initial action

TAROT REFERENCE

Major Arcana

0 The Fool – New beginnings, optimism, trust in life; Reversed: Delays

1 The Magician – Action, the power to manifest; Reversed: Misunderstandings.

2 The High Priestess – Inaction, going within, the subconscious; Reversed: Manipulations.

3 The Empress – Abundance, nurturing, fertility, life in bloom; Reversed: Neglect

4 The Emperor – Structure, stability, rules and power; Reversed: Chaos

5 The Hierophant – Institutions, tradition, society and its rules; Reversed: Hypocrisy

6 The Lovers – Sexuality, passion, choice, uniting; Reversed: Separation

7 The Chariot – Movement, progress, integration; Reversed: Defeat

8 Strength – Courage, subtle power, integration of animal self; Reversed: Fear

9 The Hermit – Meditation, solitude, consciousness; Reversed: Isolation

10 Wheel of Fortune – Cycles, change, ups and downs; Reversed: Stagnation

11 Justice – Fairness, equality, balance; Reversed: Lies

12 The Hanged Man – Surrender, new perspective, enlightenment; Reversed: Stubbornness.

13 Death – The end of something, change, the impermeability of all things; Reversed: Limbo

14 Temperance – Balance, moderation, being sensible; Reversed: Impatience

15 The Devil – Destructive patterns, addiction, giving away your power; Reversed: Freedom

16 The Tower – Collapse of stable structures, release, sudden insight; Reversed: Control

17 The Star – Hope, calm, a good omen; Reversed: Darkness

18 The Moon – Mystery, the subconscious, dreams; Reversed: Paranoia

19 The Sun – Success, happiness, all will be well; Reversed: Failure

20 Judgment – Rebirth, a new phase, inner calling; Reversed: Regrets

21 The World – Completion, wholeness, attainment, celebration of life; Reversed: Incomplete

Suit of Swords
• Other Names: Staves, arrows, spades
• Element: Air
Attributes: Active, male
Astrological Signs: Gemini, Libra, Aquarius
• Direction: West
Season: Pagan – Spring / Esoteric – Autumn
• Self: Mind, thoughts, intellect
Jungian Function: Thinking
Body Part: Head
Qabbalistic World: Yetzirah – the Formative World

Air is seen as the intellect, logic and reasoning. An active element, Air circulates and so cleanses; it carries your thoughts and dreams; is also expansive when hot and is said to be expressive. Your mind or thoughts can be seen as clear or clouded; speech requires breath, which requires air.

Swords represent logic, the mind and your thoughts. They deal with problems and troubles, planning, communication, ideas, your intellect and how you use it. They represent your daily and life struggles, problems in general. The very nature of a sword is aggressive and warlike. Combined with the swiftness of air, the combination can see situations arise quickly. The ability to see clearly means resolution is quick also. Swords people are great thinkers. You will find them in study, research, academia, the sciences, law courts and libraries. They love to learn and live to do it in any capacity.

Keywords: decisions, worries, problems, issues, tension, communication, intelligence, disagreements; arguments, logic, reason, cognition, ideas, inspirations, balance, equilibrium, the mind, mentalism, thinking, facts and figures, definition.
Reversed: vicious, ruthless, manipulative, cold, unemotional, spite and malice, accidents, inertia, indecision, confusion, mental blockages, biased, illogical, mental health issues, negative life changes.


• King – Serious, controlling, rational and mind/intellect-focused; Reversed: Foolish
• Queen – Intelligent, writer, communicative yet cold; Reversed: Ineffective
• Knight – Fierce, determined, aggressively pursues goals; Reversed: Boredom
• Page – mentally unstable or intellectually immature, acts without thinking; Reversed: Stupidity
• Ace of Swords – A fresh start, a sudden opportunity or idea, clarity; Reversed: Improbable
• 2 – Indecision; Reversed: Conflicts
• 3– Heartbreak, betrayal; Reversed: Torment
• 4 – Meditation, rest, retreat; Reversed: Disturbance
• 5 – Mind games, hostility; Reversed: Treachery
• 6 – Leaving, accepting help, going somewhere better; Reversed: Trouble
• 7 – Secret plans, abandoning ship; Reversed: Clumsiness
• 8 – feeling powerless and stuck; Reversed: Escaping
• 9 – Overactive mind, anxiety; Reversed: Martyrdom
• 10 – Feeling defeated, self-sabotage; Reversed: Sabotage

