Masterwork

Series: The Clinic

The Clinic: Part 1

The Clinic - Brian is sent off to Queen Mary’s Psychiatric Hospital to cure his depression and borderline. His roommates, John in particular, help him push through this difficult time in his life

Hello dear people, it’s been quite a while since I’ve uploaded something, which was all because I have been working on this new series called The Clinic which is like my masterwork so far. It will have fifteen parts and an epilogue, most of which have already been written down and the last part of which I’m currently working on. I will upload one chapter each week, which will be available both here on Tumblr, on my Wattpad account, and my A03 account (which I literally only created like the other week hfhsfhshfs).

Notes and warnings: These series feature, as you might have been able to read from the description, serious topics such as mental health issues, depression, and life in a psychiatric hospital. Mentions of illnesses, disorders, violence, etc. will take place throughout the story, but whenever something especially ‘shocking’ happens, I will mention this in the notes and warnings before the chapter.

Disclaimer: I wrote these series partly to come to terms with my own diagnosis, which is a major depressive disorder, and certain traits from a borderline disorder (the jury’s still out on that, as to say so). I therefore believe that I can safely say that I am familiar with depression and to an extent with borderline, but the symptoms of depression and borderline differ between its sufferers, so I am not saying that the way I experienced it (which I largely translated into the character of Brian) is an universal experience. I have no personal experience with other illnesses/problems I mention, such as  anorexia or substance abuse, so everything I write about it in this story, is what I’ve learned about it at school or on the internet and in books. If anything is incorrect, you are welcome to correct me!

Have fun reading this, darlings, and please let me know what you thought of it! c:

# # # 

‘Can we have your suitcase, please?’

Brian knew this moment was going to take place sooner or later. He already had been dreading it while signing the required paperwork and listening to the speech of the strict looking secretary concerning what would happen if he was to break one of the many rules and conditions that made up the sixteen pages long handout he had been given. And now that the administrative part of his admission had been taken care of and the two wardens had been searching his pockets for drugs or weapons and the like, there was nothing left to do for the men in uniform to check his suitcase for items to confiscate on the grounds of them being inappropriate, dangerous, or not allowed to go through those heavily secured doors and into the clinic for whatever other reason.

‘Come on, Brian. Give them your suitcase,’ his father’s voice suddenly popped up from behind him when Brian did not show any sign of going to obey to this question anywhere soon. Had it not been for the man speaking up now, Brian was positive he might have forgotten about his parents’ presence in the room; they had been quiet nearly all the way through this procedure, only nodding and saying ‘yes’ and ‘amen’ with everything the secretary sitting at the desk in the lobby of Queen Mary’s Psychiatric Clinic was telling them. While Brian found himself wanting to run straight out of the building with every new rule or regulation the woman mentioned, his parents seemed to be all too happy to agree to all the terms and conditions of their son’s stay here. It would have looked like they were glad to be rid of him, if Brian hadn’t been aware that they had called sending him away one of the hardest decisions of their lives.

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“Woah. What happened to your cannon?”

“I think… it got older.”

“Huh?”

“OK, don’t laugh.”

“At what?”

“So I was on Nessus, right, and I found an active Vex gate. A couple goblins came out every now and then, so I settled in behind a rock to plink at them, because I was still trying to get the hang of this thing and needed some live-fire practice, you know, to work on my reload.”

“Uh-huh.”

“So I’m plinking, getting bent out of shape that I can’t get used to reloading these little drums, that the cylinder’s too stiff, whatever, and I get… worked up.”

“Yeah?”

“And I… throw it into the gate.”

“Your gun?”

“Right. I was done, I’d had it with hand cannons, so I said ‘to hell with it’ and just winged it.”

“Into a Vex gate?”

“Yeah, ‘cause I figured that’s a sure way to never see something again. Thing is — and this is where you don’t laugh — it hit me in the face.”

“What?”

“I threw it into the gate, and it flew right back out and caught me right in the visor.”

“That’s… odd.”

