and this was all kinds of wonderful

Dark Souls III: Irina, Eygon, Cruelty and You

((Hello! And welcome to the first of possibly three Videodrones this week. This is a guest piece by the excellent and incisive Jack Caulfied, aka @sadnesstweets on twitter. It’s wonderful stuff, and if you’d like to read more, he publishes on medium.com at https://medium.com/@sparks.falling

As a reminder, the patreon is at www.patreon.com/hegelbon – any little bit is more than appreciated!))

Dark Souls is a great series for tracing tropes and archetypes. There are all kinds of characters in whom you can recognise antecedents from previous games, dynamics and relationships that replicate themselves across the series. Today I want to focus on a pair of characters in Dark Souls III, Eygon and Irina (both ‘of Carim’), that I think are representative of a particularly interesting and omnipresent motif.

There’s a lot to the motif, which makes it difficult to sum up concisely. There is always a saintly victim figure, treated with a strange admixture of religious devotion and vicious abuse. The figure clearly has an important role to play in the series’ spiritual world (they are frequently fire keepers, and failing this, fulfilling an overtly spiritual role as, for example, the pilgrim Thea in the first game does), but this spiritual power does not translate into worldly power — in fact, seemingly the opposite.

                                 (Anastacia after her magical revival)


These characters are almost always disabled, in some sense. Dark Souls III’s fire keeper is blind, as is Quelaag’s sister in the first game (and the Maiden in Black, from Demon’s Souls); Anastacia is mute; even the quite physically capable Darkmoon Knightess, who otherwise is something of an exception to the archetype, is said to be seriously deformed beneath her armour. The doll from Bloodborne appears to be literally an inanimate object brought to life. Further, when the player is able, through magical means, to ‘cure’ these disabilities, they are not met with any great praise for doing so. The fire keeper is unwilling to see; Anastacia is unwilling to speak.

These saintly sufferers are always women. I don’t intend this as a complaint about the series’ treatment of female characters; these games are hardly short on capable women, from Eileen the Crow to Sieglinde of Catarina to Lucatiel of Mirrah. But it is certainly a detail worth noting, firstly because the notion of passive suffering as saintly purity recalls a long history of depictions of women, and secondly because the second party in this dynamic, who, as mentioned, fulfils a role somewhere between devotee and persecutor, is always a man.

This is where it seems best to list the pairings of characters that I think most clearly represent the motif: Petrus and Rhea of Thorolund; Lautrec of Carim and Anastacia of Astora; Gehrman and the Doll; and of course, Irina and Eygon of Carim. Garl Vinland and Maiden Astraea from Demon’s Souls, while serving as clear visual and thematic inspiration for Irina and Eygon, do not appear to match the abusive dynamic under discussion here.

So, Eygon. You first meet him waiting outside a dark, locked cell. Inside the cell is Irina. Inquiring about this, you hear from Eygon that she is ‘a lost cause. Couldn’t even become a fire keeper. After I brought her all this way, and got her all ready. She’s beyond repair, I tell you.’ Immediately you see the strange dynamic at play here. Eygon is seemingly both Irina’s captor and, on some level, on her side. He strikes a note of hostility usually reserved not for a relationship of mutual antagonism but for a hopelessly embittered intimacy.

Being a good diligent soul, you find another way into the cell and speak to Irina herself. She is in a dark place. ‘The dark surrounds me,’ she says, ‘nibbles at my flesh. Little creatures, they never stop biting. So please, hold out your hand, and touch me…’ In one of the most affecting moments in the game, you do. And the moment of intimacy seems to make things better for at least the time being. The dark things give Irina some respite. Concurring with her guardian-captor, she declares herself ‘unfit to tend the flames’ but offers to assist in your quest all the same.

                                 (A moment of quiet respite with Irina)

‘How very quaint, pitying creatures that are beyond help,’ Eygon sneers. ‘Very well. I’m sick of looking after her at any rate.’ The same bitterness, but then: ‘I am allied to you as long as you ensure the girl’s safety. And only for that long…’ The exact relationship between Eygon and Irina is, like much of these games’ lore, shrouded in obscurity. Are they blood relatives, past lovers, or simply strangers thrown together by Eygon’s knightly duty to protect Irina? Considering the way in which he mixes malicious insults with a serious concern for her safety, some combination of the two latter scenarios seems likely. As time goes on, we will see just how seriously he takes his terms.

