in the depth of winter

It seemed just your luck to have rented an apartment directly above a group of cultists.  

You’ve lost count of hearing their inane, rhythmic chanting below your floorboards and the faint flicker of candles around an elaborate chalk circle. You’ve complained numerous times before, but every time they’ve greeted you at the doorway in their draping red hoods, solemn-faced and muttering about bringing the ‘Great Old Ones’ back.  

For all the macabre airs that surrounded the place, the rent was cheap. Impossibly cheap. At first, you had been elated by such a turn of luck after you’d been so suddenly thrust into the adult world with both a job and school to juggle, but by now you knew why tenancy changed so quickly. But there was no way you’d be able to find another apartment this cheap. So you just tried to ignore the strangeness that lingered around you by immersing yourself in the real world outside your door, silently dreading the moments where you would have to return home.  Any other person would have turned heels long ago, but you’re just too stubborn to leave. It’s your home. You feel a sense of protective belonging over it, almost as if it’s your responsibility. 

You’ve come to expect the unusual from your living circumstances.  

     However, what you would have never expected would be a loud, unearthly rumbling that would send you sprawling to the ground, where the muted screams of cultists to waver up through the cracks in the floorboards. 

After the initial shock, apathy and exasperation set in. 

Damn it. After so many failed rituals and chants, so many nights spent reading spells from mind-destroying ancient tomes, they’ve actually done it. 

Well, at least you won’t have to deal with your downstairs neighbors anymore, you remind yourself hopefully. 

The journey down the stairs is a dark, tepid one where you blindly grope the spiraling banister, feeling as if something is just going to jump out at you like a overused horror movie cliche. Even though you try and convince yourself otherwise- damn it, you’re an adult, you shouldn’t be afraid of these things- the fear till lingers. 

The first thing you notice is the immense heat that blasts onto your face, sending trails of condensation down your already pale brow. It’ unusual because their heat is turned off all the time, even in the depths of winter. The only heat source down there is candlelight for when they carry out their unearthly rituals. But now it feels like you’re in the boiler room of the apartment block, walls almost scalding to touch. 

A smeared chalk pentacle glimmers in the shivering light of a single candle in the center of the room, it’s siblings long since extinguished. Everything in the room is scattered and overturned, the wooden floorboards blackened, but curiously not burnt. It’s as if some massive, invisible explosion has take place. The musty air is already making you nervous- something lingers in it, something that you already have the sense to know is not of this earth, that every cell i your body screams to get out of. There’s no trace of your neighbors anywhere. But you can’t help but feel as if you’re not alone, as if something is watching you from the shadows.

Maturity tells you to call the police. But you’ve tried that in the past, and nothing has ever really come from it. And if you tried describing what was down here, you were sure that they would hang up on you as a prank call. 

There’s a patter of movement from behind you. Noticing something sharp glinting from across the floor, you scrabble down to grab it, to try and protect yourself.

There’s a low clicking growl from the darkness. You feel ready to pass out from fear at any moment. You grip the knife shakily in your hand, but somehow feel even more helpless. Even when shrouded in darkness, you know that you’re powerless against whatever faces you. 

      With a shrieking cackle, something massive launches itself from the darkness with flashing white eyes and a fanged mouth trailing viscous saliva. You wait for death, but find it curiously absent. You look down to see the thing feeding on something else, and yourself completely unharmed. 

It’s a massive mass of pulsating tentacles from the waist down, slithering across the floor on them like some giant demented octopus. Above, it’s a bony white mockery of the human form, scales trailing down it’s spiky spine. Seeing it’s arms flex as it tears into it’s meal, it’s a lot more muscular than you thought. Around it’s head, you see a familiar robed hand, half-clutching a hammer. A hand that belonged to someone, one of the cultists, who was going to bring it down on you and use you as a human sacrifice. 

With a dawning shock, you realize that whatever this thing is, it just saved you. 

You move hesitantly towards it and it’s head whips around, glowing eyes burning right into your rigid form. It looks at you in a way you’ve never seen anyone look at you before, so intently, so longingly. It softens you to sympathy towards it, instead of screaming at the sight of it. 

