Pulling a Rabbit out of a Hat

Fandom: D.Gray-man
Relationships: Lavi/Allen (Laven)
Genre: Fluff and Drama
Tags and warnings: alternate universe, street and stage magic, fluff and drama, inaccurate science

Description: Lavi doesn’t understand why people are so excited about this magician called Allen. Sure, the man is good with his hands and his tricks are flamboyant, but that doesn’t make him anything more than an illusionist. Real magic does not exist. Lavi is determined to prove his point, and he keeps on interrupting the show until Allen’s patience runs out.

For @errantknightess, I’m your giftmaker for Laven Spring Gift Exchange 2017, posting from my writing account~ Hope you like what I’ve put together.

Pulling a Rabbit out of a Hat

The man was definitely a performer–and a sight for sore eyes.

Next to the crate was a huge trunk, probably filled with performance props. The red pattern over the man’s face made Lavi wonder what kind of performer he was. His white hair looked too good to be a wig, and he even had white eyelashes to support it. Those couldn’t be natural, could they? Lavi would have pegged him as a clown, but the petite man was clothed in neat, black jacket and trousers; a red ribbon and a top hat completed the refined look.

A small, golden golem sat on top of the performer’s shoulder, and Lavi wondered if it was a mascot of a sort; antique golems weren’t exactly in fashion when it came to decorating and dressing up.

“Ladies and gentlemen, thank you for your enthusiasm,” the young man suddenly spoke, getting Lavi’s attention. The man’s voice was a peculiar mix of soft and firm; combined with his looks and gestures, it gave off a rather charismatic impression. The performer waited for the audience to calm down before he continued speaking. “I have a few more magical tricks I’d like to show you, if you allow me to continue.”

The people around the performer yelled in excitement, but Lavi remained expressionless on his place.

A magician–really? What a disappointment.

Read the rest on AO3

Want to instill doubt in someone? “Change minor details in their surroundings.”

Yes, this post is about Sherlock. Specifically, about the reason for all of those pesky set design flaws that grew larger and larger as series 4 progressed.

For example, the skull picture we normally see…

…turns into this.

Or when Ella’s office looked like this…

…but turned into this.

There are hundreds of examples but how about simply one more.

John’s flat looked like this…

…but turned into this.

If you watch Many Happy Returns, which takes place before Series 3, you’ll see John’s front door doesn’t actually exist under the staircase – that was an unnecessary change in Series 4.

So what do all of these changes have to do with making an impression on the audience?  Well.  Everything.

When you want to get a group of people to doubt their own memory – or to plant new ones – you have to change things about what they already know, but don’t let on that you’ve changed anything.

And who does this for a living?

Derren Brown, the illusionist who had a cameo in The Empty Hearse. He’s also a very good friend of Mark Gatiss’. He has a fascinating video you can watch about this exact technique I’m explaining. By changing details visually, one can change how people doubt their own abilities to perceive reality, and also question their own memories.

Do you know all the outrageous things series 4 fed us?

– Mary is just an ordinary housewife with a good heart
– John would never save Sherlock from a serial killer
– John would beat Sherlock senseless
– Sherlock simply needs love from family to complete him
– John has a bunch of friends that love to look after his baby
– John would blame Sherlock for any harm befalling Mary
– John would easily forgive Mary for shooting his best friend in cold blood
– Mary knows Sherlock and John better than anyone ever could

These things blatantly contradict everything we’ve ever known about these characters. Still don’t believe Mary is a manipulative psychopath? Go read the HLV script; it just made its rounds on the internet today.

You’ve been wondering why series 4 is so screwed up, narratively and visually? It has a purpose. It is to make the audience doubt – to make the audience doubt their own ability to comprehend reality.

Is it working?

Urban Fantasy AUs

(A collection of prompts that are up for grabs - if anyone did one, I’d love to see.)

- “You used to pick on me and hex me in middle school and now we’re all grown up and you’re really hot but I still don’t trust you” AU

- Person A can erase peoples’ memories - or so they think. In reality, they merely remove them, and those misplaced memories have to go somewhere…

- Person A is an inhuman rights lawyer and activist. Person B is a shady politician with a secret who constantly butts heads with A over local/state policy.

- “Look, I’m just saying, it seems a little sketchy for a vampire to be running the blood drive.”

- Person A is a cheerful necromancer who’s tired of stereotypes. They own a shop that specializes in restoring peoples’ dead plants and pets to life. Person B is a healer with the opposite of a green thumb and their plants are always dying on them. Needless to say, they’re a frequent customer.

