all the empires of the world

anonymous asked:

i keep getting this weird sense that the world building in vld is 'make it up as you go along'. especially with the galra with the completely different sense you get of what they are as a species in every season. like.. the fire nation is a chocolate cake, and you were given slices throughout the series until you had a complete picture. the galra empire is a cake where every slice is a different flavor, and every flavor is a mystery. not an awful cake, just a really really weird one.

Perfect analogy. Especially since all the AtLA/LoK fans, the mecha fans, the old-school Voltron fans, just about anyone interested in a combination of animation and science fiction, were like

cue jokes about the cake being a lie.

Okay, now I’ve got that out of my system, a more serious response.

The thing with AtLA is that the EPs/writers used a short-cut: they looked across a variety of earth-based cultures and picked what they’d use as analogues. This meant ready-made references for food, architecture, clothing, even political systems. They didn’t have to do reams of world-building details; they could just refer back to the source culture and lift something from there.

(Note: there’s plenty I’m not unpacking here, ‘cause it can be problematic when a bunch of white people in the dominant paradigm use someone else’s culture to prop up a story. But that’s for another post.) 

The disparate and incoherent cake-slices in VLD tell me that the EPs/writers don’t really care to consider the Galra as a culture. Other than the mandatory Big Bad (Zarkon, Haggar), the Galra people are nothing more than disposable minions. No need, then, for what I’d see as foundational aspects of a culture: what people eat, how they build or decorate their residences, what they consider a family unit, etc. 

Here’s the thing about world-building a culture: it’s characterization on a grand scale. 

Keep reading

Happy freedom season for America

We got:

  • A literal fucking empire, let’s elaborate
  • 25% of the world’s prisoners, but only 5% of the world’s population, many of whom are in for nonviolent offenses and paid cents on the hour for their labor
  • Some prisoners getting paid nothing at all for their labor, in instances of literal slavery
  • Drones bombing people halfway around the world on a routine basis
  • An occupation in Afghanistan that’s been going on since fucking 2001
  • An airport security routine that routinely violates privacy rights and is basically authoritarian theatre
  • Poor people paying about 20% in taxes, with real wages unchanged since the 19 fucking 70s, while most of the real income gains have gone to the 1% richest people in our society
  • Income inequality the worst it’s been since the Great Depression
  • Minorities, mentally ill, and/or homeless people getting brutalized and shot routinely by the police
  • No left-wing party worth speaking of, just diet right, classic right, and zero-calorie right (now with 3.27% of the popular vote)
  • About half our food being wasted while people starve
  • The NRA advertising authoritarian, us vs. them rhetoric straight out of old-timey propaganda films
  • A president who is on the record as having endorsed and committed sexual assault, has committed fraud, and isn’t even good at the thing he was supposed to be good at
  • His opponent during the election, who used literal slave labor and has endorsed bombing people halfway around the world on a routine basis, as detailed above
  • Gerrymandering so thick that we’ve got states that aren’t even classified as democracies anymore
  • A mainstream media that acts, unconditionally, as a willing accomplice to the state
  • Our politicians trying to slash programs and agencies whose aims a majority of our population like and want
  • People having to call and beg our politicians to not cut the things that we like and want
  • Our politicians doing fuck nothing that’s any good for anyone except their corporate owners, even though a single party controls the whole government right now
  • A holiday full of drinking and fireworks so we can forget about the fact that we live in a dystopia

(More a Thing my DM said. As it stands the best opening to any games I have ever played)

“You see the wide expanse of Creation before you. To the South is the endless deserts and volcanoes, where the most exotic spices and gems can be found. Opposite of it the snow covered North, home to ancient temples and hidden secrets. The West holds the shimmering seas and sings of pirates and adventure. The forests of the East are dark and mysterious, holding countless secrets in it’s depths. And in the center of it all, the Blessed Isle, once home to the gods, and now the hub of the vast Empire that spans all of Creation.”

“It’s an amazing sight, one that truly puts into perspective the wonder of the world as well as how important it is to protect it, But you can’t enjoy the view, because you’re five miles up and free falling, with no means of stopping your descent. Also you’re being attacked by savage bird men. Roll for Initiative.”

Sad Rock Songs

here are the songs that I listen to when I’m sad they’re ranging from alt to post hardcore so a little bit for everyone
Listen here (https://open.spotify.com/user/1178564415/playlist/68q6lTQWt6yQD907WcXAcD) on Spotify thanks to @chrondodite
“Ten”- Yellowcard
“Sing For Me”- Yellowcard
“What a Catch, Donnie”- Fall Out Boy
“The End of All Things”- P!ATD
“The Light Behind Your Eyes”- MCR
“Fake Your Death”- MCR
“If It Means A Lot To You”- ADTR
“Stone Walls”- We The Kings
“Just Keep Breathing”- We The Kings
“I’ve Given Up On You”- Real Friends
“The Messenger”- Linkin Park
“Coffee Break”- Forever The Sickest Kids
“The Kids Aren’t Alright”- Fall Out Boy
“MSK”- Yellowcard
“Missing You”- All Time Low
“Future”- Paramore
“Last Hope”- Paramore
“The Only Exception”- Paramore
“Demon Limbs”- PVRIS
“King Of Anything”- Beartooth
“Mt. St. Joseph”- A Loss For Words
“Hate To See Your Heart Break”- Paramore
“Legendary”- The Summer Set
“Better Off Dead”- Sleeping With Sirens
“Lead Me Out Of The Dark”- Crown The Empire
“Call Me”- Shinedown
“Therapy”- All Time Low
“Pieces”- Sum 41
“Snuff”- Slipknot
“How to Save a Life”- The Fray
“Remembering Sunday”- All Time Low
“Monster”- Paramore
“Hated”- Beartooth
“Disenchanted”- MCR
“Bullet”- Hollywood Undead
“Hate Me”- Blue October
“Hold On Till May”- Pierce The Veil
“The World Is Ugly”- MCR
“This Is Gospel”- P!ATD
“Crash”- Sum 41
“Believe”- Mumford and Sons
“Demons”- Imagine Dragons
“Only One”- Yellowcard
“California”- Yellowcard
“Lift A Sail”- Yellowcard
“This Song Saved My Life”- Simple Plan
“Golden”- Fall Out Boy
“Human Interaction”- Tonight Alive
“Amelia”- Tonight Alive
“Only Love”- PVRIS
“Empty”- PVRIS
“Clairvoyant”- The Story So Far
“Dark On You”- Starset
“Jenny”- Nothing More
“Take On The World”- You Me At Six
“Placeholder”- The Story So Far
“Sleeping At The Wheel”- Matchbox Twenty
“Beacon Hill”- Damien Jurado
“I Of The Storm”- Of Monsters and Men
“Paper Walls”- Yellowcard
“COMA”- Issues
“The Lines”- Beartooth
“Save You”- Simple Plan
“Terrible Things”- Mayday Parade
“Stay”- Mayday Parade
“Miserable At Best”- Mayday Parade
“Roses”- Against The Current
“Paralyzed”- Against The Current
“Monster”- Starset
“You Found Me”- The Fray
“Where The Story Ends”- The Fray
“Third Eye”- Florence + The Machine
“I’ll Be OK”- Nothing More
“Disloyal Order of Water Buffaloes”- Fall Out Boy
“Hear Me”- Imagine Dragons
“Lonely Girl”- Tonight Alive
“Let It Die”- Starset
“End Of Me”- A Day To Remember
“Reassemble”- A Day To Remember
“Crash”- You Me At Six
“Little House”- The Fray
“For You”- All That Remains
“Never Too Late”- Three Days Grace
“God Went North”- Nothing More
“Heaven”- PVRIS
“If You Wanted A Song Written About You, All You Had To Do Was Ask”- Mayday Parade
“(The Symphony of) Blase’”- Anberlin
“Half”- PVRIS
“Fireworks”- You Me At Six
“Winter”- PVRIS
“We Are Broken”- Paramore
“It Seems”- Nothing More
“Waving Through A Window”- Dear Evan Hansen
“Just Say When”- Nothing More
“Alibi”- Thirty Seconds To Mars

internetcoward  asked:

Why do you think highly advanced ancient civilizations are so prevalent in sci-fi/fantasy?

Basically it’s the Roman Empire’s fault.

No, seriously.

One of the reasons the Roman Empire was such a big deal in the ancient world is because it was able to punch way above its weight class technology-wise due to its sophisticated civic infrastructures. When the Western half of the empire collapsed, those infrastructures essentially imploded, leaving a huge chunk of Europe with large caches of technology that they could still use, but lacked the means to reproduce or repair. A lot of what modern Eurocentric history books present as the natural technological progression of civilisaton is glossing over this massive hiccup where innovation was being driven primarily by the need to repurpose or maintain this leftover tech in the absence of the infrastructures that produced it. Things basically went all Mad Max for a while there - that actually happened.

(This is all hugely oversimplified, of course, but that’s the gist of it.)

