Hunt-Valley

Crestless and without ties to any of the other known orders, the wandering knights follow their own goals. They are altruistic civilian individuals whom decided to take up armor and weapon, leaving family and name behind in their lonely crusade for the greater good.

Driven by an indomitable will to ward against the creatures of the mist they wander tirelessly from settlement to settlement to aid those in need - to spill their own blood in the place of the innocent.

They are loved by the people - sometimes nearing an eerie disposition of adoration that can’t quite be explained. Just the promise of help seems enough to drive people into a celebratory frenzy… Something the knights of the other orders are rare to see, despite their efforts.

No one can remember when the first one showed up, or how many there are - or has been. The name of Grey is given by the people as the knights themselves claim to be without names.

Though possessing no witching trickery of the mist, they have the uncanny ability to sense the presence of those that do - making them invaluable tools during witch-hunts.

anonymous asked:

what about the stairs in the forests!!! and what doc were you watching and would you recommend?

ok so I DON’T BELIEVE IN THE STAIRS IN THE FORESTS! mainly because I’m A Search and Rescue Officer for the U.S. Forest Service, and I Have Some Stories to Tell a) is posted on /r/nosleep so it’s definitely made up, b) the op admits to knowing about David Paulides, and lbr knowing about = being influenced by, so it’s definitely made up, and c) if you read all the way through to the end it stops being even vaguely believable and starts reading like a WTNV transcript, and then he plugs his book, so it’s DEFINITELY MADE UP. however, it is an amazing (read: terrifying) thread, some of it is obviously based on truths/insider SAR knowledge which means a lot of it is probably uncomfortably close to actually being true, and it’s a good Gateway Read into MISSING PEOPLE IN NATIONAL PARKS CONSPIRACY THEORIES, which is where I live now. (plus, if you read this before getting into anything else it imbues every single missing persons case with an unsettling sense of Eldritch horror, which is why I had to turn on three overheads and unfocus my eyes all the way to the bathroom last night at 2am.) 

so yeah, after reading that /r/nosleep thing for the first time I drew a line under it and moved on until SOMEONE (ahem@roundtop) sent me a link to an article called How 1,600 People Went Missing from Our Public Lands Without a Trace (on a legit and sensible outdoorsy people website), like ‘haha, stairs in the forest!’ and I SWAN DIVED DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. thus: the documentary-watching, staying up till 2am and spending all day today trying to find copies of David Paulides’ books for less than $80 inc. postage. 

THIS DUDE DAVID PAULIDES. he was in law enforcement before, for some reason, deciding to become a ~*~cryptozoologist~*~ and certified gung-ho Bigfoot conspiracy theorist, and through that found out about how many people had disappeared without a trace from National Parks in the U.S., did 7,000 hours worth of digging, and wrote a bunch of books about it. his books are called Missing 411 and are about the ridiculous number of people who go missing in National Parks, the usually weird circumstances around their disappearances, the fact that when people are found (dead or alive) it’s often in places miles and miles and sometimes waaaaay higher up mountains than where they disappeared from, and all sorts of creepy crap to boot. like they can’t get bloodhounds to find a scent, or they find tiny children miles away from where they got lost, barefoot, without a scratch on the soles of their feet, human remains being found years later in places that were search dozens and dozens of times. not to mention the National Parks… People (? I really don’t know enough to be making this post) are aware of what’s happening but don’t keep a list of the people who’ve gone missing on their lands. 