Back at Firelink Shrine, your base of operations, you learn that Irina, too — perhaps ironically given her fear of the dark — is blind. She requests that we bring her divine tomes written in braille. For now, Eygon is nowhere to be found, seemingly glad to have foisted his ward on us. Returning the requested tomes to Irina allows her to teach you new miracles, a school of magic broadly focused on defensive and healing effects.

Eventually Eygon returns ‘to see how she’s getting on.’ You never actually see him check on her. In fact, throughout the whole game Eygon and Irina are almost never actually beside one another, and Irina only once (as we will see later) even refers to Eygon’s existence. ‘This cesspool of doddering oldfolk and degenerates,’ Eygon continues, ‘She must fit in perfectly here.’ Clearly more than anything, he has come to gloat.

Like most subplots in these games, there are a couple of ways this can end. The branching point relates to a pair of divine tomes quite unlike the others, and the question of whether you should learn the miracles from them. Upon being presented with these tomes, Irina warns us they are ‘forbidden’ and mentions again the ‘little creatures that nibble at me in the darkness…’ Meek, subservient, and accustomed to abuse, Irina, of course, does not outright refuse. She leaves the issue entirely in your hands.

The more positive ending for Irina, and, I suspect, the one vastly fewer players achieved, involves avoiding the miracles from these tomes altogether, and simply learning everything she can teach you from the regular, un-profaned tomes. At this point, with no subsequent reappearance from Eygon, Irina finally takes up the mantle of fire keeper. Her warnings against the dark tomes, though timid, were taken seriously. Though fragile, with her boundaries and her dignity finally respected she was able to flourish.

This, as I have said, is not the ending most players actually achieved.

                                          (Irina as fire keeper)

The miracles from the ‘profaned’ tomes are different from the rest. They focus more on wounding and sabotage than medicinal or defensive effects. Their effects are alarming. One spell turns fallen corpses into exploding traps. Another summons a swarm of insects — ‘Little creatures, they never stop biting.’ It ought to serve as a warning but doesn’t. Irina teaches you the spells — what else can she do?

When you next return to the shrine, Irina is nowhere to be found. Her usual place sits empty. Perplexed, you go hunting. A little way outside, you find her — and a very angry, very hostile Eygon. ‘This knight of Carim does not forgive betrayal. Even a broken woman deserves her dignity…’ Here is Eygon, constant verbal and perhaps physical abuser of Irina, defending her dignity. From you.

There’s something to be said for a story that shows you a monster, then surreptitiously leads you into following in his footsteps, even surpassing him. Rescued from one who would abuse her trust, Irina found herself under the questionable protection of another who did the same.

Eygon cannot be reasoned with. When he’s dead, Irina is once again terrified, talking about the ‘little creatures’ and begging to be touched. You reach out a hand, but she doesn’t seem to recognise the touch, continuing to beg as if you were not there. You don the gauntlets stripped from Eygon’s corpse and do the same again. This time she recognises the touch. ‘Oh, you again,’ she says, ‘touch me, one last time. And kill me, as you promised you would.’ This is the one moment in which Irina acknowledges the existence of Eygon, and here it is evidently because she believes herself to be talking to him. Could she have been so afraid of him that she would not even dare discuss him with another?

With nothing else left to gain, you fulfil the request.

                                      ( Eygon’s usual demeanour)

It’s a distressing conclusion, not only because of its violence, but because it seems on some level to validate Eygon’s extreme and seriously abusive protectiveness. Was Irina better off in that cell than in your care? Was a life in the dubious custody of one who seemed to despise her for her weakness, and specifically threatened her life, the best she could hope for? In what context was the promise of death made? Did she want to die, to escape either the shame of failure or the pain of Eygon’s mistreatment? This being Dark Souls, there are no simple answers to these questions.

The clearest messages one can take from such a bitter conclusion, I think, are an awareness of abuse as something facilitated by power imbalances, not only by caricatured monsters; the fact that the worst horror a person can experience may be inflicted by those who ostensibly care most about them; and the sad familiar story of a person moving from one abusive situation to another, the latter involving the very person they thought to have saved them from the first. Above all, what’s most admirable in this story is an acknowledgement of (yet not an excuse for) the disturbing inseparability of tenderness and cruelty.