The thing about modern fantasy settings is that, by and large, they’re also going all Mad Max. Your typical Western fantasy setting used to be dominated by this huge, technologically sophisticated empire, but then somebody screwed up and blew up the world, and now everything sucks and people live in fortified shanty towns separated from each other by miles of barren wilderness populated by gnarly monsters, where the most valuable commodities are the scavenged detritus of that bygone empire. It’s straight up post-apocalyptic - the only variable is how much time has passed between the apocalyptic event and the present day.

And in terms of literary and artistic antecedents? You can pretty much draw a direct line between Western fantasy fiction’s obsession with post-apocalyptic worldbuilding and the fall of the Western Roman Empire. It’s been 1500 years and we still haven’t gotten over it.

EDIT: To be 100% clear, I’m talking about the antecedents of the specific constellation of post-apocalyptic tropes that characterise Western fantasy fiction, not the more general trope that things used to be awesome in the distant past and now everything sucks. A couple of the responses are giving me grief about how this can’t possibly be right because the Romans themselves wrote about how things used to be awesome in the past and now everything sucks, and it’s absolutely true that they did - along with very nearly every storytelling tradition in any culture whatsoever. Certainly, there’s a discussion to be had about why that might be the case, but it’s a separate and much broader question from the one I’m addressing here.

100 “Epic” Adventure Ideas...

Here are one hundred adventure seeds you can use to generate ideas for your adventures and campaigns.

  1. A ancient and evil balor sorcerer imprisons old friends of the player characters, holding them hostage in return for a service. 
  2. A band of several death slaadi rogues and sorcerers begins to waylay all planar travelers who chance through their recently claimed turf on the Astral Plane.
  3. A ranger hero recognized around the world begins to organize a group of explorers for reasons unknown…
  4. A bardic college develops a style of music that charms and dominates any that listen to it too long.
  5. A beholder cluster, made up of many beholders driven mad, begins to war with lesser beholder communities, apparently all seeking a beholder artifact. 
  6. A prominent deity grows sick and will die if the cause of its divine ill is not discovered. 
  7. A beloved prophecy long accepted as true fails to occur because of the characters’ meddling, and the world turns against them…
  8. A blinding, yellow haze seeps down from the sky, covering the world…
  9. A celestial tree hundreds of miles long reaches its roots down and begins to grow on the world’s surface. Creatures from other worlds live in the heights of the tree. 
  10. A child is born who prophecy indicates will one day ascend to godhood. 
  11. A black disease blights the forest, killing all vegetation as it continues to expand without limit at an ever-accelerating rate. 
  12. A clan of psionic militants breaks away from the kingdom — literally. A huge chunk of land hundreds of acres wide floats up and away (taking with it many terrified non-psionic people). 
  13. A conjunction of parallel planes somehow energizes a lowly peasant to the power of a greater deity — but only until the conjunction ends. 
  14. A cross-time catastrophe has cut off the Material Plane from all others. 
  15. A dragon kills the ruler of the largest nation and takes over, calling itself the Dragon King.
  16. A flaw in a true resurrection spell leaves one player character undead by night and alive by day. 
  17. A floating city arrives from across the sea, apparently fleeing the depredations of the Warlord, a barbarian of an epic caliber.
  18. A flock of angelic avengers and celestials is ravaging across the continent. 
  19. A meeting is called by a storm giant blackguard. Powerful giants from around the world (and other worlds) begin to congregate. Though no one knows the meaning of this calling…
  20. A glorious gemstone in which the first light of creation still lingers is purportedly languishing in an ancient, crumbling demi-plane. 
  21. A great chase ensues through endless parallel dimensions as wizard researchers follow the faint trail of the long-vanished elder elves. 
  22. A group of gargoyle paragons claims the Cathedral of Pelor as its own new home. 
  23. A hero of renown (a quasi-deity, really) is to be wed to an elven prince, but the prince’s royal family claims the prince is under a spell. 
  24. A hole is gouged in the veil separating life and death. As the tide of life pours out into the void, all creatures everywhere begin to die as they accumulate negative levels. The hole must be mended. 
  25. A red dragon and two of its siblings emerge from a red-lit cavern in the earth. 
  26. A lesser deity declares the PCs as its mortal enemies, enjoining all its worshipers and allies to find and slay them. 
  27. A longstanding illusion is pierced, revealing that the king is nowhere to be found, and that all dictates of the kingdom have been actually flowing from the thieves’ guild. 
  28. A new deity decides to leave the Outer Planes to set up its palace on the face of the Material Plane. Once it arrives, it demands worshipers and servitors. 
  29. A mad chronomancer with a mastery of time, has determined how to destroy the past (and therefore the present). Unless it can be stopped, time itself will unravel. 
  30. A planar conjunction will soon come to pass, allowing the legions of hell (or worse) direct access to a selected part of the Material Plane for 24 hours. It can’t be stopped, but some famous characters may attempt to defend key cities or strongholds from the onslaught. 
  31. A player character’s heart is stolen and replaced with a magical gem or a strange alchemical creation. Who knows how long the replacement will last? 
  32. A powerful wizards’ guild enters all-out war with the dominant religious order of the world. 
  33. A quasi-deity wants an escort as it ventures into the Abyss to release a companion quasi-deity from bondage. 
  34. A rogue moon threatens to crash down upon the world, ending all life. 
  35. A sentient spell-virus is raging out of control among spellcasters. All who fall victim to it become part of one unified mind controlled by a malign intelligence. 
  36. A species of “fish” introduced from another plane has provided good eating and relief from famine over the last year. Now, thousands (possibly millions?) of the fish-like creatures begin a sudden growth spurt, transforming en masse into terribly powerful and bloodthirsty predators. 
  37. A splinter community of humans evolves into a sub-race sporting strange and variant powers. 
  38. A syndicate of assassins dramatically expands its membership by introducing a mind-control potion into a city’s water supply. 
  39. A team of nightmares draws a chariot driven by a powerful fighter into the city. 
  40. A titan seeks those brave enough to release it from its age-long bondage; its rescuers may face the wrath of higher deities. 
  41. A vampire scion from another plane begins to conquer world after world with the help of a reforged artifact of legend, Midnight’s Heart
  42. A volcano erupts. In the aftermath, a portal to the City of Brass on the Elemental Plane of Fire remains open permanently.
  43. A well-known wizards’ guild’s magical dumping ground of failed experiments and stale spell components becomes sentient.
  44. A wizard attempting to summon a powerful devil slips up and somehow summons an abomination instead: an infernal lord of the hells. 
  45. A wizard claims to have developed an epic spell ritual that, if cast, will slay a deity.
  46. All magic items crafted from a particular city begin to bestow negative effects on their owners with each use. 
  47. All who fall asleep on a selected world cannot be awakened and eventually die in their sleep. Exhaustion is beginning to take a hold on even the greatest heroes of its realm…
  48. An adventuring party stumbles upon the tomb prison of an long dead half-god and releases it. 
  49. An anti-magic plague is released by an unknown agency, causing sickness and eventually death to any who prepare or cast arcane spells. 
  50. An artifact belonging to one of the characters must be destroyed, lest some great catastrophe, which has secretly been gathering, come to pass. 
  51. An artifact capable of forever dominating all red dragons everywhere is discovered.
  52. An enclave of gnomes customizes an iron colossus into a walking war platform.
  53. A group of NPCs known for good deeds suddenly embarks on a death spree, murdering merchants and their envoys…
  54. A group of NPCs decides to destroy the PC adventurers, for reasons that are initially obscure. 
  55. A sentient, free roaming, self-casting disintegrate spell breaks loose from a wizard’s laboratory. 
  56. A legendary paladin leads a crusade to hell. 
  57. An inter-dimensional caravan must float on the River Styx through the dangers of several lower planes. 
  58. Spirits begin to manifest from machines as complicated as simple steam-powered wheels — is it a warning from the gods of the forge to desist? 
  59. Angry druids raise the beasts, animals, and dire animals of the wild, intent on beginning a new world order in which nature comes first. 
  60. As the world ages, frequent earthquakes threaten to plunge the major nations under the sea. 
  61. Blue-skinned merchants begin to sell enormously popular items composed of dreamstuff — “mined from the very dreams of a deity,” claim the merchants.
  62. Deeper than the Underdark, the world is discovered to be hollow. Hanging in that vast opening is an unknown, uncharted inner world of strangeness.
  63. Dwarf miners follow a vein of adamantine to a hinged valve sealed with divine magic of an age older than any of the current deities. 
  64. A group of seemingly amateur rogues steal the magical scepter of the Dragon King. 
  65. Evil opportunists slay the Guardian of the Flame of Destiny, hoping to remold the Law of Reality to their own liking. 
  66. Ghosts of every sort begin to rise again, and they won’t recognize their own undead state. 
  67. Mind flayers successfully gain control of a surface nation, plunging the region into permanent darkness. 
  68. Jade pyramids of prodigious size rise from the earth. Sounds unlike any heard before echo faintly from within their stony cores. 
  69. Construct-like creatures of insane complexity called “machines” move across the land, preparing the way for a larger invasion of automated entities. 
  70. Magic begins to fail, supposedly because it is being “used up” faster than it naturally regenerates. 
  71. Mercenary half-dragons who ride chromatic dragons as steeds sell their swords (and spells) to an evil empire. 
  72. Newborns begin to be born without souls.
  73. Off-plane raiders begin to steal people away for use as slaves and food. 
  74. Once every ten years a small cave provides access into a magical, underground world where all living beings give off colorful light, ruled by mysterious fey lords with mysterious agendas. 
  75. One of the player characters learns about his or her real mother or father — in fact, that parent was a demon, and that demon has come calling. 
  76. Planetars and solars bring heaven’s war to the Material Plane, slaying any and all they deem evil or immoral. 
  77. Chromatic dragons decide that their “species” is the only true draconic race, and they begin a campaign of genocide against all other dragon types. 
  78. Several well-known cities and all their inhabitants suddenly disappear without a trace. More could follow…
  79. Someone is breaking the Seven Seals that maintain the integrity of the multiverse…
  80. The ancient Great Library has secret vaults where the Words Once Spoken are supposedly inscribed in the Book of Sleep. To speak them again would remake the universe. 
  81. The Clock that Rules the Universe is under attack by insane gnome alchemists, who are raiding it for parts. 
  82. The End Times threaten to begin. 
  83. The gods of Law put all humanoid races on trial for their excesses.
  84. The Lord High Priest of Pelor denounces her deity and faith. 
  85. The most feared and reviled weapon of legend, an artifact sword that drains life energy with a touch, is lost by its owner. 
  86. The Mother of Spiders emerges from her Cocoon of a Million Years to find a mate for her next spawning. 
  87. A vast necropolis undergoes a mystical transformation. Now, each coffin, sarcophagus, and mausoleum leads to separate cemetery dimensions and realms of death. 
  88. The PCs’ stronghold mysteriously gains new extra-dimensional halls and rooms of unknown origin, content, and extent.
  89. The populace decides that they want one of the PCs as their new ruler, which doesn’t please the current ruler. 
  90. The secret texts of a prominent religion, recently discovered, call into question the church’s real goal, its actual origin, and the agenda of its god. 
  91. The souls of a good queen and her family are drawn into the Abyss by an unknown demonic agency. 
  92. The spirits of the dead begin to possess the bodies of the living at an ever-accelerating rate. 
  93. The sun is infested with moon-sized parasites, and may soon fail like so many other stars have fallen to this celestial infestation. 
  94. The winter, which was overly cold, lasts too long — the goddess of winter, Auril, is suspected to be the cause…
  95. The woods begin to grow without bound, invading field, plain, and city. 
  96. The yuan-ti attempt to awaken the Slumbering Serpent, a little-known abomination born of their own race and a god of serpents.
  97. Twenty percent of all astral travelers begin to disappear in mid-trip. Mid-travel diversion spells are suspected. 
  98. Two parallel planes move too close to each other, and denizens and objects of one constantly slip onto the other, and vice versa. 
  99. Unless stopped, an ancient demi-lich will inject itself onto the Negative Energy Plane, where it can possess any undead anywhere in the multiverse. 
  100. When a friend or a respected associate is resurrected, the soul returned to the body has different memories from the original. Whence does this soul come? 
Books you should read because I LOVE THEM

