Although, he denies being upset about it.
UPDATE: A lot of people are putting blame on my DM. My DM also seemed uncomfortable about the situation and I don't think he fully knew Mike's backstory with his character. He had some shocked reactions at some of the things he was adding, such as his hatefulness towards tieflings and at one point during this session, before the attempt at murdering my wizard, the DM had said to Mike that they might need to go over some things about his character in private. So, when it comes to Mike's character, I don't think he let the DM in on his plans. And with the evil wizard controlling my character, this was something I had written that he had done to her often in her backstory if she tried to disobey him. The DM should have handled the situation better, but I think he might have been in shock. I don't know how long he's ran Dnd games or if he's ever encountered a situation like this before. I don't want to fully lay blame on him over something that's happened in one session and that I haven't spoken to him about. Yet.
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2023.05.28 03:55 Drakolf The Test:

[This is an aftermath sequel to Sanctuary. Please read it for context.]
Humans could get used to anything, given enough time and patience.
Intellectually, I am aware that I used to be Human, that prior to my exit from the dungeon, I'd had an entirely different life, that everything I knew from my past was a convenient lie to keep me trapped and servile.
There are many fanciful tales of Humans being taken, and through sheer willpower recalling their past lives and successfully destroying a dungeon's Core.
I know better, and I tell that to every would-be Adventurer who walks in through those doors.
When we were safely out of danger, John, Jimmy, and myself had come to an impasse on how to proceed. My entire life was gone, I was a monster, pure and simple, and even standing benignly in town got me more than a few terrified looks.
Dungeon Withdrawal is not unlike recovering from an addiction, I had to be locked up in a cell because every now and again, I got violent, demanding a Human to take me to the nearest dungeon.
The irony was not lost on me as I was indeed brought to a dungeon.
They kept me fed on a ration of meat and milk, both of which tasted horrible to me, because a dungeon sustains its monsters through mana, it's why several vicious monsters could coexist without killing each other.
But as it ran its course, the food began to taste better, and though they kept me for a week longer than necessary, once I was fully removed from the dungeon's influence, I was free to go.
John and Jimmy couldn't stay, they still had their own lives to live, and returning home victorious with both their manhoods intact was certainly going to make their lives easier.
They took one fourth of the loot each, at my direction, during one of my more lucid moments, and they ensured the Adventurer's Guild kept my half safe for me.
When I went to the Guild for my loot, it was given to me, coinage exchanged for viable currency, offers made on magic items that I staunchly refused to sell until I knew what I was going to do with my life.
Plus, that dagger is mine, I killed for it.
Because I didn't have any life to return to, the only clue being a letter that meant nothing to me taken from the body of a brother whose memory was utterly gone, save for the fact that my first and only look at him was a split skull and the look of fear in his eyes.
I didn't mention the funerary cannibalism to anyone, even if I didn't have any issue with it, the Humans certainly did and dragged me away from the body before I could even begin to explain.
It was the least I could do for someone who had once meant something to me.
The Guild also offered me a job, Monstrous Adventurers were valuable, they couldn't be taken by a dungeon with the right protections- and I had those protections tattooed beneath my scales- and their innate understanding of how a dungeon worked gave most adventuring parties an edge.
Plus, dungeon Cores were pretty, and could do practically anything if you removed it and bound it to you. Which I did. More on that later.
They had a Grandmaster Wizard try to recall my memories, he couldn't, the letter only indicated an empty house with very little of note or value to me, but since it was mine, I sold it for a modest sum.
It was a pair of brothers who entered the Guild, the sight of them joking and laughing dredging up unpleasantly sad emotions that had nothing attached to them except whatever remained of love for a brother that I had.
"We're here to register." The older of the two called out, completely missing the fact that I was there.
"Do you have an entry fee?" I asked as I climbed the step-ladder to address them. They screamed, I yelled, they screamed even louder. It was good fun, I liked scaring Humans.
"Now that you've sufficiently hurt my ears, do you have an entry fee?"
"It's a little lizard thing!"
