As a low wind blows, a sickle falls from the rafters of the barn and lands between your feet or inches from your face. Inspection of where it came from shows no sign of any tools, and when you look back the sickle is gone.
In the corner of your eye you see corn in the field move as if something is running through it towards you, but when you look the corn stalks are deathly still. Later you hear strange noises from the cornfield, such as giggling or sobbing.
Cattle in the field drop on their sides, dead. When turned over, it’s revealed that their sides that were touching the ground look as though they’ve been dead and decaying for days.
In the middle of the night you hear a man’s laughter at the edge of the property. Minutes later it appears halfway up the drive. Then it’s heard at the front door. Next you hear it at the closest window. Finally, as soon as you try to sleep, you hear the man laugh as if he was standing over your bed.
You hear a door slam in the cellar. When you investigate, a door is there that never existed before. It is jammed and won’t open. As you try and try to pull it open, it finally gives to reveal a blank wall on the other side.
The livestock around the farmhouse seem to keep their backs to you, but otherwise are behaving normally. When you try to look at their faces, you find that they’re missing and exposed bone with empty sockets stares back at you before going back to grazing.
In the middle of the night the barn doors start slamming open and shut. When you investigate, the doors slam shut behind you. Nothing is out of place in the barn, but outside you hear screams of torment and horror. After a few moments the screaming stops and the barn doors slowly creak open. As you step out of the barn the screaming starts again, but this time right behind you.
The outhouse begins shaking violently. When you open the door it stops. When you investigate inside you realize there’s sobs coming from the toilet.
A heavy rain begins and the land around becomes muddy. It’s then that you notice that something that looks like bone can be seen in the dirt below the crops. When you investigate you start to hear low moaning and what sounds like a heartbeat. If you start to uncover the bone, a skeletal hand shoots out of the mud and grabs you.
From the well outside the farm house you think you hear shouts. It sounds like a young girl has fallen and gotten trapped. You approach to the sound of the girl’s sobs, but you find that the well is filled to the top with murky water. As you examine it’s surface you see a water logged hand quickly raise from the depths to claw at you. The arm retreats into the well and the water begins to turn a dark red. The next time you look into the well you see that it is filled with dirt and looks as though it has been for years.
You realize that the scarecrow in the field looks like it’s staring at you. When you move around you feel like it’s following your movements. Before you stare at it too long, a murder of crows flies in your face, obstructing your view. When the birds have passed, the cross that held the scarecrow up is now empty.
While out in the field or in the barn you hear a dinner bell ring at the house. As far as you know, no one is at the house at this time, but as you approach it appears as though lights are on and the chimney is blowing smoke. The lights are dimly lit in the house, but the dining room is laid out with enough places for everyone examining the house. There are covered dinner platters in the middle of the table. A name tag labels each seat with the name of everyone who entered the house. If the platters are uncovered, they reveal a harvest feast. There are pies and roasts, a plethora of cooked vegetables and fruits. You feel the urge to devour the meal as it’s delicious scent fills the air. Moments after you either begin or refuse to eat the lights suddenly blow out, leaving you in darkness. When you light the area again, you realize that the room is in shambles, the dishes are rusty, and the food is molded, maggoty remains of something humanoid.
Last summer, while I was supposed to be studying French intensively, I accidentally started studying Mandarin instead. These things happen! The best thing about Mandarin compared to some other languages I’ve studied (specifically Persian and Korean) is that there are a huge number of resources available to help learners, including a lot of very well-designed apps. After months of obsessively checking the iTunes store for the best apps and trying them out, these are my favorite six (plus a few more worth mentioning). They appear in ascending order from my least favorite to my most favorite.
Worth mentioning: A couple of apps not included on this list but worth mentioning are Pleco and Skritter.
Pleco is a highly-regarded Chinese dictionary. I have it on my phone and do use it, but I left it off the list because I prefer another (#6 on this list). Since I’m still very much a beginner, a thorough dictionary isn’t quite so important to me right now. However, it seems like every advanced student of Mandarin recommends this app, so I had to include it.