Suit of Cups
• Other Names: Chalices, Grails, Cauldrons, Hearts, Vessels
• Element: Water
Attributes: Passive, female; cold, wet
Astrological Signs: Pisces, Cancer, Scorpio
• Direction: East
Season: Pagan – Autumn- / Esoteric – Summer
• Self: Emotions, love, receptivity
Jungian Function: Feeling
Body Part: Heart
Qabbalistic World: Briah – the Creative World

Water is seen as the emotions, your feelings, and your intuition. Considered passive, water can be deep or shallow; you like the ocean, are responsive to the moon; your tears can rise and fall; out of control, your emotions flood;

Cups represent your emotions, feelings, your subconscious, intuition and psychism. They deal with love affairs, all relationships, inner expression, your reactions or responses and the pursuit of happiness. Generally passive and not outwardly extrovert, creativity through expression are some of the traits of this suit. Careers are usually in the arts or creative pursuits, they are, poets, painters, florists and designers, nurses, social workers and care-givers. Cups people are happy in the background doing their own thing, though they are often actors distinguishing the limelight from private time like no others.

Keywords: creative, intuitive, clairsentient, psychic, passive, affectionate, receptive, imaginative, caring, relationships, love, dreams, sensitivity, romantic, artistic, spiritual, compassionate, tactile, nurturing, the unconscious mind, domesticity, culture, expression, flexibility, fluidity, calm motion, serenity, empathetic, aesthetics and beauty.
Reversed: needy, co-dependent, intense, neglectful, fantasists, uncaring, cold, unfeeling, moody, unresponsive, illogical, lost, negative, pessimistic, emotional, overly sentimental, tearful, selfish.


• King – Repression of deep feelings, possible alcoholism; Reversed: Selfishness
• Queen – Emotionally nurturing, intuitive, sensitive; Reversed: Ignorance
• Knight – Romantic, adventurous, following one’s heart; Reversed: Pessimism
• Page – Creative, inspired, learning artistic skill; Reversed: Gloomy
• Ace of Cups – emotional fulfillment, joy; Reversed: Indifferent
• 2 – Partnership, mutual attraction, compatibility; Reversed: Abandonment
• 3 – Celebration, fun with friends, laughter; Reversed: Jealousy
• 4 – Boredom, dissatisfaction with what is being offered; Reversed: Avoidance
• 5 – Dwelling on the negative, self-pity; Reversed: Alienation
• 6 – Sentimentality, kindness, help; Reversed: Discouraging
• 7 – So many choices, indecision, getting lost in fantasy, wishing and dreaming; Reversed: Lethargic
• 8 – Abandoning something in search of something better, vision; Reversed: Sacrifice
• 9 – Indulgence, self-satisfaction; Reversed: Disintegration
• 10 – Emotional bliss, happiness, attainment; Reversed: Disruption


Suit of Wands
• Other Names: Batons, Staves, Rods, Clubs, Staffs, Scepters
• Element: Fire
Attributes: Active, masculine; hot, dry
Astrological Signs: Aries, Leo, Sagittarius
• Direction: South
Season: Pagan – Summer / Esoteric – Spring
• Self: Will, actions, desire
Jungian Function: Intuition
Body Part: Genitals
Qabbalistic World: Atziluth – the Archetypal World

Fire is energy and action, passion, drive and ambition. An active element, it can cause permanent change; is expansive; can be aggressive; is pro-active and undeterred.

Wands represent creativity, energy, passion and action. They cover your spiritual pursuits, your career and creative projects. Leadership, self-growth and general optimism are some traits of this suit. Careers are usually in business, they are leaders, entrepreneurial & sales focused. Wands people like to get ahead and are generally pro-active in all their activities. With an unrivaled healthy vitality, they are often accomplished sports people.

Keywords: intuition; creativity; vitality; sexuality; spirituality; vision; energetic; outgoing; impulsive; motivational; pro-active; spirit and spirited; optimistic; enterprise; commerce; business; careers; opportunities; the thrill of the chase; competitive; growth; personal development; inspirational; enthusiastic; sexual; passionate; action; movement; initiation.
Reversed: rash; impetuous; ruthless; greedy; narrow-minded; hyperactive; brash; manipulative; conniving; mean-spirited; overly optimistic; risk takers; heartless; aggressive; selfish; misleading; sadistic; distrusting of others.

