even worse than an evil spirit

ajkline  asked:

My boyfriend and I have wanted to start Discworld for AGES and I keep seeing all these flowcharts of the proper reading order, but none of them match each other. Is there a proper order in which to read the books, or is Discworld a series you can just read as you find the books?

Oh man, flowcharts are a dime-a-dozen and everyone has their favorite ‘series’ within the discworld books. There isn’t a correct place to start, but if you’re planning on reading multiple books then you’d want to start at the beginning of a series. 

So like, the earliest books that Pratchett wrote were focused Rincewind, who is a terrible wizard and does a lot of running away and manages to see a lot of the world in the process. I don’t recommend starting here because the first few are some of Pratchett’s oldest books and therefore lack the kind of cleverness and subtlety that he becomes famous for. But the Rincewind books are, in order:

The Color of Magic (deals with tourism/travel story, dragons, kind of classic fantasy satire)
The Light Fantastic (directly follows tCoM, apocalyptic story, cthulu/lovecraftian mythos)
Sourcery (old-fashion epic high fantasy satire, like Conan the Barbarian)
Eric (directly follows Sourcery, parody of the story of Faust)
Interesting Times (basically the Conan-the-barbarian-equivalent is trying to take over discworld’s China-equivalent and dragging Rincewind along)
The Last Continent (time travel and Crocodile Dundee parody)
The Last Hero (illustrated story— aged heroes are going to blow up Discworld’s mount olympus-equivalent because they’re pissed the way life turned out— Rincewind has to stop them)
Unseen Academicals (not really Rincewind book, but wizard-centric and deals with the wizard’s university. sports culture and the fashion industry)

Another series of his focuses on the character Death, who TALKS IN ALL CAPS and is generally a pretty nice guy who finds humanity interesting. These books have a lot of existential discussions and what it means to be human— plus Susan, Death’s granddaughter, shows up later and she’s FANTASTIC; very smart and wit so sharp she could cut you with it, and the ability to see through every kind of bullshit.

Mort (Death gets an apprentice so that he can experience living like a human, the apprentice keeps trying to save this chick he likes, Death’s adopted daughter thinks he’s an idiot)
Reaper Man (Death gets fired from his job, people don’t die and get angry about it)
Soul Music (rock & roll, introduction of Susan! focuses more on her than Death tbh)
Hogfather (an assassin is hired to kill the Discworld Santa Claus equivalent, Death & Susan save the day)
Thief of Time (a race to save the world from beings that want to freeze time permanently)

My second favorite series features the Witches— they are these incredibly badass ladies that makes sure shit. gets. done. There are a lot of fairy tales and Shakespeare stories that get covered by the witches’ series, but get flipped upside down because none of them have ever been the sort to give people what they want but rather what they need. Which people don’t always appreciate. Granny Weatherwax is the bomb btw.

Equal Rites* (girls are witches and boys are wizards— but a girl is born with wizard powers)
Wyrd Sisters (shakespeare!!!)
Witches Abroad (fairy tales! fairy godmothers! marti gras! voodoo!)
Lords and Ladies (motherfucking elves)
Maskerade (phantom of the opera parody)
Carpe Jugulum (vampires! not the twilight kind)

*not the best to start with— I recommend skipping and returning to later

Pratchett also writes a young adult series that I actually HIGHLY recommend, like seriously, the only difference between his kids books and adult books is that the kids books have chapters and only from one POV. This series takes place after the Witches series, because it’s about a young witch that learns a lot from the older witches. I recommend reading the Witches books first but it’s not completely necessary.

The Wee Free Men (fairy tale hodgepodge plus the Labyrinth and Narnia)
A Hat Full of Sky (what it means to do for people what needs to be done instead of what they want done. also alien possession)
Wintersmith (nature spirits, kind of Jack Frost but much worse, greek quests)
I Shall Wear Midnight (witch hunts, evil spirits)

My favorite, favorite, favorite series is the City Watch. It’s kind of a bunch of cop stories, which I love, and the Captain of the Watch (Sam Vimes) is this adorable grumpy badass who’s not bright but fucking determined, and his cops are all these diverse characters, and the leader of the city, Vimes’ boss, is even smarter and better than Machiavelli. 