Dedication: For @kissmybruisedknuckles who told me to make this because she’s too lazy to make one lol

1. Strange The Dreamer - Laini Taylor

The dream chooses the dreamer, not the other way around—and Lazlo Strange, war orphan and junior librarian, has always feared that his dream chose poorly. Since he was five years old he’s been obsessed with the mythic lost city of Weep, but it would take someone bolder than he to cross half the world in search of it. Then a stunning opportunity presents itself, in the person of a hero called the Godslayer and a band of legendary warriors, and he has to seize his chance or lose his dream forever.

What happened in Weep two hundred years ago to cut it off from the rest of the world? What exactly did the Godslayer slay that went by the name of god? And what is the mysterious problem he now seeks help in solving?

2. The Night Circus - Erin Morgenstern

The circus arrives without warning. No announcements precede it, no paper notices plastered on lampposts and billboards. It is simply there, when yesterday it was not. Within these nocturnal black-and-white striped tents awaits an utterly unique, a feast for the senses, where one can get lost in a maze of clouds, meander through a lush garden made of ice, stare in wonderment as the tattooed contortionist folds herself into a small glass box, and become deliciously tipsy from the scents of caramel and cinnamon that waft through the air.

Welcome to Le Cirque des Rêves.

3. Unwind - Neil Shusterman

The Second Civil War was fought over reproductive rights. The chilling resolution: Life is inviolable from the moment of conception until age thirteen. Between the ages of thirteen and eighteen, however, parents can have their child “unwound,” whereby all of the child’s organs are transplanted into different donors, so life doesn’t technically end. Connor is too difficult for his parents to control. Risa, a ward of the state, is not enough to be kept alive. And Lev is a tithe, a child conceived and raised to be unwound. Together, they may have a chance to escape and to survive.

4. Cinder - Marissa Meyer

Sixteen-year-old Cinder is considered a technological mistake by most of society and a burden by her stepmother. Being cyborg does have its benefits, though: Cinder’s brain interference has given her an uncanny ability to fix things (robots, hovers, her own malfunctioning parts), making her the best mechanic in New Beijing. This reputation brings Prince Kai himself to her weekly market booth, needing her to repair a broken android before the annual ball. He jokingly calls it “a matter of national security,” but Cinder suspects it’s more serious than he’s letting on.

5. This Savage Song - Victoria Schwab

Kate Harker and August Flynn are the heirs to a divided city—a city where the violence has begun to breed actual monsters. All Kate wants is to be as ruthless as her father, who lets the monsters roam free and makes the humans pay for his protection. All August wants is to be human, as good-hearted as his own father, to play a bigger role in protecting the innocent—but he’s one of the monsters. One who can steal a soul with a simple strain of music. When the chance arises to keep an eye on Kate, who’s just been kicked out of her sixth boarding school and returned home, August jumps at it. But Kate discovers August’s secret, and after a failed assassination attempt the pair must flee for their lives.

6. The Darkest Part of The Forest - Holly Black

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.

Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.

7. Red Queen - Victoria Aveyard

This is a world divided by blood – red or silver.

The Reds are commoners, ruled by a Silver elite in possession of god-like superpowers. And to Mare Barrow, a seventeen-year-old Red girl from the poverty-stricken Stilts, it seems like nothing will ever change. That is, until she finds herself working in the Silver Palace. Here, surrounded by the people she hates the most, Mare discovers that, despite her red blood, she possesses a deadly power of her own. One that threatens to destroy the balance of power.

8. Daughter of Smoke and Bone - Laini Taylor

In a dark and dusty shop, a devil’s supply of human teeth grows dangerously low. And in the tangled lanes of Prague, a young art student is about to be caught up in a brutal otherworldly war.

Meet Karou. She fills her sketchbooks with monsters that may or may not be real, she’s prone to disappearing on mysterious “errands”, she speaks many languages - not all of them human - and her bright blue hair actually grows out of her head that color. Who is she? That is the question that haunts her, and she’s about to find out.

9. Illuminae - Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more

10. Legend - Marie Lu

What was once the western United States is now home to the Republic, a nation perpetually at war with its neighbors. Born into an elite family in one of the Republic’s wealthiest districts, fifteen-year-old June is a prodigy being groomed for success in the Republic’s highest military circles. Born into the slums, fifteen-year-old Day is the country’s most wanted criminal. But his motives may not be as malicious as they seem.

From very different worlds, June and Day have no reason to cross paths—until the day June’s brother, Metias, is murdered and Day becomes the prime suspect. Caught in the ultimate game of cat and mouse, Day is in a race for his family’s survival, while June seeks to avenge Metias’s death. But in a shocking turn of events, the two uncover the truth of what has really brought them together, and the sinister lengths their country will go to keep its secrets.

11. Angelfall (Penryn and the end of days) - Susan Ee

It’s been six weeks since angels of the apocalypse descended to demolish the modern world. Street gangs rule the day while fear and superstition rule the night. When warrior angels fly away with a helpless little girl, her seventeen-year-old sister Penryn will do anything to get her back.

Anything, including making a deal with an enemy angel.

12. Caraval - Stephanie Garber

Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

13. The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer - Michelle Hodkin

Mara Dyer believes life can’t get any stranger than waking up in a hospital with no memory of how she got there.

It can.

She believes there must be more to the accident she can’t remember that killed her friends and left her strangely unharmed.

There is.

14. An Ember In The Ashes - Sabaa Tahir

Laia is a slave. Elias is a soldier. Neither is free.

Under the Martial Empire, defiance is met with death. Those who do not vow their blood and bodies to the Emperor risk the execution of their loved ones and the destruction of all they hold dear. It is in this brutal world, inspired by ancient Rome, that Laia lives with her grandparents and older brother. The family ekes out an existence in the Empire’s impoverished backstreets. They do not challenge the Empire. They’ve seen what happens to those who do.