“Thank you,” you breathe out.

You cringe at how ridiculous you must sound. You don’t even know if it can understand what you’re even saying, or if you’re really just the light snack for it after the heavy dinner of loyal cultists. Much to your surprise, it understands. A low longing growl coils out from it’s throat. It’s not even human, but you somehow feel closer to it than you’ve ever felt to any fellow member of your species. There’s more than that. You see it in it’s whole stance, aching familiar- it’s lonely.

Lonely- just like you. 

Overwhelmed by the situation, you make a quick run for upstairs. But as you’re midway up the staircase, you hear a low squelching sound. Whatever it is, it’s not about to leave you. 

     That evening was how you found yourself saddled with an unusual new roommate. He didn’t have an exact name, well at least not in human language. The most you had gotten out of him was a high-pitched series of clicks and ear-splitting squeals. 

Despite all odds, you two had somehow become amicable. True, he practically ate you out of house and home, but he was always there to listen to your day and silently comfort you from your stresses, wrapping his tentacles around you in a slimy hug. 

There were the few annoyances- while most roommates had to deal with their stuff being borrowed without permission, or not doing chores, you had to stop yours from eating neighborhood cats. 

It was nice having someone to come home to- even if that someone was actually something that was from another dimension all together. It was still nice.

Still, the memory of that night played on your mind- why had he saved you from becoming a sacrifice? Why hadn’t he just devoured you like he had with everyone else?

You sat half-curled up on the couch, a stack of junk food seated in your lap, more for him than it is for you. Beside you was your laptop. If there was anything that you loved about the new routine, it was movie night. It was a night where you could just lose yourself and forget the stresses of the world. You were so used to watching movies alone, but now you had someone else to enjoy them with. 

And you had to admit,  it was oddly endearing to see a tentacled, eldritch beast enjoy watching animated children’s movies. He shifted beside you, clawed hands shifting against the fabric of the duvet you’d put over to protect the couch from further damage. He was enraptured by the screen, toothy mouthed stretched into a wide grin. He loved movie night just as much as you did, already devouring half the stack of snacks. But you don’t mind.

Somehow you didn’t focus on the movie like you thought you would. Your mind slipped away from the action onscreen, becoming more wistful. You kept thinking about that night, about the ritual gone wrong. 

“Hey,” you suddenly remarked, “I just realized something.” 

His head instantly whipped around from the bright illumination of the screen within the dimmed room. 

“Mrnnnh?” came his curious growl. 

You suppressed a laugh at how truly catlike this hideous, tentacled monstrosity could be. 

“Two months since we met, and we moved in. I think it calls for some kind of celebration.” 

You paused. 

“I’ve…I’ve just been thinking…” 

He leaned in, both curious and concerned, sensing your obvious hesitancy. You force yourself to exhale. 

“That night…what was it about me? Everyone else…you devoured. But you left me alive. You saved me. Why? Why me?” 

The creature goes quiet. You already feel as if you’ve made a terrible mistake and feel like gingerly trying to switch the topic of conversation. But he shifts over the couch, slightly creaking it with his own immense stature.

“I…wanted to devour…wanted to devour everyone…but…” he growls in a deep, grating tone. 

His head tilts downwards towards you, making you feel absolutely tiny in the shadow of his presence. 

“…I… don’t want to eat…you. You…not meat to me.” 

He pauses for a minute, as if struggling what to say. 

”You…mean..more…to me…than…just meat.” 

You’re so shocked by the brevity of his words that it only dawns on you a few minutes later that it’s the first time you’ve ever heard him speak human words.

Squeezing back the few tears that brim within the glassy corners of your eyes, you draw close to him, allowing yourself to be embraced by his long arms. His touch is almost crushing, you know if he really tried, he could rip you apart, but you feel nothing but comfort. 

“Thank you.” you murmured softly. 

Your monster smiles down at you, revealing an array of sharp teeth, arranged in a welcoming, loving smile. 

Textile Majors

Theres a special magic in hand made fabric items. Handmade items in general, yes, but specifically fabric items.