- A is a siren who desperately wants to be a voice coach/music teacher, but their students are always falling in lust with them. Enter B, who is asexual. A is thrilled at finally finding their dream student - until they start to fall for B.

- A is a private detective who’s a walking lie detector. B is an illusionist who moonlights as a burlesque dancer and has underworld connections, and is usually willing to help A out… for a price.

- A is a shy, virginal succubus/incubus who has no idea how to go about seducing anyone. Their next-door neighbor, B, is a sex worker of some sort. A is desperately attracted to them and feeds secondhand off their sexual energy to keep from starving. What happens when B finds out is up to you.

- A is part of a werewolf pack that’s constantly fostering orphans and looking after the neighborhood kids. B is the uptight lone wolf that’s all reclusive and never wants to come to block parties or do anything fun. A becomes determined to get them out of their shell and make them part of A’s pack.

- “Look, I am but a simple merperson who wants a decent education and I can’t spend the whole semester in the bathtub or avoiding the quad when it rains” AU

- A is a shapeshifter who has a huge crush on B, but has never shown B their real appearance, and now they can’t remember what it is.

The Lost Special: The One Way to Tie Up Every Loose Thread

In the last month this corner of the Sherlock fandom has thrown out a multitude of ideas for a narrative that could potentially resolve every last inconsistency in Sherlock series 4. Not knowing it, this community has debated different readings – all perfectly valid with only minor holes in logic – but have missed how they might all fit together into an intricate puzzle, each reading validating the other.

I have found one way to connect every loose thread.

Topics resolved include:

– EMP Theory vs “TFP as John’s TAB”: why both readings are meant to be exposed to the viewer (but we just found them too early)
– Benedict’s insanely long monologue they mentioned him having in Series 4.
– How another episode would only be comprised of a few new scenes
– Mary’s character development drifting far from her original plotline
– Moffat’s Doctor Who narrative that includes Toby Jones as a Dream Lord and what that means for Amy in “Amy’s Choice” and Sherlock in The Lost Special.
– How POVs intertwine in TFP, and how TPLOSH inspired the way The Lost Special would end.
– The entire bizarre nature of Series 4
– Breaking the 4th Wall
– The focus in The Six Thatchers on “The Duplicate Man”, “Twins”, “Two places at once”, and “Dead AND alive”.
– Three Garridebs
– Benedict claiming “Love conquers all” while Steven Moffat facepalms.

So if you want to know the one way this could all work, check out the rest of this post. But hear me out until the end, suspend your disbelief until you’ve finished, because regardless of whether or not you believe we’re getting The Lost Special, this reading which combines everything we’ve talked about for the last year is definitely arguable and until something else gets proposed, it is the one I’m sticking with til the bitter end.

Keep reading

Don't worry, I've already rolled another character

Here’s the situation : In this game, our Paladin was basically given a character to play. The player isn’t much for pre-made characters and has a tendency to make more flashy and roleplay-centric characters and the Paladin (which he said ‘Sure I’ll take it’) has the personality of paste. Former soldier, not very bright, likes to hit things really hard, but otherwise is a very bland character due to the way he was designed. The player has been trying desperately to get him killed but keeps rolling extremely well in fights and damage, and the DM knows it. Now, at level 8, he’s staring up at an Adult Red Dragon who is demanding tribute.

DM : (as dragon) You enter my domain, expect passage, and yet you bring nothing of value to lay at my feet as tribute? Your insolence will cost you your lives!

Paladin : I have something. I’ve brought it far from the seas of Peralon, where we sailed in search of riches. Riches we found. Food, wine, gold, items of magical nature. Valuables even I have never seen before, and I’ve marched on many lands and fought on the soils of many kingdoms.

Dragon : And what is this tribute? This rarity you speak of? Is it gold? Is it weaponry? Magic stones? Show me.

Paladin : It’s far more rare than any of those. You can find gold and weaponry and magical stones in abundance. But to find one of these…. It is a purely one of a kind thing. (OOC) And I drop trow, squat, and leave a dump on the ground.

The resulting fight saw the Paladin crit the dragon 5 times, with good damage rolls and lots of divine smites. The dm couldn’t seem to roll well for the dragon and missed a lot of attacks, but eventually hit him with the fire breath and barbecued him. One other party member had joined him but the rest held back out of fear. To be fair this beast was way out of our league. Both characters died. The other players offered the paladin’s armor and sword and boots as tribute. The dragon accepted and let them through. The DM then informed us that the dragon only had 27 hit points left.