15. The Darkest Minds - Alexandra Bracken

When Ruby woke up on her tenth birthday, something about her had changed. Something frightening enough to make her parents lock her in the garage and call the police. Something that got her sent to Thurmond, a brutal government “rehabilitation camp.” She might have survived the mysterious disease that had killed most of America’s children, but she and the others emerged with something far worse: frightening abilities they could not control.


16. The Wrath and The Dawn - Renee Ahdieh

One Life to One Dawn.

In a land ruled by a murderous boy-king, each dawn brings heartache to a new family. Khalid, the eighteen-year-old Caliph of Khorasan, is a monster. Each night he takes a new bride only to have a silk cord wrapped around her throat come morning. When sixteen-year-old Shahrzad’s dearest friend falls victim to Khalid, Shahrzad vows vengeance and volunteers to be his next bride. Shahrzad is determined not only to stay alive, but to end the caliph’s reign of terror once and for all.

THE SIGNS AS ENTIRE HISTORY OF THE WORLD, I GUESS
  • Aries: "let's overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!" said robespierre, cutting everybody's heads off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off.
  • you could make a rel— no, don't.
  • Taurus: now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let's go on land! "nope, can't walk yet. and there's no food yet, so I don't care"
  • Gemini: tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing: bronze. made from special ingredient tin from the far lands of Tin Land. i dunno, my dealer won't tell me where he gets it.
  • Cancer: get the hell out of here. will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? okay, thanks, bye
  • Leo: ♫the sun is a deadly laser♫
  • Virgo: some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and ♫the ocean is full of plastic!♫
  • Libra: hi, i'm a member of the roman empire, and i was wondering ♫is loving jesus legal yet?♫
  • Scorpio: "Wait!" said christopher columbus, probably smoking crack. "if the world is round, let's go this way to india"
  • Sagittarius: who's the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we're all dying. you could make a religion out of this.
  • Capricorn: oh, fuck, now everything's dead
  • Aquarius: some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. ♫space dust!♫ which allows for newer and more interesting stars to be made, and then die and explode into ♫even crazier space dust!♫
  • Pisces: hi, you're on a rock floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it's water. fuck it. actually, most of it's water. i can't even get from here to there without buying a boat. it's sad. i'm sad. i miss you.
2

There was a princess… Elisabeta. She was the most radiant woman in all the empires of the world. Man’s deceit took her from her ancient prince. She leapt to her death into the river that you spoke of. In my mother’s tongue, it is called “Artzeche”, River Princess.

Bram Stoker’s Dracula (1992) dir. Francis Ford Coppola

A NONEXHAUSTIVE ANIME RECOMMENDATION LIST

CLASSICS (you’ve probably watched these already):

  • Neon Genesis Evangelion : depression, adolescence & mecha: the anime
  • Tengen Toppa Gurren Lagann : depression, adolescence & mecha: the remake
  • Kill La Kill: see above, but with a commentary on fanservice and the anime industry. also main female characters
  • Death Note : morally ambiguous main character kills people, eats potato chips. everyone loses their shit
  • Fullmetal Alchemist (both 2003 and Brotherhood) : 2 brothers fuck shit up, also save the world through alchemy.
  • Cowboy Bebop : guns in space
  • Every Goddamn Ghibli Movie : do it, you weakling. watch them all theyre all good
  • Ghost In The Shell : theres more than just the first movie. watch the other ones. also the tv series. do it. its about being human
  • Code Geass : snotty rich boi decides to take over an entire empire through sheer assholery and somehow manages it, but god, at what goddamn cost. 
  • Yu-Gi-Oh : believe in the power of the fucking cards karen

CLASSICS II (you probably haven’t watched these and it makes me sad):

  • Perfect Blue : the movie black swan tried (and failed) to rip off properly
  • Future Boy Conan : because miyazaki also does tv series
  • Revolutionary Girl Utena : sword lesbian, a lesbian with a sword
  • Oban Star Racers : racing, but in space. half french
  • Mushishi : spirits, in all their contemplative beauty
  • Black Jack (the OVAs are the best but you can watch the rest as well): the original Dr House, with more money and assholery
  • Koi Kaze : quite possibly the only redeemable anime about incest
  • Sherlock Hound: did i mention miyazaki doing great tv series yet

SHONEN (young boys fuck shit up):

  • My Hero Academia : crybaby protagonist turns out to be most loveable character of all time. becomes a cool hero. love him
  • Mob Psycho 100 : a show about a boy who just wants to be good. ONE manifests in your house to physically punch shonen tropes in the face. breathtaking animation. read the manga before tho. trust me
  • Avatar The Last Airbender (& Avatar The Legend Of Korra) : fuck you its anime because i fucking said so. watch it. the story is great and culturally diverse and also cool shit happens
  • Naruto & Naruto Shippuden : whatever you say some arcs were fucking legendary so whenever you want just watch some cool, non-filler shit. every thing after the Pain arc doesnt matter dont watch it
  • Soul Eater: i have no goddamn clue whats going on but it looks cool.
    also spirit vore
  • Hunter x Hunter : young boy adopts new adults in his family, gets killer best friend. literally
  • Keroro Gunsou : alien frogs try to take over the world. it,,,,, doesnt work very well. featuring otaku frog, angry frog, gay fanboy frog, gay nerd frog, alone frog as well as many other things. the humans are also good
  • Wakfu : its. basically french anime. fantasy stuff, it has great animation (especially in the later episodes) and the main villains are fucking incredible. its on netflix and by all that is holy watch it in french with english subs else i will physically manifest in your house and punch you.
  • One Punch Man : ONE tries to mock shonen manga, does it too well
  • Shaman King : the french OP is in my head and I CANT GET IT OUT
  • Black Rock Shooter (OVA + series) : this times its girls fucking shit up, and theyre also crying. it looks amazing

SPORTS ANIME (i dont give a shit about sports but goddamn i love these):

  • Baby Steps : the most realistic and likeable sports anime ever. weak art but great story telling and pacing
  • Haikyuu!! : what even is volleyball. i care about these characters and the animation is fucking phenomenal. the soundtrack is so good. watch it
  • Ping Pong - The Animation : weird-ass art in the best way, great story & characters. cant fucking believe this was achieved on flash
  • Welcome To The Ballroom : n e c k s
  • Hajime No Ippo : punching people and your own FEELINGS
  • Yuri On Ice!!! : gay ice skating. everyone loves quadruples. very nice and sweet. you will care about dogs
  • Akagi: lets just pretend playing mah-jong while using your blood to bet is an actual sport. also known as ‘wow thats a peculiar art style - the anime’
  • One Outs: was introduced to me as “akagi but with baseball” and boy was i not disappointed

OTHER SHIT I’M TOO LAZY TO CATEGORIZE (but watch them theyre good i promise):

  • Fume Wo Amu : autistic man discovers how to make dictionaries and friends. some sad happens
  • Shouwa Genroku Rakugo Shinjuu : like a greek tragedy, except sadder and directed by gods. incredible animation as well. gr8 storytelling
  • Doukyuusei : a short, sweet love story. the animation style is stunning i fucking love it with all my heart
  • Steins;Gate : time travel bullshit. great direction
  • Journey To Agartha : a movie i tried to get people to watch back when they didnt know who makoto shinkai was yet. pls watch its good
  • Usagi Drop : aka “dont read the manga - the anime”. the fluffiest piece of animation you will ever encounter. a dad dadding his life away
  • Psycho-Pass : great thriller/action show. makes you question morality
  • Uchuu Patrol Luluco : fuck you and your feelings im more important
  • Monster : naoki urasawa Does It Again™
  • Kiznaiver : a deconstruction of drama anime in general, with godlike animation and art. the OP makes me want to cry because its so good
  • Wandering Son : a touching anime about trans kids. read the manga
  • Akagi : just makin sure you watch that one. while youre ahead read the manga too
  • Nichijou : slice of life anime presented in the most hilarious way
  • Mahou Shoujo Madoka Magica : magical girls but with a twist. dont fuckin trust that piece of shit plushie
  • Lupin III : arsène lupin except hes more of a piece of shit than usual
  • Parasyte : i am scarred for life by the things i have seen
  • Jojo’s Bizarre Adventures: whatever the fuck is going on here

thats it for now, i will probably update this in the future when i think of it. these are my opinions and my opinions only im not some kind of anime guru kthx

... Somehow, Still Talking About This Captain America Shit (Now With Bonus Spider-Man and Agents of SHIELD)

So now Secret Empire has revealed its Shyamalan Twist and given the readers a Good Guy Steve Rogers as well as Hydra Cap, and the kinds of dickbags who, when this whole bullshit began were dismissing people’s complaints with “oh come on, don’t you know how comics works, it’s all going to be put back at the end, blah blah blah…” are crowing I-Told-You-So’s.

But here’s the thing:

Yeah, fucknuts.  We always knew this.

Keep reading

do you ever just think about how wild star wars are politically.