“What’s odd is it looks like it’s been out in the elements for a thousand years. But I checked the serial number, and it’s the same gun. The really weird thing, though?”

“Hmm?”

“Reload’s way better. Masterwork custom tuning. Whatever happened on the other side of that gate, patina’s not the only thing it picked up.”

“And you’re just, what, fine carrying that around now?”

“No, but I’m terrified to let it out of my sight.”

(Better Devils w/ Descendant Vex Chrome)

Hotlinks to all Tables: A complete list of every trinket table for quicker access compared to scrolling through the entire blog or sifting through the archive. This also functions as the easiest link to reblog or save for reference purposes as it’s updated with each new table. Now with 60 full d100 tables.

-Minor Magical Items: Semi useful magical objects (If not always useful to an adventurer) that have little to no drawbacks associated with their use and are perfect for low level characters.

-Minor Magic Items, 1    /   -Minor Magic Items, 2


-Unique Weapons: Blades, bludgeons and bows of all shapes, sizes and mysterious backgrounds. Distinctive weapons that can serve as the basis for family heirlooms, legendary artifacts and magical or masterwork weapons.

-Unique Weapons, 1   /   -Unique Weapons, 2

-Unique Weapons, 3


-Masterwork Weapon Bonuses: A variety of weapon improvements, enhancements and modifications created though superior craftsmanship. These masterpieces are more powerful than ordinary weapons but in most cases would not be considered “magic” or “+1” weapons. 

-Masterwork Weapon Bonuses, 1


-Sealed Glass Vials: Faulty potions, weak elixirs, alchemical supplies, spell components, ritual elements, enchanting materials, crafting ingredients and magically preserved biological samples.

-Sealed Glass Vials, 1   /    -Sealed Glass Vials, 2

-Sealed Glass Vials, 3   /    -Sealed Glass Vials, 4

-Sealed Glass Vials, 5   /    -Sealed Glass Vials, 6

-Sealed Glass Vials, 7 


-Books: An eclectic library of dusty tomes, fictional textbooks, pocketbooks, paperbacks, hardcovers, booklets, leaflets and magical manuals.  

-Trinkets, Books, 1   /   -Trinkets, Books, 2 

-Trinkets, Books, 3


-Book Descriptions: A short list of quirks, physical descriptions and eccentricities to add additional personal characteristics to the book trinket list.  

-Book Descriptions, 1


-Trinkets, Rings: Enough rings and bands to wear three on every finger and toe while still having dozens to spare. These small circular pieces of gems, metal, wood or bone always add more to the story than the sum of their parts. 

-Trinkets, Rings, 1


Trinkets, Necklaces: Pendants, amulets, lockets, chokers and other “Neck Slot” jewelry that grant an immediate glance into the bearer’s personality, wealth, rank or social class and often serves as an iconic part of that character’s look. While a locked metal torque can instantly mark the bearer a penniless slave and a string of lustrous pearls mark their owner a flauntingly wealthy noble, so can an adventurer’s necklace mark them as a creature to bestow quests upon.

-Trinkets, Necklaces, 1


-Trinkets, Valuable: More useful than regular trinkets, these items have either a clear purpose, a reliable ability or are made from a fairly costly material.  

-Trinkets, Valuable, 1   /   -Trinkets, Valuable, 2 

-Trinkets, Valuable, 3   /   -Trinkets, Valuable, 4

-Trinkets, Valuable, 5   /   -Trinkets, Valuable, 6


-Trinkets: Interesting baubles or semi magical items that have little to no practical in game or mechanical use for an adventurer.

