Gods help me, I’m going to type up a Dragon Age thought that was bugging me this afternoon that might lead to Discourse.
Okay. So. The arguably dominant religion in Thedas is Andrastianism. It is, for all intents and purposes, a monotheistic religion with a singular Maker and His Bride, Andraste. The leaders of the faith are women (we’re not going into Tevinter because that shit’s complicated, yo). Andraste’s image is plastered up one side and down the other. So, you’d think that this world would have greater equality when it came to the sexes, if not tipping the balance toward women.
Yet, outside of Empress Celene of Orlais, most of the positions of political (not religious) power are filled by men. There’s a King in Ferelden and most of the Bannorn there are men. The leaders of the Templars the the players encounter are mostly men (except for Meredith in Kirkwall, but notice how she was the only one on that chain of command and how everyone in power beneath her were men?). The hierarchy is just full of men.
Now, there’s probably some fantastic in-world explanation that covers all of this. After all, Maric just happened to only have sons and his sons became the Kings of Ferelden (depending on your playthrough). Heredity and genes and all that. Yet, for all these characters ostensibly revere Andraste (Dragon Age Jesus mashed up with Joan of Arc, let’s be real), women are still relegated mostly to domestic roles.
Arl Howe gives a female Cousland crap about playing at being a man. There’s a thread of casual sexism throughout the game. Now, maybe that’s intentional. Maybe they’re trying to make some kind of Statement. Or maybe, just maybe, the creative team and writers can envision a world with dragons and magic, but can’t quite conceive of one without sexism inherent in the system.
Give me a nice, Wholesome AU™ where Vlad ~somehow~ stops being a super-creep and agrees to mentor Danny– not because he wants to marry his mom and make him his son, but because he genuinely just wants to help another halfa out since HE didn’t have help way back when.
(Also for angst you could throw in a bit of “plus I feel responsible, because without the research we did in college, your parents would never have made their portal in the first place” or “I feel responsible because I kiiiinda pissed off a bunch of ghosts and all they know is ‘the halfa did it’ so that maaaybe why you’ve been seeing more ghost activity, idk lol.”)
Anyways give me an AU where we’ve got Vlad and Danny training in the basement at 1 am and Vlad’s trying to incorporate Danny’s school curriculum into the training because GOD KNOWS when he’d actually find time for THAT.
“Wait, can I try again? Just one more! One more run through…” Danny says, looking at Vlad with scorch marks on his face that have already begun to heal.
“Daniel, we’ve been at this for hours,” Vlad says, running a hand through his messy, singed hair. “I think that’s as good as it’s going to get tonight.”
“No!” says Danny, but quickly checks his volume, “No. Please, I… but I worked so hard on this power…if I could just–”
“And I know you did.” Vlad says, walking over to him, “I’m proud of how far you’ve come Daniel, but even halfas get exhausted.” He places his hands on Danny’s shoulders and the boy seems to consider this for a moment. But in the end…
“Just one more.”
“You’re gonna be on all those business trips, we won’t meet up again for a month!”
“Fine.” Vlad relents, “Just one more drill. But after that you’ll need your rest.”
Vlad starts up the machines again as Danny gets into a ready position.
“Remember to breathe.” says Vlad as the starting lights blink down in sequence. He uses his own power to bring up a noise-reducing barrier around the training area.
The first target pops out of the wall, close to the ceiling, and Danny flies up to meet it with an ecto-energized punch. The next one appears from the floor, so Danny blasts it with a basic beam. Once Vlad feels he’s got a rhythm he starts the study session again.
“What is the smallest group of biological classification?” He asks, watching his form carefully. Danny rolls out of the way of a hostile drone but still is able to answer.
“And the largest?” Vlad observes Danny blasting the drone.
“How many chromosomes does an individual human have?” Vlad continues. Danny goes intangible to avoid some debris.
“46.” He’s not missing a beat.
“What are the three major parts of a cell?” Two more hostile drones join the fray, and the young halfa starts to falter.
“The membrane, the, uh, cytoplasm, and the nucleus.”
“Is the cell membrane nonpermeable?”
“No,” Danny takes a couple heavy breaths, “It’s semipermeable.”
