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"I Feel Like I'm Drowning"

2023.04.01 21:12 TStrable "I Feel Like I'm Drowning"

How Sarah J. Maas and Her Novel 'A Court of Silver Flames' Changed My Outlook On Damn Near Everything:
Let me start off with some information about me. I am 32. I am a married man. My wife convinced me to read the ACOTAR series.
The end.
The rest about myself will be sprinkled in this… book report? review? essay? Whatever it is, I already know I am going to bear parts of me that I can only type. Forgive the tangents and thoughts that will probably end up nowhere because I just need to get my thoughts out.
“My life’s okay. Just when you’re not around me. I feel like I’m drowning.”
Music has been my life since I had my first CD player. I would shove that massive contraption in the front pocket of my Levi’s just about every day while I would walk, or skate around my neighborhood. Escaping in the depths of my mind while strings, percussion and lyrics fill my ears, imagining me in a different place, a different time, doing something other than whatever my life was. Even at a young age I would disassociate like it was my job.
cut to.
When my wife said she wanted me to read the ACOTAR series, I of course has my hesitations. I read. Mostly horror or fantasy. Not really romance.
“This is fantasy.”
I saw how engrossed she was while reading book after book. “5 stars.” Would leave her lips after finishing a couple. I saw the emotion in her face when talking about these books. Like hearing her talk about herself, or me and our life. I had just finished a thriller, half satisfied, half annoyed with the predictable plot points and overused tropes. I decided to start the series. “This is fantasy.”
This is not fantasy. It is in the sense that there is magic, there are fae, males with bat wings, monsters and the like. This is as real as anything I’ve read in the last 15 years.
I’m going to skip the main parts of the series, with our heroine and the males who love her. I liked all that.
But I want to talk about Nesta.
When reading the first book, my wife asked me, very purposely, what I thought about the sisters, instinctively knowing I would see something in the older sibling.
“I mean there aren’t in it too much but I do like…Nesta. That’s her name right?” I gravitated towards this character that on the surface was… for lack of a better term, a mean girl. Mean to her sister. Entitled. Lazy. I immediately saw it as some sort of shield. Not outwardly like I thought “oh she’s actually very misunderstood.” like I am some sort of wizard, predicting the outcome of the series. I saw it as a shield, like the one I have for myself and have disguised my entire life.
So it would come to a surprise to me what happens to Nesta at the end of the second book. Thrown into a literal cauldron, being forced to change, against her will. Fighting the entire way down, stealing a part of the thing that was tearing her soul apart, coming out of it, changed forever.
Being thrown into a world so foreign to her, forced to live with it. It’s better than the alternative of how you were living your life before! Right?
Right. But fuck you.
This character, so clearly broken, so clearly in desperate need of love, threw it all back in the faces of those that tried. Not in a place of malice. Not in a place of hate, even if the words spewing out of her mouth said as much. A place of such despair that the shield was now armor. Surrounding her entire self. And when her father was killed in front of her, without a trace of trying to stop it, as if the entire situation before her and the consequences and the past racing through her head lasted hours, not seconds as in reality. And his neck snapped right in front of her. But she helped save the day. She helped the heroine on her “Hero’s Journey”. It’s great right?
Right. But fuck you.
That third book wrecked me. The Suriel. The sacrifice from the High Lord of the Night Court. All that of course ripped though me like it was happening to me and those that I loved.
Nesta’s scream to the person she loved. That she loved but couldn’t explain why. The thought of living in a world without that little speck of something she has never felt before wasn’t an option. That wrecked me too.
So I finished that book. Exhausted. Mentally drained because while our heroine went through her own trials and tribulations, her older sister, who hates everything and everyone (on the outside of course) went through it. To devastating effects.
Then I read the novella. The “christmas special” if you will. Excited that we get to see the story from Nesta’s perspective for the first time.
Broken. This character, who you are made to dislike right off the jump in the first book. This character who was forced to change. Forced into a literal cauldron. Forced to watch her family struggle to maintain their own sanity while forcing herself to stay encased in the armor surrounding her so no one can get in. No one can see the pain of her actions, her lack of actions and the pain of wanting love but knowing she doesn’t deserve it.
She survived. She clearly has loving sisters and a male who loves her. She should be happy, right?
Right. But fuck you.
A Court of Silver Flames broke me. Broke me in a good way. Opened me up to deal with my own “I don’t deserve love.” I can be mean. I can be bratty. I can be lazy. I have said and thought some truly terrible things to those I love. To those who love me. Why would anyone love me? I’d rather shut down, disassociate and fuck around on my phone.
“This is how we grow now, woman. A child ignored. These will just be places to me now.”
The book starts off with a memory. Nesta’s last moments as a human. Fighting with every ounce of her to keep any remaining humanity. Why? Did she leave a mark worthy of the history books as a human? No. Did she deserve immortality? Forever beauty? Love? No. Not to her.
“Climb. Is all we know. When thaw. Is not below us. No, can’t grown up. In that iron ground.”
Climbing was a major theme throughout the book. In the literal sense and in the metaphorical. Nesta was forced into a life she did not want. Did not think she deserved. And shut those around her, off completely. She saw her sisters, living, learning to thrive. Learning to love and be loved by this new family. She spiraled. Her sisters may deserve the immortality. Deserve the love. Deserve the praise. Why would she? Why would the girl who watched her youngest sister go out on her own, hunting and gathering food and survival while she sat in anger at her father. Her father that showed no love or determination towards his daughters. Not in a way a father should. A father who came through in the end. Crossing waters, with boats named of his children, coming to save them. A father who showed no sign of this while surrounded by his daughters. A father who “was more a father to me than my own” to a stranger. A father who died right in front of her. In front of the male she loved with her whole being, all while he was near dying himself.
Gone was the girl who laid atop that dying male she loved, insisting that there would be no chance in hell she could live on this earth without him. Gone was the girl who struck down the villain. Gone was the girl.
Despair. Death. That’s what remained. That’s what she deserved.
Trauma. Sex. Love. Climbing.
Throughout the book Nesta was training. Physical, brutal training. Not to be some great warrior. But to train to her inner self in letting those who love her, back in. Training to become whole. Training to restore self worth, if it was ever there to begin with. Because she replaced those awful thoughts in her mind with sex. Sex with strangers. Then “just sex” with the male she loved, but would never say. Fill her mind with nothing but earth-shattering sex so she could push those awful thoughts to the side… for a time, rather than embrace said earth-shattering sex.
Meeting new people. Gaining friendship. Training. Climbing. Fighting. Saying unforgivable things to the sisters she loves. Pushing them away. Pushing away the male she loves. Fucking that male over and over again to forget herself. Running from her power. Using that power to destroy her enemies. Losing herself. Training. Climbing. Gaining friendship. Self loathing. Getting better. Getting worse. Fucking. Disassociating. Fucking. Rinse. Repeat.
When faced with the truth of her love. The truth if her power. The Great Rite. When faced with these obstacles, again both literal and metaphorical, she had to make a choice.
Wallow. Fall down those steps into a bottle or into a strangers bed.
Give up. Let the Kelpie take her as his bride. Give up and let the queen take what power she has. Give up and let her sister die. Give up and become what she thinks everyone sees her as.
Or climb. Climb the literal mountain to save herself, save her friends, Climb the mental mountain to her the male she loves so he can hear the truth of said love.
Ten thousand steps.
A mountain.
A dance floor.
A declaration of love.
A beast of a man who loves her and gives her earth-shattering sex.
Climb those. Climb out of the literal cauldron AND the metaphorical one.
It’ll be hard, right?
Right. But fuck you.
Cut that ribbon it and it doesn’t disappear.
Cut that ribbon and wear it.
Can’t make your trauma disappear. Learn to not let that trauma control your life.
When I finished A Court of Silver Flames I knew I was Nesta. I knew that I couldn’t just magically get rid of my trauma. My sadness. My self loathing. I knew that I had to let it in and not push it aside. Let it in to heal from it. Cut that ribbon and wear it. Fucking. Climb.
And have that earth-shattering sex.
Sarah J. Maas wrote these books with a clear understanding of how hard LIFE is. She wrote characters with depth and humanity. Seemingly side characters who you didn’t think twice on while reading this amazing adventure with our heroine. Side characters that become mirrors to yourself.
Be a Mor. Be an Amren. Be an Elain. Be a Cassian. BE A FEYRE. Be the hero. Be a Rhys who loves her.
You can be any of these characters.
I am Nesta.
For the good and especially the bad.
SJM made a series where fairies and bat boys, living eyeballs and a Cauldron “god” seem so normal because of the dance she does with these characters. And I thank her for that.
“Yeah, these things take forever, I especially am slow. But I realized I need you. And I wondered if I could come home.”
submitted by TStrable to acotar [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 21:07 MasterDarcy_1979 43 [M4F] #Scotland. Dominant seeking submissive

If your initial chat request and/or message does not interest me, or if they break any of the following stipulation, I shan't reply.
So be warned.
Also, please, only initiate contact with me if you are looking for a Dominant. If you initiate contact for any other reason then I will not respond.
In the past I've replied to every single chat/message in the past. In the more recent cases the sender clearly hadn't read my post, which has now forced me to clamp down. Quite frankly, it's a waste of my time.
After you've sent your chat request and/or message, you will have to wait for a reply (if you meet my criteria). As I will either be busy, sleeping or processing your chat/message.
Also, please include a photograph of yourself. As I've included a photograph on my post.
Hell, it doesn't have to be a professional actress, occasional community theatre would suffice. :p
As I said, though, the previous two variables are not a prerequisite. I don't care what career a woman has. The only thing that's important to me is that we are emotionally and spiritually compatible, everything else can fall by the wayside.
What I'm looking for:
I want a woman who has character, who is classy and sophisticated. A woman who has dignity, strong opinions, strong unwavering morals and a personality. I don't want a doormat. Just because a woman is a submissive in no way means that she's weak-willed, inherently inferior and docile.
I've known submissive women from all walks of life, from at the pinnacle of the arts, to the top of the mental health profession even to someone involved in the space industry.
It's a long heralded deep misconception, not just within the vanilla community, but also in the BDSverse, that the Dominants wield the most power. They don't. If anything, submissives and slaves hold considerably more power, as without their consent, the Dominant is just a person holding a collar without a person attached.
So yes, if you're a submissive or a slave and you're reading this. Just remember that YOU initially hold the power.
I like strong character. Collaring a strong woman is more of an achievement than collaring someone who has the backbone integrity of a jellyfish or someone who is already broken.
I like the process
My kind of woman is Elizabeth Bennet and Wednesday Addams all rolled into one. Essentially, a woman who is strong and opinionated, who knows her own mind, and doesn't give a rat's tail for the judgements of others. But also a woman who is a natural submissive behind their hard shell of an exterior.
She is a lover of books and words.
She has grace and class and sophistication. Being the Dominant of a woman who is the personification of class and elegance is a really hot fantasy. Posh, even. Well-to-do and maybe a little spoilt.
I'm an old fashioned gentleman at heart, with manners and politeness. Cue my username. (If you don't get the play-on-words of my username then you've failed the first test)
I'm majorly into watersports, so if that kind of thing turns you on, we're going to get along!
I'll start with the "Darcy" part of my psyche:
I'm not like the vast majority of Dominants out there who will collar the first submissive who comes along. I have high standards and I'll only collar a submissive if those standards are met.
I find, in society, with kink and vanilla, people are too willing to drop their standards and take whatever on off. People have a "first come, first served" mentality.
That isn't me.
This is why 50% of marriages end in divorce and 75% of those married 50% are miserable and the parties are waiting for the sweet taste of death to release them from the hell that they've created, for fear of dying alone.
That isn't me, either. I would rather live and die by my own sword than be with someone for whom I want to kill. Life is too short to be in an unhappy relationship.
I'm not a social media person. Yes, I'm on here, but I'm only really here to post this. Other than Reddit, I have zero social media presence.
I'm also not an instant messaging person. I am witty and I love banter. IM seems to bring out my sarcastic and quippy side, which is a curse as it's detrimental with regards to actually getting to know someone.
My communication method of choice is emails. With emails you're able to convey mass amounts of information and details, without interruption, therefore, making the "getting to know you" process relatively quick.
If you want a Man who has manners, who is intelligent, monogamous, funny, classy, sophisticated and nurturing, feel free to initiate contact.
I'm deep, introspective, pensive and morose. I feel more at ease and happiest when I'm alone. I can barely tolerate people.
I would rather be by myself than be at a party or a gathering. If you want a people person and an extraverted and a social butterfly. Yeah... that isn't me, either.
Characteristics I'm seeking: sardonic, pensive, Intelligent, well read, classy, kinky, sophisticated, open minded, monogamous and with a certain Goth vibe. I have always had a thing for Goth types. Back in the day it was Morticia and Elvira, I suppose you can add Wednesday to the mix now that she's all growed up.
ABOUT ME: (Vanilla)
I'm a writer, and soon-to-be author (hopefully). One of my passions is cooking. I briefly trained as a Chef, which means that I'm a whizz in the kitchen! Wouldn't say that I'm a fully-fledged Chef, but I know enough to get by and not starve to death or get food poisoning... and die.
I'm a logophile. (No. It doesn't mean that I like logos. It means that I have an intense and inherit love of words. They even have the ability to get me horny) If you contact me, you have to have an equal passion for the written (or spoken) word. If you initiate contact with me and you only write a dozen words, I reserve the right to release the Kraken and/or ignore you. Probably both. (I know that I've said this twice now, but I really cannot stand messages that have no thought behind them.)
Oh. I also have a really sharp sense of humour. So, if you're sensitive or thin skinned, approach with caution.
I'm a deep thinker. I'm spiritual (NOT religious) and believe in the power of Chi. I believe in Ghosts, other worlds, multiverses and dimensions. I'm into meditation and self improvement and self analysis. I'm a free-thinker and tend to think independently from the masses. I naturally deviate from convention.
I don't conform. I'm unapologetically weird and different.
I'm not a people person. I can't stress that enough. I tend to connect better with "weird" people and people who deviate from "normality". I'm misanthropic and I tend to be on an entirely different page than the general populace. For that, I am eternally thankful.
I don't really care about distance. I mean, let's be honest, the chance of meeting a compatible soul is improbable as it is, if you restrict it by means of geography and location, the "improbable" becomes the "impossible". Besides, it's 2023, not 1723. Distances can be bridged with the aid of heavy machinery with wings.
So yes, I'm open to a long distance relationship, to begin with.
It takes a while to properly forge a strong relationship: It requires respect, trust, honesty, compatibility and communication. None of those things come easily or without dedication, conviction and time.
I'm a sapiosexual as well as a demisexual. I find intelligence very, very hot!
I'm an introvert. I'm private and I don't like being the centre of attention. In fact, I like to keep as far back from people and the spotlight as possible. My preference is to live in the shadows. My main aim in life is to become a Vampire... true story. Still working on it.
Movies: Fright Night 1 & 2, The Lost Boys, Barefoot in the park, Breakfast at Tiffany's, My Fair Lady, Casablanca, Jerry Maguire, Serendipity, Say Anything, Almost Famous, Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's day off, Weird Science, Elvira: Mistress of the dark, Elvira: Haunted Hills, Dirty Dancing, The Big Sick, Star Wars (The original trilogy), Firefly, Shadow of the Vampire, Interview with the Vampire, Dracula (1931).
Television: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Angel, Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, It's Always sunny in Philadelphia, Wednesday, Seinfeld, Curb Your Enthusiasm, Sex and the City, Family Guy, The Simpsons, Scrubs.
AuthoWriter: Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, Bram Stoker, The Bronte Sisters, Emily Dickinson.
Music: The Smiths, The Cure, AC/DC
Honestly, I'm not a big music fan. I prefer classical music and score as they have the capacity to stir my emotions.
...and now the "Master" half of what makes me, me:
ABOUT ME: (Kink)
My form of Dominance is one of psychology.
It's my belief that before you can even hope to control the body, first you have to be able to control the mind.
I want to know how you think, I want to know how your mind works, what you love, what you like, what you hate and what you dislike. I want to know about your formative years, your upbringing, your parents, your family, etc.
In essence, I want to know everything about you.
Vanilla comes before kink.
As far as kink goes, I want to know about your experience as well as your dream dynamic. I want to know what turns you on, what your limits are and how willing you are to expand your horizons,allow me to break down your walls in order to replace it with different walls, but done with subtlety and skill.
The BDSMverse is all about growth. It's all about learning and maturing and both discovering new kinks, but also cultivating the kinks you already have.
This dynamic will be a living, breathing organism. It'll grow and develop and mature. It will be 24/7. It'll be all consuming and it will be a life choice.
At work you will be my submissive. At the supermarket and at the mall and out in public, you will be owned by me. Your every breath will contain a whisper that I own you. Every thought will contain a note that I control you.
It will be all encompassing.
You will be swimming in a fog of knowledge that your every thought, every feeling and every moment of your life is under my lock and key.
I want a relationship based on TPE. I'm not into "keeping it in the bedroom/behind closeddoors", as that sounds too much like roleplay.
You will learn from me, you will be taught, I will sculpt and mould and nurture you and train you to be the greatest version of yourself that you can be.
I'll listen. I'll be your teacher, your mentor, your confident, your protector as well as your best friend.
I cannot stress that enough, for a D/s dynamic to work, it has to be built on friendship. There must be trust and respect and communication and compatibility. Every cylinder must be firing
We will be a team. We will listen, talk and learn from the other. Our bond will be stronger than any metal or element known to Man.
Again, this isn't an easy connection to develop. It takes honesty, trust, communication and absolute dedication and faith. Come into this half-hearted, it will not work.
It also takes time. How much time? It will take as long as it takes. The vanilla connection must be forged, otherwise it's akin to building a house on quicksand.
My kinks: Watersports, fiscal Domination, Goth, taboo, rough skull-fucking, anal, CNC, rape play, bimbofication, food control, body modification, behaviour modification, body transformation, body modification, body writing, deepthroat, TPE, puke, chains, leather, outfits, DP (with dildos, etc), toys, edging, Vampirism (Hematolagnia), tasks, raceplay, DD/lg
I'm very open to taboo kinks, as well as extreme kinks. The chance of me being against a kink will be extremely remote.
Watersports is my number one kink, so, if you're genuinely turned on by watersports (Or even if you're curious) we could very well be a match.
Hard limits: Poly and scat.
Everything else is negotiable.
submitted by MasterDarcy_1979 to AgeGapPersonals [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 21:05 SethNex Killing off the Shield Hero early on would have been a terrible idea

Whether being executed for "assaulting" his female companion, or dying during the Waves for being low level, if the Shield Hero died early on in the story, then it would have lead to devastating events.
Fitoria is obviously the greatest danger to the remaining heroes. If she hears about the death of a Cardinal Hero, she would just kill the others, so a new group of heroes could be summoned.
And then there are the other countries. Siltvelt, Shieldfrienden, Faubley, Zeltoble, and so on, were all infuriated because of the fact that behind their back, Melromarc summoned all four Cardinal Heroes. If it wasn't for the Queen's negotiation, the other countries would have already started a war against Melromarc. If they learn about the death of the Shield Hero, then not even the Queen could stop them from starting a war, especially Siltvelt and Shieldfrieden. I could imagine that Siltvelt, Shieldfrieden, and maybe even Faubley would have join forces against Melromarc. If the war happens after the Heroes' first wave, then Melromarc would have little chance of winning, even with three heroes. Those three are maybe stronger than any average adventurer, but without the other power-up methods, they would be rather weak against armies of high leve soldiers. The King may have been a great strategist in the past, but with the mental state that he was in during the early volumes (and the fact that he is unable to use the Seven Star Staff), he wouldn't really be too much help either. Melromarc would fall, and the heroes would either die, or being taken by the allied enemy forces (and maybe they would be killed by Takt).
One other major problem is the heroes themselves. Because they believe that they are in a world of a video game, they don't take the world, and their actions in the world seriously. During their first Wave, they just simply went after the Wave Boss, because in their games killing the boos would end the event. They don't care about the smaller Wavespawns, or they assume that knights will handle it (even though it would take time for the knights to appear at the location of the Wave). It will also take time to kill the boss, and without protection, people will die. The Heroes after the Wave would just do what they did in the original story. Try to "help" people, or doing guild quests. But these would just cause more problems. Motoyasu unleashes a plant, that will mutate, and would kill of an entire village. Ren kills a dragon, but leaves its corpse behind, which will rot and start a pandemic, which causes the death of many people. Itsuki, while aiding revolutionaries, kills a corrupt noble, but he will not care about what happens to the people of that country after the revolution. The people will have no money to pay for protection, they will hunger, leave the country, and some of them will die. And after everything they have done, with how much damage they have caused, the Church of Three Heroes declares that these three are "false heroes" and they will kill them.
Also, without Naofumi, Raphtalia will die, the old lady die as well, Filo will not born, and as stated before, many other people will die because of the stupidity and incompetence of the other heroes.
What do you think?
submitted by SethNex to shieldbro [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 21:01 embarrassedafidk finally made a throwaway. i don't even know where to begin.