Guards! Guards! (dragons, royalty, Casablanca)
Men At Arms (dwarf-troll race relations, the Discworld’s first gun)
Feet of Clay (attempted assassination whodunit, introduction of Golems—argument of what qualifies personhood, basically an “I, Robot” kind of thing)
Jingo (war with the Discworld’s Middle-East equivalent— written pre-9/11)
The Fifth Elephant (vampire-dwarf-werewolf politics, hard core action-adventure)
Night Watch (time travel! french revolution/les miserables)
Thud! (dwarf-troll race relations, riots, murder mystery)
Snuff (cop on holiday, crime happens, hidden slave trade ring)

Another series that takes places around the same time as the later City Watch books and in the same city, are the Moist von Lipwig books. If you like stories about the redemption of the con man (like the tv show White Collar), these are good. I find them very funny, because he definitely is redeemed in spite of himself.

Going Postal (Moist is forced to take over the defunct postal service, politics, big business)
Making Money (Moist is forced to take over the defunct mint, banking, money politics, economics)
Raising Steam (invention of the steam engine, politics, terrorism

There are also books that are stand-alones, that you can just read one and decide if you want to read more Discworld books.

Pyramids (an assassin finds himself with god-powers and has to save the Discworld equivalent of Egypt)
Moving Pictures (invention of movie-making! but the movies are warping reality)
Small Gods (religion, the spanish inquisition, what makes a saint, greek city-states, what do the people in power (gods or otherwise) owe the people beholden to them)
The Truth (invention of the newspaper, freedom of the press, mistaken identity, murder mystery)
Monstrous Regiment (a girl joins the army as a boy to find her brother; covers military/warfare, feminism, human stupidity)
The Amazing Maurice and His Educated Rodents (a YA book that’s a take on the pied piper story)

….So, that was a lot of words. I dunno if any of it is helpful, but I hope so! And if it might be useful to you, my top 6 favorite discworld books of all time are: Night Watch, Small Gods, Monstrous Regiment, Thud!, Feet of Clay, Witches Abroad.

tl;dr I love the City Watch books the best, so you should start with Guards! Guards!

The Red-Eye Theory

Okay, SO! There’s a lot of confusion when it comes to this theory, and people do not seem to understand how it works exactly. So I’m going to be as thorough as I can, and if you have any questions, PLEASE do not hesitate to ask!

So let’s begin!

First, What is the Red-Eye Theory?

The theory involves the red eyes and ‘magic’ of the Underfell Universe and was originated between @underfellsansrp​ and I. I believe this is where the confusion began because it was only really discussed from the perspective of Sans- AKA Edgy- and the diagram centered on him, which you can find here.

Monsters in the UF world all typically have red eyes, or near it, and their magic tends to center around red. Because it’s ‘edgier’. BUT! We decided to have a reason as to why that is, and thus the theory was born.

What Does it Mean to Have Red Eyes?

Our headcanon is that all the monsters, every one of them, actually had the same colored eyes as the ‘original’ characters from Undertale when they were born and grew up. 

UF Sans had white eyes like UT Sans.
UF Papyrus had orange eyes like UT Papyrus. 

And so on.

But at one point or another, their eyes would change to red. In the UF Universe, this was seen as a sign of maturity. When a monster’s eyes turned red- which typically tended to happen as an adolescent- it meant they were maturing and growing up. 

What REALLY happens is that the monster’s spirit was crushed and their hope is lost.

This is why this usually happens when a monster is somewhere within their teen years or as a young adult. All their innocence as children is fading away and they’re seeing just how cruel the world can be. And when you live in a world where its ‘Kill or be Killed’, it’s difficult as hell to find something to be happy about when you can be backstabbed, robbed, betrayed, among many other awful things at any given point. You could get the sh*t beat out of you if you so much as look a guy wrong. 