Vlad pauses upon reading the next one.
“What are the physical or chemical factors in genetic mutations called?”
“M… Mutagens.” Danny swallows dryly, his gaze shifting to the portal at the end of the room.
“What is the phase most cells spend the majority of their time in?”
“Crud, uh…” A drone explodes too close to Danny and he throws up his arms, forgetting to go intangible. The smoke makes his throat burn.
“… Interphase?” He finally coughs out.
“Correct. Pay attention now…”
Seven smaller drones appear from all directions, intent on overwhelming the young halfa. Danny flies up and ecto-punches through the highest one, then grabs it, somersaults, and throws it into the one directly below.
“Good!” Vlad says, standing up in his excitement. They both notice the other 5 drones coming in fast.
“What is the functional unit of heredity?”
“What’s the what of what?!?” Danny blurts out between blasting with one hand and swinging a panicked punch with the other.
“Get higher, try splitting!” Vlad says, abandoning the study guide and moving closer to the battlefield should his assistance be required.
Danny flies almost as high as he can go without phasing through the ceiling. He manages to get some distance between himself and the three remaining drones, but they are close behind.
Quickly he closes his eyes and grits his teeth, trying with all his might to imagine himself splitting into two entities.
“Okay, one more try.” he says to himself, “Kinda like Mitosis…” Somewhere in the back of his mind he can hear Vlad saying something, but he forces that away to keep his focus on the task at hand. Slowly Danny begins to feel what he can only describe as a peeling sensation– as if his “cells” were dividing in such a way that reminded him of when he would peel glue off his skin in elementary school– starting from his wispy tail, creeping up to where his legs should be…
Suddenly, a drone’s blast hits him squarely in the chest. Danny’s eyes snap open, all concentration lost. Belatedly he realizes his tail had reformed after having been split into two. A familiar pink beam takes out the offending drones.
“Danny!” Vlad says, eyes still glowing red, “Are you alright?”
“Yeah,” Danny says as he floats down sullenly, “I’ll heal.” Vlad reaches out to guide him towards the spare workbench they use as a first aid station.
“Better put the salve on it just to be safe.” Vlad says. Danny sits down and watches Vlad take out the special formula he made in his own lab back in Wisconsin, then tosses himself back to lay on the bench.
“ARGH! I was SO close! Right? Was I close? Because it felt like I was close…”
“You were.” says Vlad, “But I think you should stick to the exercises I showed you while I’m gone.” He transforms and makes a few duplications to demonstrate, starting slow but getting faster with each iteration.
“Who knows, by the time I get back you may be splitting in circles around me.” Danny looks up and realizes all the Vlads are literally standing around him in a circle and laughs.
“Ha! So you’re making the jokes now?” He says as Vlad pulls it together.
“Believe it or not, my wit may be used to humor us both.”
“Pfft. Some wit. That was real 'cheesy’, Wisconsin Ghost.” Danny snickers at his own quip and Vlad rolls his eyes.
“You’re never going to let that go, are you?”
“Nope!” Danny says, “Say, what was that last question? On the guide?”
“The functional unity of heredity.”
“Geez that’s a lot of syllables for one thing.”
“Do you know the answer?”
“Uh…” Danny thinks for only a moment. Without the distraction of the fight, he quickly grasps the question.
“Oh! It’s genes!”
“Correct again, Little Badger.” Vlad says, handing off the small salve tin. “I think you will do well on the test tomorrow.”
“Thanks.” Danny says, detransforming. He yawns as his exhaustion catches up with him. Courteously, Vlad lends him a hand.
Since I just passed the OAT (my optometry / medical school entrance exam akin to the MCAT) allow me to explain what The Collective is as if I were a scientist, as I am well versed in Biology, Chemistry, and Physics at the moment and feel like making some use of it in the form of #deep exposition.