  • like, there is the neoliberalism of the old republic, with the textbook neo-marxist core-periphery model of the greater galaxy. 
  • then there are the jedi, which are an enormously ancient and powerful institution that benefits from and enables the republican-corporate structure, but refuses to take direct involvement in its policy, 
  • this leaves an enormous power vacuum which is happily filled by the super secret red glowstick cult of the sith. 
  • and then dooku drags the jedi from his weird neoreactionary hereditary aristocracy ground, which is still somehow more refreshing. 
  • same thing goes for the separatist confederacy, which is mostly a network of megacorporations and planets dependent upon them, which are somehow a less stiffening alternative for many.
  • and then there is grievous, ventress and others from worlds existing outside the dominant framework of republican politics, but ravaged by capitalism and conflict and stripped of an identity beyond their utility, becoming the eventual wildcards. 
  • the entire worlds like mandalore, powerful and prominent enough to be of weight on the galactic scene, but ultimately uninterested in the galactic politics as framed by the republic, because their domestic problems are more pressing. 
  • what ever the hell is going on in the hutt space and underworld, raw capitalism functioning outside the state system
  • then there is the extremely militarized administrative structure of the empire, which drives itself to autocanibalistic destruction trying to keep all of the above under control.
  • pockets of limited autonomy exist under the empire, mostly in places whose established hierarchical administrative system allows for easier management.
  • the super secret red glowstick cult of the sith becomes even more secret, as things do within the mechanism of authoritarian states, which creates another vacuum, as their power is not backed up by ideological representation.
  • our beloved farmboy goes to pick up some power converters from the toshi station, and stumbles upon the said ideological vacuum with a blue glowstick in his hand. 
  • the rebel alliance, which is the oddest mix of generational royalty unhappy with the empire taking over the power they have over their individual planets, and straight up space anarchists from the worlds previously disfranchised by the republic and bombed by the empire.
  • the rebels politicize the jedi teaching as the core of old republican values, going off them as their platform (may the force be with you), even as the old jedi order pointedly stayed away from policymaking. 
  • the sequel trilogy, which refuses to address any of this. 

Imagine a D&D game that all happens in the starting town… Like everything that happens the DM is trying to use to get the players to leave but they never do.

DM: “Oh there’s werewolves a town over killing everyone!”
Players: “Well democratic governments evolve and we can negotiate services from them. Maybe shepherding? I imagine they are great at that.”

DM: “War has started between the kingdom and a neighboring empire. You are called to fight!”
Players: “Well we will fight by organizing the township into a strong industrial complex to produce supplies and weapons. We will end up rich!”
DM: “Please… I built a world…”
Players: “We will build a strong economy!”

history of the entire world, i guess; a transcript

hi. you’re on a rock, floating in space. pretty cool, huh? some of it’s water. fuck it, actually most of it’s water. i can’t even get from here to there without buying a boat. it’s sad. i’m sad. i miss you. how did this happen? a long time ago, actually never, and also now, nothing is nowhere. when? never. makes sense, right? like i said, it didn’t happen. nothing was never anywhere. that’s why its been everywhere. it’s been so everywhere, you don’t need a “where”. you don’t even need a “when”. that’s how “every” it gets. (pause). forget this. i wanna be something, go somewhere, do something. i want things to change. i want to invent time and space. and i know it’s possible because everything is here and it probably already happened. i just don’t know when to start. and that’s exactly where it started. (background noise) woah. i… paused it. i think there’s a universe now. what’s it made of? quarks and stuff. ah, that’s a thing, in a place. don’t like it? try a new place, at a different Time™. try to stick together because the world is gonna get bigger and emptier. but it’s not empty yet. it’s still very full, and about a kjghpillion degrees. (about no seconds later). great news! the quarks are now happily married in groups of three called a “proton” or a “neutron”. and there’s something else flying around too that wants to join in but can’t cause it’s still to (HOT). (about ten minutes later). great news! the protons and the neutrons are now happily married to each other (some of them even doubled up). (about 380,000 years later). great news, the electrons have now joined in. congratulations, the world is now a bunch of gas in space. but it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together and it’s getting closer together. it’s a staaaar. new shit just got made. some stars burn out and die. bigger stars burn out and die with passion! and make some brand new way crazier shit. space dust! which allows newer, more interesting stars to be made, and then die, and explode into even crazier space dust. so now stars have cool stuff around them, like rocks, ice, and funny clouds, which can make some very interesting things. like this ball of flaming rocks, for example. holy shit, we just got hit with another ball of flaming rocks, and it kinda made a mess. which is now the moon. weather update: it’s raining rocks from outer space. weather update: those rocks might’ve had water inside them and now there’s Hot Steam in the sky. weather update: cooler temperatures today, and the floor is no longer lava. weather update: its raining. severe flooding alert: the entire world is now an ocean. volcano alert: that’s land. there’slifeintheocean. what? something’s alive in the ocean. oh cool, like a plant or an animal? no. a microscopic speck! it lives at the bottom of the ocean and eats chemical soup which is being served hot and fresh made from gnarly space ingredients leftover from when it was raining rocks or whatever. oh yeah, and it can do that. it has secret instructions written inside itself telling it how to build another one of itself. so that’s pretty nifty, i would say. tired of living at the bottom of the ocean? now you can eat sunlight. using a revolutionary technique you can convert sunlight into food. taste the sun. side effect: now there’s oxygen everywhere and the sky’s blue. then the earth might’ve been a snowball for a while, maybe even a coupla times. it’s a sponge, it’s a plant, it’s a worm and some other types of weird strange water bugs and strange fish. it’s the Cambrian explosion. “wow, that’s animals and stuff.” but we’re still in the ocean. hey, can we go on land? NoO. why? the sun is a deadly lazer. oh okay. not anymore there’s a blanket. now the animals can go on land. come on, animals, let’s go on land! “nope, can’t walk yet. and there’s no food yet so i don’t care.” (100 million years later) ok, will you learn to walk if there’s plants up here? “maybe,” said some bugs, and fish. “uh. uh. uh.” (five million years later) “ok so i can go on land but i have to go back in the water to have babies.” (idea) learn to use an egg. “i was already doing that.” use a stronger egg, and put water in it, have a baby, on land, in an egg. water is in the egg, baby, in the water, in the egg. works for me. bye bye ocean. aaand now everything is huge. including bugs. wanna see a map of the land? sure. ah fuck, now everything’s dead. just kidding here are the survivors. keep your eye on this one because its about to become the dinosaurs. here’s another map of the land. yeah, it broke apart, don’t worry about it, it does that all the time. here comes a meteor. and the dinosaurs are gone. its mammal time! here come the mammals. look at those breasts. now they’re gonna dominate the world, and one of them just learned how to grab stuff. and walk. no, like, walk like ‘that’. and grab stuff at the same time. and bang rocks together to make… pointed rocks. “ouch.” and set things on fire. “yeouch.” and make crazy sounds with their voice (“gneurshk.”) which can mean different things. that’s a human person. and now they’re everywhere, almost. ice age. what? you can walk over here? cool. not anymore. i guess we’re stuck here now.