"Kobold!" I snapped. "I am a Kobold, and you will stop acting like a bloody arse or I will have you thrown out so you can calm down!" Latent hatred for Humanity aside, I didn't have a particularly good temper, and when stabbing was a more efficient way to get your point across, I wasn't allowed my dagger.
They elected to calm down. Progress. They approached cautiously, as all newcomers do, and said, in a hesitant voice. "We're here to register?"
"Congratulations, you've echoed something I've already heard twice. Allow me to echo something a third time. Do. You. Have. An. Entry. Fee?"
"Entry fee?" He asked.
"Yes. An entry fee guarantees you basic armor and weaponry properly assigned for your roles. Without one, you will have to provide your own. The entry fee is fifty silvers."
"We, uh, we don't have enough for that." The younger said.
"We, uh, also don't have any weapons." The elder added.
"Bloody brilliant. You Humans cease to amaze me. Come this way, I can give you a quick job to earn enough to pay. You're going to need this."
I led the duo to a door, this was my door, because before I got a job here, it did not exist.
"Are either of you familiar with dungeon Cores?" I asked.
"They're really powerful." The eldest said with a nod.
"They create dungeons?" The younger asked uncertainly.
I sighed. I really did not have the patience for this. "Beyond this door is a dungeon. It is my dungeon. I aided a party in destroying a dungeon and claimed the core after giving them free rein on the loot."
I opened the door, which led into a recreation of the dungeon I had once called home. That was largely due to the fact that the same dungeon Core that dwelt in this one had come from that one. "Dungeons are graded based on what they create. This is a Grade 1 Dungeon. It is the safest and easiest of dungeons to survive in, and because it is under my command, this one is even safer."
I paused, making sure they understood.
"This dungeon does not have many monsters in it. This makes it the kind where, if you stay too long inside, you become a monster. This is something I cannot change, and I keep it this way because there are people who simply want a completely fresh start. There are ten Kobolds in this dungeon, they are the ones who did not get out in time, even with my help."
"Why are you showing this to us?" The older brother asked.
"Because it is the most expedient way for you to earn enough to pay for the fee, or to find enough armor and weapons to kit yourself out. The Kobolds in this dungeon are passive, but become hostile if you start taking things. Killing them is allowed, I can resurrect them without issue. But do bear in mind they used to be Humans."
I paused again, they nodded.
"You will experience the beginnings of the dungeon claiming you after one hour inside, this will manifest in growing scaly patches, your limbs becoming non-Human..." I explained the process of being claimed, which I described in exact detail. "After twelve hours, if you fail to return, you will be claimed, your memories utterly destroyed, and your will belonging to the dungeon Core."
I looked at both of them. "Now, would you like to opt for a cleaning job instead?"
"Once you lose your memories, you cannot retrieve them." I warned as I led them through the dungeon. I had given them both a dagger to defend themselves, once they staunchly insisted on doing things the expedient way.
They were going to run this dungeon regardless, but under easier terms.
"I was minutes away from being claimed, and I only got out because I had given a pair of Humans a bag of loot that I was damned and determined to retrieve."
I stopped at the first intersection and turned around. I stomped one of my feet. "Now, unless you want to become Kobolds- which I will happily oblige- you will navigate this dungeon by yourselves. I will be observing you, ensuring you don't die, but I won't prevent you from being injured."
I teleported to the Core, its glossy blue surface growing translucent as I observed the Humans running through the hallways.
I raised the floor a step, causing them both to stumble and fall to the floor. "You have triggered a trap." I said. "You are dead now."
They pushed themselves up and kept going. I set a few traps ahead, non-lethal ones, ones designed to capture and hold. The elder brother fell into a small pit, just high enough that he couldn't climb out on his own. The younger brother immediately helped him out.
"Excellent instinct." I said. "Your survival in a dungeon depends on your capacity to cooperate and protect one another."
I directed a Kobold toward their direction. They weren't mindless, certainly intelligent, but utterly incapable of being removed from the dungeon, even if I tried. Severing them simply killed them, returning their mind and soul to the core.
I told him there were intruders who were after our shinies, he immediately attacked.