The essence of the Collective, the active code that infects a host body, can really be visualized by a bacteriophage; a virus that infects and replicates within a bacterium. However, instead of being nanoscopic… imagine that this virus is metaphysical, existing in a hyperreality higher than our own. Just like a real virus, this one is not a living organism as we would traditionally classify. It is not made of cells, does not grow or develop, does not have any sense of heredity, and lacks the need for complex chains of chemical processes to maintain survival. But, unlike real viruses, there are some life classifications that do fit. There is a response to stimuli, but it is not in a temporally linear sense. It has also been argued by other series that there is a possible evolutionary vector that can be seen. My main point here is that, like a fundamental unit of life, it possesses a form of genetic material. This is less like DNA, composed of sugars, phosphates, and nucleotides, and more like computer code - but existing in the framework of reality at the quantum level. Now, unlike real viruses, it is evidenced (at least by my series) that it has some semblance of homeostasis: the tendency toward a relatively stable equilibrium between interdependent elements. Instead of having a common viroid’s drive to reproduce, this reality-virus sets out to maintain an equilibrium that has been disrupted. Because it does not have its own metabolism, it requires a host cell to do the heavy lifting.
This is where I turn the tables on you.
The virus I’ve been describing is not a Collective member… the virus I’ve been describing is The Administrator. The genome injected into the bacterium that lysogenically integrates itself with the host’s DNA, the prophage, is the true essence of what The Collective is. In cell biology, this process can be referred to as horizontal gene transfer: the movement of genetic material between organisms other than by the “vertical” transmission of DNA from parent to offspring. It appears latent at first, but then after an induction stimulus, this foreign code activates and commandeers the cell’s machinery. But, instead of forcing replication of the virus and then lysing the cell to spread an infection as a normal virus would, this special prophage protects the cell and presents total control over metabolism of the cell to the virus, allowing it to vicariously to do whatever it wants through it.
And just as prophages are important agents of horizontal gene transfer,
horizontal gene transfer is the primary mechanism for the spread of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. Firebrand is the result of a similar
process gone awry due to external factors, like mutagens, resulting in an exclusive immunity. The resulting bacterium that is Firebrand has a unique code sequence,
to not only deactivate the gene on the spliced prophage that codes for the virus’s external control, but to also alter the cell membrane’s composition in a way that makes it completely impermeable to any viral influence. This is due to the presence of a rare enzyme complex characteristic of the virus’s capsid protein coat that the bacterium ingested, contributing to the genetic code’s stability and expressing latent properties in the prophage. The bacteriophage lacks this
and requires it to achieve a state of optimal stability, so it hijacks cells where it detects the protein’s
involvement in order to attempt to obtain it.
Empress Suiko is the first of Japan’s seven female rulers and
the 33rd monarch of Japan. Prince
Shōtoku served as her regent.
Japan went through many changes during Empress Suiko’s
reign. Buddhism was imported to Japan
during this period and Empress Suiko encouraged its spread. Empress Suiko is also credited with the
adoption of the Sexagenary cycle calendar in Japan. During this period, Prince Shōtoku also created
the Seventeen Article Constitution and Twelve Level Cap and Rank System which
allowed bureaucrats to advance based on skill rather than heredity.
Empress Suiko reigned
from 593 until her death in 628.
One thing I never understand about the Dishonored lore: why is Delilah ostracized for being an illegitimate child of a ruler while Emily is completely accepted? Jessamine was never married and by the second game everyone knows that Corvo is her father. I mean Delilah's mom was a scullery maid but Corvo wasn't exactly seen as high society either because of his foreigner status. Maybe Jessamine made a decree about illegitimate children or something? Why is Emily so respected above Delilah?
1.It’s because Emperor Euhorn Kaldwin never acknowledged Delilah as his natural daughter.
In general, I don’t know the precise social stigma surrounding illegimate children in the Dishonored universe, but from what I hear about Treavor Pendleton and others talking about it, it’s similar to our own Medieval-ish view, when heredity was paramount.
In particular, Delilah was ostracized because when it came down to it, Euhorn didn’t step in and stop the Lord Spymaster from throwing Delilah and her mom into the streets.
(If you believe Delilah’s story as she told it in DH2, then there is the possibility that Delilah is a year older than Jessamine, and was conceived possibly because his wife Beatrix had trouble conceiving an heir. Beatrix died during the birth of her second daughter, so the implication is that she had trouble with carrying a child to full term, and had fertility problems before this. Thus when Jessamine was born and survived into her teens, Euhorn saw no further need for Delilah.)