(which is all part of why I’m A Search and Rescue Officer for the U.S. Forest Service is so freaky – enough of it (people being found miles away, kids being found up mountains, the people in charge being cagey about it all) sounds real that you can believe it was actually written by a SAR Officer. heebies!) 

it’s all real nightmare fuel, if you’re the sort of person who is absolutely terrified by all this Scary Forest Disappearing People Unexplainable Deaths stuff, i.e. me. luckily I can’t afford to buy any of them! phew! however, I haven’t let that stop me from a) SCARING MYSELF SHITLESS and b) BECOMING A TIN HATTER, and it shouldn’t stop you either: you can read loads of stuff over at /r/missing411, listen to one of his initial interviews (in which he talks about how he was approached by two park employees in plain clothes who were like ‘please investigate this, there’s SOMETHING going on and it’s so goddamn weird’) on Coast to Coast AM (which is, like, a paranormal radio station… I’m sorry), watch a bunch of Paulides’/CanAm Missing Project’s vids about disappearances on youtube, and listen to hours worth of interviews and late night spooky radio/podcast discussions with Paulides. 

the documentary I thought I was watching was Missing 411, which is based on his books and Kickstarted by the public in 2015, but it turns out that they’re apparently shopping it around at festivals so it’s not out yet. what I was actually watching (and quickly abandoned) was a weird supercut of all of David Paulides’ tv interviews and some cryptozoologist chatter about Bigfoot. Paulides, god love him, never ever SAYS Bigfoot in any of his books, and everything he presents is 100% factually accurate and extensively researched, but… I think we can safely say he thinks it’s Bigfoot. tbh, after reading about Jaryd Atadero I think it’s Bigfoot. I mean, goddamn. 

so, yeah. I’ve finished reading every search and rescue story on this blog (Hunt for the Death Valley Germans is LONG but awesome), I’ve got West of Memphis ready to watch after work tomorrow because I remembered how much I love that case and spooky true crime things, if you have any related LINKS or STUFF about This Shit then REBLOG THIS/MSG ME AND TELL ME, or if you have a copy of a Missing 411 book you wouldn’t mind mailing to me then LET ME KNOW, and in conclusion I can’t believe America is so fucking huge and unkind, goodnight.

Yet even so, Jon Snow was not sorry he had come. There were wonders here as well. He had seen sunlight flashing on icy thin waterfalls as they plunged over the lips of sheer stone cliffs, and a mountain meadow full of autumn wildflowers, blue coldsnaps and bright scarlet frostfires and stands of piper’s grass in russet and gold. He had peered down ravines so deep and black they seemed certain to end in some hell, and he had ridden his garron over a wind-eaten bridge of natural stone with nothing but sky to either side. Eagles nested in the heights and came down to hunt the valleys, circling effortlessly on great blue-grey wings that seemed almost part of the sky. - A Clash of Kings

for @lordsttark‘s birthday - happy birthday jenn!

My roommates are throwing me out. Please help.

Here’s the whole stupid story.

Yesterday, one of my roommates sent me a Facebook message saying that she and my other two roommates had independently decided that I was “too extroverted” (I’m not an extrovert) and that I “disrupt the vibe of the house,” “cause tension,” and “we just think you’re too weird and we don’t like you.” They’ve given me till June 30 to move out.

Up till this point, there was absolutely zero indication that they had any problem with me. I made repeated attempts to make them comfortable; I asked, over and over again, if I was talking too much, infringing on their space, etc. They always said it was fine. Always. They acted nicely to me. I bought them groceries when they couldn’t afford it, cleaned their dishes for them, fixed the broken drainpipe, fixed the internet when it went down, stayed out of their way when they had guests, and we had a lot of the same interests. I only ever wanted to be their friend.

But I’m apparently just ~too weird~ for their fucking house. 

In any case, I need a new place to live. Unfortunately I also don’t know if my job is renewing my contract yet, but I still want to cover all my bases. A temporary place to crash while I work out more permanent housing so I can be out of this toxic, passive-aggressive, two-faced house would be nice too.