There are two aspects to this. One is the level of relationship between the artist and the recipient. The knitted beanie purchased off Etsy is going to be nowhere near as powerful as the Fair Isle sweater your grandmother made specifically for you.

The other is the level of involvement of the artist. The more involved the artist is in the creation, the more powerful it is. That quilt made from store bought fabric, pieced together and quilted with protection symbols, it will keep you safe. The gloves whose yarn came from sheep you raised, whose dye came from berries picked from plants you tended and nourished, sheared and cleaned and dyed and spun and knitted by your hands, those will save your life.

Textile art majors come to the school knowing the basics of their craft. They can knit a sweater, or sew a dress, or started with those little bracelet looms and now are never found without some sort of weaving project. They come, because they want more. The history of the art, the depth and fullness of it. They come because they want to be fashion designers, or because they want to be conservators at museums. They come, with their portable sewing machines and card tables to stand them on, with their knitting needles and crochet hooks, their looms and embroidery hoops and infinite boxes of fabric, fiber, yarn, threads and notions, pins and sewing needles, measuring tapes and rulers. Their bags are full of pattern books and their rooms are cluttered with their projects.

They’ll go on, those that succeed, to be the top of their fields, whatever they choose to do. They’ll credit their blessings on their time at Elsewhere, the lessons they learned and the influences they found.

Items made at Elsewhere have a special power. While all handmade items absorb some of the emotion and intentions the artist has while creating it, items made at Elsewhere take those feelings and make them magical. This can be a blessing, or a curse. There is a tradition of burning projects that frustrate too much. Every Freshman is shocked and appalled when, at the new moon, all the older textile majors gather together to burn any project that is causing them problems or resulting in negative feelings. They learn, after their first or second frustrating project causes them such discomfort after they make it that they can’t actually use the thing.

The professors prioritize quality over quantity for a reason. New projects are always assigned at the start of the waxing moon, and due before the new moon. They have a special form for projects that have to be redone because they were burned. They will provide the materials and time to make up the projects, but only three times. Some will offer deals for a fourth.

Gifts are a mixed blessing.

That one sophmore that knits six pairs of socks every weekend? She’s avoiding calls from her parents and they’re full of her anxiety. The one person that wore them ended up running like the hunt was after them until they collapsed sobbing in the quad. Now, we accept her gifts, and put them away. They’re be useful for trade with the Folk.

The boy from the equatorial country who weaves those lovely blankets? Only use them in the depths of winter, or you’ll roast. Take the blanket with you if you have to go out in the deep snowy areas for ANY reason. They’ll keep you warm and dry. It may look as light as your sheets, but he started making them in his first winter here, when he thought he’d freeze to death for sure. Now he jokes that they’re a brilliant ice breaker.

The person that ignored the proverbial ‘boyfriend curse,’ made xir boyfriend a sweater, then begged him to wear it. Nobody knows exactly what happened to him, but xe is so much happier now, since he disappeared.

There are legacy students here, whose tools came down from their parents and grandparents, you’ll know them by their iron needles and hooks, and the runes carved in their old looking looms and hoops. The items they make are often high quality, even as freshmen, and they know the ways of trading. We’ve all learned to look for them when having an issue with a project, they have a way of getting to the heart of it and guiding us through. Trades with them will be dear, but what you get will be worth it.

The senior project is a group affair. Every senior contributes something they’ve made. The fabric is made by students talented with the loom, the lace by the best crocheter in the class. Every piece is made by students, from the earliest bud of cotton or flax, the hand raised lambs, goats, rabbits or alpacas, to the final glass bead. Each year the product is different, but the ritual is the same. At the final full moon before graduation, the product is displayed on the quad, surrounded with flowers and hand made accessories. Nobody knows what happens to it after that. It disappears before dawn, and the artists go out in the world to make their fortunes. Only once has the project met the light of the morning sun, and that class never saw any success.


winters-uprise  asked:

After spending the whole week murdering PLEASE just let the man be a freakin goody goody two-shoes during his free time. WHY WOULD ANYONE WANT ANYTHING ELSE FOR THE HOMESTEAD MISSIONS

Originally posted by meanwhileongiphy


I’ve seen some people mention that they found Connor a rather dull, cold, bloodthirsty character with no personality, and I feel like taking them by the shoulders, staring them straight in the eyes, and asking, ‘Did you even play the Homestead missions??”