Hi guys. So I've been a lurker on this subreddit for years trying to find answers and deal with and understand what's been happening in my life, and it's difficult to put together everything in one post, but since I finally made a throwaway I'll try to sum everything up here as much as I can.
Objectively, I (F24) have been raised by two wonderful parents and have been extremely privileged. I currently live with them in a beautiful family home in a upper-middle-class neighborhood, never had to worry about my next meal, and had my college/rent completely paid for (as well as will receive help for grad school, which I will begin at the end of the year). I do work, but save my money, and almost anything I need is paid for by my parents, including clothes, trips, medical treatment, and even gifts for my friends/family "from me." I virtually have everything done for me, from cleaning to cooking to driving me to places. Although I did not demand all of these things, I gladly took them when given to me (many of which are not offered; for example, my mother would just buy clothes without asking if I liked them and give them to me).
All of this said, however, my parents are extremely overprotective. As a kid and teenager, I had to get their permission to go places and missed out on a lot of opportunities to make/bond with friends, which I guess may be normal because I was a minor. But several years later, I still find myself having to tell them every place I go and get permission from them, and I have no friends or a partner nor desire to get them because of being afraid to tell my parents about it. They rarely ever approve of my friends or partners, often due to superficial reasons like their body weight, race, or even how their last name sounds. My mom calls me several times a day (similar to her overtly narcissist mother who calls at least 5 times a day and puts all her responsibility on her), and while I allow her to track my location for safety reasons, I see her regularly staring at my sibling's location on her phone and seeing the dot moving around. When I was taking a trip and going to a hookup's place, it was like 3am where she was, and she still texted me asking where I was because she was just...tracking my location. She then implanted fears into my head like this guy was going to talk crap about me, hurt me in other ways, etc. I also mistakenly told my father his first and last name, and both he and my mother then proceeded to look him up on Google and text each other information about him - I came across this when looking through my mother's texts because I sensed they were doing this. I know going through her phone was wrong, but she has also gone through my phone in the past (and found out about my relationship with a girl when I wasn't even out of the closet, which was traumatizing) and pressured me to go through my sibling's phone multiple times when they were trying to meet with friends and explore their own sexuality. She and my father also talked to me about condoms recently because I'm about to see the hookup again, as if I'm not 24 years old. Sex was never talked about in my household so it's always uncomfortable.
With all of this, I reflected back throughout the past few years, and inquired into why my therapist keeps pushing me to move out ASAP despite moving out for grad school in a few months. Even my ex has also expressed concern; once my mother was cooking for us and she asked "do you want onions" while putting in the onions, even though he was saying over and over he didn't want them. Similarly, she insists I eat "things with things,": "you have to eat a cucumber with that," "you need the sour cream with this," etc., and when I say no, she does berserk and either puts things in my food herself or yells. I tell her not to take out my trash in my room because she doesn't just take the trash bag...she individually takes pieces of trash out...but she says no because she wants to "save the trash bag." I tell her she can't go through my closet or drawers or phone (where she has found deeply private stuff) and she denies she's done it. I tell her how traumatized I was when I tried edibles and she, instead of yelling at me when I was sober, completely abandoned me after telling me I was going to overdose and die while I was already having anxiety and experiencing heart palpitations. Generally, my mother has no concept of "no means no" or boundaries, and she neither takes accountability for her actions nor remembers anything overtly terrible she has done. My father also has the same issue - when I told him I was sexually assaulted, his response was asking over and over "were you raped" instead of asking me if I was okay, and of course he forgot I was assaulted pretty shortly after I had the guts to tell him. Both parents also have the same reactions whenever I tell them I'm hurt, ranging from "oh you think I'm a BAD parent" to "ok, you're completely on your own because you want 'boundaries' now" to "you're ungrateful."
Over the past year, I've been gradually trying to gain independence, and it's been like slowly ripping off a band-aid. Even being able to have my door closed, and teaching the concept of knocking on the door, was a struggle and is ongoing. I am slowly trying to go out places with friends, but she keeps implanting fears in my head (e.g., "there are shootings at concerts," "the weather is bad, there are people who die in floods) and convincing me over and over not to go anywhere when I keep telling her I'm fine and I don't want to hear it anymore. I don't know what's going to happen when I go to grad school, because even when I was in college relatively far my mom/parents were visiting almost every weekend, tracking my location all the time, calling me all the time, etc., and never taking my feedback. I'm scared to drive, I'm scared to explore myself sexually, I'm scared to leave my phone out of sight or leave my room, and especially leave my room with my mother nearby or in it. I'm scared to make friends or go out with friends, or for them to pick me up and see my parents standing outside or lurking outside the window.
Given everything, am I whining? Am I ungrateful, or finding reasons to be upset? Otherwise flawed in my thinking? How much of this is my fault, or others? I want to be accountable for by behavior, but also want to know when I am not in the wrong. What are you guys' thoughts on all this? This is a lot, so if you got to this point, thank you for reading...
submitted by embarrassedafidk to raisedbynarcissists [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:57 Cmartinent Tudor Service Encounter

Just wanted to out this out there since we don’t hear too much about Tudor service. 3 weeks ago I brought my Black Bay GMT into my local AD to have sent in for service. I’ve had the date wheel issue pop up twice, but never was a huge deal to me. Then the hour hand stopped moving as it should. In a 5-6 hour time frame the hour hand would only advance 2-3 hours.
Watch was out of warranty as of August 2021, so right about 18mo the out of warranty. Heard back yesterday that due to the movement having the date wheel issue that the movement would be replaced for free! Now my only issue is the fact that they told me the bracelet was not original so they offered me the Tudor bracelet at $800.
I purchased this used off of watchuseek. It came with the stainless bracelet and the leather Tudor strap with buckle. I have had the watch well over a year, should I reach out to the original buyer or just let it be? I am a little frustrated with the bracelet issue, and I am sure Tudor will not send the other one back. Looks like I’ll be getting a Forstner or Uncle Seiko jubilee when this is returned in 10-12 weeks.
submitted by Cmartinent to Tudor [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:54 BiffyNick Anyone have experience of mixing with a hearing aid?

I’ve got a subtotal perforation of my right tympanic membrane which makes my right side hearing take quite a hit. It’s not too bad with headphones, I just have to adjust the L/R balance a little. But my right side hearing gets significantly worse at distance.
It’s not been a massive problem in the past but sadly recently I think my hearing has got worse and I’m wondering if a hearing aid might be an option to help me restore some hearing.
Obviously having this problem isn’t ideal when trying to pursue a career and passion in music production. But we humans are pretty good at overcoming challenges.
Does anyone have any experience with hearing aids and specifically how it affects one’s ability to produce/mix with any notable degree of accuracy? I can assume it would throw frequent balance pretty off. I already mix a little bass-heavy because I can’t really hear sub frequencies in my right ear.
Any insights would be appreciated, cheers :)
submitted by BiffyNick to musicproduction [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:49 roseprincess176 [F4M] Looking for DC universe roleplay

Hi all, first to get this out of the way, I’m not replacing any of my current partners.
I am looking for a long term RP in the DC comics universe. I would prefer cannon characters, especially if you bring your own flair or twist to them (ie a hero turned villain/villain turned less villainous), but I’m also definitely willing to hear about your oc if you’ve got a compelling one. It’s a huge sandbox to play in and I am more than willing to play/add additional characters as the story progresses. Most important to me is a partner I can build a story with that is enjoyable for both of us. I will admit to being a sucker for a well placed twist as an added bonus.
I am 18+ and all participants and characters must also be 18+
Please be:
-21+ -Open to playing more than one character, just in case. -Semi lit (I’m not a stickler about line counts, especially when we’re doing dialogue, it’s quantity over quality for me, but text speak isn’t for me). -Collaborative. -Willing to play on discord (this is a big one)
If this sounds like you, send me a message and thanks for reading!
submitted by roseprincess176 to RoleplayPartnerSearch [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:47 leonemeaeus *SPOILER* New Class(es) 1/2 *SPOILER*

Two additional classes - the "Immortal" and "Shadow" - both classes have two variations, decided by which faction you choose to follow, allowing for more diversity. Once chosen, a faction cannot be changed.

The first class, the Immortal is a Damage Support Hybrid hailing from Westmarch that utilizes "devotion" as their resource.

The class special system for the Immortal is mounted combat.

The "Mount" skill replaces your evade skill, working the same but also granting the "Mounted Combat" buff for a short duration which will add an effect to your skills for the duration based on which skill tier they are in (basic/core etc). Skills will also gain these bonuses when using a skill to "dismount" from travel allowing for very strong openers for the Immortal.

Though your mount is visible during the mounted combat buff, it will not provide the movement speed bonus of your mount other than performing the initial evade action.

This change to the evade dynamic makes for some very interesting utility involving evade which will also effect your Mount skill.

The Immortal utilizes "Light" "Steel" and "Law" skills.

The Immortal will use a shield and a one handed weapon - being a mace, sword, or class specific scepteflail.

The first faction available to the Immortal is "The Protectors", who follow the will of Kion and are tasked with guarding sanctuary from outside or internal threats, and are overly zealous in this regard.

Immortals who choose to follow this faction appear menacing in their heavy armor and long capes, commanding the field with their presence and finding themselves at the center of the combat both dealing and soaking damage.

[basic]: When mounted, basic skills gain 10% lucky hit chance and deal an additional 20% of their damage.

zeal: [basic] [law] - lucky hit 11% generate 5 devotion.
rapidly strike 3 times dealing 10% damage each hit, each subsequent time an enemy is hit by the same cast of zeal generate an additional 1 devotion. (0/5)
+ strike an additional time and zeals lucky hit chance is increased by 4%.
1: zeal slows the enemy by 40% for 3 seconds.
2: zeal gains an additional 12% attack speed while healthy.

charge: [basic] [steel] - lucky hit 35% generate 10 devotion.
slam your shield into the enemy dealing 24% damage. (0/5)
+: charge has a 25% chance to stun the enemy for 2 seconds.
1: charge grants an additional 5 devotion when it hits a stunned enemy.
2: grant 10% of your max life as a barrier when you charge.

holy bolt: [basic] [light] - lucky hit 33% generate 8 devotion.
throw a pulse of light at an enemy dealing 35% damage. (0/5)
+: hitting an enemy with holy bolt reduces their damage by 15% for 3 seconds.
1: holy bolt releases an additional 3 light bolts that course along the ground seeking out the closest enemy for 13% damage.
2: holy bolt has a 30% chance to daze for 1 second.

cleave: [basic] [steel] - lucky hit 30% generate 8 devotion.
Sweep your weapon fealing 40% damage to enemies in front of you. (0/5)
+: if cleave critically strikes it makes enemies vulnerable for 3 seconds.
1: each enemy hit by cleave has their damage reduced by 10% for 4 seconds
2: cleave now swings in a circle around you.

[core]: when mounted, core skills have a 25% chance to cost no devotion.

1: critical strike chance against close enemies is increased by 3% (0/3)
2: you take 4% less damage from distant enemies. (0/3)

1: critical strike chance against distant enemies is increased by 3% (0/3)
2: you take 4% less damage from close enemies. (0/3)

judgement: [core] [steel] - lucky hit 40% cost 40 devotion.
call down a falling sword dealing 60% damage to enemies around it. (0/5)
+: has a 20% chance to stun all enemies it damages for 1 second.
1: dealing damage with other steel abilities has a 5% chance to cast judgement.
2: judgement deals an additional 1% damage for each point of devotion you had when using it.

blessed hammer: [core] [law] - lucky hit 25% cost 35 devotion.
cast out a magic hammer that seeks enemies striking 4 times dealing 36% damage per hit. (0/5)
+: blessed hammer now strikes an additional time, if the same enemy is hit 5 times by a single use of blessed hammer it deals an additional strike.
1: blessed hammer has a 25% chance to gain 5 devotion each time it strikes
2: blessed hammers now circle around you instead of seeking enemies and strikes an additonal time.

1: after using a core skill you gain 5% resistance to all elements for 3 seconds. (0/3)
2a: core skills have a 10% chance to heal you for 1% of your maximum life when they hit an enemy. (0/3)
2b: light damage from core skills reduces your light cooldowns by 0.5 seconds. (0/3)

smite: [core] [light] - lucky hit 40% cost 25 devotion.
call down divine energy to strike an enemy dealing 110% damage. (0/5)
+: smite now releases 3 light bolts when it strikes an enemy dealing 10% damage each and immobilize enemies hit for 3 seconds.
1: smite releases an additional 3 bolts.
2: hitting an enemy with smites bolts reduces their damage dealt by 20% for 3 seconds.

wave of light: [core] [light] - lucky hit 20% cost 50 devotion.
a wave of radiance crashes forward dealing 80% damage to enemies hit. (0/5)
+: wave of light has a 20% chance to daze all enemies hit for 2 seconds.
1: if wave of light damages 2 or more enemies they become vulnerable for 2 seconds.
2: wave of light deals 25% more damage to the first enemy hit.

1: maximum devotion is increased by 3. (0/3)
2a: core skills cost 5% more devotion but deal 10% more damage. (0/3)
2b: basic skills generate 10% more devotion. (0/3)

[defensive]: whenever you use a defensive skill while mounted it grants a barrier equal to 10% of your maximum health for 4 seconds

1: gain 5% resistance to light. (0/3)
2: gain 5% resistance to shadow. (0/3)

radiant wall: [defensive] [light] - 15 second cooldown.
form an impassible barrier for enemies that lasts for 1.5 seconds. (0/5)
+: radiant walls cooldown is reduced by 3 seconds.
1: radiant wall immobilizes enemies around it for 2 seconds.
2: radiant wall grants you a barrier equal to 10% of your max health for 6 seconds.

consecration: [defensive] [light] - lucky hit 33% cooldown 20 seconds.
create an area of light on the ground around you for 3 seconds dealing 16% damage each second. (0/5)
+ the area of light now lasts an additional 3 seconds.
1: standing in the area of light reduces damage you take by 10%
2: activating consecration causes it to release 6 light bolts dealing 10% damage.

holy shield: [defensive] [law] - cooldown 20 seconds.
gain a barrier for 10% of your max life and increase your resistances by 3% for 6 seconds. (0/5)
+holy shield grants an additional 10% barrier and lasts 2 seconds longer.
1: enemies who hit you while holy shield is active cause it to release 3 light bolts dealing 10% damage.
2: enemies who hit you while holy shield is active become dazed for 1 second.

steel resolve [defensive] [steel] - cooldown 14 seconds.
hold fast and true, gaining 3 devotion each time an enemy hits you for the next 6 seconds. (0/5)
+ steel resolve gains an additional 3 devotion each time you are hit while injured.
1: instantly gain 15 devotion when you activate steel resolve.
2: activating steel resolve now heals you for 15% of your max life.

1: your barriers have 5% increased duration. (0/3)
2a: while you have a barrier active damage reduction against elites is increased by 4%. (0/3)
2b: while you have a barrier active you gain 3% increased damage. (0/3)

[auras]: whenever you use an aura or prayer while mounted its cooldown is reduced by 50%.

1: your armor is increased by 5%. (0/3)
2a: gain 5% additional max life. (0/3)
2b: you gain 5% additional healing from all sources. (0/3)
3: while you have an aura or prayer active you gain 3% increased damage. (0/3)

retribution: [aura] [steel] - cooldown 25 seconds.
demand retribution, increasing damage by players and enemies within the auras area by 10% for the next 8 seconds. (0/5)
+: enemies who hit you while retribution is active are immobilized for 1 second.
1: increase the percentage of damage players deal during retribution by 10%.
2: retribution no longer increases the damage enemies deal.

conviction: [aura] law - cooldown 25 seconds.
seek conviction, decreasing all armor and resistances to players and enemies within the auras area by 10% for the next 8 seconds. (0/5)
+: enemies who hit you while conviction is active become vulnerable for 2 seconds.
1: conviction no longer reduces player armor and resistances.
2: decrease the percentage of armor and resistances enemies have by an additional 10%.

condemnation: [aura] [light] - lucky hit 40% cooldown 25 seconds.
condemn those in the auras area for 8 seconds dealing 85% enemies effected by condemnation are instantly killed when they are hit below 10% life (does not work on bosses) (0/5)
+: light skills deal an additional 10% damage to all enemies within condemnation.
1: enemies killed by light skills within condemnation release 3 light bolts dealing 10% damage.
2: enemies dealt light damage within condemnation become dazed for 1 second.

1: your auras and prayers have a 10% increased duration. (0/3)
2a: your auras and prayers radius are increased 5%. (0/3)
2b: your auras and prayers grant a barrier equal to 5% of your maximum health for their duration. (0/3)

[combat]: whenever you use a combat or service skill while mounted it cost 10 less devotion.

1: steel skills have 5% reduced cooldown. (0/3)
2a: Lucky hit: Steel skills have a 5% chance to make the enemy vulnerable for 4 seconds. (0/3)
2b: damage reduction against elites is reduces by 4%. (0/3)
3: whenever you use a non basic steel skill gain 4% damage reduction for the next 6 seconds. (0/3)

steed charge: [combat] [steel] -lucky hit 33% cost 40 devotion.
Charge into the enemy on your steed dealing 45% damage and knocking back enemies. (0/5)
+: steed charge grants a barrier equal to 20% of your maximum life for 3 seconds.
1: enemies hit by steed charge become vulnerable for 2 seconds.
2: steed charge costs 10 less devotion.

sky fall: [combat] [law] - lucky hit 40% cost 40 devotion.
jump high into the sky and crash down on your enemies dealing 50% damage and immobilizing enemies in the area for 1 second. (0/5)
+: increases the radius of sky fall by 15%.
1: sky fall leaves behind consecrated ground.
2: sky falls damage is increased by 1% per devotion you have when you use it.

1: your crowd control effects have 5% increased duration. (0/3)
2: Lucky hit: your law skills have a 5% chance to generate 4 devotion (0/3)

divine punishment: [combat] [light] lucky hit 33% cost 40 devotion.
rays of light strike enemies around you dealing 85% damage. (0/5)
+: divine punishment deals 25% increased damage to dazed enemies.
1: you release 3 bolts of light dealing 10% damage when you use divine punishment.
2: enemies hit by divine punishment deal 20% less damage for 4 seconds.

1: whenever an enemy becomes takes damage from your basic abilities there is 5% chance for them to release a light bolt that deals 10% damage. (0/3)
2: whenever you damage an immobilized or dazed enemy they become vulnerable for 1 seconds. (0/3)

[ultimate]: Whenever you use an ultimate skill while mounted it refreshes your mount skill immediately.