• King – Career focused, mature, passionate; Reversed: Impostor
• Queen – Confidant, focused, has zest for life; Reversed: Fatigue
• Knight – An adventurous risk taker who follows his passions; Reversed: Apathy
• Page – newly inspired, excited about life and work; Reversed: Passive
• Ace of Wands – New beginnings, creative spark, fertile ideas; Reversed: Unpromising
• 2 – Contemplation, assessing one’s life direction; Reversed: Dispute
• 3 – Reaping the rewards of your efforts; Reversed: Idleness
• 4 – Celebration, safety, the home; Reversed: Discord
• 5 – Competition, minor struggles or disagreements; Reversed: Timidness
• 6 – Success, accolades and achievement; Reversed: Disapproval
• 7 – Feeling defensive and on guard; Reversed: Yielding
• 8 – Speed, things manifesting quickly; Reversed: Stagnation
• 9 – Pessimism, gearing up for the worst; Reversed: Weakness
• 10 – Feeling oppressed, exhaustion, too many responsibilities; Reversed: Impractical

Suit of Pentacles
• Other Names: Disks, Coins, Deniers, Stones, Diamonds
• Element: Earth
Attributes: Passive, female
Astrological Signs: Taurus, Virgo, Capricorn
• Direction: North
Season: Pagan – Winter / Esoteric – Winter
• Self: Body,
Jungian Function: Sensation
Body Part: Feet
Qabbalistic World: Assiah

Earth is seen as the material, the physical & the sensual. A Passive element, Earth allows growth & production; promotes prosperity; is the foundation on which anything is built.

Pentacles, represent all things material and physical, what you experience using your senses. They deal with your money, business deals, material possessions, your job, arts, crafts, your home & garden. Working hard & getting the job done are attributes of this suit. Pentacle people don’t mind getting their hands dirty whether that’s working with the land or in a factory. Strong & dependable, often found in the trades, removals, farming, landscaping & homemaking.

Keywords: sensual, sexual; strong; lithe; dependable; reliable; stoic; practical; skilled & skillful; artistic; common sense; traditional; regular; straightforward; grounded; sensible; lush; fertile; growth; luxury; wealth; prosperity; apprenticeships; scholarships; dull; dutiful; realistic; down-to-earth; materialistic; money motivated; domesticity; health & fitness; exercise.
Reversed: miserly; slave drivers; workaholics; pleasure seekers; neglectful; shoddy work; dullards; negative; pessimistic; superstitious; thoughtless; penny pinchers; lazy; unforgiving; selfish; greedy; covetous; moronic.

• King – Enjoys the good life (food, drink and leisure), financially secure; Reversed: Hoarder
• Queen – Healthy in body and finances, grounded and calm; Reversed: Unreasonable
• Knight – Cautious, sensible and slow to progress; Reversed: Inexperienced
• Page – Student, commitment to learning; Reversed: Rookie
• Ace of Pentacles – Financial reward, clarity of life purpose, goals; Reversed: Debt
• 2 – Balance, multitasking; Reversed: Impractical
• 3 – Meaningful work, enjoying one’s work, suitable career; Reversed: Mediocrity
• 4 – Hoarding, feeling poor, holding self-back out of fear; Reversed: Greed
• 5 – Minor money troubles, health problems, feeling like an outsider; Reversed: Helplessness
• 6 – Charity, accepting and giving help; Reversed: Cruelty
• 7 – Patience, waiting for your plans to bear fruit; Reversed: Unemployment
• 8 – Hard work, focused efforts, laying the groundwork; Reversed: Skill-shortage
• 9 – Luxury, rest, financial and material comforts; Reversed: Dependency
• 10 – Financial success, strong business relationships; Reversed: Restrictions

lil-lycanthropy  asked:

Ew I heard America passed a bill banning trans people from joining the military? (I'm not American forgive if I'm wrong) But oml fuck Trump honestly

Actually please make it well known that there’s been no bill passed as of yet. The Secretary of Defense was supposed to implement the official policy of accepting transgender service members by July 1st, but they opted for a six month delay. During this delay, Trump became very public about how he would be banning transgender service members. While the president is at the top of the Chain of Command in the army, he still has to go through various channels to actually get the ban implemented. He PLANS to reinstate the bill. The bill has not been reinstated.

Our biggest problem is that the government keeps doing these things and then we keep thinking there’s nothing we can do. In this case, spreading the information that he’s passed a bill makes it seem like a much harder fight than the one it really is: getting the original bill that was postponed to pass in six months. As far as we know it hasn’t been scrapped yet. It’s still a huge deal that the Commander in Chief has proclaimed this but saying it doesn’t make it law.