let’s review. there’s people on the planet. and they’re chasing their food. fuck it, time to plant some grass. look at this, i control the food now. now everyone will want to be my friend and live near me. let’s all build houses except mine is bigger because i own the food. this is great, i wonder if anyone else is doing this. tired of using rocks for everything? use metal. it’s underground. better farming was just invented in a sweet dank valley right in between these two rivers, and the animals are helping. guess what happens next. more food, and more people who came to buy the food. now you need people to help make the food and keep track of the sales. and now you need houses for people to live in, and people to make the houses. and now there’s more people and they invent things, which makes things better and more people come. and there’s more farming and more people to make more things for more people. and now there’s business, money, writing, laws, power. sociiiety. coming soon to a dank river valley near you. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, the horse is probably being tamed. why is all my metal so lame and lumpy? tired of using lame, sad metal? introducing bronze, made with special ingredient tin from the far lands of tin land. i don’t know, my dealer won’t tell me where he gets it. also, guess what - egypt. meanwhile, out in the middle of nowhere, they figured out how to put wheels on a horse. now we’re getting somewhere. also, china. and did i mention indusrivervalleycivilization. norte chico. the middle east is getting more complicated, maybe because it’s in the middle of the east. knock knock- er, clop clop, it’s the people with the horses? and they made an empire! and then everyone else copied their horses. greeks! ah look, it must be the greeks, or a beta version of the greeks. let’s check in with the indus river valley civilization. they’re gone. guess who’s not gone? china. new arrivals in india. maybe it’s thosehorsepeopleiwastalkingabout or theircousinsorsomething. and they wrote some hymns and mantras and stuff. you could make a religion out of this. there’s the bronze age collapse. now the phoenicians can get down to business. also, can we switch to a metal that’s a little easier to find? thanks. look who came back to israel, it’s the twelve tribes of israel. and they believe in god. just one though, he’s got like a ten step program. here’s some huge heads, must be the olmec. the phoenicians make some colonies. the greeks copy their idea and make some colonies. the phoenicians made a colony so big it makes colonies. here comes the assyrian empire. nevermind it’s the babylonian- median- it’s the persian empire. “wow, that’s big.” ah, the buddha was just enlightened! who’s the buddha? this guy, who sat under a tree for so long that he figured out how to ignore the fact that we’re all dying. you could make a religion out of this. oops, china just broke, but while it was breaking confucius was figuring out how to have good morals. ah, the greeks just had the idea of thinking about stuff. and right over here, alexander just had the idea of conquering the entire persian empire. it’s a great idea, he was…great. and now he’s dead. hopefully, the rest of the gang will be able to share the empire evenly between them. knock knock, it’s chandragupta, he says, “get the hell out of here, will you get the hell out of here if i give you 500 elephants? ok thanks bye; time to conquer all of india- or most of india”. but what about this part? that’s the tamil kings, no one conquers the tamil kings. who are the tamil kings? merchants, probably. and they’ve got spices. who would like to buy the spices? “me,” said the arabians, swiftly buying them and selling them to the rest of the world. hey, china put itself back together again with good morals as their main philosophy. actually they have three main philosophies. out here, the horse nomads run wild and free, and they would like to ransack your city. let’s check the greekification levels of the greekified kingdoms: greekification overload! “bye,” said the parthians, “bye,” said the jews. “hi,” said the parthians, taking over the entire place. “heyyyyyyyy,” said the romans, eating the entire mediterranean for breakfast. “thanks for invading our homeland,” said the jews, who were starting to get tired of people invading their homeland. “hi, everything’s great,” said some guy who seems to be getting very popular, and then gets arrested and killed for being too popular, which only makes him more popular. you could make a religion out of this. want silk? now you can buy it from china! they just made a brand new road to the world…or you can get there on water. “sick, new trade routes,” said india, accidentally spreading their religion to the entire southeast. hmm, that’s a good place for an epic trading kingdom. there goes buddhism, travelling up the silk road. i wonder if it’ll reach china before it collapses again. “remember the persian empire? yup,” said the persians, making a new one. axum is getting so powerful they would like to build a long stick. has anyone populated madagascar yet? let’s do it together. china is whole again…then it broke again. still can’t cross the sahara desert? try camels. “hell yeah, now we’ve got business,” said the ghana empire, selling lots of gold, and slaves. “hi i live in the roman empire and i was wondering, is loving jesus legal yet?” “no” “actually ok sure,” said constantine, moving the capitol way over here to be closer to his main rival. don’t worry about rome, it won’t fall. it’s the golden age of india. there’s the gupta empire. not chandragupta, just gupta, first name chandra, the first. guess who’s in rome? barbarians. what’s a barbarian? “non-romans,” said the romans, being invaded by non-romans. r.i.p. roman empire. or actually, just half is just fine. but it’s not in rome anymore so let’s give it a new name. the mayans have figured out the staaars. oh, and here’s a huge city, population everyone. the göktürks have taken over the entire eurasian steppe. great job, göktürks. how’s india? broken. how’s china? back together. how’s those trading kingdoms? bigger, and there’s more of them. korea has three kingdoms. japan has a kingdom, it’s the sunrise kingdom.

deep in the arabian desert, on the top of a mountain, the real god whispers in muhammad’s ear, so he goes down to the cube where everyone worships gods, and he tells them their gods are all fake. and everyone got so mad at him that he had to leave town and go to a different town. you could make a religion out of this. and maybe conquer the world as well. the roman empire is long gone, but somehow the pope is still the pope. plus there’s new kingdoms all over europe. i wonder if there’s room for moors. here’s all the wisdom, in a house. it’s the baghdad house of wisdom, just in time for the islamic golden age. “let’s bring stuff to the coast and sell it, and become the swahili on the swahili coast,” said the swahili on the swahili coast. remember this tiny space you have to go through to get from here to there? someone owns that now. wanna get enlightened in the middle of nowhere? the franks have the biggest kingdom in europe, and the pope is so proud that he invites the king over for christmas. “surprise, you’re the new roman emperor,” said the pope, pretending to still be part of the roman empire. then the franks broke their kingdom into what will later be called france and not france. the northerners, or just norse if you don’t have that much time, are exploring. they go north, from the north to the northern north, and they find some land. two types of land, and they name them accordingly. they also invade some other places and get called many names, such as vikings. there’s the rus, the kievan rus. are they vikings? “i don’t think so,” said the kievan rus. ok, fair enough. the pope is ready to make some more emperors of the roman empire, the holy roman empire. it’s actually germany but don’t worry about it. new kingdoms! christianizeallthekingdoms. which brand would you like? “mine’s better,” “mine’s better,” “mine’s better”. “time to conquer england,” said william. it’s a bird, it’s a plane, it’s the seljuk turks. “ahh!” said the byzantine empire, who’s getting so small it almost doesn’t exist anymore, “we need help!” they need help, so they call the pope. “hey pope, can you help us get rid of the seljuks? maybe take back the holy land on the way? come on, i know you wanna take back the holy land.” “yes, i do actually want to do that. let’s do a crusade.” crusade. they did many crusades, some of which almost didn’t fail, but at least the italians got some sweet trade deals. goodbye mayans. hello toltecs, goodbye toltecs, hello mississippi. look at those mounds. there’s the pueblo. i always wondered how to build a town in a cliff. guess who’s here? khmer. where? here, and pagan is there, and vietnam unconquered itself, korea just became itself, and japan is so addicted to art that the military might have to take over the government. china just invented bombs, and typing. and the mongols just invaded most of the universe. nice going, genghis. i bet that will last a long time! some of the islamic turks were unaffected by the mongol invasions because they were busy invading india. is it tonga time? i think it’s tonga time. i just found out where the swahili gets all their gold. look at this chad (means lake), there’s an empire there, right in the middle of africa. the king of mali is so rich he’s going on tour to let everyone know. “wow, that guy’s rich,” everyone said. the christians are doing a great job of conquering iberia which will soon be called spain and not spain. please remain christian. we will check in later to see if you are still christian when you least expect. whoops, half of europe just died. ming. china’s back, yay. hey khmer, time to share, new kingdoms here and there. oh look who controls all the islands, its the mahajapit. majahapit, mapajahit, mahapajit, mapajahit, majapahit? oh, italy’s really rich, time for them to care a lot about art and the ancient classics. it’s kinda like a rebirth. here’s a printer, lets make books. so you think you can conquer the byzantine empire? “yep,” said the ottoman turks. nice job, ottoman turks. whoops, you missed a spot; don’t forget to ban europe from the indian spice trade. “what? that’s bullshit,” said portugal, spiceless. well i guess we’ll have to find another way to india. “wait,” said christopher colombus, probably smoking crack, “if the world is round, lets go this way to india!” “nah, don’t worry we already got this,” said portugal. so chris goes to spain. “hey spain, wanna hire me to go find india by going around back of the world?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.”  “please?”  “no.” “please?” “ok.” so he sails into the ocean, and discovers more ocean, and then discovers ‘the indies’ and ‘japan’. let’s draw a line to decide who gets which half of the world. the aztec and inca empires are off to a great start. i wonder if they know that europe just discovered their continent. the habsburgs are marrying into so many royal families they might have to start marrying each other. move over lithuania, here comes moscow. ivan wants to make russia great again. move over timurids, maybe go invade india or something. persia just made persia persian again. let’s make it the other kind of islam, the one where we thought the first guy should’ve been the other guy. hey christians, do you sin? now you can buy your way out of hell. “that’s bullshit, this whole thing is bullshit, that’s a scam, fuck the church, here’s 95 reasons why,” said martin luther, in his book which might have accidentally started the protestant reformation. “you know what would be magnificent?” said suleiman, wearing an onion hat, “what if the ottoman empire was really big, which it is now.”  “what if russia was big,” said ivan, trying not to be terrible. portugal had a dream that they controlled the entire indian ocean, including the spice trade, and then that dream was real. and spain realised that this is not india, but they pillaged it anyway. “damn,” said england and france, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” then the dutch revolt and all the hipsters move to amsterdam. “damn,” said amsterdam, “we gotta start pillaging some stuff.” question one: can you get to india through north america? no, but at least there’s beaver. question two: steal the spice trade. that’s not a question but the dutch did it anyway. sugar. guess where all the sugar’s made? in brazil. stolen! in the carribean, and it’s so goddamn profitable you might forget to not do slavery. the next thing on russia’s to-do list is to get bigger. britain and france are having a friendly discussion about who should control the entire world, more specifically, ohio. then it escalates into a seven year discussion, giving prussia a chance to show austria who’s boss. but what about britain and france, did they figure out who’s boss? yes they did, it’s britain. guess who’s broke? also britain. so they start taxing the hell out of america.