Requirements:

  • Must be within ~30 minutes driving distance of Hunt Valley, MD, in any direction. City living / walkable neighborhood preferred but I’ll take anything really. 
  • Less than $500 a month.
  • My own room. 
  • Stove essential
  • No smokers, no 420 (I am allergic)
  • No dogs (I am allergic)
  • Parties are fine so long as they’re at a reasonable volume and not constant
  • Woman roommates preferred; yes that includes trans* women, and excludes trans* dudes (sorry trans* dudes)

About me: 

I am a 27 year old bisexual cisgendered (but trans* supportive!) woman. I am at the end of a 3 month contract as a QA tester for a local video game company (you can probably guess which one) and am waiting on renewal of said contract for another three months (It’s not a sure thing but I’m pretty confidant)

I am clean, tidy, and mostly friendly. I do need my alone time sometimes but for the most part I am a giant chatterbox and will literally talk your ear off if you let me… but! If you need me to, you just need to tell me to cool it, and I will. My own personal space can be a mess but I keep common areas clean. I love videogames, boardgames, classical literature (of all nations, Let Me Tell U About Genji), postmodernist literature, science fiction and fantasy, dumb action movies (AVENGERS), smart action movies (PACIFIC RIM), and cooking. I will cook for you. I am NOT a vegetarian, though I don’t eat pork. 

My work schedule can be a little nuts, and often involves 9 AM to 9 PM days and weekends. This does make it hard to plan sometimes :( 

Thanks guys. If you want to contact me privately, ryuutenshi@gmail.com is a good bet, put ROOMMATES in the headline. 

That Ben x Malek drawing story:
-Dallas dies, Malek becomes depressed over this. They never dated or anything, they were best friends but Malek really really really loved Dallas. He moves away from Oregon to somewhere warmer like Nevada or Arizona. Somewhere where it’s a desert and also he gets into a lot of fights because he needs to let out his frustrations elsewhere. Ben is like, the kid of a leader of a biker gang or whatever and he like, saves Malek’s foolish ass from getting beaten up.. anyway. Ben is nomadic and he likes to travel all over America.. wanted to get away from the rez for some time.. and Malek approaches him, eye punched in, nose broke, lips popped. Hands him a cig and is like.. you wanna talk or should I just fuck off? And Ben being Ben… friendly smile easy to talk to.. they bond and that gay shit happens and they make out to Brandon Flowers and hunt UFOs on monument valley and ghost hunt in abandoned oil rigs. Malek receives an ouija from his beloved friend Poppy and they contact Dallas.. in this au Ben wouldn’t know him.. but through Malek Ben falls in love with a ghost

                                  Red Arizona Dreams by Gleb Tarro,                                                  Hunts Mesa, Monument Valley, Navajo tribal Park, Arizona

                 Travel Gurus - Follow for more Nature Photographies!

Antipodean Opaleye

This species of dragon is generally considered the most beautiful, thanks to its pearly white scales and glittering, multi-coloured eyes. It is native to New Zealand, but has been known to migrate to Australia for new territory.

Unusually for dragons, the Opaleye prefers to live in valleys and hunts out at sea. Their pale colouring helps keep them virtually invisible from below, allowing them to stealthily approach and attack. They have been observed eating a variety of large fish, sharks, cetaceans, and seals. In recent years however, sheep seems to have become a favourite, and the magical community of New Zealand is hard-pressed to keep Opaleyes away from the flocks of muggle farmers. 

Of all the dragons, this species is probably the least aggressive, with siblings or successful breeding pairs even consenting to share territory. Subsequently, it is considered the easiest dragon to train.

When ready to breed, female Opaleyes fly to the mountains and roar to attract nearby males. Prospective pairs put on a spectacular aerial display, complete with fire works, which ends with a dizzying dive. Having mated, the pair stays together until the female lays her clutch of three to six pale grey eggs. 

Curiously, instead of the mother caring for the eggs and hatchlings, it is the father who takes on the parental duties while the mother departs. One theory for how the Opaleye developed this unusual strategy is that it allows female Opaleyes to breed more often and with more males, since she doesn’t have to use time and energy raising her brood.


*For more information, see Professor Kahurangi Parata’s article, “Reversal of Parental Care in the Antipodean Opaleye” (2015)

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DSC_4561 by Chris Walsh

Waiting

For Alistair Week, Day #1- King Alistair 
A small peek into what Alistair was doing while Evelyn was off looking for the cure. Kind of a small prequel to this - I reused the letter as well and added a small part to it. 
1479 Words 

Skyhold had been nothing Alistair had ever imagined. Ever since hearing about the upstart of the Inquisition a year ago and their journey from a small camp in Haven to a large and powerful army he had tried to imagine what their hold might look like. A castle he expected but not a fortress.