1: law skills deal an additional 3% damage to enemies who are dazed immobilized or vulnerable. (0/3)
2a: every 100 devotion you spend reduces the cooldowns on your law skills by 1 second. (0/3)
2b: law skills deal 1% more damage for each devotion you have above 100. (0/3)
3: law skills deals an additional 6% critical damage to close enemies. (0/3)

Shaeffers Gavel: [ultimate] [law] - lucky hit 25% cooldown 50 seconds.
a flurry of 5 hammers spin around you for 6 seconds you each hitting enemies for 38% damage. (0/1)
+: each time a hammer critically strikes it makes the enemy vulnerable for 2 seconds.
1: each time a hammer critically strikes it reduces your other law skill cooldowns by 0.1 seconds or 0.25 seconds if its an elite.

Righteous Servitude: [ultimate] [channeled] [light]- lucky hit 15% cooldown 70 seconds.
Channel the will of the heavens for 12 seconds, becoming immune and continually releasing 6 light bolts each second that each deal 12% damage and daze the enemy. When the channeling ends deal an additional 6% damage to each enemy for every time a light bolt hit them during the channel. (0/1)
+: righteous servitude heals you while channeling for 5% of your max health every second.
1: When righteous servitude ends summon a light well at your location that can be used by an ally to heal themselves as would a health shrine.

1: light skills have a 5% chance to create a light bolt when they damage the enemy. (0/3)
2a: hitting enemies with light bolts increases your critical strike chance by 1%. This resets upon getting a critical strike. (0/3)
2b: enemies deal 5% less damage for 2 seconds after being hit by a light bolt. (0/3)

Phalanx: [ultimate] [steel] - lucky hit 30% cooldown 60 seconds.
Three protectors charge in knocking enemies back and then aiding you in battle for 6 seconds - each one using either zeal, cleave or charge. (0/1)
+: each protector lasts 3 seconds longer.
1: each protector gains a different Aura.

1: steel skills have an additional 3% chance to crit. (0/3)
2a: while you have a barrier active steel skills deal an additonal 3% damage. (0/3)
2b: lucky hit: your steel skills have a 5% chance to stun the enemy, this chance is doubled while you are healthy. (0/3)
3: lucky hit: critical strikes with your steel skills have a 5% chance to reset all your steel cooldowns and your evade. This can only happen once every 30 seconds. (0/3)


Daedessas Oath: dealing damage with a law skill reduces your law cooldowns by 0.1 seconds. increased to 0.25 seconds against elites.

Eternal Crowned: whenever you become injured become immune and gain a barrier equal to 50% of your maximum health then heal for the same amount over 5 seconds. this can only happen once every 120 seconds.

Keeper of the Faith: enemies take 10% increased damage from your light skills and deal 10% less damage to you. your core abilities now release 3 light bolts when critically striking that each deal 13% damage.

Beacon of Hope: whenever you use a non basic light skill you gain a barrier equal to 5% of your maximum health for 5 seconds. light bolts have a 50% chance to pierce through enemies.

Kions Ordeal: your passive devotion generation is increased by 100%. killing enemies with a steel skill reduces the cooldown of your aura/prayer skills by 0.5 seconds.

Challengers Trial: whenever an enemy hits your barrier it is removed and deals thorns damage equal to its amount to that enemy.

The second faction available to Immortals are "The Builders", who follow the will of Daedessa and have been tasked with protecting sanctuary by keeping peace, maintaining order, and helping others.

Immortals who choose to follow this faction will look a bit different than their heavily armored protector counterparts, donning elegant robes alongside their flowing cape focusing heavily on team play and providing a supportive role.

Three of the skill tiers for builders differ from the protectors -
Prayer takes the place of Auras.
Service replaces Combat.
Ultimate skills are different.
Passives remain unchanged in these tiers.


salvation: [prayer] [channeled] [light] - 14 second cooldown.
allies who hear your prayer gain 5% of their max health each second for 5 seconds. (0/5)
+: after salvation ends it grants +25% lucky hit chance to your light skills for 5 seconds.
1: salvation lasts an additional 2 seconds.
2: when salvation ends you gain a barrier equal to the amount healed for 5 seconds.

meditation: [prayer] [channeled] [steel] - 14 second cooldown.
allies who hear your prayer gain +20 maximum resource per second for 5 seconds. (0/5)
+: enemies who hear your prayer are slowed by 40% for seconds.
1: when meditation ends, enemies who heard it become vulnerable for 4 seconds.
2: when meditation ends you gain +100 maximum devotion for 5 seconds.

sacrifice: [prayer] [channeled] [law] - 14 second cooldown.
allies who hear your prayer gain a barrier equal to 5% of their maximum health each second for 5 seconds. (0/5)
+: the barrier gains an additional 5% of that players maximum health each second.
1: when sacrifice ends you gain 25% attack speed for 5 seconds.
2: you lose up 10% of your maximum health each second sacrifice is active, dealing half that amount as thorns to enemies who hear your prayer.


shield glare: [service] [steel] - lucky hit 30% cost 30 devotion.
enemies around you take 43% damage and become vulnerable for 2 seconds. (0/5)
+: shield glares radius is increased 15%
1: shield glare reduces your mount cooldown by 0.5 seconds.
2: shield glare grants 3 devotion for each enemy it hits up to 15 devotion.

genesis: [service] [light] - lucky hit 50% cost 100 devotion 14 second cooldown.
genesis consumes all your devotion and blasts a radiant beam outward dealing 160% damage to all enemies in a line. a defeated ally hit by genesis will receive a revive. (0/5)
+: if an ally is hit by genesis its cooldown is reduced by 7 seconds.
1: allies hit by genesis heal for 50% of their max health and resource.
2: if genesis kills an enemy generate 50 devotion.

sanctuary: [service] [law] - lucky hit 33% cost 40 devotion.
release a large forcefield around you, knocking back all enemies, enemies who are knocked into terrain take 45% damage and are stunned for 3 seconds. (0/5)
+: sanctuary has it radius increased 15%, enemies knocked into terrain take an additional 15% damage.
1: sanctuary devotion cost is reduced by 10.
2: enemies knocked back by sanctuary deal 20% less damage for 5 seconds.


Heavens Faithful: [ultimate] [light]- lucky hit 33% cooldown 90 seconds.
three spirit builders descend from the sky each releasing 3 light bolts dealing 13% then aid you in battle for 6 seconds- each spirit warrior uses holy bolt. (0/1)
+: each spirit consecrates the ground where it lands.
+1: each spirit builder instead channels one of each prayer before using an advanced holy bolt.

Martyrs Blood: [ultimate] [steel] - cooldown 60 seconds.
gain thorns equal to your total barrier amount for 5 seconds. (0/1)
+: enemies killed by martys blood explode for 25% damage.
1: enemies killed by martyrs blood reduce its cooldown by 1 second.

Grand Arbiter: [ultimate] [law] - cooldown 90 seconds.
for the next 10 seconds dealing damage with a law skill reduces your law cooldowns by 0.1 second. increased to 0.25 seconds for elites. (0/1)
+: while righteous honor is active you gain 15% movement speed.
1: while righteous honor is active you gain 15% attack speed.
submitted by leonemeaeus to diablo4 [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:34 IndieRex Part XVI: Yon (Lockbury Henge and the Mines)

Part XVI: Yon (Lockbury Henge and the Mines)
Welcome to Part 16 of The Wild Beyond the Witchlight: Reimagined, an expansion and alternative take on the The Wild Beyond the Witchlight campaign. Previous entries:
If you'd prefer to read with the full formatting, or check out some of my older content, please head on over to my blog at
Foreword: This post contains spoilers for The Wild Beyond the Witchlight


Greetings travelers of the frigid expanse of Yon! When we last left off, the party had made their way up into the Shimmerstorm Mountains and taken a rest for the evening.
Today we will cover the party's continued journey through the mountains as they meet the korreds of Lockbury Henge, descend into a new location known as The Howling Mines, and finally encounter the small but industrious brigganocks. As a reminder from last time, we are skipping the Fey Beacons location as I am breaking up that content into parts elsewhere. Let's dive in!

Lockbury Henge
Lockbury Henge is a great time to level up your players to Level 7, though I leave it to you whether this is when they first arrive at the megaliths or once they say their goodbyes to the korreds.
We'll be running this area a bit differently as we can make this area more of a hub for select events:
  • The initial mystery of the campfire and standing stones will remain the same. Instead of an Insight check to solve the gameboard though, I flashed up a game of chess where there was only one move left to win (these are common puzzles you can find online known as "checkmates in one"). That part is entirely optional though.
    • I also felt it was a bit too easy to get into combat with the korreds, which I wanted to avoid, so consider making their threshold for attacking the party higher than the book describes
  • Once Queen Argantle emerges and befriends the party, instead of having everything take place at the standing stones, I had her invite and lead the group back a short distance to the nearby korred settlement to talk (see below), as well as serve as the location where the Distant Racket and Korred Dance events play out

The Korred Village

Read the following as Argantle and the group arrive:
As you follow Queen Argantle, you soon find yourself standing in front of a small village of sorts nestled into the side of a mountain. The homes here are made of stone, each with a beautifully decorated roof made of intricately designed tiles. It's clear that a lot of care and attention has gone into their creation. There are dozens of Korreds, each with their signature wild black hair, milling about and glancing in your direction.
Queen Argantle will leads the party into one of the dwellings, the interior of which is simple, with the furniture all crafted from stone. She will invite the party to sit and shares the information from the book that she would typically give at Lockbury Henge itself.
As the discussion continues, at this point the "Distant Racket" event should play out as Argantle heads outside to investigate and subsequently also shares the info listed there as well as the additional pieces below:
  • Given the feud with the brigganocks, Argantle would be very grateful if the party could drive off the creatures. They live deep in The Howling Mines, which is where the party would need to go next anyway if they are seeking to head towards the Winter Palace.
    • She notes that the while the mines hold very valuable gems, the korreds steer clear due to the creatures that call it home (as well as the brigganocks of course)
  • Past The Howling Mines is Motherhorn, the home of Bitter End, and also on the way to the palace. If they are indeed heading in that direction then she encourages them to speak with Gleam who is also staying here in the village. She will point to a slender figure wearing a crescent moon mask standing on an outcrop of rock
    • Note: As a reminder we purposefully removed Gleam from the intro to Yon and moved her here!
  • She offers the hospitality of the village to the group, noting they are free to stay the night as well as explore if they desire.
Queen Argantle is happy to host the party in her home
If the players seek out the high elf acrobat, she will beseech them for help. They may notice though that she's missing her shadow...
Gleam will share the following:
  • Endelyn Moongrave, who the korreds call Bitter End, snipped off Gleam’s shadow using a pair of magic scissors and has imprisoned her twin sister, Glister, at Motherhorn.
  • The twins worked as an acrobatic duo, and they used to be star performers in the Witchlight Carnival. Gleam wants to free her sister and find a way back to the carnival, but has been waiting here struggling to come up with a plan to do so
  • If the players offer to help she can share some helpful information
    • Endelyn looks into the future. She believes from her visions that her own demise will occur during an eclipse.
      • Since the Selenelion twins are the living embodiment of the moon and the sun, the hag decided to separate the elf sisters, releasing one while keeping the other as her “guest.” By keeping the twins apart, the hag hopes to forestall her doom.
    • Hurly, a bugbear, made a bargain with Endelyn and is quite unhappy with how things played out. Now he is forced to perform in her morbid theater. Like Gleam, Hurly used to work for Mister Witch and Mister Light, though Gleam and her sibling had already left the carnival by the time Hurly and his brother Burly arrived.
    • At your discretion you may have Gleam offer to join them as a guide to Motherhorn. She will explain that if the party is intending to get to the palace, the only way is through Motherhorn
Things To Do
While in the village, the party should find that while they're not merchants per say, the korreds do have some of their craftwork available for sale (1 of each):
  • Sending Stones (Dungeon Master's Guide): 100 gp
  • Stone of Good Luck (Basic Rules): 500 gp
  • Potion of Stone Giant Strength (Basic Rules): 500 gp
Additionally, I placed the "Goblin Procession" random event here as well when the group was walking through the town. You'll notice the goblins raise a korred spirit, so it seemed like a good fit and I simply changed the Dead Ringers from being goblins to korreds.
While I chose not to use it at all, this could also be a good place for the Evil Kite event (but again swapping out the goblins for korreds).
Staying the Night
If the characters take a long rest in town I recommend having this event play out. It's an alternative take on an idea from Korred Clans by Dan Kahn. On that note, if you're looking to expand this area even further, Dan's supplement dives into all of the different clans.
During the evening the players should hear the shuffling of multiple pairs of hooves outside. This is a group of young korreds, one of a which with a shaved head, trying poorly to sneak outside. If the party confronts them they will explain that:
  • The korred with shaved head is Yaja, and the unofficial leader of the group. Yaja's head was shaved as a punishment by Bitter End for the korreds non-compliance in collecting hair for the hag
  • They unsurprisingly are very angry with Endelyn and want to erect a giant stone statue in the village square mocking the hag, while also reminding the clans about their honor and passion
  • If the party agrees to help then it's a three step process. As long as two or more of the steps are a success then the group creates an inspiring piece of art. For each step either call for a check (DC of 15) to determine if they are successful or just let the players get creative and award a success that way
    • 1) Design it!: A player can help or take the lead on designing the statue. This could be a Charisma check
    • 2) Build it!: A player can help or take the lead on the actual carving of the statue. This could be a Dexterity check using a relevant tool proficiency
    • 3) With pizazz!: A player can put those important finishing touches on the statue to truly strike deep into the hearts of those who look upon it. This could be the use of an item or spell or even a Performance check
  • In the morning when the village wakes and sees the statue, if the build was a success, they will be taken with it and inspired. At this point I would recommend playing out the "Korred Dance" event from the book, and perhaps awarding inspiration to the party!