Because while throughout the rest of the game, Connor pursues his goals with an almost ruthless determination, it’s through the Homestead missions that we see his sweet and gentle nature really shining. Those missions show the best side of Connor, in times of peace and domesticity, when he’s not off making war and fighting for liberty. 


Trees Elemental Correspondences

EARTH (Prosperity and success)
Yew: Able to live for thousands of years, the yew spirit is a witness to the passage of our immortal souls through many lifetimes. It offers a glimpse of eternity, a reminder of our direct contact with past, present and future.

Elder: A tree of regeneration and rebirth, sacred to the Earth Mother, with every part of the tree blessed with healing powers. If we respect its powerful, primeval presence, the elder spirit will honour us with protection, healing and guidance.

Oak: Strength, endurance, courage, inner nourishment. A doorway to other dimensions, to higher realms of truth, to the wisdom of elemental power. The oak is high king, guardian of the fertility of the land and its people.

Elm: A tree of mystery, home to the elven folk. Restores our life force by cleansing any feelings which inhibit its flow – i.e. despair, despondency, self-doubt, unworthiness. It encourages renewed faith in the value of our life’s work.

AIR (Knowledge and inspiration)
Beech: “There is nothing new under the sun – only truth and beauty” – so counsels the beech. Her gentle magic can inspire us to let go of old patterns and fixed attitudes, and to see more of the good that is in the world.

Aspen: Shields us from fear and anxiety, and helps us to feel more trustful of the unknown, unseen and unfamiliar. Aspen helps us to connect with and manifest the source of our inner strength.

Pine: Purifies, cleanses, transforms our negative moods and self-judgement. Pine heightens our awareness and our perspective, revealing new insights and refreshing our spirit.

Birch: New beginnings, birth, inception. The vital force, powerful in its shining innocence, symbolising the positive aspects of the process of constant change, driving out old, stale energy to make way for a fresh start.

Hazel: Knowledge , wisdom, intuition, creative leaps beyond the bounds of normal perception. Connection with the wellsprings of consciousness, fostering communication, self-discovery and crcreativity

Gorse: A hardy tenacious shrub, gorse has an aura of contentment, fulfilment, optimism. Even in winter its flowers glow with the sunshine of renewed hope and inner strength.

FIRE (Energy and change)
Holly: Balance, centredness, integrity. Holly shows its vivid, shining presence even in the depths of winter. Helps us to avoid fiery over-reactions towards others, arising from our oversensitivity and impatience.

Rowan: Its scarlet berries have the brilliance of a beacon on a mountain top. Used in divination, healing, and whenever protection is needed against unwelcome spirits and unwanted influences.

Heather: A tonic for a jaded spirit, reviving and soothing. It also restores our trust in the perfection of the universe, and the unfolding of our life process within it.
Hawthorn: A healer of the heart, a tree of joyous festivities, the marriage of love and life in action – perhaps after a period of inaction, restraint, self-denial, reflection. Guardian of sacred springs and wells.

Blackthorn: A guide through the darkness, back to the light. Helps us face our deepest fears and buried emotions, our dark side. This is a process of cleansing and renewal, leading to a sudden, spontaneous flowing of the spirit.

WATER (Healing and Love)
Alder: Alder finds its strength in water, but it also has fiery qualities. If we are feeling emotionally drained or diverted , it can help us find the determination to stay true to our purposes when circumstances threaten to overwhelm us. It is also an oracle of vision and foresight, helping us to prepare wisely for the future.

Willow: Its miraculous fertile life force helps us to be more sensitive to the ebb and flow of our deepest feelings, dreams, visions, intuitions. It teaches us how the growth of understanding is rooted in total acceptance of our life situation, as it is, now.

Ash: The world tree of the ancients, spanning the universe, connecting everything. It links the inner and outer worlds, helping us to assimilate knowledge gained on a psychic level, and to manifest it in practical ways. It also strengthens our will-power and resolve.