They were cognizant of what this dungeon was meant to be, a home for myself, and a place to train Adventurers. They understood this intellectually, but they were fanatical when it came to protecting what the dungeon produced.
Even I still got a little grumpy, seeing Humans grabbing my treasures. Generally, the angrier I was by the end of the run, the better their grade.
The Kobold attacked with a dagger. Their duty was to incapacitate and imprison Humans so that they became Kobolds. I let the Humans out, of course, unless they were too far gone by that point, at which point I simply gave them the choice of staying or leaving.
Most people were surprised they elected to leave, though they always came back after they were severed.
The elder brother kicked the Kobold, knocking him down and making him drop the dagger. I watched, and shook my head when they ran.
The Kobold pushed himself up, scooped up his dagger, and went into a side tunnel, moving through the walls and catching up to them. He ambushed them, leaping from the inside of a wall and tackling the younger brother, dagger already jabbing into his side.
The elder brother immediately moved to protect his sibling, and this time, he didn't hesitate to kill.
"The Kobold you just killed is the same one you left alive." I said, the elder brother tensed, horrified. "Understand, you cannot assume you will outrun an enemy, your brother's blood is on your hands, he has paid for your choice."
It was brutal, but it was an important lesson.
I moved a chest and a mimic near them. The mimic was a mindless construct, set to devour or entrap.
The elder brother helped his sibling stand, removing the dagger.
"Congratulations, you have now ensured his stab wound is bleeding freely, in any other dungeon, without any form of healing, this would be a death sentence. Do not remove daggers until you can treat the wound."
He began to panic, looking for anything that would save his brother, likely forgetting I wasn't going to kill them. He spotted the chest and the mimic and rushed over to them. I set up some non-lethal traps, to remind him not to hurry. I even had one resemble a mimic opening up to capture him.
He triggered them all, but managed to avoid getting hit. He hesitated at the chest and mimic.
He took off one of his boots, letting out a sharp cry of shock as he saw his little toe had transformed. He gingerly touched it, the dungeon Core fed him pleasant sensations to make him want to stay.
Particularly weak-willed Humans would find themselves enjoying the sensations, not realizing that they were becoming monsters, until it was too late.
He pulled his hand back, still unsettled, and threw the boot.
The mimic triggered instantly, grasping at the air in front of it before resetting, taking the boot with it. He took the other boot off, letting out a cry of distress as he saw all of the toes on that foot had already transformed. He threw the boot at the other chest, determined it was safe, and opened it.
The trap struck him in the torso, flinging him backward.
"Remember, your brother is currently sitting on the floor, bleeding, an easy target for the Kobold who's heading in your direction." I said. That was a flat-out lie, but it got him moving. He checked the chest, took out a red potion, and ran for his brother.
He gave the potion to him, the wound sealed shut.
"I'm not evil." I said. "I ensured you would have a means of healing your brother. At the same time, never drink a potion you cannot identify. That could have just as easily been a potion of transformation, or even poison."
"What's a potion of transformation do?" He asked.
"Costs you an hour." I replied. "Outside of a dungeon, it just flat out turns you into a monster. One with memories intact, mind you, but a monster nonetheless."
His brother healed, he led him carefully to the chest and they grabbed the armor within. It was piecemeal, a single pauldron, a breastplate, and a ring.
The younger brother got the breastplate, which shrunk to fit him, the brother wore the pauldron, and picked up the ring. This was a Ring of Binding, it accelerated the process of transformation, it is a cursed item.
I sensed someone entering my dungeon, it was the Guild Master. I teleported him to me. An old man, he was one of the strongest men in the Guild, and that was only because old age had worn him down.
"Prospective members?" He asked.
"Yes, sir." I replied. The older brother stowed the ring in his pocket. "Good instinct, never wear unidentified magic items." They continued, the elder brother removing his ruined socks and going barefoot. They slowed down, started paying attention to their surroundings.
"Do you expect them to survive this?" He asked.
"I do not interfere, Guild Master." I said. "Unless I absolutely have to or it's necessary to teach them a lesson." I looked at him. "The younger brother will absolutely make it out fine, the elder brother might, if he doesn't put on that ring. The moment he puts it on, he would have to run and avoid every threat between him and the exit."