So red eyes, Underfell’s default red that every UF Sans has as well as every UF Papyrus and nearly any UF monster out there, are what monsters have when they lose their hope and their spirit has been crushed by the cruel reality of their situation and they no longer see a reason to hope for things to be better. They just deal with it the best they can.

What and Who the Red-Theory Effects

Going from this headcanon, this means ANYONE could end up with red eyes. This means that UT Sans and even UT Papyrus could end up with reds eyes if they were to lose their hope and their spirits have been crushed. They don’t need to be in the Underfell Universe. I even have a UT Sans who follows this theory and ended up with red eyes.

HOWEVER! Please NOTE that red eyes are not dependent on mood. Eyes do not become red out of anger or intense feeling. This isn’t a process that turns on-and-off like a light switch. When a monster’s eyes turn red, it’s devastating. A lot of emotional scarring and even trauma is initially the cause of turning a monsters’ eyes red. That shit don’t heal overnight folks. In fact, a monster whose eyes are red could still be moderately happy and not have their eyes changed, just as a monster who doesn’t have red eyes could still be miserable.

The Stages of the Red-Eye Theory

There are a total of FOUR stages. Recently two more have been added, but I won’t get into those right now. I might add them later, but right now we’ll only worry about the bases. 

Default

Your typical Underfell monster. Edgy, nasty, mean spirited, the works. Their eyes are a normal red color, and they’re typically either miserable or hostile, or both. Not necessarily evil, eyes do not affect mood but rather the other way around. Mood affects eyes, but even a jerk or someone with bad intentions could have normal eye color and not turn red at all. 

Hopeless & Dead Inside

This is an even worse stage than the default red. The eyes are much darker, which means that the darker the eyes, the less hope the monster has and the more their spirit is crushed. Having them revert back is a much harder task and sometimes near impossible. There’s just no point anymore, it’s a bother just getting out of bed alone, and there’s nothing to look forward to or enjoy. 

You literally feel dead on the inside.

SHATTERED

The worse possible stage. When a monster becomes shattered, that’s it.

There’s no going back.
There’s no healing.
Their eyes will never change back to their original eye color OR to default red. 

>>>>>>>There’s no SAVING them<<<<<<<

Shattered eyes typically look like static or shattered glass, or a combination of the two. When a monster becomes shattered, they lose all positive emotion. No hope, joy, humor, love… nothing. At best, they feel lingering effects of emotions they might of either had right before shattering or ones that strongly effected them before they became shattered, hatred being the most dominant in a lot of cases.

Shattering doesn’t happen if a monster just feels super super sad. It’s usually a long process. There has yet to be an account of a monster who has their normal eye color, the color they’ve had since birth, and then suddenly go straight from that to shattering. 

When a monster shatters, it means they have nothing to live for anymore. Everything really IS pointless, meaningless, and just not worth bothering anymore. Nothing is going to change, they can’t make it change, and nothing ever will change. They’re the most miserable, and usually something very traumatizing and/or horrible had to have happened to them before it leads to the monster shattering. 

Last, but not least, HOPEFUL

This is where things tend to get confusing. When a monster who has red eyes becomes ‘hopeful’, it means the red is receding from their eyes. AKA, the red is fading.

Eyes DO NOT TURN PINK OR WHITE. Only Sans’ does because his original eye color IS white, SO! When Edgy became ‘hopeful’, his eyes turn pink, as they are right now in current RP. Why? Because when the red is fading from his eyes, they’re becoming lighter, and so it’s showing more of the white that he has. White mixed with red is pink. 

Get it?

To explain further, lets talk about my muse, UF Papyrus. Aka, Chompy. 