His new character is a charlatan Illusionist wizard who runs cons and has managed to get the city watch on our asses in three cities. But it’s been amazing to see him work in the RP. Dude should have been an actor.

Movies for the Signs to Watch

Just a list of movies I adore & think the Signs might like. Check your Sun/Moon/Venus! 🎬 


  • Natural Born Killers (1994) 
  • Ali (2001) 
  • Sin City (2005)
  • The Purge (2013)


  • Kingdom of Heaven (2005) 
  • Basic Instinct (1992) 
  • Breakfast at Tiffany’s (1961) 
  • Bridge of Spies (2015)


  • The Imitation Game (2014) 
  • The Blair Witch Project (1999) 
  • Blow (2001) 
  • Perfume: The Story of a Murderer (2006)


  • The Life Before Her Eyes (2007) 
  • The Curious Case of Benjamin Button (2008) 
  • Wuthering Heights (1992) 
  • Amélie (2001)


  • Pulp Fiction (1994) 
  • Casino (1995) 
  • Immortal Beloved (1994) 
  • The Da Vinci Code (2006)


  • Arizona Dream (1992) 
  • Eternal Sunshine of a Spotless Mind (2004) 
  • Sinister (2012) 
  • Assassins (1995)
  • Taxi Driver (1976)


  • My Week With Marilyn (2011) 
  • Black Swan (2010) 
  • Vanilla Sky (2001) 
  • The Lake House (2006)


  • Shutter Island (2010) 
  • Requiem for a Dream (2000) 
  • V for Vendetta (2005)
  • Original Sin (2001)


  • The Prestige (2006) 
  • Some Like it Hot (1959) 
  • The Holiday (2006) 
  • Gravity (2013)


  • The Departed (2006) 
  • The Book Thief (2013) 
  • As above, So Below (2014) 
  • Broken (2009)


  • The Illusionist (2006) 
  • Insomnia (2002) 
  • Purple Moon (1960) 
  • Cloud Atlas (2012)


  • Girl, Interrupted (1999) 
  • Mr. Nobody (2009) 
  • Edward Scissorhands (1990) 
  • Remember Me (2010)
When the DM thinks up too many concepts on the fly and runs out of names

Me, Numenera DM: Okay, so, you reenter the greenhouse. With the illusions gone, you see that the plants are all labelled according to scientific nomenclature and price. Most of them are rare, expensive drugs.

Player: Hey, is there a label that says what that weed we found earlier is actually called?

Me: Yep. It’s called…


Me: Uh… Hippiebongius maximus.

Players: *laughing*



With the new card Annointed Procession being spoiled, there are now four different enchantments with replacement effects that double token creation. This sets up the following scenario in my Rhys the Redeemed commander deck: 

I control all of the permanents shown above, with the Illusionist’s Bracers equipped to Rhys.
I activate Rhys’ second ability, which will create a copy of the single Elf Warrior token I control.
This ability causes both the Bracers and Rings of Brighthearth to trigger, making two copies of the ability. 
The first copy resolves, and tries to create 1 token. This creation is replaced by an effect of one of the four enchantments (say, Parallel Lives), so instead we attempt to create 2 tokens. Rather than make those, another replacement from another enchantment (say, Annointed Procession) takes place, and would create 4 tokens. However, Doubling Season instead tries to create 8 tokens, and Primal Vigor will finally replace that and create 16 tokens total. Whew! 
Now, the second copy of Rhys’ ability will resolve and try to create another 17 tokens, but again there will be a chain of replacement effects, going from 17 to 34, 34 to 68, 68 to 136, and 136 to 272, giving us a new total of 289 tokens.
Finally, the original ability resolves, and another series of replacement effects take place, trying to give us 289 but doubling to 578, then doubling to 1156, and again to 2312, and at last to 4624 tokens. 
This means that, starting from a single token, we will end up with a grand total of 4913 tokens. That’s seventeen cubed! Hopefully I will get the opportunity to pull this off in a few weeks when Amonkhet is released!


Favorite actor series | Edward Norton: [On his first hand on encounter with acting] “Acting? It’s a longstanding compulsion I’ve had since I was about five or six years old. I can literally identify the moment it struck me. I went to see a play [If I Were a Princess] in which a babysitter of mine [Betsy True, who later acted on Broadway] was performing. I was completely shell-shocked by the magic of this little community-theater play; it just riveted me.” - Edward Norton