The Guild Master nodded. "I expect-"
That was when the younger brother collapsed.
Dungeonrunning is extremely dangerous, even in this 'tame' one, death was possible.
The younger brother was still alive, but he had certainly fallen unconscious.
"No! Not now!" The elder brother shouted.
"What condition is the younger in?" The Guild Master asked, concerned. I reached out and felt his energy, his soul.
"He has a condition that causes him to faint." I replied. "One that is treatable with medicine, and expensive magic." I shook my head. "He should not have brought his brother with him, now he has dead weight he has to protect.
"Hey! Kobold! Can you help me?" The elder brother asked.
"No." I said. "Interference is not permitted by Guild regulation unless absolutely necessary. Your brother is not dying, he is not in any present danger of death. However, he is along the same level of change as you."
The brother looked desperate. "If I have to rescue him, he will be considered unfit for the job. Indeed, his condition may be serious enough that we could not- in good conscience- put him in anything but a clerical position."
Now, the question remained if the brother was sensible, or stupid.
Given that he almost immediately chose to lift him up and carry him on his back, stupid was the answer.
"A shame." The Guild Master remarked.
I moved some Kobolds in their path, the Guild Master raised his brow. "Are you intentionally sabotaging his progress?" He asked in mock offense.
"It's only sabotage if you intend for them not to succeed." I said. "If he's willing to risk his brother's safety instead of forfeiting his brother's chances of joining the Guild, then he will have to live with the consequences of his actions."
The Kobolds set up an ambush, creating a noticeable fake trap that the elder brother would have to walk around to avoid. To their utter shock, as well as mine, he just ran across it.
"Did he intuit the trap was fake, or was he just that bullheaded?" I asked as the Kobolds moved to intercept. They got ahead of him, prepared an ambush, and the moment he was close, they jumped out, punching and kicking him and cackling with glee.
"I still find it disturbing how monsters delight in Human suffering." The Guild Master remarked.
"Quiet, this is the best part." I said. They tied the elder brother up and dragged the unconscious younger brother into a panel. He screamed out a name. "Daniel!"
"I'm giving him half an hour before I fail him." I said. "That should be enough time to determine his competence."
The elder brother, legs bound together, arms behind his back, began to desperately inch away from where he'd been put, toward the dagger that he had dropped. I nodded approvingly, that was a sensible plan. But then he inched past it and deliberately triggered a trap.
I gaped in absolute shock as the trap sliced cleanly through the ropes, barely missing his wrists. He then got up, grabbed the dagger, and freed himself.
"Resourceful lad." The Guild Master remarked. "Yet his brother has been abducted."
The brother went toward the wall they'd taken Daniel, who was already halfway across the dungeon and heading straight for the holding cells. One of them requested to grab a Transformation Potion to speed things up.
"Reserve that for later." I said. "I want to see how the elder brother handles this."
The brother in question gave up, and began searching around desperately for something. There was a chest nearby with a proper sword and more armor, even a non-cursed magic item and a scroll. He kept searching, keeping his hand along the right wall, until he found it.
"He has an uncanny sense of what he's doing." The Guild Master remarked. "He might be an untrained time mage."
"That would explain the bravado with the fake trap and the willingness to push forward. He might not even be aware of why he's doing what he's doing." I remarked. He threw one of his ruined socks at the chest- "He still had those!?" I yapped- and proceeded to dig through its contents.
By now, his feet were fully Kobold, with his legs beginning to accommodate. He would be off balance for a while.
"Greaves, bracers, a standard short-sword, a werewolf's skin, and a scroll." The Guild Master remarked. "Not a bad find for a dungeon of this caliber."
Werewolf skin was a fun item that turned the wearer into a monster. The effect was effectively the same as being in a newly formed dungeon, and was meant to bring about some diversity to to the monster population.
It was also one of the few ways a monster could return to Human form, if it merged with them.
"Ragnar is a Werewolf, isn't he?" I asked.
"Aye, he is. He's been looking for one of those for his wife."