The Howling Mines

Once the party is ready to depart, Queen Argantle and/or Gleam and guide the group to the nearby entrance down into the interior of the mountains to The Howling Mines and the next step on their journey.
When the group enters read the following:
As you step into The Howling Mines, the first thing you notice is a low, mournful wail that seems to echo from everywhere and nowhere at once. The rocky walls are lined with massive, shimmering stones that glow with an inner light that fills the cavern with a soft, otherworldly radiance of blues and purples.
The path ahead is wide and well-defined, presumably the handiwork of the miners that once worked here. It winds through the caverns and tunnels in a series of switchbacks and gradual inclines with sturdy wooden beams acting as supports for the earth overhead.
The walls inside the mines are made of solid rock and are on average 30 feet tall. An examination of the walls reveals a cluster of 1d3 leaves of moonwort, a silver-leaved herb that when consumed makes the user become partially incorporeal for 1 hour. While partially incorporeal, the creature has resistance to bludgeoning, piercing, and slashing damage.
Once inside there is a single winding path for the players to follow deeper into the mines.
A Treacherous Path
After a short while of the party walking deeper inside and marveling at the interior read the following:
The path ahead of you narrows, the walls now tightly closed in from both sides while icicles hang down from the ceiling to almost the floor like a maze of sharp teeth. The icicles glisten in the light of the mines, and look brittle enough to shatter at the slightest touch.
Whereas the mines have been spacious so far, there is only this narrow 10 ft high corridor ahead. With a successful DC 14 Perception check a player can discern this narrowing is temporary, and the passage opens back up soon after. With a 20 or higher, they will hear what sounds like movement beyond the passage as well.
While the icicles hanging down the path ahead are a barrier of sorts, they can potentially be avoided. Any character who makes a successful DC 15 Acrobatics or Stealth check can weave through icicles or duck down and make it out to the other side without breaking any. On a failure, a character knocks into a set of icicles causing them to break off and crash to the ground. This will alert crystalline sentinels and lookouts ahead in the next room to the party's presence, causing them to immediately attack once the players come out the other side.
Once through the obstacle, the players will be be brought into a path continuing deeper into the mines. I used this map by FairyTale Maps to represent it. There are 3 crystalline sentinels and 5 crystalline lookouts (see below) that will attack any intruders, but if the players successfully did not break any of the icicles, the party will be not be spotted by the creatures when they first arrive. These golems once were tasked with overseeing work done here in the mines, but this area has long been stripped and abandoned for greener pastures.
You might allow your players to bypass fighting the crystalline sentinels and lookouts altogether if they have a way to sneak by. If they are defeated though, an examination of the bodies of the crystalline creatures will provide chunks of ore worth 50 gp for each sentinel and 20 gp for each lookout.
A search of the area should also uncover the following:
  • A set of crates filled with supplies including a set of climbing gear, a hooded lantern, 5 flasks of oil, and a miscellaneous assortment of picks, shovels, and hammers
  • A single healer's kit with 1d10 charges remaining
  • [If did you not sell one in Vale Crossing] Lightning-Catching Bottle (from The Griffon’s Saddlebag)
  • A faded note written in Sylvan. It appears to be a note to remember a six digit combination of sorts, but due to the fading only the middle numbers are visible which are 5 - 6.
Gorgenal, the Mummer
Soon after making their way past the golems, the party will come across a chamber with a locked thick iron door that blocks their progress further into the mine.
On the walls of the room, there is a panel with six levers (that can only be moved in the up or down position; they start up by default) labeled with numbers from 1 to 6 and a single button. The players must figure out the correct sequence of levers to pull in order to unlock the door (which is 4-2-5-6-1-3). The button resets all of the levers back to the up position.
As they search the room, there are three main clues to solve the puzzle but you can feel free to add more as needed:
  • A DC 12 Investigation check shows a heavy traffic of footprints leading from other areas of the chamber to level #4 and then fading from there, suggesting 4 is the first number. There is a similar pattern from lever 3 to the iron door, demonstrating that it’s the last one.
  • The note from the crate in the prior room. If they missed it you can have it be here.
  • A strange clicking sound comes from behind the levers when a lever is pulled in the correct order. By trial and error, they should be able to determine the order of levers 2 and 1.
Once past the door, read the following:
The faint sound of a lively tune in the distance echoes through the chamber. The music leads you to a hooded figure, their fingers expertly dancing over the holes of a flute. The man is slender with a sharp nose and dressed in a patchwork of mismatched furs and hides.
As you approach, the figure stops playing and turns to face you all, a mischievous grin on his face. "Well, well, well," he says, rubbing his hands together. "It seems I have stumbled upon quite a find. And what brings you to these dark, dreary mines, hmm? Treasure? Glory?"
A player with a passive perception of 16 or higher will notice Gorgenal does not cast a shadow. This is because it was severed by Endelyn's Scissors of Shadow Snipping, though he will not share as much. If the players introduce themselves, the man will do so in kind:
"I am Gorgenal of the Greyhawk Mummers," he says in a sly voice and with a slight bow. "Perhaps you've heard of me?"
As mentioned earlier, as we are not using the Fey Beacons section I am breaking that content into other sections, starting with one of the mummers, Gorgenal, who - unlike the book, is not a peryton.
Gorgenal will share the following information:
  • He is a member of the Greyhawk Mummers, a group of actors and pantomimists from the Free City of Greyhawk on the world of Oerth. He serves as the group's jester, but admits the role has lost its luster
    • As per the book, the other members of the troupe are Archillus and Mortia - the leading male and leading female of the group, Verna (Mortia’s bitter understudy), Mauldower (an old-timer who believes his cohorts are amateurs), Angara (the troupe’s matriarchal dame), Carthasar (a method actor), and Thornelia (a minstrel)
    • Their group was heading to a show when they lost their way in the woods. When they emerged they found themselves in the Feywild. It wasn't soon after that they learned of a powerful woman seeking actors - what could be a better opportunity?
    • Unfortunately their performance for Endelyn did not go well, and whereas the rest of his troupe were turned into perytons - birds with antlers, Evelyn found Gorgenal amusing and brought him into her service
    • Endelyn is obsessed with the theatre and can see visions of the future
  • A fierce dragon is said to dwell deeper in the mines - something he'll make light of despite the danger
    • "Just a friendly warning - there's a dragon in these mines, and I doubt it'll be thrilled to have visitors. So unless you want to be toasted like a marshmallow, I suggest you be careful!"
Gorgenal will also mix in the following lies. Uncovering his falsehoods requires a successful DC 18 Insight check, and if a character fails a check it will put Gorgenal on guard, causing any future Insight checks to have disadvantage
  • Endelyn has tasked him with collecting cold iron from the Brigganocks and he was on his way to their mine when he came across the party. He would be happy to guide them there
    • Truth: Evelyn has sent him to the mines to watch over the dragon Zephyrum that nests in the mines. Gorgenal uses the dragon to keep the brigganocks in line as they collect cold iron on her behalf. He has also been ordered to dispose of any outsiders and plans to lead the party into a trap
  • He does not know any details about the dragon in the mine - it is just a rumor he heard and he's given it a wide berth
    • Truth: See above
  • He will offer to sell potions of Winter's Ward for 25 gp each or an equivalent trade that he claims provide resistance to cold damage for 1 hour. He describes them as a mixture of snowdrop petals and crushed ore.
    • Truth: The potions will instead make the drinker vulnerable to cold damage for 1 hour which could be discerned with the identify spell
Gorgenal is not to be trusted
If the party accepts his help as a guide, he leads them down a series of twists and turns, dodging and weaving through the mines until they reach:
A narrow stream of water winds through the ground here, shimmering in a spectrum of colors from vibrant teal to deep purple. A statue of carved of ice sits at the end of the stream. The statue depicts a humanoid creature with thick fur covering its body and its hands are elongated into long claws through which the water releases down into the stream like a miniature waterfall.
  • The statue depicts a brigganock and you can have a character make a DC 16 Nature or History check to determine if they recognize it. The stream was put here to act as a place of refreshment for brigganock miners when they worked in this area in the past.
  • Anyone that drinks directly from the stream must succeed on a DC 12 Constitution saving throw. On a success they gain 10 temporary hit points that last until the character takes a long rest. Otherwise they are poisoned for 1 hour and do not gain the temporary hit points.
As the group follows Gorgenal deeper into the mines, they start to hear the faint, haunting sound that seems to be coming from all around them become louder. He tells them not to worry, saying that it's just the wind howling through the tunnels and the reason for its namesake. In fact though he is leading them to a trap as per his orders to kill outsiders that might interfere with Endelyn's efforts in the mines.
The potential exception here is if the party showed any interest in stagecraft and taking part in Endelyn's plays. In that case he may be inclined to safety lead them out to Brigganock Mine and give directions to Motherhorn.
The Ambush
Soon after the path leads into a small chamber of the mines filled with a light fog. The trap consists of a ghost of the mines (see below) and three shadow (variants) that are shadows snipped by Endelyn. While the howling noises of the mines are indeed a natural phenomenon - the increase in volume here is from the ghost. At your discretion one of the shadows could be Gleam's, which means it's destruction would lead to the restoration of the imprisoned Gleam's actual shadow.
As soon as the fighting begins Gorgenal will drink a potion of invisibility.
You can use this map for the ambush encounter
The Mineshaft
Once out of the ambush on their own, it will take the party a few more hours of travel through the mines until they reach the final chamber.
Light spills through an opening in the rock wall in this large chamber clearly marking the path forward. While a clear exit lays ahead of you, there is also a large, vertical platform that sits in the back of the room with an intricate control panel set into it.
The platform is a steam powered elevator that leads down to a lower level of the mines where the dragon Zephyrum nests.
  • The panel has a key slot, a dial, and two buttons (arrow up, arrow down)
  • The dial controls the speed, while the arrows send the platform lift up and down
  • The panel is inactive without the key
When the key is entered (which can be found in Brigganock Mine later) the panel will shudder, releasing a puff of steam as it activates. You may also allow a successful DC 22 Dexterity check using thieves’ tools to activate it, but if your party is injured you may want to disallow it as the dragon lurking in the depths may mean death.
The exit meanwhile leads directly to Brigganock Mine, which is most likely course of the action here.
Zephyrum's Lair
If the party takes the elevator from the mine shaft down, they are brought into a lower level of the mines.
As you make your way in, you come across a small alcove that has been converted into a living area of sorts. A bedroll has been laid out on the ground next to a small fire pit and an assortment of basic supplies.
This is Gorgenal's home for the nights where he is keeping watch over the mine and Zephyrum. As the party examines the area, eight winged beasts with antlers will circle and wheel around them, before landing and watching them quizzically. If the players learned of the perytons from Gorgenal and aren't putting two and two together that these are his old troupe, allow a DC 12 History check to connect the dots on their behalf.
If the party has a spell such as speak with animals they can learn of the peryton's plight, and that they have stayed near their old partner Gorgenal out of boredom. If not, consider placing a scroll of the spell among Gorgenal's belongings - he may need to speak with them on occasion after all. The perytons will also share that:
  • The perytons were once a troupe of actors called the Greyhawk Mummers. Endelyn invited them to Motherhorn, where they performed pantomimes. When their popularity made them haughty and difficult to control, Endelyn locked them up. When they begged to be set free, the hag honored their request by releasing them into the wild—but only after she turned them into perytons. The transformation deprived them of speech, yet they retain their theatrical behavior and long for a performance or the opportunity to perform
  • Endelyn has enrolled a quite promising actress who goes by Charmay who has seemingly replaced them in Endelyn's affections
  • If the party shares any of the lies from Gorgenal, they will provide the truth of those answers
As in the book, the characters can ask the perytons to perform one of their favorite pantomimes. The perytons are taken aback, in a good way, by the request and appreciate the opportunity to entertain a crowd. They perform a pantomime show, then take their bows silently. If everyone in the party claps or cheers, the perytons are thrilled. If one or more party members fail to clap or cheer after the perytons perform, the perytons become furious and may warn Zephyrum and Gorgenal of the party's arrival.
Similarly, the characters can also impress the perytons by putting on a performance of their own. Impressing the perytons requires the performing characters to succeed on a DC 15 Charisma (Performance) group check. Any character who received an acting lesson from Candlefoot in the Witchlight Carnival has advantage on this check. If the group check succeeds, the perytons regard the characters as kindred spirits.
In the case of a good show (by the mummers or the party), the perytons will warn them of the dragon and Gorgenal being further ahead. As a part of this they will share the dragon's resistances and immunities and its main abilities (tunneler, spider climb, debilitating breath, hold person).
After a short trek past the camp site read the following (though if the group was warned by the mummers and is being sneaky, you may choose to exclude the last sentence):
As you venture deeper, you are suddenly confronted by a massive, fearsome creature that bursts out from the rock wall with a fierce roar. Its scales are a deep, iridescent blue that shimmer and sparkle in the dim light of the mines, creating an almost mesmerizing display of color. Despite its beauty, there is no mistaking the raw, primal energy of a deadly predator that radiates from the creature's piercing gaze. Its muscles are coiled, and you can feel the cool wind of its breath on your skin as it snarls and prepares to strike.
If Gorgenal is alive, he will also be here watching over the dragon. They will both attack the party on sight. Gorgenal uses the bard (MotM) stat block (but with a Charisma of 18, spell save DC of 16, and double the hit points), while Zephyrum is a young sapphire dragon (Fizban's Treasury of Dragons), though a young blue dragon (Basic Rules; but substitute it's lightning breath for the cold breath from a young white dragon) can work as a substitute.
If they are defeated, the players can loot Zephyrum's hoard which contains:
  • 4,200 (12d6 × 100) cp
  • 2,100 (6d6 × 100) sp
  • 280 (8d6 × 10) gp
  • An enhanced Wand of Magic Missiles where each magic missile dart deals 2d4+2 damage instead
  • 2d4 Feywild trinkets
  • 4 Ingots of Cold Iron
You can use this map for Zephyrum’s lair
Cold Iron
Cold iron ingots can be used to craft a cold iron weapon. Recommended locations include the Woodcutter's Axe in Vale Crossing, Arctis Tor, and once the party travels back to their home city after Yon (Waterdeep for my campaign). You may choose to allow it to happen by other means - especially if you have a character well versed in smithing. It takes two ingots to enhance an existing weapon (similar to silvering a weapon), or you may choose to allow a new weapon to be made with other ingredients mixed in.
Cold iron weapons have the following properties:
  • You gain a +1 bonus to attack and damage rolls made with this magic weapon
  • When hitting a creature of the Fey creature type with a cold iron weapon:
    • The weapon's damage bypasses any resistance or immunities to Bludgeoning, Piercing, and Slashing damage
    • The attack deals an extra 1d10 damage of the weapon’s type

Brigganock Mine

Once out of The Howling Mines (see the mineshaft section above), the party will soon find the entrance to the Brigganock Mine (the two are connected), and should hear the tapping, etc. from the book. Things should play out as written until the confrontation with Molliver and the brigganocks where we will need to change what is told to the party.
When speaking with Molliver he will instead share the following information and will similarly order the release of any captured characters if convinced appropriately. If the party helped Elkhorn and Strongheart earlier in The Fields of Spring, they can use that to their advantage to win over Molliver.
  • He is a member of Valor's Call who was separated from his party after a confrontation with the League of Malevolence. The brigganocks found him and nursed him back to health.
    • Unlike Strongheart and Elkhorn, his memory is slightly less damaged than his two partners. He can remember the appearances and names of each of the members of the League of Malevolence and is happy to share them.
    • He will also mention a powerful sorceress who appeared in the middle of the battle and turned the tide against them. This was Tasha disguised as Zybilna but he doesn't know her name and can only provide her description (you can use the handout of Zybilna from Part XV when describing her)
    • He won't be willing to leave the brigganocks to meet up with Strongheart and Elkhorn though unless he knows the brigganocks are safe from either the korreds or the dragon Zephyrum
  • The brigganock's home is called Wish-Come-True, which is hidden here deep beneath the mountains. Its buildings are adorned with glittering gems made from cut the mines. Hidden behind thick rock walls and powerful illusions, it can never be found by outsiders, nor can it be scried upon using divination magic.
    • The brigganocks are happy to have Molliver as their spokesperson and chief advisor when it comes to dealing with outsiders.
    • Note: I just replaced the brigganock home/grotto with Wish-Come-True. It didn't really make sense to have a separate city that doesn't show at all in the campaign
  • If the party is looking to get to the palace they should meet with Obud in the Mining Lodge (Obud's Grotto) on the outskirts of Wish-Come-True. Obud is the keeper of the secret path to Motherhorn, which is on the way to Arctis Tor. Obud is the oldest brigganock here and thus in charge - he handles the appraising and inspection of gemstones
Heading to Obud's Grotto
Once pleasantries are done, Molliver and the brigganocks will lead the group back towards Wish-Come-True to meet with Obud. During the trek, Molliver will share the additional tidbits:
  • He introduces the brigganocks near him as Trig, Zarli, Oyla, and Ajak. The mines are their livelihood. It would be a violation of the rules of ownership to take gems from the mine walls
    • The brigganocks work their mine at all hours because they know the noise aggravates the korreds and also because Lyn forces them to provide her with a cut of their mining yield. A man named Gorgenal comes regularly to collect
  • Creeping Lyn kidnapped the brigganocks’ best architect, Golmo, who now toils in Arctis Tor, the Winter Palace, designing new contraptions for her (note: not Motherhorn!)
  • The korreds provide Creeping Lyn with locks of their magic hair, which she uses to build her contraptions (this of course is partially false. She cuts the korreds’ hair without their consent; they are not her allies, but he doesn't know this)
During this trip, I recommend having the Pageant Wagon random event take place, traveling in the opposite direction. The brigganocks ignore the wagon who comes by often and apparently travels all across Yon - also none of them are interested in acting. For the scene I might recommend the fight with the yeti as a good option. Instead of a ticket though, I would have the figure hand out leaflets similar to the ones found in Vale Crossing:
  • Casting Call
    • Seeking actors and actresses of all races and ages. Come audition at Motherhorn, the grand amphitheater of Yon and make a name for yourself across the Feywild
    • This is an unpaid opportunity
In the book the party needs to traverse Rivenwish Chasm to reach the grotto. I would instead just have the party be led directly there. Instead you can have the chasm be an obstacle on the player's path out of the mines and back out to the other side of the Shimmerstorm Mountains. If you do choose to use it I recommend this edit by u/lebiro.
Once at the grotto things will play out mostly the same except:
  • In addition to the gems laid out in front of him, there should also be one cold iron ingot there as well (worth 200 gp)
  • Rather than sweets and the like I had Obud ask the party to defeat the dragon Zephyrum in mines in exchange for the secret tunnel. The dragon is used by Gorgenal to force them to work for Creeping Lyn. He can provide the key to the mineshaft elevator
  • He should also explain the concept of wish stones and perhaps even show one as an example. One thing I changed is that if you touch a wish stone for the first time you can visualize the wish. For the example I used a tidbit from this supplement:
    • "You see huge stage with an enormous crowd watching eagerly. On the stage is a lone bugbear (Hurly), who is expected to deliver a pleasing performance to the packed crowd, who seem impossible to please. Hurly is visibly struggling with his lines and wishes to be free."
Tunnel to Motherhorn
Once the party has defeated Zephyrum (or otherwise convinced Obud), he will lead the party to a permanent illusion in the basement wall of the lodge. This secret tunnel leads out of the mines and back out to the Shimmerstorm Mountains near Motherhorn. As an additional reward I had Obud allow each party member to take a stab at mining. Each player should roll a D12 and receive the reward below (based on tool proficiencies you may allow a +1 or +2 to the roll):
  • 1 - 3: Obsidian (opaque black) stone worth 10 gp
  • 4 - 5: Onyx (opaque bands of black and white) worth 25 gp
  • 6 - 7: Jasper (opaque blue) worth 50 gp
  • 8 - 9: Garnet (transparent brown-green) stone worth 100 gp
  • 10 - 11: Cold Iron equal to one ingot
  • 12+: Cold Iron equal to two ingots
In the book this tunnel leads to M12 in Motherhorn. This is obviously no longer the case. I feel like it's fine to have the party always enter Motherhorn through the main entrance, but if you'd like to give the party the option then you can have Obud give them directions about a secret entrance outside of Motherhorn that they can use to get to M12.
A final note. The book suggests that if the korreds and brigganocks are allied an assault could be made on Motherhorn. This is less in line with the concepts we're going for (plus the play is a ton of fun) so I might avoid this altogether. An alternative for team up action could be them all helping the party to defeat Zephyrum and Gorgenal and thus free the mountains of the hag's influence.


I have highlighted some of the resources I used for this portion of the campaign below.
  • Location Handouts Painting Yon series by tzlynart
  • Others all included in the article itself!

What’s Next?
After coming out of the mines to the other side of the Shimmerstorm Mountains, our party will find themselves at the doorstep of Motherhorn, the amphitheater of horrors. As alway
submitted by IndieRex to wildbeyondwitchlight [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:25 Impossible_Milk_8553 Misophobia and breathing.

Hey all. Question for you all. I have a pair of Vibes and I enjoy that they limit overwhelm from sudden sounds piercing my skin, but they (any earplug really) allow me to hear biological functions inside my own head so in the end I’m really just replacing once sensory overwhelm for another. I’ve tried over the ear headphones too, once I got past the giving people in public another reason to other me, but they make me overheat 100% of the time and I can only wear them for brief periods.
Does anyone else experience this? Have you found any alternatives or ways to limit sound overwhelm in one way without creating it in another?
submitted by Impossible_Milk_8553 to adultautismsupport [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:25 Cartographer_X About Baizhu: Doubts, Clarifications and Early Thoughts