“fuck you,” says america, declaring their independence, and fighting for it. france helps them win, now france is broke. and britain will have to send their prisoners to a different continent. wait if france is broke, why do the king and queen still wear such fancy dresses? “let’s overthrow the palace and cut all their heads off!” said robespierre, cutting everybody’s head off until someone eventually got mad and cut his head off. you could make a reli- no don’t. haiti is starting to like the idea of a revolution, especially the slaves, who free themselves by killing their masters. “why didn’t we think of this before?” wait, who’s in charge of france now? “me,” said napoleon, trying to take over europe. luckily, they banished him to an island. but he came back. luckily, they banished him to another island. there goes latin america, becoming independent in the latin america wars of independence. britain just figured out how to turn steam into power, so now they can make many different types of machines and factories with machines in them so they can make a lot of products real fast. then they invent some trains, and conquer india and maybe put some trains there. “hey china,” said britain, “buy stuff from us.” “nah, dude we already got everything,” says china. so britain tried to get them addicted to opium, which worked actually, but then china made it illegal and dumped it all into the sea. so britain threw a hissy-fit and made them open up five cities and give them an island. britain and russia are playing a game where they try to stop each other from conquering afganistan. also the sultan of oman lives in zanzibar now, that’s just where he lives. india had a revolution, and they would like to govern themselves now. “nope,” said britain, governing them even harder than before. technology is about to go crazy. the united states finally figured out whether slavery is good or bad. “it’s bad,” they decided. and then they continued manifesting their destiny, which is to kill the rest of the natives and take their land, and maybe kick out the mexicans too. “i know, let’s rape africa,” said europe, scrambling to see who could rape it the fastest. they never got ethiopia.  britain and france are still hungry. they never got thailand. the united states ran out of destiny to manifest, so they’re looking for more. hawaii. cuba. wait spain controls cuba. “well, blame something on them and go to war! what should we blame on them? let’s blame the maine on spain!” so they blame the maine on spain. now we’re in business. to celebrate, they kick panama out of panama and make a canal, connecting the two oceans. britain just found oil in the middle east. it makes cars go. china is so tired of being bossed around that they delete their old government and make a new stronger government, which is accidentally weaker and controlled by a guy from the previous government. europe hasn’t had a war since the last war, so they start world war one. look at those guns. it’s gonna be a great war, so great we won’t need a second one. after it’s over, they blame germany. russia went on strike and the workers overthrew the government. now everyone’s paycheck is the same. communism, in the soviet union. the arabs revolt, and britain helps. now the ottoman empire is gone, so we can give the jewish people a place to live. hopefully the arabs won’t mind. “let’s cut the cake,” said sykes and picot, carving up the remains of the not-so-ottoman-anymore empire. except turkey, turkey makes a brand new turkey. and then the saudis conquer arabia. it just seemed like the right thing to do. hello? yes, it’s the 1920s calling. let’s get in a car and drive to a party and listen to the jazz on the radio and go to the movies. the economy’s great and it’ll probably be great forever. just kidding. germany’s back, featuring hitler, the angry mustache model. he’s mad at the jews for existing. japan is finally conquering the east, and they’re so excited they rape nanking way too hard. they should probably just deny it. hitler’s out of control, so the international community tackles him and tries to explain to him why killing all the jews is a bad idea, but he kills himself before they could explain it to him. that’s world war two. bonus round: pacific showdown, united states versus japan. fight! finish him. let’s unite all the nations and have some world peace. seems legit. “hi i’m gandhi and if britain doesn’t get the hell out of india i’m going to starve myself in public. wow, that worked?” bonus: now there’s pakistan. actually two pakistans. one of them can be bangladesh later. the jews and the arabs finally figured out which one of them should live in the holy land. “me”, they both said at the same time. “let’s divide up the land so everyone’s happy.” sike! they both get angrier. look out china, there’s a new china in china. what’s on the menu? communism! “no thanks,” said the other china, escaping to an island. i wonder which one is the real china. there’s the korean war, korea versus korea, nobody wins, then it’s on pause forever. let’s meet the sponsors. oh, it’s the two global superpowers. they’re having a friendly debate over which economic system is good and which is an evil virus of satan. and they both have atom bombs. fight! wait no that would be the end of the world. let’s just keep it cool and spy on each other instead. and make sure we have enough atom bombs. “i’ll race you to space. now let’s make some more countries fight themselves.” europe is tired of pillaging other continents, so the continents they were pillaging are tired of being pillaged. so here’s a new map, with new countries. now you can’t tell who they’re being pillaged by. the united states finally decided whether racism is good or bad. they decided it’s bad, and the world agrees. south africa might need another minute to think about it. let’s check the world population. woah. okay. technology’s better too, that might keep happening. the soviet union decides to relax a little and accidentally falls apart. europe makes a union, so now they can all use the same money; except britain because they don’t feel like it. let’s check the mail. surprise! it’s on the computer! whoops, someone just attacked america, i bet they’ll remember that. phone call, surprise, it’s in your pocket! wanna learn everything? surprise, it’s on the computer! now your phone’s a computer, which is in your pocket. whoops, the economy just crashed. don’t worry, the big banks won’t fail, because they’re not supposed to. surprise, flying robots! with bombs. wanna print a brain? some people have no friends. some people have no food. the globe is warming, and the ocean is full of plastic. “let’s save the planet,” said everybody, not knowing how. “let’s invent a thing inventor,” said the thing inventor inventor, after being invented by a thing inventor. that’s pretty cool. by the way, where the hell are we?

A species of warlike creatures, the dryzal, were the first to notice the humans, to them we were nothing but a bunch of hairless rats with a collective ego big enough to power an entire empire for several generations.

They took great humor in crushing us, so much so that they gave us fair warning. And that was their biggest mistake.

When they made landfall they were not greeted by an army of any kind, instead they found a small team of politicians. The Dryzal were astonished, they had even warned these beings of their presence and all they sent were people tried to talk, not to fight!

The admiral decided to humor these beings and discuss their terms of surrender, but when the human negotiator walked in, he was smiling!

“Good morning Admiral, how are you today?”

“Ready to crush you beneath my boot you puny rodent! Now stop with your useless babbling and get to business before I command my fleet to bomb your planet into submission!”

“If you wish. To put it simply you believe that you are in a superior position to us, it is my job to correct this assumption and inform you about the true hellhole of a position you put yourself in.”

At this point the Admiral was more than enraged. He had been insulted by this species again and again, and this show of bravado was the last straw.

“HUMAN” he screamed “YOU HAVE THREE SECONDS TO GIVE ME A REASON I SHOULDN’T TURN THE SURFACE OF YOUR PLANET TO GLASS”

“For starters” the politician smiled “We have enough nuclear weapons stored on in this military base alone to wipe your species out of our system, but that would be too easy. While we’ve been talking, teams of commandos have infiltrated your command ships and have taken complete control.”

He continued with a type of angry calm unknown to the dryzal “From the information we gathered from the onboard computers, we know exactly where your homeworld is and with your ships it will be absolutely no issue getting there. If you harm a single occupant of this planet we will turn every one of your weapons against you and glass your planets.”

The dryzal laughed, after all there was no way these pasty beings could have accomplished any of these feats, right?

Just to prove that the human was mentally unstable, he pulled out his communicator “Admiral Joz to Planet Eater, respond” But the com stayed silent. “Humph” he said “your sun’s solar flares must be interfering with our communication systems”

“Perhaps” said the politician shrugged “or maybe I’m right.” At this he pulled out a radio of his own and said “two shots”

The Planet Eater fired off two wide bore lasers into space, easily noticeable from the window of the building.

NOW the Admiral was listening

“What are your terms?” He asked, clearly defeated

“Leave everything behind and pack all of your troops into unarmed transports, go back to your empire and never return.”

The legend of the Humans spread quickly, and they were quickly both feared and revered as the destroyer of worlds and the freer of species. They were warriors, and nobody dared test that again

8

It is a dark time for the Rebellion. Although the Death Star has been destroyed, Imperial troops have driven the Rebel forces from their hidden base and pursued them across the galaxy. Evading the dreaded Imperial Starfleet, a group of freedom fighters led by Luke Skywalker has established a new secret base on the remote ice world of Hoth. The evil lord Darth Vader, obsessed with finding young Skywalker, has dispatched thousands of remote probes into the far reaches of space…

Star Wars: Episode V - The Empire Strikes Back (1980) dir. Irvin Kershner

We spend so much of our 20’s looking for the one. We are stuck at that age where half of our friends are engaged or married, some with children; the other half is drunk off their ass 90% of the time and never made it past their second semester of college. We find this compelling need to compare ourselves to everyone around us, “oh at least I’m doing better than her,” and “fuck. She’s about to be a doctor and I am not sure what I want to be.” We have to swipe left endlessly looking for what we want.

I’ll tell you what you want, it’s to be happy.

Happy is not the same for you as it is for the girl who sat next to you every day during 3rd period.

And for me? Happy is making sure I get to see the world while I’m young, experiencing different parts of our country before I pick and place and settle down. If I’m going to dig my roots so far into the nutrient rich ground I want to make DAMN sure it’s the right kinda soil to make me grow. At some point I woke up and realized I’m living life for myself and not others. I welcome their criticism but learned to filter out when it was helpful versus unnecessary. There’s nothing wrong with getting on a plane to anywhere or long road trips or moving around to figure yourself out. Cause let me tell you, I was looking for the one, and I found her. It’s me. I’m the one. But when I find someone else who can be my plus one to everything I’ve already given myself, I’ll be ready because I won’t expect them to give me all the love in the world. To always pick me up when I fall. I will not rely heavily on them because i know I’ve already done it for myself and deeply rooted myself in those capabilities. Whoever comes along will hopefully have done that for themselves and instead of 2 trees in a yard we can create a jungle that radiates so much life everything comes to live within us. You see I was born a queen with a throne, now I’m learning to make an empire.