He had run into the Inquisitor, Aurelie Trevelyan in her early travels across Fereldan—when she came to Redcliffe to recruit the mages held up by what was later revealed to be hostile Tevinter known as Venatori. That first encounter wasn’t the most diplomatic and he hadn’t had been in the best of moods for a number of reasons. Alistair considered himself lucky when Inquisitor Trevelyan accepted his written apology and as the Inquisition grew, they continued correspondence.

Alistair offered support to the cause, knowing how difficult it had been all those years ago for him and the Hero of Fereldan. Evelyn. Maker—he missed his wife, his queen; gone on a last-ditch effort mission to find a cure for their blighted bodies so that they could have more years together and if possible, an heir. She had left just as the breach in the sky tore open and something within Alistair told him he wouldn’t see her again until the war was over and the lands were healed.

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A Tribute to "Big Dan"

Have you ever had a good friend whose appearance marked a major turning point in your life? A person you knew to be important to you, but who was ultimately one of the most impactful people in your life? For me, that person was Dan Taraschke, known to many of us as “Big Danny T” or “Big Dan.”

I met Big Dan in the summer 1996 at one of the first Otakon anime conventions. I was 16 and I had just gotten into Japanese animation thanks to Sci-Fi Channel and the old Books Nippon retail catalog.  My parents dropped me off at the Hunt Valley Inn and I explored the place like a wide-eyed orphan in a candy factory.  I brought with me a red cape and a crappy old Beetlejuice wig in a pretty sad attempt at a Tetsuo (from Akira) costume.  Of course, no one recognized me and I had no friends there but this didn’t dampen the joy of being around fellow otaku and being exposed to my new anime-hobby in all its glory.  After a while though, a loneliness settled in and I decided to quietly retreat to a video room to sulk for a bit and watch some music videos.  That was where I met Big Dan.

He was a giant of a man (especially to a 16 year old kid) with blonde hair, bright blue eyes and a Terry Bogard costume from Fatal Fury (which I recognized from the tape I rented from Blockbuster Video.)  In that bright red vest and hat, he was the only other thing I could see in that dark video room, so I sat a few seats down from him.  He looked over and then hopped over to the seat next to me and said “Dude! Nice Tetsuo costume!” 

I beamed and shot back “Nice Terry Bogard!” He was glad I recognized him as well since he didn’t have a wig for Terry’s signature long blonde locks.  After the videos he introduced himself. He was a marine and this was maybe his 2nd or 3rd anime convention. While the staff was trying to find the tapes for the next program, we chatted about Fatal Fury and our shared love for Ranma ½, Dominion Tank Police, and Project A-Ko.  There was a music video with an anime I thought looked cool but didn’t recognize. He told me it was Dragonball Z and a couple of his friends were actually going to enter the costume contest as characters from it.  He asked me if I was going to enter as well. “In a crappy Tetsuo costume only one person recognized? I’d never win.”, I told him. 

He smiled and said “You don’t enter to win. You do it to have fun.” He offered to do a skit where he would heckle me and then I could pretend to strangle him with my crazy Akira powers.  I was delighted at the idea and when we went out there, the audience loved it. Of course, we didn’t win anything but, like Dan said, it didn’t matter.  At the end of the day, Big Dan gave me his email address and I went home with a fire for anime and conventions my little belly could barely contain. 

For weeks afterwards, I told all my family and peers about it and I just couldn’t stop talking about “Dan, my Marine friend.” This was a big deal to me because Dan was not only my first anime convention friend; he was also my first adult friend who treated me like an equal (being friends with a 20-something was very impressive to 16 year old with a very small social circle.)