-Trinkets, First

-Trinkets, 1   /   -Trinkets, 2   /   -Trinkets, 3

-Trinkets, 4   /   -Trinkets, 5   /   -Trinkets, 6

-Trinkets, 7   /   -Trinkets, 8   /   -Trinkets, 9

-Trinkets, 10   /   -Trinkets, 11   /   -Trinkets, 12

-Trinkets, 13   /   -Trinkets, 14   /   -Trinkets, 15

-Trinkets, 16   /   -Trinkets, 17   /   -Trinkets, 18

-Trinkets, 19   /   -Trinkets, 20   /   -Trinkets, 21 

-Trinkets, 22   /   -Trinkets, 23   /   -Trinkets, 24

-Trinkets, 25   /   -Trinkets, 26   /   -Trinkets, 27 


-Trinkets, Worthless: Vaguely interesting garbage, vendor trash and junk loot. Not magical or mysterious like regular trinkets or worth anything more than a copper piece or two even if you could find someone to buy it in the first place.

-Trinkets, Worthless, 1   /   -Trinkets, Worthless, 2 

-Trinkets, Worthless, 3   /   -Trinkets, Worthless, 4

-Trinkets, Worthless, 5   /   -Trinkets, Worthless, 6

-Trinkets, Worthless, 7   /   -Trinkets, Worthless, 8

-Trinkets, Worthless, 9


-All Reference Tables: When a trinket calls for a Random Weapon, Random Color or Random Godly Domain and you can’t think of one offhand, just go here and either roll a die or select one of your own choosing.

—Keep reading for all reference tables.

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The Best Films of 2017 - Mid-Year List

There have already been many great films so far this year, so I felt it worth doing a run down of my favourite films of the year so far. These all reflect the cinema releases we’ve had so far in the UK in 2017 - for that reason this list includes some films that were released in the US in 2016. Enjoy, and I’d love to hear your thoughts on the best films of the year so far!

Honourable mentions: Their Finest, Colossal, Gifted

1. Get Out, dir. Jordan Peele

This film really knocked me for six, to such an extent that I simply had to see it twice in the cinema. It got even better upon a re-watch, when I was able to watch it with full knowledge of the characters’ underlying motives and the things to come. It’s a terrifying concept (the racism of an all-white suburb is taken to a horrifying extreme) executed with incredible panache, and you feel every emotion that Chris goes through thanks to Daniel Kaluuya’s excellent performance. Get Out also represents one of the most brilliantly communal experiences I’ve ever had at the cinema - I won’t spoil it, but let’s just say that the audience erupted into spontaneous applause at a key moment in the climax. Simply fantastic. 

2. The Handmaiden, dir. Park Chan-wook

This film is exquisite - it’s first and foremost a beautiful boundary-smashing love story, and an absolutely marvellous tale of female defiance. It transplants Sarah Waters’ novel Fingersmith to 1930s Korea, and the story is effortlessly adapted to become intrinsically interwoven with its new setting. Sookee is a talented pickpocket plucked from a thieves den and sent as a handmaiden to trick a rich heiress into falling for a conman. To say any more would spoil the twists, but this film is just a masterwork of suspense, keeping you guessing throughout a series of interlocking pieces that take their time to reveal their secrets. I’ve seen the theatrical cut and the extended version, and they’re both great - you’re in for a treat with either.

3. Jackie, dir. Pablo Larrain

This is a film that soars on the strength of Natalie Portman’s incredible performance, which is complemented by Mica Levi’s haunting score. Portman’s performance is painfully vivid, with her agony and wretchedness coming through so intensely that it’s often uncomfortable to watch. Jackie is probably the best portrait of grief I’ve ever seen, and it sucks you into a famous historic event by providing an incredibly intimate perspective on it. This is great cinema, but be prepared for suffering.

4. A Cure for Wellness, dir. Gore Verbinski

This is a delightfully strange Gothic fairy tale of a film, and I’m amazed and impressed that a Hollywood studio gave Gore Verbinski a budget sufficient to pull it off with such beauty and style. I’ve seen this film attract love and hate in equal measure, but I adore it - the trailers set you up for a rehash of Shutter Island, but nothing could be further from the truth beyond the isolated setting. If I had to compare this to anything, I would compare it to Roger Corman’s Poe cycle of films from the 1960s - it has a similarly lurid sensibility and a deep-seated sense of fantastic romanticism at its core. Great if you’re after something uncompromisingly bonkers.

