echo west

So this morning I woke up having bled all over my pad, my underwear, my pajama pants, and my bed sheets. I had pains in my back so bad that I couldn’t stand up straight. So much so that I had to ask my husband to wash the bloodstains out of my clothes and sheets because I was just in too much pain and the hot water from the shower helps in times like these.

I have PCOS, so this is normal, but I’ve seldom had bad mornings like this.

I can tell you that at that moment, I didn’t love my body. Crying in the shower as I rinsed blood off my legs and letting the hot water hit me to make the pain go away, it isn’t fun. Now I’m in fresh clothes, I have a warm cup of tea in hand and the painkillers are starting to work, my brain is still a little foggy, but I feel mostly like myself. I happened to remember through all of this that post by @rosedave wherein he admonished us so-called “terfs” for our period blood-guzzling ways. In that moment, crying in the shower, I might have been that “normal person who menstruates” who, in rosedave’s mind, deals with their period the correct way, with detachment and disgust at their body. 

What I think the biggest issue with that post is that it doesn’t realize how the mindset of period as this evil, monstrous thing has been used against women. My privileged self, sitting in 2017 with my husband who didn’t balk at cleaning blood out of my underwear, also has a hard time envisioning it, although a little less so than men who will never experience a period.

Because here’s the thing: for thousands of years, this bleeding has been used against women. Women were told by the men in their lives, men who would have claimed to love them, that this thing their body does, the reason they can promulgate the human race, is what makes them inferior, what justifies their subjection, what makes them less in the eyes of their god than men. And these women had no choice but to believe these lies. 

In some places in the world, this still happens. Young girls and women are barred from school, and sent to period huts because they are seen as impure. Even in the west, echoes of this inheritance persist. You can see this when advertisements for period pads will use a blue liquid instead of actual blood to demonstrate a point about absorbency. These ads with highlight discretion rather than comfort and practicality.

This is why radical feminists try so hard to love our bodies and our periods, even when it is difficult. The entire world is telling us we mustn’t, even progressive liberals who claim to be women themselves. We have to remove the shame and stigma around our bodies ourselves, because not even our supposed allies will help us in this task. It’s not out of (what you think, rosedave) our supposed hatred toward transwomen, but because our bodies, our selves, are made to be a source of shame. We need to reclaim our periods so we can stop being made to feel ashamed of them. So we continue the work started by women in past who risked everything that we might be able to open declare our love for our bodies and our periods. 

And if you can’t see that value in that, then what right do you have to call yourself a feminist?


Hey guys!  Silas here to give you a quick profile of one of the unique mechanics in Gaiden, to help newer players get an idea of what Echoes might look like.  Today, it’s how its class system works.

Gaiden’s classes are unique less in their function and more in how they promote.  For starters, (most) characters can only promote at shrines.

These shrines have been nicely updated for Echoes, and they were kind enough to let us choose whom to promote this time instead of running through them all in a fixed sequence.

Promotions have different requirements than other games as well.  While you still need to be a certain level in a prior class, the levels aren’t consistent.  Villager, the only “tier-0″ class, promotes at level 3, while first tier classes promote at level 7 (with Mages being the exception) and second tier classes promote at 10.  The Villager class in particular is interesting, as they can follow any of five class branches:

In the original Gaiden, the initial promotion was random (albeit cancelable), but thankfully, they’re giving us a sense of agency this time.

One thing of note is that not many stats change on promotion.  In fact, in Gaiden, a unit’s stats will increase to the base stats of the class they promote to, and do not adjust down.  If their stats are universally higher than that class’s bases, they’ll gain a point of HP instead.  Looking at the above screenshot, we can find that this is still the case.  Also confirmed, Villagers still only have 4 Mov, meaning movement values for all classes are likely to be the same as before.

Only Def and Mov change going from Villager to Cavalier.  (Mov still goes down if you promote to a class with less, though.)  Everything else beats the bases, so no change.  Important for strategists, this removes the penalty for promoting early found in almost all other FE games.  The benefits of promoting later are also diminished.

We also have almost-certain confirmation that the promotion levels are about the same as before, because of this guy:

Say hi to Luke or Lukas, depending on whom you ask.  He’s the guy that kicks off the whole plot of Gaiden, and he starts as a Soldier, a pre-promote of “Armor” (which will probably be changed to Knight, while Gaiden’s “Knight” class will likely be changed to Cavalier, to be consistent with other games released in the west).  If Echoes uses the same promotion requirements as other FE games, Lukas would need to have reached level 10 by the third (mandatory) map in the game, which is fairly unrealistic even if the devs added “prologue” maps as they did with the remakes Shadow Dragon and Heroes of Light and Shadow.  On the other hand, level 7, while not easy, is still reasonably attainable by this point.

Oh, one last weird thing.   One of the tier three classes can promote back into Villager.

I don’t know why this is a thing, but they let you do it, and it lets characters who have passed through the Mercenary branch go back into another one, leading to more leveling opportunities and new strategic options so…yeah, knock yourself out.