Keeping in touch with him, Dan told me his next convention was going to be Katsucon 3 in Virginia Beach in a few months.  I thought I wouldn’t be able to go, but for Christmas my parents surprised me with a con badge and a promise from my dad that he’d sew me a Ranma Saotome costume.  Both of these things were dreams come true for me at the time and, with bright new costume in hand, Dad drove me to VA Beach that March. I got to see Big Dan again and he introduced me to a number of folks who have since become some of my closest friends. He had to go off and prepare for the evening’s events (which it turned out would involve him dressed as Sailor Uranus…good times) leaving me alone to wander the halls and show off my new Ranma costume. I beamed with pride over it, a feeling that was only amplified when another older fellow asked me if I wanted to join in on a big group skit his was doing and for which he needed a good Ranma Saotome cosplayer. He told me where to meet and at the appointed time I rushed over there with youthful anticipation. When I arrived, however, I saw that he had gathered a pretty large group—one that included a “better”, skinnier Ranma. He thanked me for coming out but that they were covered and that I didn’t need to be there. I left; utterly devastated. I began the slow walk back to my hotel room where I was going to tell my Dad that this wasn’t fun any more and that I wanted to go home.

That was when Big Dan found me again. He asked me what was wrong and after I relayed the whole story, he told me he knew a few other Ranma ½ cosplayers who could use me and some skit ideas.  I reluctantly agreed.  That faithful meeting completely saved the convention experience for me. We put on a fun little Ranma skit I wrote and I even got to show off my Color Guard skills. And when all was said and done, that event turned out to be ten times more fun and amazing than the first. The rest of the weekend was spent partying with my new friends, especially Big Dan. From then on, I was utterly hooked on the con scene and over the next couple years I introduced a number of my school friends to the hobby and we formed our own cosplay group “The Ranma Troop.”  We had a lot of fond memories going to conventions, costuming, and performing skits, many of which Big Dan was involved with in one way or another. Being in that scene, I made a lot of great friends and connections that have stuck with me to this day.  Even though I eventually transitioned to art and comics instead of cosplay, I still make a significant portion of my living these days at conventions. None of this would have been possible without Dan lighting the way when I was younger.

Through those years, Big Dan came out for just about every single one of my birthday parties. He took me along on a road trip to Texas for Project A-Kon as my high school graduation present. We did skits together, worked on costumes together, MC’ed con events together, made stupid videos together, all sorts of stuff.  He was always so excited to be involved in new projects with his friends and his enthusiasm was infectious.  When I turned 21, we toasted my first legal drink at a for-realz hotel bar. He even introduced me to some of my favorite media: Giant Robo (my all-time favorite anime), and Patton Oswalt (my all-time favorite comedian), just to name a few. 

In the days before I would step back from the cosplay scene, I wrote a sketch-comedy movie called “Otaku in Space.”  At a New Years party I was hosting, I read the finished script to my friends in attendance, including Big Dan. I think I heard that goofy high pitched giggle of his more times that night then I had the entire time I’d known him (and that was A LOT.)  We filmed a couple of scenes for it (including Dan as “Michael Fuller: Demon Exterminator”) but the movie was never actually finished. 

A year or two later, I visited Dan’s area to play Laser Tag with his local friends. When I pulled up, he hadn’t arrived yet but I saw a group of people waiting in front of the building. I didn’t recognize any of their faces, but what I DID recognize was that they were quoting lines from the “Otaku in Space” script like it was their favorite Monty Python sketch.  I was floored. It turned out Big Dan had just about memorized the entire thing and had been quoting it to the locals for years. When he finally showed up, he beamed with pride as he introduced me as the person who wrote that stuff.  Like I said, his enthusiasm was infectious.

Even when our paths weren’t directly linked, Big Dan was still incredibly supportive. He continued to be so after I gave up cosplay almost entirely to focus on my art career.  One of his favorite pieces I did was a shirt based on one of my webcomics, Punker Darren, that read “Violence is A-OK!” He would often wear it on video projects he was involved in and he always sent me pictures when he did. This continued as I began to make a name for myself. Dan picked up just about every book I published and he’d often send me notes when a particular comic really tickled his fancy. As I reached my thirties, I didn’t see Big Dan as much, but every con where we were both in attendance, he always made time to share a drink and catch up. On occasion when was in my area, he’d crash at my place and we’d talk about what “the next big thing” we were working on respectively. If we couldn’t actually hang out, we’d exchange notes on deviantArt or facebook. This was something that continued for as long as I knew him.