5. Wonder Woman, dir. Patty Jenkins

This film represented pure joy for me - I couldn’t have anticipated how emotional I was going to get at witnessing a (wonder!)woman crossing No Man’s Land and deflecting bullets with her bracelets. This simultaneously rejects the wry self-awareness of the Marvel films and the grim self-importance of the previous DC movies, instead unabashedly depicting a superhero who triumphs thanks to her overriding belief in love and compassion. Patty Jenkins adds endless little touches - from funny moments to quiet scenes where characters talk simply to learn about each other - that enrich the film and make it feel vivid and intimate in a very rare and special way.

6. Silence, dir. Martin Scorsese

This is truly the work of a master filmmaker, and it represents a stunning artistic achievement and a moving and intelligent investigation of the threshold of faith. Scorsese tried to get this made for decades before finally succeeding, and his passion for and belief in the project shine through in every painstakingly crafted frame. Silence is equal parts beauty and brutality, and it uses this contrast to illuminate the painful questions that the faithful must ask themselves when faced with the harsh reality of the present world. It’s heavy stuff, but well worth your time if you’re up for a film that raises more questions than it answers.

7. In This Corner of the World, dir. Sunao Katabuchi

I had no idea this film existed until a few days before I saw it, but I was really struck by its poetic treatment of the joys and tragedies of life. This film follows a young bride who moves to live with her husband’s family in WWII-era Japan, and while it deals unflinchingly with the trauma and horror of war - particularly the bombing of Hiroshima - it’s also surprisingly funny and ultimately hopeful. The power of this film comes through in the little moments of human connection and the way that the full potential of animation is exploited to maximum effect.

8. La La Land, dir. Damien Chazelle

A lovely ode to the classic Hollywood musical, La La Land is a technical marvel that sticks with me because of its heart and humanity (those words are recurring a lot, right?). It tells a very small story of a love affair between two dreamers in Hollywood, but it feels much bigger than them because of the way in which their story is told. La La Land draws from influences across the spectrum of cinema, and its homages to the classics are joyful and loving. The final ‘what might have been’ sequence represents the perfect marriage of raw emotion and filmmaking virtuosity. 

9. Okja, dir. Bong Joon-ho

Not many films can balance flatulence jokes with uncompromising critique of capitalist greed, but Okja pulls it off with aplomb. The core story hinges on the innocent and endearing friendship between a young girl named Mija and a bio-engineered super pig called Okja, and the film succeeds because you totally buy their connection and desperately want the two of them to have their wish and live together in the mountains. I’m delighted that Netflix gave Bong Joon-ho a platform to make such a weird beast.

10. Logan, dir. James Mangold

Logan may be bleak, but that isn’t what makes it great - Logan is fantastic cinema because it remembers that superheroes are still people who struggle with their own souls as much as super-villains. This film features the best character work managed in any of the X-Men films, and Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart and - in particular - Dafne Keen give heart-rending performances that really ground the film and give it an emotional core. I hope we get more superhero films like this, and that the takeaway from it for the industry is the importance of stressing character rather than frantic spectacle.

Most anticipated films still to come: War for the Planet of the Apes, Valerian and the City of A Thousand Planets, Dunkirk, The Beguiled, Mother!, Logan Lucky, Blade Runner 2049, Murder on the Orient Express, The Shape of Water, Annihilation, Star Wars: The Last Jedi

10

Salk Institute 

Images by Pete Sieger

The Salk Institute was established in 1960 by Jonas Salk, MD, developer of the first safe and effective polio vaccine. Salk selected world-renowned architect Louis I. Kahn to design the research facility he envisioned would contribute to the betterment of humankind.

Kahn’s masterwork consists of two mirror-image structures—each six stories tall—that flank a grand travertine courtyard. Three floors house laboratories and the three levels above them provide access to utilities. Towers jutting into the courtyard provide study space for senior faculty. Towers at the east end contain heating, ventilating and other support systems. At the west end are six floors of offices overlooking the Pacific Ocean. A total of 29 structures join to form the Institute.