The brother seemed to know what it was, or at least, what its properties were, and tossed it back into the chest, that's when he pulled out the cursed ring.
"He's going to be sorely disappointed." The Guild Master remarked. "That's a Ring of Binding if I've ever seen one."
The scroll burst into flames, and he looked at the ring, wincing as his mind was filled with knowledge he didn't have before. He stared at the ring in his hand, clearly disappointed by the fact that it was utterly-
"Did he just put it on!?" The Guild Master sputtered. He was right, the brother had put the ring on and was beginning to transform faster. He then opened the wall panel and began following along the path the Kobolds had gone.
"Pull him out." The Guild Master commanded. "You've engineered a desperate situation, and we can clearly see he's not capable of rational thought in such instances."
"No." I said. "Look." The brother was stepping out of the walls, grabbing gear and other items, before going back in. "Kobolds are innately good at dungeoneering. Even in a foreign dungeon, we can figure out where we are in relation to everything else. But in your native one, especially one that's actively claiming you..."
"He's deliberately doing what he can to salvage the situation." The Guild Master remarked. "How much time does he have left?"
"Approximately one hour before the transformation is irreversible, so thirty minutes with the Ring of Binding on." I ran the time in my head. "Even if he manages to rescue his brother in time and gather enough gear for the both of them, by the time we could remove the ring, he would already be a Kobold."
The brother got as much armor on as he could, continued making his way to the holding cells, where Daniel was already bound, the transformation proceeding just as slowly as normal.
His eyes opened, he shifted around on the table, unable to get out.
That's when he began to grow fur.
"He's a Werewolf." I said numbly.
"If his brother doesn't get him out, he'll be a Kobold Werewolf." The Guild Master remarked. "Those are technically among the more powerful of the moderately dangerous monsters, all of the strengths of a Werewolf, plus the innate understanding of a dungeon? Terrifying creatures."
"Don't give me ideas." I said. "Ragnar needs a gift for his wife still, right?"
I moved the chest with the Werewolf Skin over to me and, wincing at the idea of taking it out and removing it from the dungeon, put it into my bag.
The brother was almost there, and Daniel was undergoing a transformation.
"Going unconscious suddenly is a commonality with natural born Werewolves," The Guild Master remarked. "He's still in danger of being claimed by the Dungeon, but this is something he is naturally."
The younger brother broke his restraints, and with a feral growl lunged at the Kobolds, tearing them to shreds and beginning to eat them.
"Ferality, not a good sign." I remarked. "Go get Ragnar ready, I'm on retrieval."
I teleported the Guild Master out, then the elder brother, who looked around in confusion.
"Out. Now. There is an emergency." I said. He ran out of the dungeon, and then I teleported Daniel to the entrance, where he bolted out into the Guild Hall.
I teleported over and saw Ragnar wrestling with Daniel, keeping him pinned to the ground while the older brother stared in confused horror.
"You have ten minutes before your transformation becomes irreversible." I said. He looked at me, "Nine, if you keep staring at me like that."
"What's wrong with my brother? Why is he like that?" He asked.
"Congratulations, you and your brother are natural-born Werewolves, which explains why you had such good flashes of intuition in there, and why you refused to abandon him. Eight minutes."
He held his hand out, but then brought it in, holding it against his chest.
"I don't particularly care if you want to be a Kobold- in fact, I welcome it, we need more Kobolds in this city- but if you do, and you don't want to be, then let me take the ring off."
"I... don't really want to." He said. "All I could think of when I saw the first changes was, I wanted it to go faster."
"Ah." I said. "Well, then. You were doomed from the start. Lovely. Once you're finished with that ring, we'll have it on your brother so he can finish transforming and calm down. Since you're out of the dungeon, you should be relatively safe, but for both of your sakes, we'll need to hold you for a while.
He nodded.
Ragnar finally got Daniel to calm down, he was whimpering, clearly experiencing pain.
"Aye, pup, let it all out." Ragnar said, gently petting his fur. "There's a good pup, inner peace, lad." Daniel started thrashing about again. "Inner peace, not outer squirm!"