Speculation Time

As VincentASM over at SerenesForest pointed out, we have a new Villager this time, and her name is Effie (why Effie, though?).  Of note, all Villagers in the original game were male, so there’s a possibility that she could promote into an entirely new set of classes.  Based on comparison between Effie’s second sprite and May’s, it seems that she may have promoted into a Mage in the demo.

…which is unfortunate, because Mage was the only class in the original Gaiden that both genders could use, so that doesn’t give us any new leads.  However, Effie’s inclusion does give hope for other new characters, who may or may not sport new classes with their own unique promotions.

That about wraps it up for this one.  Keep an eye out for another post coming soon – topic of choice: Gaiden’s unique approach to magic.

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toastyhat  asked:

Could I have a Psiioniic meeting Sollux? Perhaps in some AU where our Alternian heroes liberate him from the Condesce's ship and he's just shocked and confused to see that he has a descendant (and possibly that the rest of his friends do too)?

This kind of AU is 200% my jam, omg. Thank you so much for asking me to draw this. (I was going to fit a Karkat in there somewhere but I still have a fair amount of drawing to get through, so alas. Another time perhaps.)


My newest directed music video

Kevin Abstract


From his coming album “They Shoot Horses”

“Captain Rogers. Thank you for agreeing to speak with me, sir.” The woman had beautiful gray hair at her temples and a firm handshake that reminded Steve of Peggy.

“Please don’t call me ‘sir,’ Ms. West,” Steve said, forcing himself to smile. “It doesn’t feel right.”

“All right,” she said, sitting where he indicated. “I really just have the one question. I don’t know that I’m going to publish it, either.”

“Well, I read your book,” Steve settled on the sofa, folding his arms over his chest. “It was good. Probably the only one that really got deep into who Bucky was, and not just who he was to me.”

West paused, biting her lip, then spoke more quietly. “That’s actually the question I wanted to ask.”

Steve held his breath for a moment, then let his arms drop so his hands were in his lap.

“You don’t have to answer,” she said, shoulders tensing up, voice wavering slightly. “And I’m not going to write it down, or record it anywhere. I’m just asking for my own edification.”

“Ask, then,” Steve said, his lower lip twitching, eyebrows knit.

West drew in a deep breath, watching his face as she spoke. “Some historians speculated, but I never did. I was careful not to, honestly, I wanted to capture Sergeant Barnes on his own, as much as possible. I got an interview with Jacqueline O'Conner back in the nineties, and she’s the one who told me that Mrs. Barnes was buried with his Confirmation pendant and your mother’s wedding ring.”

Steve nodded. He was holding his breath again. When he realized, he let it out, slowly.

“I didn’t examine that at the time,” West continued shakily. “I wasn’t writing about you, so it didn’t need to go in depth, not in the book.”

“Right,” Steve said. His voice sounded hollow, distant, like an echo from his mouth.

“She called me after the book was published,” West said, trying to square her shoulders. “Said she had a correction for me. You didn’t give Mrs. Barnes the ring, she said. He did. It was on the necklace when he gave it to her for safekeeping, and the ring was why he didn’t take it with him in the first place.”

Steve made a sound. It wasn’t anything that could be captured in a note- not a grunt, not a gulp, not, as he let go in the next breath, an uncertain, half-gasped laugh.

“I just wanted to know why,” West said, looking down at her lap, then back up at his face. “Why Sergeant Barnes had your mother’s wedding ring.”

“He had it because I gave it to him,” Steve said, quiet and flat.

“Why?” West echoed, voice quivering again.

His mouth twitched and he licked his lips. He gulped, then, looking down at his lap, then looked up and met her eyes. It wasn’t his Captain America stare, it was a softer look, one she’d never seen in a picture. Even that legendary chiseled jaw looked like it could tremble any second. It ached in her chest to look. She wished she could take the question back.

He shrugged, looking at the ceiling, then back at her. “Why does a broke fella usually give away his mother’s wedding ring? It was all I had.”

“You were-” she hesitated again, hated herself for it.

“The law doesn’t matter much when you’re twenty and stubborn,” Steve said, shrugging again, just a small bounce of his chiseled shoulders. “We were married. From the fall of thirty-eight until the train. Most of the best days of my life.”

West’s chest was tight. She rubbed at the hollow of her throat. “You’ve been back a while,” she murmured. “Why haven’t you told anyone?”

“If Jackie knew, and she didn’t tell,” Steve said, looking straight into her eyes, “who am I to out Buck posthumously? He didn’t even get a proper burial. I didn’t want his Last Rites taken back.”

She swallowed again. The air felt thick as soup.

“His husband,” she said. Her own voice was far away.

Steve sat back in his chair. “Nobody needs to know that but me. You aren’t going to tell anyone, either. Not against his family’s wishes.”

West nodded weakly. “If that’s what you want, of course I won’t.”

“Thank you,” Steve said. There was silence, and then he moved to get up. “Coffee?”