Hello Travelers!
I have answer some questions in different post and have been quite active in the discussions about Baizhu's kit, but seems like a lot of people still has questions and most important, stills unsure if Baizhu is a good pull for his account. I'll try to sumarize important info about him and try to help you to understand him and his value for you account/situation. You can send this post to newcommers if it helps. English is not my first language so be patience and kind with me, sorry for any mistake or misspelling.
If you can add more tips, clarifications and similar stuff, leave a comment.
Have on mind that the Baizhu is not released yet so things can change and some stuff need in game testing with proper rotations.
- Baizhu is a Dendro defensive support that scales of HP, ATK is not bad on him, having some in substats is fine, but his main mechanics (Healing, Shielding and Buffing) scale off Max HP. Don't get crazy with his ATK and Crit Value, even if is not a waste, Baizhu does little damage at C0, so focus in his defensive capacities, that is what he is designed for.
- He has the nineth highest base HP in the game (13348, same as Kazuha and Al Haitham) but ascends with HP (28.8%) so that more or less balance the scale.
What his kit offers:
He is a defensive unit, his main purpose in your team is keeping you alive and make you play more comfortable.
His elemental skill deals some damage, applies dendro and heals your whole teams, easy and direct. At C1 you gain another charge.
Baizhu is not a traditional shielder, or at least not as we are used with other units, his burts generates a tiny shield every 2.5 seconds and heals your active character, is not designed for making you untouachable (Like Zhongli's one), is designed for mitigate some damage and heal the damage taken, but most important, for resistance to interruption, is more similar to Beidou burst at C1 and Xingqiu's elemental skill.
That's why I point out that he is a unit that gives you confort, if you want to not get interrupted, do your rotations in a more secure way, you value healing, he can be an option for you.
We have clear now that he is a healer and shielder, but also has a way of buffing the team with one of his Ascension Talents, All Things Are of the Earth, it buffs Dendro reactions based on Baizhu's HP, the maximum buff is at 50.00 Max HP since is caped there, but is important to know that uptime is better than having the Max buff, the buff difference between a Baizhu with 44/45.000 HP vs 50.000 is not that big, so is better to have enough Energy Recharge to have your burst ready and activate the buff in your rotation, that's why ER is so important.
One of our members, u/Chromatinfish did an amazing post about this Acension Talent, since has cause a lot of doubts, hype and discussions in the community. There he compares Nahida buffs with Baizhu buff too, which is another big debate that I will adress now,
First than all, I have a very good opinion about his A4, I'm not a Baizhu main since the beginning, I just got interested on him when we got the leaks with a lot of speculation about his possible kit, because I tend to like defensive supportive units, so when I saw shielding and healing with the possiblity to be a driver or an off field character, I got excited, but when I read his ascension talent, I was really pleased, since is a a nice bonus I wasn't counting with, It gives you an offensive buff to balance his little damage at C0 while keeping you alive, for my taste and view on characters, it seems pretty good without being anything broken. Nahida has higher buff capacities but Baizhu's buff is a nice touch to his kit and cohesive with his HP focus.
Now... If you want and offensive support/buffer with versatility and great off field and on field dendro application, Nahida is the answer, I think is quite difficult to compete with her, not just because is an Archon, but also because she was designed to be really versatile around dendro teams, with the element, his mechanics and interactions with other elements in mind, that's why she feels good, has a great kit. So, if you approach Baizhu with the interest on him being a Nahida 2.0 you are setting yourself up to dissapointment because is not what he offers.
And what about YaoYao?
This is quite interesting and a closer comparison. Baizhu is stronger than YaoYao in general terms, but not for that much, if you are comfortable enough and like YaoYao, we could say is not a priority to pull for Baizhu. What I found way better about Baizhu instead of YaoYao is his field time, to use at maximum YaoYao's burst, you need to be on field, that offers you different composition, for example his paring with Candance, but in general terms, in the teams you want a Dendro healer, you want to be with other character on field, in that regard, Baizhu is better and more versatile.
Talking about his best situations... Who are his best partners and teams?
He is an amazing second Dendro, so right now he can fit well with Nahida, Tighnari and Al Haitham, this last one seems to take the most advantage of his kit and I will talk about him a little bit more, since he appears in one of Baizhu's best teams.
One of the most popular Al Haitham teams is with Nahida, Yae and Zhongli, in this team, you can do a variation and replace Nahida for Baizhu and Sucrose with Zhongli, that would increase Yae's DPS, but also, would give you grouping and Sucrose will proc some powerful Aggravates, since she usually runs triple EM builds. Here are some calculations shared and compiled in u/Erzasenpai post.
Al Haitham doesn't have any resistance to interruption and his combos are focused around triggering his elemental skill leaf rain (Projection Attack), so don't getting interrupted is quite nice, Baizhu is an amazing alternative that also gives you Dendro Resonance.
But I really enjoy the inclusion of an Anemo, in this case Sucrose, that allows you to run a grouper, making this teams more versatile, they are strong against Single target and AoE situations. His spread team with Al Haitham, Yae and Sucrose seems really promising.
Another interesting team could be a Hyperbloom one, with Al Haitham, Yelan and Raiden, Baizhu is the glue that allows you to run this 3 powerful units... Probably is more of a Quickbloom team and sounds really powerful, now... In this team, Kuki Shinobu is a big shadow to Baizhu, and unlike YaoYao, Kuki does seems to compete hand to hand with Baizhu in terms of confort in these teams. If you want to run this team, I really would advice you to way for theorycrafters to tell su more about it when he is out.
There is an option I want to try with Kaveh in bloom teams, something like Kaveh, Baizhu, Yelan, Sucrose, we haven't see a lot of gameplay of Kaveh without Nilou, but seems worth to try, especially if you get C4 Kaveh that in my opinion, doesn't need Nilou since their roles feel quite redundant and Kaveh doesn't have the passive restrictions that Nilou has. Could be an interesting bloom team, Kaveh is goign to open more options for bloom.
His Spread teams seems to be the most powerful for now, we need to wait until he is out and hearead/see different opinions and testings.
Pull Value
Usually I will put the pull value of a character at the end of the post, but this topic is the reason I decided to write this long piece of text. There are a lot of players undecided and confused about his value in an account. If you want to keep it short and fast and go to the rest of the post. He is a good unit but not a "must pull" or vital in any case. In the teams can use him, there is a 4* alternative (Kuki Shinobu or YaoYao), so if you don't want him, you are not "missing" anything.
Survival characters are quite difficult to analyze and recommend in this game since the more "challenging" game modes are almost always related with time, you need to kill stuff as fast as you can, so being alive for more time doesn't really help you with that. Baizhu offers you resistance to interruption and a buff, that helps you with your damage, the thing is that we already have two 5* that can give you something similar, Zhongli with his ultra BUSTED shield that also shreds all type of resistances and Nahida, that buffs you and has lower ER needs. If you own them, I think you already use him and have teams stablished, so maybe is not worth all the grind and primo spends for having "another option" that is quite similar to the ones you already have (Of course, every unit has his pros and cons in different teams, but I hope you get the idea of what I'm trying to say).
But if you don't have or want Nahida, Zhongli and don't want to build YaoYao, Baizhu can be a blessing for your account that is here to keep you save and full of life. That is my case, I don't have Zhongli, and at this point, I really don't want him and I like Nahida as a lore character, but really don't like her design, so I'm not interested in pulling her, Baizhu's kit gives me a little bit of both worlds and allows me to improve one of my main DPS units, Al Haitham, so for my account, he has great value. You need to see your characters, the teams you want, the roles you are lacking and decide if it improves your account or is a character that you can just skip or get on a re run without any rush. What is your situation? Tell me in the comments if you want to bestie.
You usually want two fo this combinations: ER Sands, HP goblet and circlet or Triple HP. It would depend on your substats, Baizhu's ultimate is really important and you usually want to have it ready, so you need to be sure that he has enough energy for that. Here some calculations about his Energy Recharge requirements in different situations and more relevant info.
His more general set is Deepwood Memories, especially because Baizhu seems really designed for be played with another Dendro unit, so Deepwood has a lot of value and is paired with another pretty useful set for Dendro teams, Gilded Dreams, so... Is just way too good so is the easy "way to go".
Now... If you want to do more damage with him without sacrificing his defensive habilities, Ocean-Hued Clam is your choice, he can over heal and do pretty good damage with it... My advice?, get a good Deepwood set is the most resin efficient; if you want to have options, you can farm Clam later. I already have a Deepwood one and I'm missing an HP Clam circlet so probably I will try to get it in the future.
So... He is not bad? Is mid?
Kinda. First things first, he is not a bad unit, I think after Dehya's situations, the community has a lot of fears and distrust about Genshin new characters and what they are going to do with them, and I think is super valid, since that incident was way too crazy for me, I doesn't make sense. But, this is definetly not Baizhu's case, he isa good unit, has a cohesive kit and a very clear role.
Is a must pull? Not at all, I think some theorycafters are just being really direct and are seeing the whole picture, Zhongli and Nahida are some of the most popular 5* in the game, a lot of accounts have him, Nahida is having a re run in the same patch as Baizhu so a lot will pull for her, several players built her Kuki Shinobu after Dendro release, so all this things have an influence when someone gives you a recommendation and is trying to be constructive, I don't think they want to discorage you or saying he is garbage, is just that he got released in a moment of the game when we have a big roster and we have to take that into consideration.
With that said, I don't think you would regret pulling him, since is a cohesive unit that does his job really good, but is not for every single account, as I was pointing before.
His best and most general weapon is Prototype Amber, it has everything he needs, gives him a good amount of HP and helps you with your energy requirements. His signature weapon, Jadefall's Splendor, is a version of this weapon, it has really low pull value, so I really can't recommend pulling for it (+ the weapon banner is quite frustrating).
Is hard for me recommend other stuff since Prototype Amber exist and is a craftable weapon that you have or can have with refinements, but other nice options are: Thrilling Tales of Dragon Slayers, Fruit of Fulfillment, Favonius Codex and Wandering Evenstar.
Kokomi's signature weapon (Everlasting Moon) can be useful if you use him as a driver... I don't find this weapon attractive for him but wanted to put it here if someone has it and was wondering.
Weapon Vs Constellations:
As said before, I don't think his weapon is worth it, if you want to whale on him or invest a little bit more for him, I recommend you to pull constellations, he is a C1 or C6 unit, if you are not going for C6, I think the best thing to do is just stop at C1, his constellations in between are nice but are too connected to each other, this is not something bad, but feels like the stuff you get from C2 to C5 is to increase his supportive abilities and make him an stronger Dendro off field applier, his C2 combined with his C1 and C6, gives him several Dendro hits, allowing him to apply dendro in a very optimal and reliable way, also, it gives him damage based on his HP, so it transforms him in a Sub DPS, some people compare C6 Baizhu to C2 Yelan, to give you an idea.
Is it worth it?, well... first than all, if you are thinking of C6 a unit is because you really love it so, I don't think is a lot to said here, enjoy it!, he has nice constellations and C6 Baizhu would feel powerful. Now, for the most avarage players, I feel like his C6 is amazing but is too far away, I really would like if they just put it at C2 for the extra damage and give him a different C6 (maybe combine his current C2 with some Dendro Res Shred). Is way too expensive in my opinion when at C0 he already gives you what you want, convenience and survival.
If you want to invest more on him, get his C1, it would give you more healing, some more dendro particles and an extra dendro hit, so is quite nice and affordable. Is important to know that extra charges of an skill can help with energy recharge depending on your rotations, but they don't solve your energy needs, don't get confused with that. If you run Clam Set, C1 is really good, more healing, more ways to cap the set and do damage. In general terms, solid C1, recommended but not crucial.
Here are some info about his design, lore and inspirations, since he is a character we meet so many months ago (2 YEARS), there are several discussions about him, I just linked the most relevant and interesting, feel free to link the ones I'm missing.
- Let's Talk About Baizhu by u/nikudons (Has a lot of speculation since is an older post but his analysis of his clothes is interesting).
- Baizhu's pre-release analysis: Who wants him? by u/Meta3736
- Explanation for Baizhu's constellation by u/baoboatree
- A post about Baizhu on Al Haitham teams by u/shivk108 (Really nice comments there).
About beta with minimal changes...
Several BaizhuMains and general players where quite... unhappy about the little changes Baizhu received in beta since there are some things the could improve.
I do think they could have buff some stuff, improve numbers and change some qualities, but feels like they where really clear about what they wanted to do with this character and also how not to decrease the value of other 5* like Nahida. So I don't feel like there is a big issue here.
What changes would I do?, decrese his burst ER cost to 70, increase his base HP to 14450 (Same as Yelan) and do a change to his ascension talent "Five Fortunes Forever" that gives him 25% of Dendro Damage, is not bad but it doesn't do that much for C0/C1 Baizhu, is pretty powerful if you have C6, apart from that, is not that relevant. Give him DEF decrease (When their HP is equal to or more than 50%, Baizhu decreases opponets DEF by 20%.
But if I'm being honest, I'm happy with his kit, the only thing I really wanted was lower burst cost but... It is what it is and is not that bad. But of course, that limits him a little bit.
Dendro position in the meta and what that means for Baizhu:
Baizhu is a versatile character, can fit in several comps and has synergy with different types of kits, one of his biggest strenghts is being an off field character, that gives you the chance to pair him with more characters. I do think he is a pretty powerful defensive unit, with YaoYao and Kaveh, it almost completes the Dendro roster, right now, seems like Dendro offers you more or less everything you need in different situations, so... Since we already know that Kaveh is coming with Baizhu and Nahida is going to re run, I want you to see your account and decide what you need right now, 3.6 seems like a really good patch for Dendro, having more units also allows you to run the element in both chambers of the abyss if need it.
Baizhu is here to bring more options without being a mandatory unit, is concrete, easy to use and quite adaptable. Good supports are eternal.
If you still not sure about pulling him, wait a couple of days, we are going to be SUPER active here in the subreddit and several of us are willing to help you to decide, also, there are plenty of content creator that would share their thoughts. Test him A LOT in the trial, see if you find him fun and you like his playstyle, aesthetics and improves your experience playing.
Have a nice day!
submitted by Cartographer_X to BaizhuMains [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:25 Stargazer1186 I hate AI and it bothers me that so many people actually WANT AI to write or think for them.

I am also seriously tired of hearing people say OK boomer LOLOLOLOL when people talk about how frightening it is that AI has gotten so powerful. I know I am not the best writer in the world, but at least this writing is MINE. I hate that so many people now actively brag about using CHATGPT to write for them. What ever happened to having integrity and self respect? Why are so many people enthralled by the idea of a machines replacing people and not having any skills at all? I am honestly afraid that as a species we will get dumber and weaker, and it scares me that people are so ok with that! Wanting people to write and do art is a GOOD thing, not a bad one!
submitted by Stargazer1186 to nosurf [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 20:15 Maximum-Inevitable66 I think my sister is leaving us for a guy, because she doesn't want to do the work

I, 35 F, and my sister, 28 F, have lived with each other all our lives. She met her bf, 28M, a few years ago. We all moved in with each other and one more roommate the rent in our area is over 2,000 a month. With all of us, we can cover rent.
I'm raising two kids, not mine from birth, but biologically they are her sisters, my cousins, and so my paycheck goes to them—clothes, food, school, stuff, etc. I make the least amount of all of us, which I don't mind, it's a struggle but a job is a job and it keeps the kids fed. When we moved in they lived in another apartment for half a year, she paid her rent, which was 1/3 and we all got by. When he moved it the rent went to 1/4 which was nice.
The issue is the parking spot. When we moved in with were supposed to be three female adults, the last roommate is not related, but we've become close and she acts like an Aunt to my kids. Her bf came and he seemed nice enough from what we heard. I think that my mistake was heard, not met beforehand. A little more background when I moved out and got the kids I expressed to her that I'll need help with them. She told me that she'd be there. Assuring me that she would help out with everything.
The unexpected kids came because of the adoptive mom's sudden homelessness, she can't get upstairs, but she's safe now and in a place, where the kids are with me. I say me because I've done all the work. cleaning, washing, laundry, projects, bonding time such as parks, pools, and field trips, the up all night with fevers and sickness to those last-minute runs to get supplies for the class project due in the morning. From going out for dinner as a treat to scrimpling by with coupons and borrowed money that I pay back slowly.
We have fun little things we do like on payday we'll go get a cheap meal from a fast food place and eat in the parking lot with Reddit stories playing or going to do big laundry loads, like comforters and big stuffed animals we get ice cream from the water shop next door. I teach them how to cook, I want them to have this skill for when their adults, I assured them that life sucks, you can cry and be mad then we can do something as an outlet. I was a very badly abused child and have come a long way. I show them that being alone for a little be to calm down is okay and it's okay to feel things, cry and show emotions. I wasn't allowed that and was punished. We even play video games or draw, cook, talk walk, something to help ease stress and it is stress for them.
The problem came when we were working nightshift, before my roommate, I'll call her Sara, would watch them, it was summer, and then I'd get home and she'd go to work, and so on and so forth. I took the night shift. It paid more. But later she got switched to nightshift and while young teens were still uncomfortable leaving the girls alone. However, even with a bed here my sister and her bf didn't stay the night or even moved in all they way. No help with the kids. Another coworker and I became close and she ended up giving me rides to and from work, I'd make her food, and soon we became like another Aunt to the kids. they love her.

Still, we felt uneasy leaving the kids along and most family is out of our lives, they are very toxic and the mother, who adopted the kids, are now too old to care for them, and since I was picking up extra shifts to cover bills, I admit the lack of cleaning happened, and the apartment got messy. We cleaned when we could, and the kids helped, but we struggled. Being on my feet for 14 hours a day was hard and my roommate has the same if not more still helped out and on her own accord got he kids clothes, and shoes, the four of us even door-dashed together to afford electricity. Neither of us can get food stamps here, we make too much before taxes, and even with all the proof of our bills, it's not enough to get any.
We ended up getting a door camera because someone had been knocking on our doors and we set it up because three too four days out of the week the kids where left along overnight, yes, it's bad, I wish I could afford a sitter or had a family member I could trust. One of these nights I got a frantic call form the older girl saying they heard someone walking in the livingroom, like loud booths. There was nothing on camera and they were scared. I was working alone and could get to them, so I called my sister, who at the time wasn't working and her bf has a car.

Here's what happened, my roommate at her job was also solo that night, checked the cameras, saw no one, my friend who gave me rides had just gotten done with a double and was asleep answered her phone and sent her bf who raced to out apartment with a hammer in hand, my boss came in earlier, the police showed up and in the end four people came to the aid of these kids, being that roommate picked up a co-worker who was so worn out that she said she told her bf to go and she'd walk there if she had too or catch an uber.

Know who didn't show up?

My sister.

I got a call and updated here that they didn't find any more in the apartment, but we had the locks changed and got a second camera for the living room. it faces the front door. 3 people who knew these kids for less than 6 months came rushing to defend these kids. The coworker at the time lived 15 minutes away and was pretty sure he broke traffic rules to be there in less than 4 minutes.
Then when they moved in my sister and her bf brought a box here and there, slow-moving in and I mean slow. they have the master bedroom because they're a couple other two are single. However, the kids now are in my room. I got lucky with bunk beds and a bed for me and they fit in my room. The day they moved in they cleaned, they still had work and moved all their stuff in one go. At the time we wanted to get a couch because we had none and they insisted they had one. so six months later, a nice couch. I got home at the same time as my roommate and we went upstairs and it was nice, the couch looked great and my coworker and her bf where there, they were babysitting the girls, they did when they could and even though I offered gas money and money they refused and said the dinners I made were plenty and besides they love the girls. Coworker has become an Aunt to them.
My sisters bf offered me a sit on the couch, or so I thought because the other two where sitting down and I took a seat and comments how good the place looked and the couch was very nice and comfortable. they we started to scold me like a child, like an actually five-year-old who needed taking to because he was mad and it was hot and they had to clean while they moved, we're upstairs it was a struggle and I was told they had a lot of people helping them, turns out they didn't. the assumption was that we'd all be there to help. We weren't asked.

He also had the nerve to try to corner my roommate, stalked over to her and was towering over her and I have this weird thing, I don't know if this is normal, someone called it mama bear mode but I stood up and got in between them and yelled at him that he wasn't going to come into this damn apartment and complain and yell about it when they haven't been here. Not when we struggled with the kids, and I'm not blaming the kids but they were unexpected, I love them, but he tried to blame the pilled-up dishes, which got done once or twice a week, the left over food, and stuff that was left on the floor. I shop at a warehouse and I left the paper towels and toilet paper on the floor of the living room and I didn't notice when they kids were done eating the 5 buck chicken they left the box there or I would have tossed it out on my way to work. He right off the bat tried to lay down the rules of the apartment he choose himself and I got in his face. I stood right up to him and told him if he thought he was gonna come in here and make demands and talk to my kids and set rules or even us he had another thing coming.

He backed down after a stare-off and went to his room like a child. My sister could hear and see the whole thing from where she was in the kitchen. Said nothing. It's an open space and yes, the kids saw it. I'm ashamed they did but he wasn't going to push me around. I took off to complain to my gf, we're long distance and now engaged, about it and she even asked why he came in acting like he could control things. As we were talking he approached me and said he was sorry. the heat must have gotten to him. We made nice, but I kept him at arms length. I have issues with men, but that's my problem, not his or any other male. Mine is from trauma, not from man-hating.

Months ongoing.

I do 94% of the work with the kids, the extra stuff, and even a second job, which I lost due, but it kept us afloat, all things with the kids I do, my roommate and co-worker pick up the rest. New job lets me work while the kids are at school, so no worrying about them being home along, and when I do have to work, Sara or coworker, who they kis now call Aunties, watch them.

Tax season came, I claimed the girls, I cleaned them last year as watched them. My sister two months later did her taxes and both her and her bf make more then me, 5 bucks more, and she asked me if she could claim the girls this year. This was talked about last year and since I took care of them all the time the year before I told her if she did all the work, then yes. that's fair. She didn't and when she calmed if she could claim one I told her no. I did everything and spending less then a few hours with them a month doesn't count. And her giving me 40 bucks maybe once a month for gas and for water is nice, but I pay her back and she never takes care of the kids. So I claimed then got a decent amount back.

I got took them shopping for new bedding, clothes, socks, shoes, I took them out to eat at places that I can't afford often, such as Applebees, and this year an even place that has bowling, games, laser tag and so on. I stocked up on essential to ease the next six, months, toothpaste, hair products, both have very different hair, brushes, pantry items, electricity, towels, toothbrushes, nothing expensive I still stuck to what was affordable. I even was able to get them some toys they wanted, stuffed animals, some name-brand snacks, and of course we went and even saw two movies at the drive-ins.
So, my sister let it go and said "It's fine I have a high paying job." and this line is something I'm sick off. She reminds me often that she has a high paying job and I don't. I asked her to stop saying it. It make me feel bad? Yes. Am I jealous? No. I'm happy for her, just wish she'd stop telling me a few times a week. Since she had two jobs this year, via at the start for three months then a new one she had to file two forms. w2s and she was mad at the fee and she came home mad and told me she was only getting back 700 and that's why she needed to claim at least one kid.

I told her if she wanted too, then do have the work, doctors, schoolwork, washing, cleaning, mopping, etc. in the last year they lived her they cleaned the living room maybe 3 to 5 times. Their dog makes a mess, my kids do two, but the kids help me clean up. It's been a long thing with them learning to clean up because they freak out about wondering if they're going to be homeless again. They are not. I'm in fact looking for a job to do online so I can assure them they have decent lives and not hard. I try to hide things from them like now when groceries are expensive I tell them I ate when they were asleep or that my stomach is acting up or even that I had a big bowl of veggies. I skip meals to make sure they have enough. My check goes to bills and the kids, I think that is the right thing to do but my sister says she's gonna help.