Chompy actually has red-orange eyes, meaning there’s orange mixed in. This is because Chompy has actually been ‘hopeful’ this entire time. His eyes had never gone entirely red except at a young age when his brother threw a rubix cube at him, and then during the ‘Heartless verse’ through RP. For the former, he became crushed by his brother’s sudden show of violence and being hurt by him, but after running away and confronting ‘himself’, the red receded, showing some of the orange he had once more. In the Heartless verse, he closed himself off entirely in order to protect himself, which made his eyes red. They turned back when Edgy stepped up and helped his brother through the pain the last reset had brought him.

So Chompy’s ‘Hopeful Eyes’ are red-orange. NOT PINK.

Void ( @a-void-gaster ), originally had yellow eyes as a kid/adolescent. This is why his eyes are now currently orange, because the red has faded and red-and-yellow make orange. Void’s ‘Hopeful Eyes’ are ORANGE.

Basically: hopeful eyes ARE NOT ONE SPECIFIC COLOR, but just the red fading away to show more of their original eye color.

TL;DR

Red represents the amount of hopelessness
Hope makes it fade
Specific colors do not represent specific moods
Shattered is bad and can’t be cured

Ben Solo and the Light

It hit me today just how much light had to be inside of little Ben to begin with in order for Kylo Ren to still be so tormented by it. How inherently good his nature must have been before Snoke’s corruption. And it’s astounding.

No, I’m not excusing or glorifying his character. Kylo Ren has done absolutely monstrous things. Every successive murder and crime he committed was a choice he made, no denying that. But for someone who has done such incredibly atrocious things, it is absolutely mind-boggling that the light still has such a strong hold over him. Nearly everything that has occurred to him post Jedi-Massacre should have completely sealed the deal of him being on the Dark Side.

I mean lets take a look at what has happened to Ben Solo and what he himself has done during his life that should have placed him firmly on the side of “evil and heartless power-crazed maniac” (but didn’t):

He has literally and canonically had to deal with Snoke fucking with his mind and his soul for three decades straight. That is three whole decades worth of terrible nightmares and horrifying images. Three decades of voices and whispers grooming him to be a dog of war and a weapon of destruction. Three decades of a despicable man picking apart who he was piece by piece until he had no clue who he was to begin with. Three decades of all the odds working against him.

He rose up against his uncle and the students he worked alongside for five years, slaughtering them with the help of the Knights of Ren. He has personally killed dozens (if not hundreds) of people, and has been responsible for giving the orders that killed dozens (if not hundreds) more.

The intentional murder of another human being, of scores of human beings, is one of the worst things that can ever be done. It is something that can rip ones soul apart, and make the committer less human themselves. (I mean just look at Voldemort– his soul was literally ripped to pieces from the taking of another life). Now, serial murderers are not known for their guilt or pull towards the light.

And then finally there’s Han. That should have been it. Ben murdering his own father should have been the end of being tempted by the light. It, more than anything, should have been the end of his inner turmoil.

But it wasn’t. It just made things a million times worse. It is canon that afterwards he felt even more conflicted and miserable with himself. He had to physically exacerbate an already existing potentially-fatal wound (to anyone other than a Force user) because the strife and the light inside him just couldn’t cope. He had to manually create Dark-Side power via physical pain because he just couldn’t do it through genuinely evil intentions.

For all intents and purposes, Ben Solo should have been completely destroyed decades ago. Ben Solo’s light should have been completely diminished when Snoke decided to use his mind as a playground. His soul and his spirit and his basic morality should have been stomped to death the moment he made the decision to “choose a side” and kill his fellow Jedi apprentices.

But no. Ben Solo is still in there. Ben Solo still feels the pull.

And the Call from the Light is not just an occasional thing. He doesn’t go through 90% of his days fit as a fiddle and then have a sudden uncharacteristic bout of “hmm I’m feeling a little tempted by good intentions today”. No. This is something he is constantly and un-endingly ripped to shreds over. He is continually being torn apart.

And he still feels the pull. It never ends.

His is a fight of his Inherent Nature vs The Creature Snoke has worked so hard to create.

Evil was never in Ben Solo’s nature to begin with.