And for you? I hope you find whatever your happiness is to be able to do the same. To be a source of life.

Altean!Lance with a twist

So we all see the posts about how Altean!Lance is Allura’s brother, the prince, or even just a common Altean that holds no title, and we all love us some Altean!Lance.

But what about…………..Lance being Haggar’s kid? Like seriously how has no one thought of this!

Lance being born and raised to be a Druid, always following the empire’s orders, always doing what his mother wants to try and get the love and attention he needs; he even went through experimentation at the hands of his mother to get any sort of praise from her, which after everything, she only called him a disappointment of a subject. He trains constantly, both physically and magically for years, hoping that that would get him some sort of affection. He becomes one of the top druids, besides his mother, in the empire and if anyone were to try and take him on in physical combat, they would severely regret it. But After all those years of allowing experiments and following every terrible order from Haggar and Zarkon to try and please his mother, to try and get any sort of acknowledgement from her, he pretty much gives up. He knows what’s expected of him, and he knows that he’ll never get what he truly wants. He accepts that, and just considers it normal behavior by now. He knows the best way to please his mother is by following orders, so that’s what he does.
He’s 13 years old.

Now fast forward 4 years. He gets a new assignment. He has to go to some planet called Earth and infiltrate their government to see if they will be easy to conquer, and if any of the lions are there. Lance agrees without question.

So he goes down to Earth and easily takes the form of human to blend in, and he gets pretty much adopted by the McClain’s, who thought he was a runaway or a street kid. When they ask about his family, he plays it safe and says he doesn’t have any. So of course they take him in and begin raising him like one of their own. Lance is just shocked to see how this family treats each other with such love and kindness and understanding. And when that love and kindness get shown to him, he nearly loses his cool and release his form. While he was able to keep his form the same, his freak it was not so easily hidden, at least not in the the eyes of actual loving parents. They teach him about how family REALLY works. About how much loyalty and support and positivity comes with it. They slowly get him used to physical comfort and along the way Lance realizes that he doesn’t want to leave. He likes it here on Earth, where he’s actually treated as a person, as family. Not some soldier. But Lance is too scared to refuse his mother’s and Zarkon’s orders. He’s seen what they do to traitors and he knows that he won’t be given any mercy just because he’s Haggar’s son. But he also wants to protect these people that have taught him the truth about family and loyalty, he doesn’t want the empire to destroy this world like he’s seen with so many others. Lance doesn’t know what to do.

He goes outside to try and clear his head; which is where his mama (she refused for him to call her anything else besides her first name or mama) and asks him what’s wrong. He wants to tell her everything but he’s not sure if he can tell her; if she’ll believe him or call him crazy or what so he just stays quiet. Mama decides to talk instead, about how much they all love him, about how they’re all so happy they met him and took him in. About how no matter what life may throw at him, no matter how bad, Lance could always come to them. That’s how Lance made up his mind. He’s going to ignore his orders; even if that makes him a traitor to his real mother. He didn’t care. He was going to protect this family. HIS family.

He joins the Garrison to do just that. He plans on making it to fighter pilot and get through the school as fast as he can so he can protect his family faster. Unfortunately, Earth ships are primitive compared to Galran, so Lance doesn’t do so well and ends up in the cargo pilot class. Thus where he meets Hunk and befriends him (most of the effort was from Hunk) and gains abut of a rivalry with Keith since he had beaten Lance’s score by a few points, taking the last spot in the fighter class.

Of course then we lead into episode one, and the team finds the Blue lion, and meeting Allura and Coran, and if that isn’t a surprise to Lance, then I don’t know what is. Of course he still keeps his actual identity a secret, fearing what Allura and Coran would do if they found out who he really was. This is also where Lance is trying to figure out why Blue chose him. He was the son of a traitor to his race. He has helped the Galra in unspeakable ways. He can’t figure out why the Blue Lion chose him.

So Lance is now fighting against the empire he was once apart of, trying to undo the wrongs that have been done to hundreds of others.
All the while trying to hide himself from Haggar and Zarkon, at least for as long as he can. He knows one day, the beans are gonna spill, and it will not end well. But he’ll do his best to give himself some time to figure out how to tell the team the truth about himself and his past.

The idea that Ezra was born on Empire Day not because it’s convenient to the narrative but because Jedi were dying and he was just Force sensitive enough even in utero to sense it and panic is… very good in that’s it’s awful

There’s a sizable body of anecdotal evidence to suggest sufficient adrenaline can kickstart Braxton-Hicks, and there’s a strong correlation between prolonged stress and preterm labor. If you factor in the war going on for a long time before hand (probably not good for magic fetal development) you could be looking at a group of mothers already at risk for preterm labor thanks to their highly stressed out kids. Once the Jedi Purge started every Force sensitive in the galaxy probably felt it, including unborn children with enough body mass and brain development to both support midichlorians and interpret the signals they were getting. And since we know there are elements of heredity, a lot of their parents might have picked up on those bad vibes as well, not to the same degree but enough to get freaked out. 

Everyone is watching Chancellor Palpatine’s big speech being rebroadcast on the holos, but across the galaxy soon-to-be parents are locked in a loop of inexplicable panic and going into rapid labour with (often preterm) Force sensitive children who come into this world stressed as all get out. Ezra was born amid dozens of others and spent weeks screaming inconsolably until the executions died down. When Luke starts looking for other Force users in the galaxy he discovers a statistically improbable number of his peers were born within a week of him. The trend even continues a few years down the line because Empire Day was always when the Imperials were terminating rogue Jedi and making big shows of force. It’s the weirdest version of “the best hockey players are born in January and February” ever. You know they’ve got the real high midichlorian count when their birthday is the day after Empire Day and a month before they were due.

SJM Baltimore Book Event

Some notes from the questions portion of tonight’s event!

She is a proud hufflepuff bc of the common room, husband is Gryffindor

She would be in the Night Court bc she hates the sun

Cassian is Gryffindor
Azriel is ravenclaw
Elain hufflepuff
Nesta syltherin
Amren slyth/claw
Mor is Gryffindor
Rhys is slytherin
Feyre is hufflepuff (she literally said slytherpuff)

Unsung hero of acotar is Suriel!!!

Favorite power is Helion’s libraries

Mates can be same gender, as we saw in ACOWAR

Inspiration for Rhys is not her husband!!! They are both tall and handsome with dark hair, but rhys and Feyre’s bond *is* inspired by their relationship. Rhys also walked into her head like aelin and became Sarah’s second husband.

Lorcan vs Cassian, we win and they draw. They would fight to a stalemate then go get a beer and bond over lady problems. Then likely go to the Spring Court and start trouble.

Rhys vs Fenrhys are equally attractive, depends on preference.

Jamie (from Outlander) and Rhys would be friends but would be constantly in silent competition with each other.

(Always imagines rain clouds and white tee shirt contests with her guy characters, and abs)

She is more like feyre on her quiet days, more like aelin on most days, but identifies most with Fleetfoot.

Her deadlines are plotted out for years, so she has no option but to sit and write. Writing is a muscle that needs to be used and built. Her advice to aspiring writers is to not listen to the people who tell you to write something “serious or a real book.” If someone says “you can’t” tell them “watch me,” at least in your head. Keep your goal as your focus. Find the time and write. Do it!!!! Treat it seriously.
She would sit down everyday and write, even if it’s only 10 minutes a day. It’s the only way to get it done.

Quoted A League of Their Own, said that if it wasn’t hard everyone would do it. You have to hustle.

Each spinoff will be a stand alone novel and follow a different pairing in each. They will all eventually be connected in the end.
One might be a snow queen retelling. One might be a Russian/swan lake retelling but at this point she won’t give more details than that yet.

TOD runs parallel to EOS, it’s a “meanwhile on the southern continent.” Wrote 20,000 words in the first day and was chater 4. 193,000 words later and it’s the same length as EOS.
The timeline lines up perfectly. Nesryn, Chaol, and Irene plotlines and pov.
TOD never feels like work and is as close to her heart as HOF was. Is excited every time she reads it and edits. She was excited to expand on the TOG world. The southern continent is highly influenced by the Mongolian empire.
She is a huge G. Khan fangirl.

READ TOD BEFORE FINAL TOG. Major game changers and reveals, it all weaves together.

Editor who read TOD for review hated Chaol going into TOD, but she came out loving Chaol after.
SJM loves the journey and she cried a lot working on the book.

She reccomends Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Post ACOWAR read the Fever series (blonde southern girl tries to solve her sister’s murder). Star Touched Queen.

Her patronus (she wanted hers to be a velociraptor), she got an akami (sp?), the feathery-serpant creature from fantastic beasts.