Skritter is another app that’s highly regarded among serious students. I believe it focuses on helping with character recognition and writing. It has a subscription service that is a bit expensive, which is why I’ve never tried it; however, everyone seems to rave about it. If you’re a serious student, you should definitely look into it.
Also, I recommend downloading some Chinese-language apps designed for preschoolers. I found several of them online in the iTunes store, and a lot of them include short stories with simple words, practice with basic characters, etc. Using these apps gives you some immersive listening practice, which is fun. They can be kind of hit and miss, so I recommend downloading all you can find and seeing what you can figure out and what you like. They won’t replace any of the apps below, but they still serve a purpose.
6. WCC Dictionary This is the dictionary I use instead of Pleco. I like it primarily because of its beautiful design (something Pleco doesn’t really have). This app is mainly a dictionary, but it offers a lot more than that. For example, it has a character scanner (so you can look up words you find in books by taking a picture of the character). It also has a “story library” with a few simple books to read (with Pinyin, the characters, an English translation, and the ability to listen to the story being read). Characters are color coded if you use that as a device to help you with tones. It has a flashcard program with pre-created word lists, extensive example sentences, a section on radicals with example words, and stroke order animations. It also offers a “character of the day” and daily “homework” to motivate you to use what you learn. The dictionary itself is free, but there’s a lot of content that you have to pay to unlock, although there’s also a way to buy the content using “coins” that you earn through using the app.
5. Mindsnacks Mandarin A lot of you are already familiar with the Mindsnacks app because it’s offered for a lot of different languages (and a few school subjects like geography). This app uses games to teach Mandarin, mostly focusing on vocabulary (not grammar or sentence construction). It’s a bit limited, but it can be a really fun way to learn. After a while, the games start to feel repetitive and can get boring, but the app also has you move through levels (which allow you to unlock new games) and uses other incentives to keep you playing. The audio is an actual human, too, which is a big benefit since many apps and programs rely on Google Translate robot voices. This is a paid app, which could be a drawback.
4. FluentU This app is the reason I started learning Mandarin in the first place. I tried using it for French, but I felt like my French was too advanced to gain much from it. Even though there were advanced-level videos with vocabulary I didn’t know, FluentU doesn’t do a good job of adapting to your level and guessing which words will give you trouble. That’s perfectly fine for a beginner, though, since every word will probably give you trouble, which is why I used it for Mandarin. I think the makers of FluentU are Chinese speakers, and they seem to have focused more on Mandarin in their app. They have a built-in course you can follow, using videos they made themselves for teaching the language. The videos are pretty good, and you will feel like you’re learning a lot. There are also a lot of other videos if you want to branch out, including some catchy songs and clips from commercials or TV shows. The built-in flashcard system is a good way to review, but there’s no way to adjust their algorithms, so you might end up reviewing the same words way too often. I stopped using the program when I had 400+ words to review every day, and I just couldn’t keep up and continue advancing. This app is also very limited in the free version, and the paid subscription is VERY pricey, in my opinion, especially considering that there are other apps out there that offer more features. All of the videos are on YouTube anyway, so you can still use them to learn as you advance (or if you have a friend who can help you). I recommend this app if you want to pay for one month and use it to study intensively and advance quickly. That’s what I did, and I think it helped me out a lot.
3. ChineseSkill This is the first app that was designed to be a “Duolingo for Mandarin,” and it has a lot of great features. There’s the typical “tree” like in Duolingo, where you advance through different lessons one by one. It teaches character recognition, pronunciation, and grammar. The lessons can be really challenging for a beginner (sometimes too challenging, I thought), but it covers a lot of material. I’m not completely happy with the order in which lessons are taught (for example, there’s a lesson on shapes near the beginning that has you learn words like “triangle,” which seemed unimportant to me). The other drawback is there isn’t an easy way to review what you’ve learned (like on Duolingo when your gold-level lessons start to fade). It’s possible, but not super easy to access. Other interesting features include a tone game, a pinyin chart, a “survival kit” that’s like a travel phrasebook, and practice with stroke order. Also, this app is 100% free, which is amazing! I definitely recommend this app.