Apple: A symbol of beauty, love, inner and outer harmony. It symbolises living life to the full, focusing mind and heart together positively. Whilst life’s fruitfulness is there to be enjoyed, we must also make choices and learn not to dissipate our energy in the pursuit of too many goals.

Ivy: A tenacious climber, ivy represents the inner search for the higher self, the spiral dance through the maze of life’s challenges. In this process of self-transformation, originality and uniqueness are the keys to unlock habitual patterns of behaviour.

Source: Encyclopedia Celtic Mythology by Bob-Curran

When the trees glisten like crystals at night,
and catch the new fallen snow.
An enchanted kingdom begins to take form
beneath the moon’s silvery glow.

The forest surrenders to winter,
yet life goes on and on,
and just as each day fades to twilight,
each dusk is followed by dawn. 

(Edited from Shizaya doujinshi Alice)

natasha is cursive on cold white paper, soft hands resting on thighs, clean sheets of snow, clothing hanging outside, gentle laughter between friends, fancy mirrors hanging in long hallways, rings on dainty hands, handwritten journals neatly tucked away, private libraries with tall open windows, snowy hills, that first cold breath of snow and winter

sonya is fiddling with your hands, candles lighting an empty house, long braids pinned up in various ways, the faint smell of apples and cinnamon drifting upstairs, fireplaces being lit during the depths of winter, running fingers over stone and brick, books piling up on beds, worn lounging sofas

marya is classical music being blasted at 2 am, waking up extremely early to catch the sun rising, red lipstick being left on coffee mugs, shoes lined up in the closet, comfy sweaters, wild friday nights, black faux fur with white gloves, long car trips narrated by a favorite book, spending sunday cleaning the house

anatole is wild partying on saturday nights, best friends collecting around a table, long couches with more than three seats, rings on every surface in the house from drinks, shining shoes, sleeping in until 2 pm, glueing your fingers together and peeling it off afterwards, playing an instrument with all the windows opan

hélène is sleeping on your stomach, plain white sheets and subtle green pillows, window seats on a hot summer day, small banter at the bar, waking up in the bathtub after a wild night, messy rooms and unmade beds, a small one bedroom apartment in the city, lots of pearls laying out over a dresser

dolokhov is quiet in the house on a tuesday night, the stars being hidden by a stormy night, a flash of lightning, organised closets with belts hanging out of every drawer, an outfit being laid out the night before, eating soup when you’re sick, rolling up socks on a chilly day, dipping a peanut butter sandwich into some chicken noodle soup

mary is overalls and striped t-shirts, random sayings on old shirts, macaroni and cheese all by yourself, tall socks, wearing lots of buttons, packing your lunch the night before, losing yourself in the rain, tall thoughts in the shower, wool comforters at the foot of a bed, leaving a door open so animals can come and go

prince bolkonsky is aggressive advertisement along busy highways, read plants sitting along a windowsill, long forgotten memories, long coats in winter, gray walls in a gloomy house, vintage chairs with tall backs, accidentally torn pants hanging around the house, sitting in an armchair at ungodly hours

balaga is ordering room service without shame, forgetting your cellphone everywhere you go, failing to cook and ordering pizza instead, clothes hanging on the balcony, speeding down an open road, warm boots on a cold winter night, headlights in the distance, sitting in a drive through with all your friends

andrei is not understanding a lesson in class, being dropped off at your house after spending the night elsewhere, blankets hanging on chairs, randomly hanging pictures around the house, owning tons of jewelry but never wearing any of it, naming your plants, doing research and getting stuck in a wikipedia hole, writer’s block on a rainy day

pierre is long nights spent awake, opening the window during the winter, sitting in an armchair and staring at the wall, limbs falling asleep, a numb nose during a winter storm, long faux fur coats, scrolling through twitter, closing the curtains after a long day, watching the clock at the end of the day

the great comet is myself, natasha, sonya, marya, anatole, hélène, dolokhov, mary, bolkonsky, balaga, andrei, pierre, a longing desire, a lost soul, wishful thinking, the end of the world.