‘l'ate'l'y I’ve thoroughly enjoyed making my 'l'etters and really want to continue - so I’ve signed up to The Abundant Artist Collective to help maintain momentum. You might like this too, if you’ve been wondering about keeping up your practice - check out @theabundantartist for all kinds of wonderful support for your Art 🎨

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2

GOOD NEWS ALL AROUND! 

1. I am lucky enough to be graced by more than 10,000 amazing people that I get to interact with on a daily basis. I love you and I am so glad to contribute to your life in any way, shape of form. Thank you for following me, it warms my heart <3

2. My birthday is on Thursday! I have a habit of climbing statues and doing ballerina poses, and I was hoping I could get some pictures sent in with your location doing those things. I want to make a collage to put in a frame on the wall here so I can have a wonderful reminder of all the amazing people in my life. Would you be so kind to join?

capricoto  asked:

Have you ever wondered how uncomfortable a female mermaid would be with out a bra? I literally can't go one day without one. You?

Hmm… I could imagine. I’ve got big boobs, so not wearing a bra causes all kinds of back and respiratory issues.

(Fun fact: Our school’s Feminist Club tried to organize a bra burning, but no one showed up because, like most logical people, no one actually believed that bras are “A symbol of the Patriarchy’s oppression”. And they’re too fucking expensive anyway.)

That being said, mermaids are also in water 24/7. Boobs float in water. So it wouldn’t be as big an issue for them as it is for us. But ah, I could go into a long-winded history of why mermaids are traditionally depicted as topless… I love mermaids so much.

anonymous asked:

Hiii c: I just to say i love your legacy! Adelia's story makes me feel things i never thought i'd feel for a sim ;-; I'm thinking about starting my own soon and posting it to my tumblr and i was wondering if you had any tips or tricks that you could tell me that may help me out :) <3

Hi there! First of all, thanks for your kind words, and I’m glad you enjoy the story! It means a lot to me that people enjoy my simmies as much as I do ♡

Originally posted by clingyfoil

As far as tips go, I think the two most important parts are to have a founder you love and to play your game the way you want to play it! The best legacies are the ones where you can tell the simblr really enjoys the story and the characters. If your heart is in it, and you love what you’re doing, other people will come to love it too!

But, it can take some time to get started on simblr, so don’t get discouraged! And you should definitely share the link to your blog when you start posting so I can see your legacy! Good luck and I can’t wait to see what you come up with ♡

It was as sweet and soft as kisses could be, and he felt ever so much more connected to her than before. Emma Swan was not just a woman of fire and sunshine, or blazing wonder and awe. She was all of that and more; she was the first rain of summer, gentle and warm, the delicate petals on a flower. Strong and brave and kind and vulnerable, the perfect twist of attributes and shortcomings. Sometimes she needed reassurance, and her confidence wasn’t always the most sincere.

We don’t talk anymore
We don’t talk anymore
We don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do
We don’t love anymore
What was all of it for?
Oh, we don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do

I just heard you found the one you’ve been looking
You’ve been looking for
I wish I would have known that wasn’t me
Cause even after all this time I still wonder
Why I can’t move on
Just the way you did so easily

Don’t wanna know
What kind of dress you’re wearing tonight
If he’s holding onto you so tight
The way I did before
I overdosed
Should’ve known your love was a game
Now I can’t get you out of my brain
Oh, it’s such a shame

That we don’t talk anymore
We don’t talk anymore
We don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do
We don’t love anymore
What was all of it for?
Oh, we don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do

I just hope you’re lying next to somebody
Who knows how to love you like me
There must be a good reason that you’re gone
Every now and then I think you
Might want me to come show up at your door
But I’m just too afraid that I’ll be wrong

Don’t wanna know
If you’re looking into her eyes
If she’s holding onto you so tight the way I did before
I overdosed
Should’ve known your love was a game
Now I can’t get you out of my brain
Oh, it’s such a shame

That we don’t talk anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
We don’t talk anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
We don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do
We don’t love anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
What was all of it for?
(We don’t we don’t)
Oh, we don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do
Like we used to do

Don’t wanna know
What kind of dress you’re wearing tonight
If he’s giving it to you just right
The way I did before
I overdosed
Should’ve known your love was a game
Now I can’t get you out of my brain
Oh, it’s such a shame

That we don’t talk anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
We don’t talk anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
We don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do
We don’t love anymore
(We don’t we don’t)
What was all of it for?
(We don’t we don’t)
Oh, we don’t talk anymore
Like we used to do

(We don’t talk anymore)
Don’t wanna know
What kind of dress you’re wearing tonight (Oh)
If he’s holding onto you so tight (Oh)
The way I did before
(We don’t talk anymore)
I overdosed
Should’ve known your love was a game (Oh)
Now I can’t get you out of my brain (Woah)
Oh, it’s such a shame


Boom shake shake shake the room! Aka :

ART IS PRESENT has been successful and extended until 30th July!