(Follow for more sad Ben Solo Meta so you can drown in misery with me)

Real (Part 4/4)

I wanted to wake up early the next morning, but by the time I found Ms. Akagi in the compound she had already finished her morning prayers.

“Morning, Tomohiko! Go wash yer face and eat some breakfast. When yer done, we can go to the main temple.”

I don’t really want to give too much information, so I’m not going into great detail here. Like I said before, her sect of Buddhism has a long history and is mentioned in textbooks. There are people all over the country who follow the same belief system. Even though the beliefs are the same, because of geographic constraints both eastern and western Japan have a main temple. Because I was in Nagasaki, I was brought to the western counterpart.

Ms. Akagi gave me two reasons behind going to the main temple. The first was because I apparently have some sort of skill that needs to be strengthened; I can’t quite explain it myself, but she said it was important. Another reason was because we needed to conduct a memorial service for the spirit to assist with its transition to the other side. My grandmother was the happiest of us to hear this, and my father was less than thrilled because he still didn’t quite believe it.

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picara93  asked:

Hi! sterek prompt over here :) some kind of online relationship, where either they don't know each other irl or they do but they don't know it's them who they are talking to (and crushing on) online! I hope you're still doing this, if not, sorry to bother!

Thank you for the prompt, love! Sorry it took so long.

Also on AO3

lonewolfhell (4:23): I have been up all night re-reading the first DeVoid book in preparation for the first chapter of the third one and RED I FORGOT HOW GOOD IT IS.

voidridinghood (4:24): Wolf, stop. You flatter me. Well you’ll be pleased to know I have been up all night finessing the first chapter before I post it on the 12th…or tomorrow. OMG WOLF THE 12TH IS TOMORROW, I AM SO STRESSED.

lonewolfhell (4:27): We are both terrible. We both have work in the morning. Red, don’t stress! I bet it’s amazing, I know it’s amazing.

voidridinghood (4:30): Speaking of work, how’s the new job going? You said it was with the emergency services, right? That’s amazing man. You don’t know that, Wolf. What if it’s shit? I don’t want to disappoint you.

lonewolfhell (4:32): It’s good, thank you. Yep, got me a brand new job in my tiny home town’s fire department. Luckily it’s just training tomorrow, so me being tired for tomorrow won’t be too life threatening. It is NOT going to be shit, stop it. Red, you could never disappoint me, you know that.

voidridinghood (4:36): Don’t you DARE joke about that, you know I worry about you enough as it is without your new dangerous job and adding tiredness to the mix. GO TO SLEEP, WOLF. Everything will still be here in the morning. You’re cute. I’ll try not to stress, but it’s hard. I’ve been perfecting this chapter for months, months, Wolf. Normally my chapters are written in days, I get so caught up in it and editing normally takes a day, like one, singular. Do you know how long it’s taken me this time? Two weeks. What if I’ve over thought it and should have stuck with my gut, the first draft I did, that’s what I’ve always done before and that’s worked out well enough. The chapter has completely changed since that first draft. Oh god, oh god.

lonewolfhell (4:43): Red, I’m fine, don’t worry about me. Why would I go to sleep when I could talk to you instead? I’m not cute, I’m a big manly man, grr. Can we forget I said that? I bet it’s hard *wink wink* oh god, ignore me. Lack of sleep is making me delusional. If you have altered the chapter, it’s because you thought it needed to be done. It’s your story, so you know what is best for the book. You got this Red.

voidridinghood (4:47): I’ll always worry about you, what am I supposed to do without my #1 fan? That is just beyond cute, stop with your flattery. I WILL NEVER FORGET THIS, THIS IS GOLD, WOLF ARE YOU HIGH? WHAT IS HAPPENING? THIS IS MY FAVOURITE. You’re the best at making me feel better.

lonewolfhell (4:48): I hate you.

voidridinghood (4:48): Shut up, you love me.

lonewolfhell (4:49): Maybe I do. Goodnight, little Red. Sleep well.

voidridinghood (4:49): Goodnight, Big Bad. Sweet dreams.

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