Text via salk edu

The Sings and Rings:

Aries: A simple zinc ring that denotes membership to some exclusive group of academics. Your fingers idly pass over the simple grey stone as you watch the reflection of the moon in the fountain below.

Taurus: The only relic of a once-illustrious bloodline. An intricate braid of wires, the tiny thorns dig into your flesh. 

Gemini: A ring carved from elkhorn, the craftsmanship is rough and unpracticed but done with incredible care. It is inscribed with a name in a script you don’t recognize.

Cancer: A ring covered in regular, square, faces, each inscribed with a number one through 24. It is made of shining black metal, the numbers inlaid with gold.

Leo: A thick steel ring. It is dented and covered in gashes, one mark seems to have nearly split the ring right through to the center.

Virgo: Composed of many different materials woven into a fine braid, all bound around a tiny circlet of red metal that seems to strain against the wires. Wearing it makes you feel restless.

Libra: A fossilized hatchling snake curled into the shape of a ring. The petrified bone is as hard as metal.

Scorpio: The ring resembles a finely machined gear, made of a metal resembling brass. The last of its kind, the inscription on the inside only carries meaning for you.

Ophiuchus: A simple band of silver, smooth and unmarked. One of a pair now separated. 

Sagittarius: A holy relic. A masterwork of precious metals depicting a prophet and their god. The ring itself is caked in filth, just retrieved from the sorry mire it was lost to.

Capricorn: A keepsake handed down to you. Not particularly beautiful or valuable, but conjures fond memories of home.

Aquarius: A tiny braid of coarse grey hair, surrounded by tin clamps. Wearing it feels wrong, as if you were sleeping in the bed of someone who could return at any minute. 

Pisces: A simple copper band likely depicting a blossom, an emerald set in the center. The ring was retrieved from the ash fields, warped by time and sudden heat.

vimeo

Pagan Spring

3

Never Alone (Kisima Inŋitchuŋa) | 2014

“With the story of Kunuuksaayuka, told by Robert Cleveland, it’s just a masterwork. It’s a well-known story among the Iñupiat people, and in our case of producing a video game that really reflects indigenous heritage, it captures the imagination, and it’s something that you have a very specific kind of task to do. There’s a blizzard, you know, and it’s just a nonstop blizzard that is overpowering the people. And there’s one man that wants to figure it out, and in our case of the story, it’s a girl that wants to find the source of that blizzard.

Spit versus Magic lock

So I was playing a games with a few friends, myself playing a goblin druid named Spit. We were tasked with sneaking in to an enemy kingdoms castle and assassinating the evil halfling king. We find the king’s secret escape tunnel (used so he could flee in case of invasion) and at the entrance was a wooden door with a magic talking lock/knocker of an ugly face.

DM “if you can answer my riddles, I shall open.”

Me (ooc) “it’s a wooden door, right?”

DM “Yes, but you have to answer the riddles to get it unlocked.”

Me (ooc) “Is it a magic door?”

DM “No, just the lock is magic, but you have to answer the riddle for it to unlock, which means you have to let me give you the riddle.”

Me (ooc) “Ok, you can give us the riddle, but just to be clear the door is wooden and not magical?”

DM (exasperatedly) “No, it’s just a fucking wooden door with a magic fuck lock that will only open when you answer the fucking riddle! Got it?”

Me (looking slightly abashed) “yeah, sorry, continue…”

DM (as lock) “Now answer me this…”

Me “Woodshape!”

DM (Looking at me with murderous intent) “That’s obviously not the answer I had barely started to ask the riddle!”

Me (ooc) “I know, I’m casting wood shape on the nonmagical wooden door and turning it into armor for my goblin with the knocker as his cod piece but with the wood forming a bar gag in his mouth.”

DM “…”

Me *grinning*

DM give me a spell craft roll. Beat a 17.

Me *Nat 20*

DM “… You now have an intricate set of masterwork wooden plate with fucking pin joints so you can move…. I hate you…”

Me *grins*