Google “Kathlyn Pagador” or find all info by visiting:
 www.kpagador.com 

Thanks to @storestreetespresso.
Particularly @aurelienag and their wonderful friendly staff ; @rachel.skyer for all their effort and kindness.

Specially to the documentary team: @treasurecat_ , @mattwatson64 and @jonno4chronic. You guys rock!

And thanks all to you for your continues support <3. Happy days :)

Big love,
Kathlyn


#art #artist #exhibition #london #love #show

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When I have kids, I wanna do lots of fun things with them.

I wanna play sports with them. Like just a ball and a field.
I wanna bring them to all kinds of places and let them ask me questions about the things they find amusing.
I wanna read storybooks with them.
I wanna write stories for them and take turns reading the stories to each other.
I wanna play all kinds of music for them and let them wonder in excitement.
I wanna let them listen to all kinds of music.
I wanna draw silly things together with them and let each other guess what they’ve drawn.
Just stuff like that, simple activities. For the exposure and let them find what they like.

Hopefully ☺️

You might be wondering why I was gone for so long.  Or not, oh well.

Anyway, I have a bit of an explanation.

First thing first, school.  I just got out of school on Friday, also I lost all my art and computer privileges for a while because my math grade kind of sucked.

Next, see that lovely GIF?  Well, I’ve been teaching myself how to use Macromedia Flash and am currently working on some sample pieces to use to apply to various projects and a few original pilots for my Youtube channel.

Finally, before I came back I wanted to work on the art requests I got a while ago.  They’re almost done, but I wanted them to look really nice because I made you wait so long.

So, in conclusion, I am not dead, simply resting.  In a few weeks I should be getting my first art tablet and have some more stuff coming your way.  I’ve been INCREDIBLY busy these past few weeks and my schedule has just started clearing up.  Sorry I was gone so long!  Those requests should be done shortly and your regularly scheduled programming will return soon!

anonymous asked:

I was wondering if I could ask about preferred pronouns since you know a lot about this kind of thing, but if someone is agender, can they/them be used as well as it/its? Or is they/them mostly just used for nonbinary?

with pronouns, it all comes down to the person in question. there are many agender people who go by they/them pronouns (however i am not one of them), as well as other pronouns like she/her, he/him, etc. you shouldnt EVER use it/its for someone if thats not their pronouns, use they/them if youre unsure someones gender/pronouns.

I just don't know...

I’m really getting concerned about the world I’ve brought my daughter into. I’m thankful that I live in Canada, though I can’t help but wonder if it will continue to be immune to the kind of violence that seems to be erupting worldwide. I love travelling but I am extremely reluctant to go anywhere right now, particularly the US.
I just don’t understand the level of hatred that seems to be spewing out of people left and right. I see people doing wonderful things, like helping refugees or standing up for equality but all I see or hear on social media is “why them? What about MY rights?” There is very little empathy anymore and it scares me.
Society is supposed to be progressive. We are supposed to evolve and continue to make things better in the world. But I feel like we’re moving backwards these days. I look at my daughter now and hope that I haven’t sabotaged her future by bringing her into such an unstable situation.
I hate that I’m weary about attending public events now. I hate that I’m terrified of setting foot on an airplane in a few months to travel across the country to visit my family. I shouldn’t have to be.
I just don’t know…

At the right angle I give off lots of different cultural traits such as Spanish (more Spain than Latin America but they have their similarities) although my homeland is NAmerica and consider myself to be inherently American and grew with support to the ‘great American Mind’ (which in an ideal world is multicultural and accepting diversity of all kinds) plus I can see some middle eastern traits in myself under certain conditions such as amt of sunlight and hair plus mood and even more I have slight Welsh or other Nether region features but I think my favorite traits are those of the Bronzillian South Americans those people are pure wonderment

pyratescode  asked:

            Mutuals send me a ❤️ & I’ll compliment you


every time i see you on the dash, my face is pretty much like sam’s in this icon - “good shit “. i just love your sam, okay?  your writing is phenomenal. everything from his voice, the vocabulary, how much detail you put into the narrative and his introspective is just……wonderous. all of your threads give me the feels, and i’m always looking forward to reading more, especially with you and @thiefsluck. i don’t know too much about you out of character, but from what i gather from the times we have spoken as well as just your posts in general, you seem like a really good person with a kind heart, and quite humorous. i always look forward to seeing more from you. ♥  

Just a quick Hazel update because I’ve been kind of busy – long story short, i don’t think it’s a corn, and I’m wondering if possibly something stung her because there’s no mark on her now and no evidence of any pain. She can be very dramatic about small injuries at times so holding her paw out to me tragically might not indicate anything of longterm significance at all. I will actually answer people later today, thank you

icarusbutterfly  asked:

hello lea!! I've always really admired and adored your notes and your studyblr!! thank you for being part of it and making it so magnificent along with all the other wonderful people I've come across here :-) seeing your notes really give me the inspiration to start my own & stop slacking haha!! just wanted to say I think you're super duper brilliant, extraordinary & intelligent. u are gonna do GREAT things pal, so hang in there!!!!!!! thanks for being u!!!!! 💋😆

awww thank you so much omg ;-; such kindness *hugs* making a community great always takes like lotsa hands and togetherness :D and ayyye that’s nice to hear :’) what’s your @ I’ll give it a look and a follow (´。• ω •。`) and wew i’m far from intelligent but thanks  ( ̄▽ ̄*)ゞ

Ali Sider, New Mexico Highlands University

I am a smile on a base, I am that touch in an embrace, I am a trail of mystery, I am rich with history, I am scatted with moon dust in the sky, I am the feeling of a mountain up high, I am an active kindness, I am a magical place that is timeless, I am a rose red city that is half of old of time (Petra), I am a celebration of rebirth, I invite you with a warm heart for you in this story to take part, I am Jordan, I am the land of hospitality.

Hello UGRADERS, I’m Ali, from Jordan. Jordan is a beautiful country with rich history, such as Petra which is one of the seven wonders in the world.

I am really excited for this program and especially to meet you all! I am placed in Las Vegas in New Mexico Highlands University for the Spring semester.

3

Peanut Masala Stuffed Eggplant

I’ve already said I’m not really an eggplant girl. That said, I made this recipe from Five Spice Fifty Dishes in college and fell hard for it. Since it’s hard to find those little eggplants, I’ve only made it once or twice since then. The masala mix is spicy, salty, and peanuty delciousness. It’s a beautiful combination of peanuts, sesame seeds, cayanne, salt, cilantro, and tumeric. It’s a quick and easy meal to throw together. 

Unfortunately, I didn’t find that this time. I got these beautiful tiny eggplants at the farmers’ market and was so excited and spent all day talking up how good dinner would be. I’m wondering if back in college I skipped the sesame seeds (found at Wholefoods this round) and doubled the peanuts, or perhaps used salted peanuts. I just found the whole recipe kind of lacking, this time, in both taste and texture. Not every meal is a winner, but look how beautiful those eggplants are! 

anonymous asked:

Commander, if you have a moment, I was wondering - in battle, which kind of strategies do you prefer? Also, do you have a preference for defensive or offensive strategies?

No preference. Any great strategist knows that there are times to rely on one over the other, and that falling back on habit loses battles.

I can’t elaborate on my preferred strategies in public– who knows who’s reading. I can say this much, though. Battles never unfold as you expect. Plan all you like, but what happens the day of is anyone’s guess. It pays to be prepared and to read up on strategy, of course. But quick thinking and adaptability have helped me just as much, if not more than, thorough planning.

anonymous asked:

im kind of laughing because honestly that fake out was SO kodaka like it was 100% just there to make us all super upset and then he was like lol...he definitely loves his job

Exactly. I love this dude, because he’s such a wonderful little troll.

Kodaka: *does something outrageous*
fandom: *flips its shit*
Kodaka: :)
Kodaka: *does something that makes the fandom look like assholes for flipping out*