On November 1st 2014, I was actually doing a guest appearance at a Detroit anime convention (a place my life would have never taken me if not for Dan) when I received a text from a mutual friend. I stepped back from my table in the dealer’s area and collapsed into a chair behind it. My assistant asked what was wrong.  Wide-eyed and almost breathless, I whimpered “Big Danny T died in his sleep last night.”  I sat dumbfounded for a minute and then, like the whole universe punched me in the gut, I buckled over and bawled my eyes out. My heart had been shattered and, of all the places to be when the news dropped, I was an ANIME CONVENTION. I felt like Dorothy on another adventure in the Magical Land of OZ and I just found out a brain aneurism killed the Scarecrow.

The crying wouldn’t stop. I could barely hold it together and I had to do a workshop in less than 2 hours in which I had to talk about drawing adorable happy things.  I couldn’t do it. I felt like was going to throw up. It was widely agreed that it would be understandable if I canceled the workshop. But as I dried my eyes and caught my breath, I knew deep down that Dan would be really sad if I backed out on a chance to make others happy because of him.  Shaking and damming up rivers of tears, I went on and did that workshop.  When I got there, I told the audience I had some bad allergies and started the presentation. It hurt at first, but then a strange thing happened. Feeling all that positive energy and making a room full of people smile dulled the pain and suddenly I felt like that 16-year-old kid again. That same feeling I had when I got a laugh on that cosplay stage for the first time washed over me; all because a wonderful human being inspired me to get out there and shine. Dan, my Marine friend, had done it again.

More strangeness after I had gone back to the table: a number of my young artist and convention friends came by for some advice and/or encouragement.  In spite of a heavy heart, I did my best to support them the same way Big Dan always did for me. Doing so felt like he was standing right there next to me, a comfort and a big brother.  I’m still struggling with things, but that comfort keeps returning and I am holding onto it fondly even as I write this.

After his passing, a lot of folks shared their stories about Big Dan that weren’t all that different from my own. That was one of the amazing things about him. He had so many friends he cared deeply about and he was involved with a lot of people, but when he was with you he always made you feel like you were the most important person in his life.  It’s an amazing feeling to experience; and one that I’d love to pass along. In fact, that’s how I believe we should honor his memory. The world doesn’t have to get darker because Big Dan is no longer with us in body.  He left a little bit of fire, his enthusiasm, and his lust for life with each and every one of the people he cared about. And those thousand little lights could make the world a better and brighter place. That is, if we simply tended them by interacting with the world around us the same way he did.  Laugh a little louder. Rock a little harder. Drink deeply from the cup of life and then joyfully pass it around to everyone you meet. 

But most importantly, be a “Big Dan” for someone else. If possible, be a “Big Dan” to as many people as you can.  If there’s one thing the response to his passing has shown me, it’s that the most beloved and fondly remembered folks aren’t the ones who are simply great heroes in their own stories, but those who go out of their way to be amazing supporting characters in other people’s stories as well.  Big Dan changed my life and I know deep down to the essence of my being that if I can be half the friend to at least one other person that Big Dan was to everyone around him, I could leave this world content.  I only wish I had a chance to tell him that.

Yet it’s also important to remember another of Big Dan’s defining traits: he did not linger in sorrow for very long.  If there was anything that he was more excited about than whatever he was doing right at that moment, it was whatever he was going to do next.  His memory is alive and well in all of us and I look forward to taking it with me on our next big adventure. 

Thank you for everything you did for us, Big Dan, and for what you will continue to do in spirit.  We all love you so very much and we can’t wait to see you once we’re through the pre-reg line of that big anime convention in the sky.  Keep on calling, old friend. Keep on calling.