2. Emily isn’t completely accepted. When she was born it was highly rumoured that Corvo was Jessamine’s lover and thus the father. It was therefore scandalous that the heir to the throne be half-serkonan, and not even noble-born serkonan at that.
The fact that Jessamine never married is actually less troublesome for Emily than the fact of Corvo being her father. Although we can’t know because Jessamine never had any surviving siblings, it’s possible that in the 1800′s in the Empire of the Isles, male-preference primogeniture isn’t practised, soany issue of Jessamine’s body would be accepted as the royal heir (”accepted” as in “okay”, not “accepted” as in widely and publicly loved). [I’ve said it before and I might be totally mistaken in that the Royal Physician would naturally attend the birth of new heirs, but even if Sokolov didn’t, then I’m sure several doctor(s), nurses, maids or servants did, the point being that there would be several witnesses to Emily being born “from Jessamine’s body” and therefore being unquestionably her heir, no matter who the father might be.]
If Emily was completely accepted it would have been much, much more difficult for Delilah to execute a coup against her. If that was the case, upon hearing of Delilah’s ascension, the entirety of Gristol - if not the whole Empire - would have revolted, and I don’t know how many witches, clockwork soldiers, and guards Delilah and Abele had on the inside, but it’s got to be less than the number of people in the whole Empire. Even considering that your average citizen can’t hold a sword or shoot a bottle at twenty paces, Delilah and co would have lost very badly in that scenario.
3. Delilah’s mom being a scullery maid may have been one of the reasons Euhorn Kaldwin didn’t want to declare her as his natural daughter. We don’t know what Euhorn thought of having a daughter by a scullery maid but we can make a pretty good guess by his actions (allowing her to play with Jessamine only as long as she, Delilah, behaved herself). There’s also the ugly possibility that some might think a random daughter brought out and claimed as the daughter of a scullery maid might belong to another man.
4. You’re right, Corvo was never seen as high society,plus he was a foreigner. Those in the know would be aware that he came off the street, won the Blade Verbena, was granted an officer’s comission by the old Duke, then presented to Euhorn as a political offering. Relates to #2.
I agree with you, anon, on Corvo being seen like this. I’m not sure how many people know, and I don’t exactly make a habit of going around asking this - but the title “Royal Protector, Lord Corvo Attano” doesn’t come with any status, it’s only a formality, used instead of calling him “the Royal bodyguard.” They can order around almost anyone else at court in the name of royal safety, but the only purpose of the Royal Protector is to protect the Emperor/Empress. The Royal Protector holds no land and has no vote in Parliament. My point is that it would be extremely irritating to have to address Corvo as “sir” or “my lord” or bow to him, when everyone is viewing him as an unwashed Serkonan who can’t shave properly, has long, wild, unfashionable hair, and (possibly) a thick accent.
5. It’s possible that Jessamine made a decree about illegitimate children, we can’t know for sure, but given her personality, it’s unlikely.Remember how affectionate she was with Emily, and how she would not accept Hiram Burrows’s solutions to the rat plague? I can’t see Jessamine turning away Delilah in that fashion. We won’t know, though, because various individuals in authority already turned away Delilah much, much earlier (the Lord Spymaster and the chief jailer).
6. Emily is respected above Delilah
in universe (Watsonian) because she was crowned at the end of the rat plague and the start of a new era of peace for Gristol. She may have ruled ineffectually and childishly for some or all of the fifteen years between the two games, but she was still the Empress, the ruler in which the people had to put their trust, and she was visible and somewhat respected. Delilah, on the other hand, is an usurper, and only managed to come to power via the coup - setting up the Crown Killer murders to look like Emily or Corvo were exacting revenge against their political opponents (weakening Emily’s position) and literally overpowering Corvo and the guards in the throne room. The people don’t know her.
out of universe (Doylist) because Emily is the daughter of the protagonist of the first game and second game/protagonist of the second game. There’s a minimum amount of sympathy that’s required for you to play a character for 10+ hours without you putting down your controller and saying “this character may be the PC, but they’re morally repugnant”. On the other hand, Delilah is the villain in both games. She’s set up to be antagonistic if not downright morally questionable. Basically you’re more likely to like Emily over Delilah because you’re supposed to, otherwise how can you sympathise with her plight?