I'm always met with "I try." and "I can't." Even on the four days off she claims that she tries to spend time with the kids. Now my two days aline with them, weekends, and I'm always with them. She hasn't asked them and then went we invite her to eating out once a week with our fast food meal and get ice cream. she says no. She tried to say that we don't invite her, we do. she's always with her bf. They work together, live together, they go partying on weekends, and I told her can. that's her choice but don't claim that we don't try. One week while I had two jobs, before I lost it, I was doing so badly on my depression. the dishes got piled up, I was struggling to cook the kids basic meals and even though they are learning to cook, its was hard finding the time.

I pulled out if it, fighting as hard as I could and while cleaning one of them said they might as well tell me because they needed money for snowcones at school. I figured I had enough frozen, meat and canned and box goods so I surprised them and gave them each 10 bucks. the cones are 3 for a small and 5 for a large. they could use the money for candies or chips. They were happy and they said they were worried so I told them to ask me and I'd always see what I could get and even if I couldn't roommate and co-worker sent money for snacks or got them things here and there even dinners when I was depressed. That's when the younger one, a year older, said they had a deadline to get the living room, dining room, and kitchen clean. I mean sparkling.

I was confused and wondered if they had planned a nice surprise for me and just didn't do it because they didn't and they ended up telling me that my sister and her bf told them if they did, they'd give them 30 bucks each. however, they said that each time they came in, from going out to eat or partying or anything they constantly remind them. If they were eating or watching a movie or even just relaxing after school they'd 'remind them'. it sounded more like nagging and they told them to keep it a secret from me.

Yes, I was angry and yes I confronted them. There is no reason for you to tell them to keep a secret for me and I found it it was so they could say, 'look, they listen to me.' Then I took the girls out for the park, I was so mad I needed to just get out and I didn't want to have them be upset.

Next day while they were at school and I was a work I vented to my coworker, not the same one who became like an aunt, about it and she pointed out why was I still doing all the work. I agreed, but I told her taking on these kids? I signed up for it. I'm not going to be that jerk who kicks them out at eighteen. So I got home and cleaned, all overhauled our room, the kitchen, and livingroom, dinning room.

they said nothing.

I told them never to tell the kids to keep secrets from me. They have something to say to me, I'm right there. They whined and complain they can never use the kitchen. When it's spotless, like not even a cup in the sink, they never use it. When my refund, yes, I took the kids out to eat a lot that week, and none of the kitchens was used except for my roommate who washes all her stuff. My sister tried to say it was because of work and working 10 hours on her feet isn't easy. And it isn't. We used to work the same job, and I'm still 10 to 14 hours on my feet. I told her I still come home, rest for 20 to 40 minutes, get up and make the kids food, they help me prep it, cook it and then eat. I still gather the daily laundry up and wash and dry it. homework still needs to be done, asking how their day was and if they had a good day or a bad day and spending time with them while I still have to clean up and make sure their prepared for the next day and the kitchen was open for nearly 20 hours and they didn't use it.

one of the things that makes me so angry is the complaining about the kitchen and then each day they eat out three times a day, all week, but has they never to tell me that they can't eat because I always have the kitchen. they have a fridge in their room, and when they ask me to give her pet their meds, its nothing but take-out everywhere.
I asked her one, maybe twice a month if she came to bring home food for the kids. When I'm so worn out and burnt out I just sleep all weekend and still feel like crap. I guess she counts it as taking care of the kids who say she gave them the food and then left to her room to be with her bf.

Last night, my roommate got the parking spot, her car has been registered there but she shares. 4 times out of the week they snag it, but lately, there's been so many cars parking here, I'm sure that it's because so many families are moving in with each other. One of the kids friends invited them to a three-day mini staycation. Co-worker Aunt took us to get the stuff they needed and to drop them off. As a thank you for taking us that far I offered to make her dinner, something simple, I had homemade cheddar broccoli soup and I had potatoes and hotdogs I could fry up. Sister and bf never get home before midnight. So, I call and ask what time they'd be home since only the parking spot was opening was assigned on. so we parked there and she planned on leaving before midnight. I called and my sister answered and told her I'd be making food for co-worker.

I asked again what time they'd be home and they said, to my surprise, 8pm. they're never home that early. So in front of co-work on the phone I said if they wanted us to see if there was parking open and we could go , the car. She said no and that they found a spot. They were mad about it, but are fine when us, the other two, have to look and look for one and me and roommate always end up walking along to the other side of the complex in the dark. they at least have each other.

She claims that they have to fight off people for parking and sleep in the car because they can't be away from each other and I was frying up the potatoes and hotgogs, my kid that didn't go was in our room and I had gotten her some headphones, she might have autism, we're waiting for the doctor to set up to get her checked and they help her a lot.

As I was cooking, they stood there. Like, both stood there watching me. Just staring. And I tried to make conversation, I know she loved this dish and they just blankly stared at me frowning. No saying a word so Ignored them. and finally, she tells him to go to the room, she'd be there later and he goes and she tell me this.

"It's a fight every night, and you don't understand." except I do, and then this line "He's close to blowing up and if he leaves me I'm gonna leave too even if I have to live on my own."

All of this was whispered and it hit me that she's rather leave me floundering and with all her empty constant promises to help me with anything and she said she'd leave. if they happen we'd be forced to move. Our lease is up in two months, I have no savings and have to find another job asap My Coworker's was listening the best she could but I just looked at my sister. I couldn't say anything because what I heard is she was willing to leave us for a guy and even if the guy left her she was gonna leave anyways and live on her own. All of the last two years of promising the kids to help and to be there, which she never is, and all this stuff about him being a great guy and she says he's gonna explode and she can't stop it.

Then she brought up the tax claiming again and I told her she has to do the work or it's not gonna happen and if she leaves, then leave because the kids come first. I love her so much but the kids are my top priority in every sense of the word. I never want to tell them to get jobs as soon as they turn 16 to help out with bills. I want them to finish school, get teen job, go buy clothes and go to movies, to go have some fun, to save up if they want to go to college or even if they want a car. I don't want to use them for bills, they didn't ask to be here and don't deserve to be used for money and she admitted she wanted to use what money she would have gotten for her wedding.

I told her that money was and is for the kids, food, clothes, bedding, etc. She tried to toss it in my face I took them out to eat a lot that week. They only get to eat out once a week and sometimes not even that. I then said sometimes like "if you have this high-paying job, both of you work buy them something." I meant like socks and so on, and she tossed it in my face that takeout is expensive and they end up spending about 20 bucks to each out a day and I told her that they both have a paycheck, and they said like 10 to 15 bucks for their own food each. I pay anything x3 and if I had left overs I can get away with telling the kids I'm caving the leftovers more than a treat. I can leave without that but I think 4 times a month isn't bad for take out and I don't think she should throw it in my face that they spend, according to her, 60 to 100 bucks on take-out a day and complain about not using the kitchen they don't buy or use groceries and take that they want when I'm not here or passed out on my bed from long shifts.

Sometimes I feel like an idiot. I feel like I'm failing all over the place, but they mention they create has me on edge all the time. And even when I try to connect to them or fight for an hour to spend with her and its hard because their always looking for each other. She's gone out to walk their dog or he will and in seconds or minutes their rushing after each other.

I don't know what to do. If they leave my coworker says she'll move in and cover 1/3 the rent, we can always get more couches at a thrift shop or ask anyone if they're getting rid of one. I've been trying to get a hold of a renter house that has 2 bedrooms 2 baths and trying to see if the price is right, 1200. She been telling me its my fault and telling me when she tries to spend time with the kids they never want to go and the rare times they spent time with her they tell me that all her and her bf do is walk ahead of them, do what they want, or even watch a move their acting like young teenagers on a first date, and ignore them the whole time. the older one said they got her lunch and then she had to run after them in the mall because they walked off without her.
they do stuff like this too. it took a year to scrimp and save for the Renfair and when we went the plan was to stay together. they took off and even with phone calls and stuff they kept leaving the group and claimed that we took off. One time us waiting for 30 minutes for them to come out of a shop only to find out they came out and walked off after us saying we'd wait for them and them agreeing.

I'm rambling.

I'm sorry.

I just don't know what to do. I'm stressed and tired and confused. If anyone can make sense of my ramble please offer any advice. I don't have people I can call, no one older, I mean I know I'm in my mid 30s, but I'm still confused. I feel like a failed adult who's pretending to be an adult. Please any advice, I'm lost
submitted by Maximum-Inevitable66 to Advice [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:57 BareMinimumChef Call for Aid

“You know Sarge. This could honestly work after all.” Peréz grinned and reloaded his rifle, before peeking over the cover again and repeat the process again. Select your target, aim, fire, repeat until the magazine was empty and start over. They were in some really deep shit here.
This Colony should have been humanity's chance to make up for their wrongdoings on earth. This was their attempt of reaching salvation in their minds.
Now Yellowstone was just like Earth. A war-torn planet with barely any life left in it.
“You think so?” replied Sarge next to him. He was locked in the same repetitive motions like Peréz and didn't miss a single beat whilst speaking.
“I mean, they are watching and listening in on us, so why not? I mean at this point command is desperate enough to blow this entire planet to kingdom come if necessary. How many was it... I think 5 million tons on nukes under our asses alone right?” he pointed to the spaceport that was barely visible on the horizon and then to the one, they were currently holding
“I say this plan of yours is a viable alternative at this point”
Sarge nodded and finished his last round in his magazine at the same time as Peréz and they dropped simultaneously back into cover. Even if the burned out tank barely made the definition of cover at this point.
They dropped back down not a moment too soon, as just a second later the next nanite-missile went barely over their heads.
Peréz took this moment to look at the other battle-positions of his battalion. They were holding, even if only barely. And they had to hold.
This was the last viable spaceport on this hemisphere. The last location where supplies and reinforcements could land. The last hope of escape for the trapped battalions on the entire continent, IF they made it here.
It was an utter shame for the 65. Engineer Battalion, 'Verteidiger' to be pushed back this far. But the superior numbers and technology of the... what was their name? Something unpronounceable, so they were calling them Widows. 2.5 Meter tall half-humanoid Spiders. Kinda like Centaurs but with more Cyberpunk in their upper bodies than flesh.
“Well, then lets give it a shot...” Sarge pulled out this phone from under his plate carrier and took the aux cord from his headset to connect his phone to the intercom his battalion was using. The Xenos above would definitely hear it, if he played it this way.
Commander U'o-Arre was seated on the bridge of his Carrier-ship and watched over the main monitor, how the humans were fairing on their desperate attempt to hold onto this Planet.
The bridge was, like it was tradition, fairly quiet. Only here and there played the AI a crucial part of the comms from the humans, if the visuals didn't provide enough context.
“How are they fairing?” It took the Commander not even a second to spring up and stand at attention.
“They are holding, even if it seems only barely, Admiral.”
“At ease.” Admiral Klzz'kt smiled.
“We are friends since hatching and alone. No need for pointless formalities. So... what are they up to after nearly 2 years?”
U'o-Arre looked at the screen, which had zoomed in on two humans behind the wreck of a tank, which up until this point were performing a nearly hypnotic and utterly beautiful ballet of reloading, shooting and the perfected art of utilizing cover.
“Until now, we have information's of over 60 million tons of nuclear warheads from all over the planet. It seems as if they cannot hold, they will not give the Zkriztk the Marble veins but blow the entire planet to pieces. This Battlefield is directly below us for the last spaceport under human control on this side of the planet.”
His report was interrupted by the conversation of the two humans, followed up by one of them pulling an ancient phone from under his carrier plate and plugging it into the Intercom.
This was not only interesting enough for the ship AI to relay, but even if not, U'o-Arre would've listened in manually.
A woman began to sing softly:
“Where have all the good men gone
And where are all the gods?
Where's the streetwise Hercules
To fight the rising odds? Isn't there a white knight upon a fiery steed
Late at night, I toss and I turn
And I dream of what I need”
The two were too shocked and moved by this piece of musical mastery to react in any way, before the song ended.
The Hegemony valued Art, especially the Art of Battle and everything correlated, as near sacred. And they were not an exception.
It would seem the humans did their homework. This was a call for Aid.
They had strict orders to remain as observers, but the fleet around Yellowstone was a full on Battle-fleet to prevent the Zkriztk from lashing out against the neighboring Worlds. As they tended to go this direction, if they were denied their goals.
More important, no Member of the Hegemony would get punished, if they responded to such a masterpiece.
To make it even worse, the humans didn't seem to have finished their call for aid yet, even if both Klzz'kt and U's-Arres blood was already boiling.

“No time for rest
No pillow for my head
Nowhere to run from this
No way to forget
Around, the shadows creep
Like friends, they cover me
Just wanna lay me down and finally
Try to get some sleep
We carry on through the storm
Tired soldiers in this war
Remember what we're fighting for
Meet me on the battlefield
Even on the darkest night
I will be your sword and shield, your camouflage
And you will be mine
Echoes and the shots ring out
We may be the first to fall
Everything can stay the same, or we could change it all
Meet me on the battlefield”
Klzz'kt and U'o-Arre were shaking and their Pupils only narrow slits at this point, but the Humans weren't finished.

“Soldier keep on marching on
Head down till the work is done
Waiting on the morning sun
Soldier keep on marching on
Head in the dust, feet in the fire
Labour on that midnight wire
Listening for that angel choir
You got nowhere to run
You wanna take a drink of that promise land
Gotta wipe the dirt off of your hands
Careful son you got dreamers plans
But it gets hard to stand”
The AI mercifully cut the audio-feed out, after the third song. They were near collapse and judging from the sounds of the Ship so was the AI and the rest of the troops on board.
Apparently the AI streamed the transmission all over the Fleet, cause they got requests from every single Ship in the Fleet to immediately intervene in the Fight below after the feed was cut short.
Sarge and Peréz returned to firing against the enemy, after the playlist of battle-music had started and remained in it, until one soldier cried out.
“Ships on Horizon! Heading here!”
They both looked at the dozens of distinct small dots that broke through the light clouds and Sarge immediately smiled in relief.
“The fucking Lizards were exactly like they said.”
Before returning to his firing position, he made sure to turn his phone to max volume.
Credits to Oberynne from Discord for proofreading and correcting mistakes of mine
This Story is barely more than a hommage to a couple of Songs i listen to when playing FromSoft games.
Holding out for a Hero - Shrek 2 ( )
Meet me on the Battlefield - SVRCINA ( )
Soldier - Fleurie ( )
submitted by BareMinimumChef to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:49 admissionsmom Hey Seniors, if your application decisions disappointed, then it can really hurt. Like nothing you've felt before. Here's how to get through it (or try to). (I've also included links to financial aid appeal/negotiation info, waitlist /LOCI post, and my "colleges still accepting apps" list)

Sure, it’s April Fool’s Day, but let’s be real; when application decisions don’t go your way, it’s no joke. It can feel really awful -- like the worst pain you’ve ever experienced. As one of the members of our community so eloquently and appropriately put it: “Not getting into the school you want fucking sucks.”
Look, I’m gonna be completely honest. It can hurt more than anything else you’ve ever felt before, but here’s the deal: The only way through the pain is to go through it.
You know, I’ve never gone through the specific pain and frustration of the application process that some of you are going through, but I’ve had my share of fucked up shitty experiences when I didn’t know where to turn, and I’ve felt a lot of shitty feelings. Like, a lot a lot. And here’s what I’ve learned. You can’t squash those feelings. You have to accept them and let them in in order to be able to process them and move through them. So basically, as backasswards as this sounds, if you’re feeling kind of shitty right now, that’s great -- because it means that you are on your way.
Still, remember this: You weren't rejected; your application was. These results do not define your worth. Periodt.
Financial Aid Woes: Sometimes your application decision might have worked out for you, but the amount of aid you’re receiving makes it an unavailable option. You can – and should – try to negotiate your aid before moving on from a college. Here’s a doc I have with some links and info about financial aid appeals or negotiations.
Waitlist Blues: Being waitlisted leaves you feeling kind of limbo – like, what do I do with this information now? Here’s my post filled with tips and hints and LOCI info.
Feeling Numb? That numbness is your body and brain protecting you from pain, but it’s ok to feel the pain. In fact, the only way to get past the pain is to go through it. Basically, what you resist, persists. So, as hard as it might be, you’re gonna have to give in to the anger and sadness and maybe even angry-cry a little and bash some pillows. If you have a hard time tapping into your anger because you’re suppressing it, I suggest reading Mattie’s post. Also, what works for me is listening to angry music. I’m Gen X (not a Boomer, no), so Eminem, Smashing Pumpkins, and Linkin Park are my gotos, but you have your own, I’m sure.
Go on a Bear Hunt: In my family, we call getting through the pain, Going on a Bear Hunt. I don’t know if you know the children’s chant, but it’s about making your way through the tall swishy swashy grass, thick oozy gooey mud, and fast-rushing river. To me, those are metaphors for the emotions we have to pass through as we make our way through anger, sadness, and disappointment. It’s like making it through the train tunnel; you get stuck there if you don't go through that darkness.
The RAIN Technique: In Mindfulness, we use the RAIN technique to help go through the emotional process of dealing with pain.
Recognize your feelings.
Accept and acknowledge that they are there.
Investigate them — what caused them, why are you feeling them
Non—identify; know that they are just feelings and feelings come and go. You are not your feelings. You are the observer of your feelings.
Look, having feelings is part of being human. That pain and hurt and anger you’re feeling is part of your humanity, but those feelings come and go. They are ephemeral. What feels super shitty right now will pass, and on the reverse side, what feels super amazing right now will also pass. That’s what feelings do. You are the sky. Your feelings are the weather.
What Can You Control? Probably the most relevant lesson to the college admissions journey is the understanding that we can only control our own actions. Here's what you can control — essays, activity descriptions, grades, and test scores to a limited extent.
What’s Out of Your Hands? You cannot control the number of other well-qualified students applying to the same schools as you or the institutional needs of the colleges on your list; you cannot control the admissions reader's mood, preferences, or predilections.
“The Two Most Important Letters in College Admissions” IP – Institutional Priorities: Colleges are creating a class, so they’re looking for people with varying strengths, abilities, talents, and backgrounds -- not a uniform set of people who are all robotically doing the same stuff. Also, certain departments and faculty might have more needs at different times. Or sometimes, board members and presidents tell them what they should keep in mind as they create a class. This is the part of college admissions we have no control over and why applicants need not to take any of it personally. You can read more about what Rick Clark from Georgia Tech has to say about IPs here.
Forget About Dream Schools: It’s not about finding the school of your dreams; it’s about finding the you of your dreams. When you’re drooling over that perfect school with a perfect campus and perfect classes, you’re not dreaming about any one school. You’re dreaming about who you want to be and where you can become who you want to be. I invite you to think deeply and figure out what it is about that certain school that makes you consider it your dream school — because I guarantee that your dream isn’t out there in the form of a college; it is in YOU.
Eat Ice Cream: This is all to say, you’re gonna be ok. Allow yourself to be sad or angry. Sometimes schools make really stupid fucked up decisions, and it’s not a reflection on you, but that doesn’t make it easier to swallow right in the beginning. So be sad or angry. Smash some pillows, angry cry. Go through those feelings, and then go find some ice cream. I find chocolate works best for me -- but you do you. And maybe your "ice cream" isn't "ice cream" at all but chips and salsa or whatever sweet or salty snack soothes your soul.
Because every year, after they’ve cried, pounded their pillows, licked their wounds -- and eaten ice cream, seniors come back here on A2C and talk about how even though applying to college was the most stressful experience of their lives and the final outcome wasn’t what they were expecting, they are proud of how much they have grown and learned about themselves. And I have a feeling you’ll be one of those too.
You Still Have Options: I know you might not want to hear this now, but when you’ve gone through some of the pain and come out the other side, knowing you still have some great options might be helpful. You can take a gap year, go to your local community college or apply to some of the many amazing colleges that are still accepting applications. This list is from last year because NACAC hasn't released their updated list of colleges with openings, but it’s very similar year after year. It’s a great place to start. I'll be making a post with that updated list as soon as it comes out -- so be on the look out.
The Name of a College Does Not Define You: Now, I'm very aware that there are a lot of people around here who don’t agree -- but I am gonna argue this point forever and ever (maybe that’s because I get old and cranky sometimes, I dunno.) College does not define you. You are the same badass today that you were last week and last fall and when you were five. And you’re gonna find yourself and grow -- no matter where you go to college, so don’t fall into the trap of thinking that the name on a sticker on your laptop or the bumper of your parent’s car defines who you are. It does not.
And still -- guess what? That doesn’t make the pain any better because you still gotta go through it -- which sucks. But, guess what again? Life sucks sometimes. And sometimes it’s really awesome. Axl Rose says it better, “Life sucks, but in a beautiful kind of way.”
Resources for you to check out if you’re feeling shitty:
I’m gonna leave you with these wise words from u/VanderVolted: “Have you ever played a game where you won every time? It can be fun, but they don’t mean as much. Waitlist/Defers/Rejections suck, they really suck, but they make the good things ( whether they have to do with college acceptances, or even just completely separate things) much better.”
If you’re feeling so upset that you might do self-harm, Read This: When you feel like life is beating you down like this, your brain actually makes physical changes and isn’t working properly. You can’t trust it to make wise decisions. It was described to me as if someone was putting heavy weight after weight on your brain - eventually, it’s going to collapse. So give yourself time. Give your brain time to heal. Talk to your parents, get to an ER, reach out to your therapist, or school counselor.
Resources and Hotlines
Tl;dr: When you don’t get the decision you want, it really hurts. The only way past that pain is to go through it. You have to remember that you are more than your college applications.
Reach out if you want to chat, talk about LOCIs, or what's next for you.
XOXOXO AdmissionsMom
submitted by admissionsmom to ApplyingToCollege [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:43 adkinsadam1 Catastrophic u-joint failure on the freeway