The Importance of Longclaw

To begin, Longclaw’s history is murky. It came into possession of the Mormonts a hundred years before Ice came into the possession of the Starks. The Mormonts have long been a poor house, and would not have been able to afford such a weapon. This meant they would have needed to come into it through battle, like similar poor houses, or that is was given to them or found, but the chance of them giving it to their liege lords is actually quite high.

Originally posted by thejoysofafangirl

It’s rather interesting that such a poor house with a sword that was given to the main character had no story shared about its origin. It must be interesting. Maybe too interesting and spoilery. Perhaps it is a mystery even to the Mormonts. Perhaps it was given to them by the Starks. Perhaps it isn’t a valyrian sword, but the first important sword made in similar fashion - Lightbringer. We don’t know.

But this isn’t a meta about Longclaw’s creation or its heritage. No, this meta is about Longclaw’s future with the Starks – with Jon and Sansa specifically.

Keep reading


The product of more than two years of planning Ghosts of the Arctic was filmed exclusively in the Arctic archipelago of Svalbard in the depths of Winter. It is my hope that the film will impart some of the haunting beauty of this incredibly precious and endangered polar wilderness; as well as give you some insight into my life as a Polar photographer. I hope you will take six minutes out of your day, set your display to full screen, turn off the lights, crank up the volume, and allow Ghosts of the Arctic to transport you away to one of the world’s most spectacular polar regions; in it’s rarely seen winter veil. Please Enjoy.

AHS: Cult Cinematography

I’m absolutely in love with it..

The long & lone stretches of The Shining-like supermarket isles that made you feel Ally’s crippling anxiety.. those really close up, quirky angles of Ally that make you feel just as claustrophobic as she does.. the zooming in on those “disgusting” tiny, bleeding holes.. a clear close up of the back of Kai’s head; immersing us into his cluttered & chaotic subconscious, frozen in his rejection and anger.. the clowns popping up in the security mirror at the market and next to Ally at the restaurant make’s you just as afraid as her.. are they real or are they in her mind? Is Ivy actually tired of dealing with her spouses toxic phobias, or is she in on it? Acting secretly as one of the clowns that’s torturing Ally, and Ivy is just gas lighting her? I can’t help but remember that the character poster for Ivy is her holding a very large knife over some butchered meat with more meat hanging behind her and a clown standing in the background. And their son.. did he really see clowns murder the neighbors or did he make it up? Did Winter tell him to make it up? Why is Winter trying to breed a sociopath within him? In depth, what are Winter and Kai’s lives like, and why does Winter seem so involved with Kai if he is her biggest fear?

So many questions, such little patience to find out.

I was born in a garden
Surrounded by green and honey
You gave life to me as I emerged into the world
Covered in bloody earth and muddied tears
I was your flower
A rose all for you
I believed you would care for me
Rain for my dry petals
Sunlight to reach towards
Shade to protect me against the worlds raging fires
Oh how wrong I was
Foolish girl
Your sharp mouth that kissed me a million times and promised me endless dewy summers
Those thistle lips brought me
Winters only
Ice crystals to freeze over my delicate crimson body
I trusted you
But instead of breathing love in my lungs you blew in raging blizzards that nearly snapped me in two
My spine becoming wilted vines
My heart punctured with thorns
My bones plucked from the earth
The one who planted my seed and delivered me from your own blood
Nurtured me with nothing but cold chills more bitter than a starless midnight
Clouds too thick to see the weeping moon
You raised me from the soil up only to drive me back to the worms with your heel
But I am here to thank you
And lay my deepest gratitude at your feet
I now see that through snow I was taught
What I never could have learned through a warm breeze
I am grateful
That i was gifted strength
For without the downpour of my tears
I wouldn’t have discovered that I could water myself
If not for those howling winds
My roots would not have the depth of a lions roar
Without the cruel winter
I never would have been able to see
That what at first glance appeared to my wilted soul frozen over like
A frost covered flower
Was just an illusion
And when the snow finally grew too tired to dance in my eyes I saw
That I was never crumbling ice
But a strong
Diamond rose
—  Go ahead and try to shatter me, I dare you