2. Social Language This app is really different from the others and is probably the most useful if you believe in speaking a language as soon as possible. I don’t think a lot of English speakers know about it because it seems to be marketed mostly to Chinese speakers. It’s a bit hard to explain, but I’ll try my best: basically, there’s a tree like you have for Duolingo, but the exercises are all to improve your speaking and pronunciation. You work through the lessons, and Chinese-speaking users rate and comment on your recordings. They can even leave voice messages to help you improve. You can do the same for them (in fact, you have to if you want to unlock higher levels). That alone makes the app worth downloading, but even better is that it includes a CHAT FEATURE that makes it very easy to interact with native speakers. You can see the profiles of hundreds of Chinese speakers who are online at any given time of day, and you can send a text or voice message to them and later add them to your friends’ list. What’s more,the ratio of Chinese to English speakers heavily favors English speakers. You will find hundreds of Chinese speakers eager to practice their English, and often you will be one of only a handful of English speakers on the app, meaning you have instant access to a chat partner any time of day or night. Have a question about your homework, something you read, or a phrase you don’t know how to pronounce? Instant, free tutoring is available 24/7 on this app, which is also FREE! I met some really nice people here without the pressure of a more formal language exchange. You can have a casual conversation any time you want, and it’s like text messaging so there’s less pressure if you’re shy about speaking Chinese. The only drawback is the same as with all language exchanges, which is that it’s sometimes difficult to balance the two languages. Also, I had problems with sending voice messages in chat, which can be frustrating. Overall, though, I’d say Social Language is a must-have.
1. HelloChinese This app didn’t exist last summer when I was looking for a Mandarin version of Duolingo, but I discovered it last week and fell in love with it. It actually has fewer features than ChineseSkill, but the pacing seems much better, and it focuses more heavily on pronunciation (though the speech recognition software isn’t perfect and you will sometimes need to skip a speaking question just to keep moving forward). It comes with some good grammar explanations and a really basic flashcard program for review. Honestly, I feel bad for rating it higher than ChineseSkill since ChineseSkill has been around longer and offers a lot more features, but I feel like HelloChinese just makes more sense and is easier to stick with than ChineseSkill. Like ChineseSkill, it’s also 100% free! I consider HelloChinese to be my “core” app for casual study, with the other apps acting as supplements. If you’re a more serious student, HelloChinese might not be your #1 pick, but it’s great for beginners who like the structure of an app like DuoLingo.
pages 259 261 and 262 - sometimes, I like to pretend I’m not attached to floor with a chain and the dungeon I’m in isn’t just a room with a single door set high up on the wall. I like to pretend I am free to walk around and explore, and one day while pushing my fingers between two rocks something gives and a section of stone pulls away to reveal the entrance to a hidden labyrinth. I would walk down the dark path heedless of danger, thinking anything is better than sitting in one spot for eternity. Carefully making my way through the maze I would eventually find the end and my just reward. This one says money, but I’m thinking maybe a shower and sunlight and/or freedom. And if there’s a case of mineral and vitamin rich health shakes that will stop my body from disintegrating, all the better.
A more in depth Post-Trespasser/game outfit chart for Feyrien. Tried to age him up a little since he’d be in his early 40′s by that time (or I assume so in DA4 lol). He kept the Inquisition under the Chantry as a peacekeeping force, so I merged the two styles together.
Some believe Feyrien’s eye going blind after the Mark’s removal is more symbolic and spiritual than it actually is. He just thinks it’s painfully ironic.
All of my BOTW models? That’s a bit of a tall order there, so I’ll just do the ones that are (mostly) finished. Excluding Urbosa cause she has to be there.
These heights are based off of the few screenshots I could find with comparable heights, while others I just kind of assumed. If you spot any that can be corrected, let me know please ;; I have to resize every model myself and finding images to use as reference is nearly impossible
EDIT: JUST REALIZED I FORGOT MIPHA BUT SHE’S THE SAME SIZE AS LINK SO NO BIGGIE?