The incident occurred in July of last year, but the saga begins months before and continues to today. I've been needing to do a writeup on this because I don't know the best course of action at this point.
It's hard to even know where to begin, but fall 2021 through mid-2022 my '99, 5-speed, 250k miles, was hit with a barrage of fluid leaks as parts all wore out at once. Gasket seals, oil pan, cooling system, power steering. Here we introduce the Denver-local company Toy Auto Masters. I have used them for repair work since 2017, back when I lived nearby. The past three years I've lived an hour away, but continued to go to them for repair work since I have a relationship with them.
Long story short, Toy Auto had a few of their repairs fail and need to be redone under warranty. Work on the clutch pedal, and the oil pan gasket are examples. It's complex a little logistically because they do not like me to wait for the truck and I live so far away. I used to schedule a job and tell them I was going to wait that day, but after once incident having scheduled an appointment to wait, the manager was extremely rude to me and yelled at me for not dropping it off. I ended up leaving and renting a car for a night. It was a very bad experience.
ON TO THE U-JOINT- I first started noticing a drivetrain vibration early 2022. It got progressively worse and I determined it was a driveshaft u-joint going. Scheduled with Toy Auto Masters for that work and they told me it wasn't the u-joint; it was some other issue, I can't even remember. Some bushings idk. But paid for that work got my car and bam the vibration was identical. Called them back and said I was concerned but they told me it was fine and not to worry. Well, I continued to worry bc the vibration was just getting worse so I took it to another place closer by: Adam & Sons, in Colorado Springs. They told me that the vibration was being caused by some other issue, I don't even remember at this point what either. But they assured me of this and so I dropped another several hundred bucks for them to fix it. Get the truck back, vibration still there. I called back the shop and told them I was worried about a catastrophic failure and they assured me the u-joint was fine and there is no concern. And I argued and I was like "this isn't normal" and they assured me 2x everything was fine.
Not too long later, the oil pan was leaking (this was more of a nightmarish issue than I previously stated as I had toy-auto do it first, then when it failed I had Adam&Sons fix it and toy-auto reimbursed them, bc Adam had loaner vehicles, so I didn't need to worry about renting a car near Toy Auto again, but then Adam's oil pan gasket failed and, unsure of what it was, I took my truck to Toy Auto (where I usually go) for the diagnosis, because I could wait for that short visit). I told them I suspected the oil pan, AND told them again that if they could double check this drivetrain vibration, that'd be great, because I'm sure it's a u-joint issue. SOMEHOW, they took my truck back there and replaced the oil pan gasket, without telling me they were doing that. They didn't just diagnose it and tell me; they diagnosed it and fixed it and then told me my truck was done. I was like... this part is under warranty from you initially and then Adam & Sons. Well, they claimed they thought I just wanted them to replace it. So I got charged a second time for the oil pan gasket. My third oil pan gasket in like 2 months. And I tried to get reimbursed from Adam & Sons but they would not because I couldn't prove it was them or leaking or whatever. And when Adam & Sons did the oil pan gasket to fix toy-auto's failed initial oil pan gasket, I was still charged like $200 because the reimbursement from toy-auto to Adam's wasn't exact. And I had gone there to avoid having to rent a car at toy-auto and I had confirmed the warranty reimbursement. So really I had paid in full for 2 oil pan gaskets and $200 for a third.
So anyway that was frustrating to have to pay toy-auto for a repair I didn't even authorize, but they also told me, BEHOLD, the u-joint was failing and that was the cause of the vibration, so they fixed it. First of all, finally, thank God, that vibration which scared me on the freeway was gone, but second of all, how obnoxious that I had spent unnecessary money both at Toy Auto Masters and Adam & Sons to fix the vibration that wasn't even related and both of them were wrong. I had determined before I brought it anywhere that it was a u-joint. But whatever.
So I leave the shop with my 3rd oil pan and new u-joint and as soon as I get on the freeway, the vibration remains the same. I call toy auto on my way home and say the vibration is still there and they assure me like you will not believe, argue with me, and tell me their techs have driven it and there is no issue, there is no concern. None. U-joint is fixed. There is nothing else they can find that is wrong. And I'm about to go on a mountain 4x4 road trip and am worried about driving my car with the vibration. I stop the truck and go under and see that the u-joint I'd diagnosed as the source of the vibration from the beginning had not been replaced. They had replaced a DIFFERENT u-joint. Not the one connecting to the rear diff. The one they'd replaced I didn't suspect any issue with. But still, they assure me there is no problem and I am safe and to do this mountain trip. So at this point I'm thinking to myself... maybe I'm crazy. Literally everyone has told me there is no issue where I think there is, and they're professionals.
So I decide to go on my mountain road trip with my friends and over the course of the trip, the vibration just gets worse. It gets loud. I am learning how to make it better and what to and not to do driving to prevent what I am sure is potential catastrophic failure. I go under my truck during the trip and take a video of the u-joint I had diagnosed from the beginning was the culprit, literally shaking the driveshaft in the video. I'm like... how is this possible that I'm here with this failing u-joint after being told I am wrong countless times by multiple people. So at this point I determine that I am still right and they are all wrong and I call Toy Auto Masters and tell them I need to bring it in and they need to replace that u-joint. I am sure that's the problem and still they argue it's not but that they'd humor me and replace it.
From then until I got to Toy Auto Masters after my trip I drove my truck like it was about to fall apart - that's how bad the vibration was. When I get there I show the video I took of the u-joint and he said to me "I can tell just by looking at that video that that u-joint is bad." FACE PALM. After about an hour they tell me my truck is done and that they'd replaced the u-joint, and they told me it was close to failure. It was in really bad shape. And I was like... how did you not see this before? All the times I'd said THAT was the problem? How did you replace the wrong u-joint - one that was fine?? And he put his hands up and just said "I guess we missed it!" Crazy. My life was at risk if that had failed catastrophically and I was reassured countless times that I was wrong. But AT LEAST, FINALLY, I was safe.
Get on the freeway driving my hour home from Toy Auto Masters, and vibration begins. Similar to before. CAN YOU BELIEVE. And all my dreams were shattered as I realized there was still a fundamental problem that people didn't even know. This time it was a little different than before for the first time... starting on the freeway I felt basically no vibration and then it slowly started getting worse. I called toy auto and told them it was still vibrating and they basically said they'd fixed the failed u-joint, everything is fine, whatever this is cannot possibly be a concern. There are no other options. They can't do anything for me. I think they literally TOLD me to drive it home and to stop going on about this vibration. So I'm just continuing down I-25, only been on the freeway about 10/15 minutes, pretty worried, and as I'm descending a large hill at about 85mph, I suddenly hear and feel a loud bang coinciding with a sudden cloud of smoke/vapor that envelops the car, inside and outside the cabin, while at the same time the truck jumps into the air about 6-inches and I NEARLY lose control and roll it. Somehow I recover control but everything is dead, no engine, no steering, nothing. I manage to get the car over to the shoulder before it grinds to a halt. All I knew is that this is because of the vibration and that I almost just died. I get out and look underneath and it's carnage. The driveshaft u-joint that Toy Auto Masters had just FINALLY replaced had failed catastrophically, and loose end of driveshaft, still connected to the engine and transmission, whipped at 85mph DIRECTLY into the fuel tank with such force that it crumpled instantly and forced the gas out with such pressure that it vaporized and filled the cabin and caused the smoke. The remainder of what was in the gas was flowing down the interstate. Called Toy Auto Masters and said what had happened, called a tow and had it towed to them. I had my dog with me at the time, so I took him and my stuff out of the truck and walked about a mile down the freeway to an exit, got a ride from a CDOT guy to a rental car place. The rental car place was out of cars, and ended up having to walk to another one to get one. I was thankful to be alive honestly, as the driveshaft and fuel explosion could have resulted in a fireball so easily. Looking back honestly I think a fireball was more likely than not in that situation so I'm very lucky. I was also lucky to have recovered control.
What I will say in Toy Auto Masters' defense is that they did fix the carnage, and paid for the rental car I had to have for about 3 weeks while they fixed everything. They kept telling me they thought it was fixed and then would drive it and discover another problem from the failed u-joint. Obviously that fix had been done incorrectly and that was the cause of the explosion. It's ironic given the fact that I had it replaced to prevent that worse case scenario. And spent so much money on misdiagnosed causes. But when all was said and done, the fuel tank and lines were destroyed, rear diff destroyed, transmission destroyed, transfer case destroyed, exhaust destroyed. I think there was other stuff destroyed too but I don't remember. And I want to preface that everything destroyed was in perfect condition prior, with no problems, no issues, no leaks. Transfer case and transmission were great.
Well, they replaced everything with used parts, and from day 1 there was an issue with the transfer case. The owner of the shop couldn't get it to shift into 4wd on the day I was supposed to pick it up so I was called and picking it up was delayed to fix it. The transmission wasn't great from day one; and after only a few miles it was making noise and was very difficult to shift, and was leaking transmission fluid. I took it to a local mechanic to help diagnose the leak and he told me that the transmission fluid was super broken down and dirty and needed to be changed. I told him I'd just gotten it and he said to take it back to the shop. So I scheduled with Toy Auto because the transmission was leaking, and I bring it up there (this might have been the incident when I got yelled at for waiting and rented a car unexpectedly after being told I was NOT WELCOME to wait in the lobby!) But came back the next day and they'd fixed the leak. Since then I've had more issues with replaced parts. The exhaust had additional damage and restriction from crumpling that hadn't been replaced causing a ton of back pressure, so I ended up having to have that fixed. And basically from the beginning the shift to 4wd has been very bad... often not making the shift, stopping or going, and usually when making the shift doing it in an incredibly rough, jolting way.
The transmission quickly started leaking again and at an ever increasing rate, these issues had become so bad that I brought the truck back to Toy Auto Masters to fix the transmission leak and figure out what was wrong with the 4wd. This was the last time I was there. The manager talked to me and told me that the transmission leak couldn't be fixed. And really neither could the 4wd issue. He said that as far as he's concerned, "warranty on a used part is maybe 30 days" and so it is what it is. He mentioned though that that's not totally final because he wants to help me out, but he really kind of waived any responsibility for any of the parts they'd put in used at this point.
It's been two weeks since then and the transmission is shifting rougher and the leak is getting worse at an exponential rate. The leak is coming from where the two halves of the transmission fit together. And with the transfer case... I've gotten stuck in 4wd a few times now, and the shift is so rough when it happens it feels like being rear-ended. So I'm sure it's only a matter of time before both of those are completely toast. In addition, I forgot to mention that with the new fuel system, my truck usually doesn't start. It takes several tries to get it to start. It's some issue where it's not getting gas when starting up. To get it to start I always have to have my foot on the floor and even still it takes several tries sometimes.
So that's the current status with these replaced used parts. I can see that they are not in good shape and are failing. The rear diff has been fine. But the trans and transfer case are not comparable to the ones I had when the catastrophic failure of the incorrectly done u-joint occurred. And at this point, Toy Auto Masters is kind of indicating to me that they're not so sure they're responsible for these used parts, which I've only had for 8 months, and have been leaking and faulty since day 1.
I've invested so much money in this truck, especially right before the incident fixing all those leaks and doing the oil pan 3 times and spending like a thousand bucks fixing things that were misdiagnosed as the u-joint issue. I don't think it's fair that I should be worrying about these faulty used parts when the rest of my truck is in perfect shape and easily has 250k+ more miles in its life. I feel like my truck is not back to the way it was before the incident. These parts are failing.
What would you do if you were me? What should I expect? What do you think is right here? Thank you so so much for your opinions.
submitted by adkinsadam1 to 4Runner [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:39 xonjs Need Help Choosing MBA Admissions Consultant

Looking for advice on which admissions consultant to choose, planning on applying this fall. I’ve spoken to a few (e.g. Stratus, Fortuna) through some free consultations but its difficult to tell how the overall service would be… given the hefty price tag for some of these consultants I want to make sure I’m choosing the right consultant if any.
Here are my profile details: Ivy League undergrad, international student and severely underrepresented minority, GRE (161V, 164Q - planning on retaking if I have the time in the next few months). Big 4 tech consulting. I’m aiming for HBS and CBS. Also would be a dream to go to Stanford but location-wise for personal reasons I would rather stick to the east coast.
One admissions consultant I spoke to from Fortuna was really excited and gave me hope for building a good profile, but I’m not sure if that was just a way to get a new client. Some on the other hand (e.g. Stacy Blackman) were more negative, not sure if that’s better since they may be more realistic and not give false hope?
Would love to hear any feedback about admissions consultants especially if you’ve worked with any of them. I also need someone who will help me get scholarships or finaid since I’m not American and will not be getting any aid from my country either.
submitted by xonjs to MBA [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:36 socksncrocs123 Rules for April Fools

You wake up ecstatic - this is your chance. After all, who wouldn't be? It's the one day out of three-hundred and sixty five that approves of and even supports playing tricks on others. You grab your silly string, ready to cause havoc. You find a note on the canister; maybe your mom wrote it, seeing as you do live in your mother's basement after all. You pick up the paper to read it, as it may have important information on a good place to pull your silly little practical jokes.
"Today is not your day, as the Trickster has chosen you. My identity is of no concern, I simply mean to help you survive its twisted "pranks". The following will give you an idea as of what to do if it finds you, which is very likely. If it does not find you, you are incredibly lucky, but it will remember you."
You let out a light chuckle. You think it was very well written, almost too formal for an April Fools prank. Yearning to laugh a little more, you continue reading.
  1. Although the Trickster knows where you are, you are given about an hour to prepare or flee. The former is more likely to help you survive, as the Trickster is faster than any means of escape, such as an airplane.
  2. Pack only food and other necessities, no weapons could kill the horrible Trickster. Go to any shelter, whether it be in your own home or one near you. If you do not have a shelter in your vicinity, go to the safest room in the home and barricade the door and window with anything you can find in the room. If the Trickster sees you, it will toy with you until you go mad; a husk of your former self, forever a pawn to the Trickster and its game.
  3. The Trickster will go away as soon as the clock strikes 12:00 A.M. However, it will not forget you as its target, and will target you again every 3 years on April 1st. The Trickster can only have one target.
  4. If you hear a dog whimpering, let it in. It won't lead to death if you don't, but it could help you keep some of your sanity.
  5. The Trickster hates people who are no fun, and will enter the area you are in if you do not put on a show at some point. I hope you've memorized some sort of comedy skit or play, lest you want to become a puppet for the Trickster's entertainment.
  6. Saying or implying the phrase "Instructions unclear" at any point while the Trickster is hunting you will automatically result in the punishment from the previous rule.
  7. The Trickster will try to mimic voices from anyone you know. Friends, significant others, family members, anything. The voice will deteriorate over time, so make sure to listen for about 30 seconds before responding to make sure it's not the Trickster talking. The Trickster thinks being responded to is an invitation to come in.
  8. In the situation that the Trickster has entered your shelter, refer to rule 10.
  9. The Trickster will send his puppets to perform a Shakespearean-esque play at one point or another. Remember to smile all the way through and give a standing ovation at the end, or you risk becoming a prop in the play.
  10. If the Trickster enters your shelter, challenge it to a staring contest. If you win, you keep your life. If you lose, your eyes will be plucked out and replaced with a replica of the Trickster's eyes. What the Trickster sees could drive the sanest man to insanity. It would be too much for anyone, leading to... I believe you, reader, can figure the rest out.
  11. The Trickster has one final "prank" up its sleeve when it turns 11:50 P.M. It will TP and egg your house. The TP or eggs aren't lethal, but they are a pain to clean up.
You're running out of breath laughing at this point. You're partly in shock and fear, and also partly in absolute hysteria. You manage to catch your breath. You go upstairs from your basement to find some leftover cereal to eat. But then, out your window, you saw a figure staring at you. Blood-red eyes, with a grin on its face, its eyes focused completely on you and nothing else.
The Trickster.
submitted by socksncrocs123 to Ruleshorror [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:20 unknown2u99 Conspiracy Influencer's Descent Down The Rabbit Hole

The devolution of a Q-Influencer relative. Along the way, he lost a high-paying respectable career and has replaced relatives and friends with Internet Grifters and Gullible followers.
By no means a complete list below
2020 - Pizza Gate, WWG1WGA, Pedophile Libs
CIA Black Ops Stargate
Promoting Mother of Darkness Grifter(s)
Portals to God's Throneroom
We are special we have secret intel that we can't share with you
Announces the Music Industry is Satanic (knows this will cost him his career)
Jewish boss hears the podcast and fires him.
2021 - Mockingbird Media
MK Ultra
Aiding Anointing Oil Scam
Free Energy (ok so this one is ongoing for decades)
Trump is in control
Stolen Election
Aliens are just Demons who have acquired real or mechanical bodies
2022 - Frequencies used to control Vaxed Civilians
Identifies as a "Truther" (Ok this one goes way back too)
CON-voy rally speaker
Alternative Geography/History
White Genocide
Doesn't drop dates but does "Imply"
Ignores the goalpost moves
2023 - Was never Qanon follower
Truthers are all connected don't trust them
Now identifies as being part of "Patriot Movement"
Urgent - Govt has millions of soldiers waiting to suit up against civilians
They are coming for the Blacks, they don't like Black Genes
White children will be taken and educated in their propaganda
Civil War is Planned
Prince Charles is a Shape-Shifter and the Anti-Christ

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.
submitted by unknown2u99 to Qult_Headquarters [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:10 lostbluecity How long does it take to get hearing aids?

I'm moving to Canada in august from South America for university, and I want to get my Oticon hearing aids from an Oticon "affiliated" hearing clinic. Unfortunately, where I live, there are not any clinics that sell the hearing aids I want. I have mild hearing loss and was recommended only to use hearing aids when needed. However, I'm scared I won't be able to listen well, especially during my classes, so I want them as soon as possible.
I want to know how long they take to have them ready if I already have my diagnosis sheet.
submitted by lostbluecity to HearingAids [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:06 micktalian The Gardens of Deathworlders: A Blooming Love (Part 10)

Part 10: Revenues and Taxes (Part 1) (Part 9)

"It truly is an honor to finally meet you in person, Elder Bmashgnew." Atxika began to bow slightly before correcting herself. "Mosh."