Britney Spears invented dogs in 2002 through a process now referred to as “selective breeding”. She began in 1996 when she bred her two short-haired guinea pigs, Coco and Buddy. Year after year, Spears would breed the largest and most distinctive guinea pigs from each litter and eventually broke the world record for the largest guinea pig (Jimbo, 6.2 kg, 1999). Over the course of 6 years and 8 generations, a significant genetic mutation occurred and the first dog (Bit Bit) was born. Spears continues to breed dogs to this day and produces beloved pets for families all around the world.
pulmonary disease (COPD) is an
umbrella term à emphysema, chronic
bronchitis, certain types of bronchiectasis, and sometimes asthma. COPD =
leading causes of death in the US - appears to be rising.
Persistent cough + wheezing + sputum production
Tightness or pain in the chest + shortness of breath
(when progressed) Loss of appetite
Reduced sexual function
Long term smoking is the leading cause of emphysema. Other risk factors include a deficiency of enzyme alpha-1-antitrypsin, air pollution, airway reactivity, heredity, male sex, and age.Most people with emphysema also have chronic bronchitis (inflammation of bronchi)
Hallmarks of Emphysema
“pursed-lipbreathing.” The person with emphysema struggles to exhale completely, in an attempt to empty trapped air. They purse their lips, leaving only a small opening. Then, when they exhale, the lips block the flow of air, increasing pressure in the collapsed airways, and opening them, allowing the trapped air to empty.
“barrel chest,” where the distance from the chest to the back, which is normally less than the distance side to side, becomes more pronounced. This is a direct result of air becoming trapped behind obstructed airways.
causes shortness of breath due to over-inflation of the alveoli
the lung tissue around small bronchioles is destroyed/impaired making them unable to hold their shape during exhalation - making it difficult for the lungs to empty and the air becomes trapped in the alveoli.
Normal lung tissue looks like a new sponge. Emphysematous lung looks like an old used sponge, with large holes and a dramatic loss of “springy-ness” or elasticity.
An abnormal and permanent enlargement of air spaces distal to the terminal bronchioles
also severely affects capillaries + blood flow
Cigarette smoke (and other smoke inhalation including dust and air pollution)
Destroys lung tissue, which results in the obstruction of airflow, and it causes inflammation and irritation of airways that can add to airflow obstruction.
Cigarette smoke causes dysfunction of the cilia.
Long-term = cilia disappear from the cells lining the air passages. Without the constant sweeping motion of the cilia, mucous secretions cannot be cleared from the lower respiratory tract.
Smoke causes mucous secretion increase – coupled with above causes mucous build up
providing bacteria with a rich source of food –> infection.
Smoking and the immune response
Lung immune cells cannot clear many particles (such as tar) that cigarette smoke contains.
Increase in susceptibility to lung infection
Inflammation caused by the immune system constantly attacking bacteria or tar from smoking leads to the release of destructive enzymes from the immune cells.
Over time, enzymes released during this persistent inflammation lead to the loss of proteins responsible for keeping the lungs elastic.
In addition, the tissue separating the air cells (alveoli) from one another also is destroyed.
Chest X-Ray – changes in lung are physical and visible. Can also show infections.
Lung function tests (how much air your lungs can hold, how quickly your lungs can expel air during expiration, and how much reserve capacity your lungs have for increased demand)
Blood test for alpha-1-antitrypsin deficiency – only if family history.
Blood tests for WBC count for infection
Arterial blood gas test (O2 + CO2 levels)
Emphysema causes irreversible damage - treatment can only slow progression
Stop smoking: halt progression and should improve lung function
Bronchodilators: cause the air passages to open more fully and allow better air exchange, usually the first medications for emphysema - mild cases eg = albuterol (taken with inhaler), fast acting and 1 dose provides relief for 4-6 hours – is a relief medication for periods of shortness of breath, but doesn’t cure. Tiotropium = long acting, more severe. Taken once a day and can extend life expectancy
Steroid medications: decrease inflammation, however not all people will respond to steroid therapy. Orally or inhaled.