"Also, yes, this does count as failing." I said to the elder brother. "However, due to the circumstances- and the fact that your brother would have doubtlessly been a mindless beast if left in there- the Guild Master will talk to you about your options after your holding period."
He nodded. His transformation finished, I clapped him on the back, took the ring, and- with Ragnar's help, got it on the Werewolf pup's finger so he could get it over with faster.
Once the two were in holding, I walked over to Ragnar, pulled out the Werewolf Skin from my bag, and held it out to him.
"You know what to do with this." I said.
He looked surprised, then nodded, taking it. "Aye, lad. I do."
I thought about what other things I needed to do. "Oh, right. I need to resurrect the Kobolds." I said, before walking into my dungeon.
It did take about a week for Daniel to finally calm down.
At first, there was some concern that the nature of his transformation had left him potentially feral, but the morning he was meant to be let out, he was in Human form
I was the one who went in, covered him with a blanket, and put some spare clothes out for him.
"Where am I?"
"A holding cell." I said.
I heard him shoot up, accompanied by a sound I was familiar with, in that his fur suddenly floofed up. "W-what happened to me!?" He howled in fear.
"You are a Werewolf." I said matter-of-factly. I looked at him, he was looking at his claws with a mixture of horror, fear, and joy. I had vague feelings of that same mixture of emotions. "More specifically, at least one of your parents was a Werewolf."
"Wait, then is Jason-?"
"He became a Kobold." I replied. "He used an item to speed up the transformation so he could rescue you. If you had maintained your sanity in that moment, I would not have interfered. But you didn't, and you are going to need training to keep yourself in check whenever you're scared or angry."
"I- see." He said.
"For what it's worth, you won't pass out anymore, so your reason for coming has ultimately resolved itself."
"What's going to happen to Jason?" He asked.
"The same thing that happened to me. He will live." I replied. "He has retained his memories, due to accepting that he was likely going to be lost, just to save you. Even though he could have forfeited at any point like I told him."
"Aye, Kobold, is he safe?"
"Yes." I said.
The door opened, Jason stepped inside, then ran over to his brother and hugged him. "Little big brother, meet big little brother." I snarked.
They both looked at me, and then they laughed. I let them have some time together, to talk and acclimate.
After their reunion, I brought them with me to the Guild Master.
"So." He said. "You have a few options. One, we tattoo dungeon protections on you and have you sign on to helping clearing out dungeons, or two, we let you go, except you return every week so Ragnar can train you to keep yourself under control."
"Dungeon protections?" Jason asked.
I nodded. "We are monsters." I said. "Without the proper protections, a new dungeon can claim you, making you a part of its system." I looked at them both. "I don't think it need said why you should refrain from going inside dungeons without it."
"What happens to those who do?" Daniel asked.
"The dungeon claims them." I said. "They lose their memories of their past life, becoming convinced they always lived in it. They become trapped inside, forever."
They both looked at each other, then looked at us. "We, uh..." Daniel started.
"We actually wanted to go back." Jason replied.
"You want to be claimed by the dungeon." The Guild Master said.
"When I was looking for my brother, all I could think of was how much I liked being there." Jason replied. "That's honestly why I put on the ring."
"And I'm not leaving my brother alone." Daniel said. "We've only had each other our entire lives."
I nodded. "As the master of the dungeon, I will approve this." I said. "Any arguments against, Guild Master?"
He sighed. "Just go." He said.
With the brothers close behind me, I led them to the dungeon entrance. "Understand, by doing this, you are consigning yourself to protecting what is effectively a practice dungeon." I said. "You will be killed and brought back."
Jason nodded. "I know."
He opened the door, and they walked in.
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2023.05.28 02:49 notliaaaaa Rate my routine as a 15 year old [Routine Help]

I have a lot of skincare items, I feel overwhelmed by what to use but this is usually what I do and what works! I like to experiment though.
(BTW i have a job 8-6 hours a day to be able to afford my skincare/makeup.)
Skin type:
Dry (in the past usually in my mouth to chin area its flaky) - Acne Prone
- Fan my face
Let it sit for 10 minutes
(i know its long lmfao)
if you have any suggestions or criticism let me know :)
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