"The honor is all mine, Admiral Atxika." Mosh mimicked the slight bow. "You are the first official Qui’ztar Military Envoy we have hosted in quite some time. I hope you and your crew have been enjoying themselves on your visit."

"Ah, yes." The Admiral couldn't help but let a slightly disappointed look cross her face. "I would like to formally apologize for the behavior of some of my crew. They should have shown greater levels of self control."

"Eh, don't worry about that. The youth do as the youth do." The Elder tried to dismiss her concerns with a wave of his hand. "If anything, I am far more concerned about how much trouble young Tens here has caused for you."

There was a moment of pause as both the Atxika and Mosh slowly turned towards the young who was standing a few paces away and trying his best to be neither seen nor heard. For a few seconds, the only sounds that could be heard were muted noises of station life. Spending the past few hours acting as his commanding officer's guide while rounding up wayward women was not what he expected to do on his vacation. When his Elder had called him and requested the young bring the Admiral to his office, he had assumed his uncle would be assigning her a dedicated assistant from the Interspecies Relations Council. Seeing as that had not happened, and he was now the topic of conversation, he was not particularly happy about it.

"I have not violated a single rule while I've been on The Hammer." Tens rebutted while still maintaining his somewhat formal posture.

"While that is technically true." Atxika saw her opportunity to mess with the young man and seized it. "I didn't think we would need a rule against… how did you phrase it again?"

"Uh…" Tens coughed into his hand and started to blush slightly while his Elder shot him a glare. "Manual testing the artificial gravity safety systems?"

"Ah, yes." She replied with a coy smirk on her face. "By opening a window nearly 300 meters from the ground floor and leaping from it. Regularly."

"Gotta keep up good maintenance?" The young man tried to joke while the older individual both squinted their eyes and smirked at him.

Tens's cheeks became noticeably red as both his uncle and commanding officer stared at him for a moment with the same expression. As the young man became more and more uncomfortable with the looks, he began fidgeting slightly in place. Just when it all finally became unbearable, and he got ready to say something in his defense, both of them started cracking up laughing. Tens’s anxiety gave way to relief before confusion suddenly overtook him. As his brain slowly caught up to the fact he was being messed with, his confusion quickly shifted to mild annoyance. While he squinted his eyes at them in defiance, Atxika and Mosh's laughter slowly subsided.

"But I must admit, this young man has been quite the asset." Atxika’s smirk became more honest. "I can now understand why there is never a need for my fleet in this sector. If you are all as capable as the Lieutenant here, then…"

"Tens is one of our finest young warriors." Mosh said so convincingly that the young man took it as an honest compliment and smiled. "I am glad that he has found a productive use for his talents while being able to see the galaxy. And that is despite how much we miss having him around."

"I can certainly make an effort to ensure more frequent visits." The Admiral shot back. Even though her Matriarch hadn't explicitly ordered her to form closer ties with the Nishnabe, something told her they would make excellent allies.

"We wouldn't want you to go out of your way and waste resources like that, right Tens?" Mosh quickly replied while shooting a particular look over at Tens. Before the confused and slightly taken aback man could answer, Atxika responded for him.

"It would be no inconvenience at all." The Admiral had a cheerful and pleasant tone in her voice. "This sector is actually part of our assigned patrol route. However, the region is so peaceful that we tend to not need to stop here for long. In fact, I don't believe the 1st of the 3rd has received a call for aid from any of the Kyim'ayik territories in nearly a millennia."

"Ah, yes. About that…" The expression on the older man's face became much more serious as he lightly sighed. "I think we should have a private discussion about that."

"Of course." Atxika replied with a smile before quickly turning to Tens. "You are dismissed, Lieutenant."

"Yes, ma'am." Tens saluted his Admiral before nodding at his uncle and quickly turning to leave.

Both pairs of eyes followed Tens with intensity as he casually walked through the fabric hanging in the doorway to Mosh's office. Where Atxika was glad that she would finally be getting an in-person conversation with a Nishnabe Representative, Mosh had not been looking forward to this. While the fabric door was still swaying, the older man stepped over to his desk and pressed a button concealed on the underside. There was a faint hum as an almost interceptable blue light filled the door frame and caused the fabric to suddenly become stiff. The well-adorned and naturally styled room fell completely silent as all of the noise of the station outside was muted by unseen technologies. So much so that the soft sounds of Mosh taking a seat into his chair caught the Admiral’s attention and caused her to turn back towards him.

"Please, take a seat." The old man motioned towards the large chair on the other side of his desk. "It was made just for this occasion."

"Have you been expecting this meeting with me for some time?" The Admiral asked with a slightly confused tone while taking a seat in the surprisingly comfortable chair.

"Well, not necessarily you, specifically." Mish replied. "But we have been expecting a Qui’ztar Admiral to show up and start asking questions eventually."

"About what? I'm sorry, I'm not sure what you mean?" Atxika's expression was becoming very confused.

"But you've already said it!" The rebuttal was a bit more aggressive than it needed to be and the old man brought his tone down after seeing how taken aback the woman was by his remark. In a much more polite voice he continued, "This sector is peaceful and your fleet has not received a call from the Kyim'ayik for nearly a millennia. Surely, that has cut into your profits. And your government has finally taken notice."

"Oh!" The woman exclaimed and while allowing her expression to become much more relaxed. "Oh, no, no, no. We aren't concerned about that. The galaxy is a big place and has many problems. One species maintaining a relatively peaceful territory simply allows us to concentrate resources where they are needed most."

"So, your Matriarch didn't send you here to see who was taking your profit?" The doubt was obvious in both the man's voice and expression. "I assumed your leaders would be quite upset by the lack of revenue from this region of space."

"This room is sound shielded, correct?" Atxika asked while glancing around and then shooting the man a coy smile.

"Of course." Mosh replied with an affirmative nod.

"Providing services for the Kyim'ayik was never profitable for us." Atxika admitted with a wide smile. "We performed our obligatory services for them as we would any other GCC member species. But they rarely, if ever, actually hired us for profitable missions. They've just sort of been there. If your people are providing military and security services for the Kyim'ayik, my Matriarch does not care in the slightest."

"Is that right?" Though there was still a hint of doubt in his voice, his expression showed that he was starting to believe the large woman. "Then, if I may ask, why have the sudden interest in us? If your Matriarch doesn't care then?..."

"If I'm being entirely honest…" Though the Admiral’s bioluminescent freckles weren't lighting up, she did look slightly embarrassed and she paused for a moment to collect her thoughts before explaining further. "It's more of a… personal interest. I was quite impressed by Tensebwse's performance in the qualifications."

"Ah, yes. I believe I remember something about that now." Mosh seemed to relax in his chair. As he leaned back further, all hints of doubt had been replaced with a curious smile. "I think I can understand your… uh... 'personal interest' in the young man."

"What? No, it's not that kind of interest!" This time Atxika’s freckles did light up, though just for a split second, as her translator contextualized the man's insinuation. "He is far too young for me."

"Too young?" The Elder laughed in a cheerful yet shocked way. "I know the boy is only 24, and it may just be my eyes failing me in my old age, but I don't see much of an age gap between you two."

"I will be turning 48 years old in a few months." That response was so unexpected that it pushed Mosh further back into his seat.

"Then I need to get my eyes checked because I would have guessed 30, maybe 35 at the oldest." The old man was in disbelief at both the woman's age and that she would admit to it. "By that age I was already bald and gray!"

"Excuse me?" It was Atxika’s turn to be taken aback. "How old are you now?"

"Oh, I'll be turning 65 this year." Mosh relaxed a bit after seeing the woman was just as shocked by the difference in aging as he was. "I've still got my golden years ahead of me. But I am certainly past my prime." He rubbed his knee while saying that last part.

"Fortunately, I still have at least another two full decades of my prime to look forward to." The Admiral winced slightly as she watched the old man rub his sore joint.

"What I wouldn't give…" All the old man could do was shake his head and laugh. However, as he let that comment linger for a moment, his mind began to wonder and went straight back to his previous concerns. "Well, if it isn't that kind of 'personal interest', what kind of interests do you have in my nephew?"


"Your feathers are so beautiful." Wishwaskde gushed over the gold and tan avian that Binko had tightly wrapped in both of his right wings.

"Th- Thank you." Tarki meekly replied. Even though her husband had sworn she was completely safe, and everyone was giving her all the space she needed to not feel threatened, the way these Deathworlders were looking at her made her feel awkward.

"We have a real Kno in the Dodem now!" A far more masculine voice shouted before Tarki heard a small thud and someone else began to whisper.

"Hey! That could be offensive." The almost imperceptibly quiet voice chastised.

"What's a Kno?" She tried to stealthily ask Binko.

"It's a sacred and noble bird from their homeworld." He replied in a not as quiet voice. "Hey Wish, bring up some holopics on your tablet."

Binko squeezed a bit tighter on his wife as he felt her tense up at the approaching human. Despite how uncomfortable he knew she must have felt in that moment, he also knew it would soon pass as she became more familiar with her new family. Unlike the two Krokek subspecies, both of whom tended to have relatively small family groups, the Nishnabe utilized a clan-based system of extended relations. Rather than relying on just a few closely related individuals, the large and mutually supportive family groups these Deathworlders formed ensured multiple layers of redundancy when it came to aiding one another throughout their lives. Binko knew that once Tarki realized all of these incredibly dangerous predators loved her unconditionally, and would willingly risk their lives to protect her, she would feel right at home.

"Sure, just give me a second to find some good ones." Wish responded while pulling out her elaborately decorated tablet as she slowly came closer.

"Ooo…" Tarki's tension released slightly as her eyes fell on the bright blue gemstones, vibrant silver inlays, and overall incredibly shiny aesthetic of the device's protective cover.

"You like it?" Wish couldn't help but notice the golden Kroke's reaction to seeing the tablet case.

"It's… beautiful." The sparkle in Tarki’s bright yellow eyes made her seem like a child who was seeing the galaxy's most wonderful piece of candy for the first time.

"Well, in that case…" Wish immediately began prying the veneer off of her tablet. Before either avian could react, the elaborate decoration made a light popping sound while it was removed. While offering it towards Tarki, Wish flatly stated, "Here, it's yours."

"Wha-" Both of the avians began in unison before Tarki came to her senses. Struggling to pull her eyes from the new shiny, she put her minor wings up slightly with the palms of her claws pointing towards Wish. "Oh no, please, I can't accept that. It-" but before she could resist further, she was cut off.

"I insist. Consider it a late wedding gift." Wishwaskde replied with a sincere smile. "And I can always just make another one."

"You made this yourself?" Tarki said in disbelief as she slowly reached out to accept the gift.

"Yeup." The Nishnabe woman pleasantly replied as Tarki cautiously took the decoration. "I'm a micro-scale maintenance technician and my supervisor lets me use the tools in my off time for my art projects."

"You must be very good at your job." There was a sense of wonder in the bird's voice while she examined her gift. "This…"

As the bird's eyes focused to take in every last detail, she soon became lost in it all. The leather-bound, polymer-backed rectangle featured a highly decorated circle of braided silver cording which was used to bind and inlay 13 blue, circular gemstones of varying size. The twisted silver also extended into and split the circle into four parts. Each quadrant was dyed a different color and featured a variety of intricate silver patterns. Peering deeper, Tarki realized the patterns formed fractal-like images of animals inside of plants inside of animals as far as her incredibly sharp eyes could peer. Upon seeing these sub-millimeter scale details, a thought crossed the avian's mind and she found a memory of something similar that she saw in the Ko Ko Royal Dynasty's History Museum.

As if suddenly possessed, Tarki tore into the satchel-like purse she had been wearing and started to search for something very specific. While Binko and Wish tilted their heads in almost perfect unison while curiously examining the seemingly frantic woman, she just kept searching. Just before Binko was about to ask what it was she was looking for, Tarki pulled out a small crystal mounted into a larger, gold-plated setting and necklace chain. Though her husband tilted his head further in confusion, the other woman's eyes shot open with recognition. As Tarki held her treasure up to light to let it glisten, her forgetful husband only had vague memories of the object.

"Isn't that the necklace your Queen gave you to honor our marriage, my love?" Though he knew the event was significant to her, Binko didn't know the purpose of the item.

"It isn't just a necklace, my dear." Tarki chided at Binko while shooting him a harsh look.

"It's a musical instrument." Wish explained while giving the man the same look before turning back toward the woman with a smile. "It plays to the right."

Taking the necklace in her two smaller claws, Tarki pinched the end of the setting and twisted it to activate the hidden power source. While carefully holding the rectangular object firmly in her two larger claws, she slowly lowered the crystal towards the gemstone at the top of the circle. Binko's especially sensitive ears were able to pick up on the slight hum emanating from both the objects as his wife held the crystal just a few millimeters from topmost jewel. As she slowly and methodically moved the crystal around the ring, the hum grew into an audible musical note. The magnetic field created by the now charged crystal caused a current to flow through the thin silver cords and forced the stones to vibrate at audible frequencies. On the eighth pass of the necklace over the humming stones, the sound had grown to the volume of a softly played piano.

Finding this volume to be appropriate, Tarki began slowly and precisely spiraling the crystal towards the center of the circle. The deliberate speed with which she moved the magnetic inducer around the conductive grid created a steady rhythm in the vibrating stones. As the crystal moved, the hum changed in pitch and tone to create each individual note of a building symphony. Tarki could feel in her heart and soul as the song began to weave together a story of pain and loss, of being stolen from one's home and left in the dark, before the tune suddenly grew brighter and brighter. As the subtle interplay of hardly perceptible notes built into harmonies so magnificent she was having trouble controlling herself, Tarki felt the music fill the air around her with love and hope for the future. As the spiral reached nearer and nearer to the center of the circle, the bliss only intensified until it seemed to fade into a loop as the crystal finally came to halt at the center.

"Haven't finished that song yet?" Tens's voice cut in as the final hums of the stones began to fade.

"Nope." Wish replied flatly while turning around to greet Tens as he approached. "And I hope I never do. It's the song of our people, you fucking guy."

"It is truly beautiful." Tarki had to slide her nictitating membrane a few times to whisk away the moisture that had accumulated while playing the song.

"Enough to make your mom jealous." Binko chimed in with his poor attempt at a joke.

"By the sky, why did you have to bring up that woman? Especially when I was having such a good time." Tarki's tone suddenly became harsh at the mention of her mother. She even turned her head away from her lover and shifted herself to be slightly further from him while still wrapped in his wings.

"I am so sorry, my love." Binko used his most apologetic tone while trying to to nustle into his wife. Though she didn't nustle him back, she didn't resist him either. "I promise I'll never do it again."

"Um…" Wish murmured while shifting her gaze between the birds for a moment and then looking toward Tens with a confused expression.

"She didn't approve of their marriage." Tens tried to quietly inform her clanmate.

"That wretched fucking witch has always tried to control my life!" Tarki blurted out and cursed for the first time in a long time after overhearing Tens. "She refuses to accept the fact that I fell in love with Xi Xi. She even tried to appeal to the Queen to have our union declared illegal and my love charged as a kidnapper!"

"That bitch!" Wish had the same rage in her eyes that Tarki felt in her soul. "If she can't accept others for who they love, she isn't welcome here."

"And what did your Queen do, my sweet?" Binko asked in his most loving voice while still nuzzling into his wife's neck. At that question, Tarki seemed to relax a bit, and the avian equivalent of a scowl faded from her face.

"Not only did my gracious and compassionate Queen give us her full blessing and this priceless heirloom as a gift." The golden bird's voice grew almost reverential as she finally returned her husband's nustling. "She also made a binding declaration that all Krokek, regardless of subspecies or noble status, are free to love and marry whomever they choose. And it would be considered a crime to discriminate against a Kroke simply because they married outside of their social status or subspecies."

"I think I'd like her." Wish's voice and expression changed to match her new clanmate's now blissful tone.

"Yeah, I'm not a big fan of the idea of royalty, but…" Tens added in a way that implied he held a high opinion of the person in question. "Queen Eurkitchi really does seem like a good person."

"Her family has been working for the past few generations to heal the divides between the Xi Xi Free States and the Ko Ko Royal Dynasty." Tarki explained further as she knew neither Binko nor Tens knew about Kroke politics. "And they have received vast public support because of that. Queen Eurkitchi's heart truly is as golden as her feathers."

"Speaking of gold feathers, before I forget…" Wish held her tablet out flat with the screen facing up and pinching the center while pulling up. As she did so, a highly detailed holographic representation of a Golden Eagle emerged from the screen and began to delicately float above it. "This is a kno. Or, this is what our archives say a kno looks like. I've never actually seen one to know for sure."

As the hologram became animated in order to show the flapping pattern of the two-winged bird, Tarki was once again entranced by what Wish was showing her. Learning in a bit to get a closer look while still remaining nuzzled up to her husband, she took in every detail she could. Though the vague silhouette of a human being projected off to the side showed her that the bird would have been much shorter than she was, its wingspan was nearly 2.4 meters. While her major wings had an additional meter in span, her minor wings were only slightly longer. Judging by the shape of wings, intensity of the beak, and length of the talons, this creature would be considered a fearsome predator on any world, including her own. Despite the minor anatomical differences, and the glaring lack of a second pair of wings, Tarki couldn't help but be in awe at the similarities between Ko Ko Krokek and this completely unrelated avian.

"Isn't convergent evolution fascinating, my love?" Binko asked his partner in an endearing tone.

"It is a magnificent creature." Tarki had a genuinely impressed tone to her voice. "Quite beautiful feathers patterns."

"Not as beautiful as yours, my love." The deep purple avian lightly pecked his beak against his wife's to give a kiss.

"Aaahhh." Both Tens and Wish cooed in unison at the display of affection before Wish commented. "You two are just the cutest! I can't wait to see you wearing some of the gifts the Aunties got for you!"

"Gifts?" The pair of love birds responded in perfect unison.

"Oh, yeah! How could you miss the giant pile in your nest, Binko?" The Nishnabe woman had a look of disbelief plastered across.

"Your nest?" Tarki's confusion intensified as pulled away slightly from her husband to give him a glare.

"Yeah… I'm sure that I've told you that I own a home here." Binko's expression mirrored his wife's confusion before quickly turning to Wish to explain. "We spent the night at goko's. We haven't actually been back to my nest yet."

"Wait, what kind of nest are we talking about?" The gold avian inquired further, her disbelief still obvious.

"It's a standard 200 square meter housing space at 140m level overlooking the lake." Her husband's answer caused Tarki's eyes to grow wide with shock. Unable to control himself, he had to crack a joke. "Where did you think that 25 percent of all my paychecks went? I pitch in for the community and they help take care of me and my needs."

There was a moment of pause as Tarki processed what she had just heard. As the gears of recognition started to turn in her head, her wide-eyed, shocked expression became even more intense. For a moment, it nearly looked like her eyes were going to pop out of her head. As the full implications of what her husband just said fully settled on her, she turned to the two Nishnabe who were now sporting slightly confused expressions. Without any consideration for her volume, and not even really thinking about what was about to come out of her beak, Tarki shouted what was on her mind.

"You got a Xi Xi to voluntarily pay taxes? How?"
submitted by micktalian to HFY [link] [comments]

2023.04.01 19:04 aliensgonegirl has anyone in the UK tried low-gain hearing aids?

i've been researching low-gain hearing aids but i cannot really find anywhere in the UK that sells them. if you live in the UK, how did you go about getting them? how much did you have to pay for them? do you find that they're useful? i have been trying loops which i've found are good for blocking out background noise but they also make it more difficult for me to understand speech
submitted by aliensgonegirl to AudiProcDisorder [link] [comments]