So what’s important is 
1) spreading correct information and
2) what can be done about it while
3) encouraging ACTION

Even if you can’t protest on street corners or donate to relevant advocate groups, the least you can do is send a letter to the Secretary of Defense

Jim Mattis
Secretary of Defense
1000 Defense Pentagon
Washington, DC 20301-1000


Tell him that you support in no uncertain terms the inclusion of transgender service members in all branches of military service. Tell him you demand the same constitutionally provided respect and equality for them as he would provide any other service member. Tell him that it’s his responsibility as the Secretary of Defense to ensure the success, camaraderie, and morale of the United States Armed Forces. 

This is a case where the reaction to this decision, this unofficial not-on-the-books not-yet-legalized decision, is more important than the initial action. Please by all means do whatever you can to spur people to action in the next few days and for the next six months. 

-Kingsley

~ Fire: Intuitive action 
~ Earth: Nature and material
~ Air: Socialisation and relationship 
~ Water: Emotional and psychic activity 

~Cardinal: Initiation 
~Fixed: Sublimation  
~Mutable: Adaptive 

Aries ~ Cardinal Fire ~ Initiates intuitive action
Leo ~ Fixed Fire ~ Sublimates intuitive energy externally 
Sagittarius ~ Mutable Fire ~ Adapts to follow intuitive action 

Taurus ~ Fixed Earth ~ Sublimates the forces of nature and material internally
Virgo ~ Mutable Earth ~ Adapts to natural environment 
Capricorn ~ Cardinal Earth ~ Initiates natural conservation 

Gemini ~ Mutable Air ~ Adaptive socialisation for connection 
Libra ~ Cardinal Air ~ Initiates socialisation for relationships 
Aquarius ~ Fixed Air ~ Sublimates social experiences into a unified vision

Cancer ~ Cardinal Water ~ Initiates emotional and psychic functions 
Scorpio ~ Fixed Water ~ Sublimates emotional and psychic activity internally
Pisces ~ Mutable Water ~ Adapts to surrounding emotional and psychic activity

-C.

D&D: How to Use Character Arcs as a Dungeon Master

In my previous post on character arcs, I talked about how a player should determine how they want their character’s arc to begin and end. It was from a player’s perspective. But how does a DM write an adventure that will make that player’s arc happen?

First, get the information you need. Ask your players to each determine how their characters will begin the campaign and how they want them to change by the end of it. Then ask for copies of their character’s traits, flaws, ideals, and bonds. Note whether a player’s character is going to die tragically and if they are okay with that. With this information, you can give the players what I call a moral quandary, personalized for their own character’s arc. A moral quandary is giving the player two difficult options that the player must decide how their character would choose. The character should lean to one side of a moral quandary at the beginning of an adventure, but gradually start to lean the other way as their arc comes to completion. 

For instance, a cleric might be presented with a choice to kill an evildoer or merely capture them. If the cleric is heading down an arc where their ideal changes from “all life is precious” to “evil must be stopped at all costs” in their character arc is going to make very different choices in that situation depending on where they are on their arc.

Let’s figure out how we can use this info as a DM and where to put moral quandaries using a 9-point story structure. These are not an entire campaign, but you can use each point as a fixed point in the narrative; a story outline based on the characters’ arcs. Plenty of different stuff can happen between each point, but the points must happen to create a robust story.

Call to Action

The player is given an initial call to action. Essentially, a moral quandary disguised as a quest hook. Try to have a separate but related call to action for each player. Ideally, the players should refuse the call to action, as they haven’t been “changed” yet. If they play to their characters’ initial backgrounds and traits, they will refuse the call. You can even enforce this by loading your call with descriptions of how the character is feeling. “You are offended that someone would even offer something so morally reprehensible to you, despite the fact that you could use the money.”

A good-hearted rogue is starting a tragic fall arc and is offered a chance to make millions from some morally questionable actions involving an evil regime, but decides it is wrong. An innocent paladin starting a coming of age arc could be offered a chance to rise against an evil regime, but values their own safety. A studious apprentice wizard starting a corruption arc is offered power in exchange for service to an evil regime, but decides they can get power on their own.

Inciting Incident

Something happens to force the player to action, whether they are ready or not. Try to come up with an inciting incident that involves all of the players, not just one. The inciting incident can act as where the adventuring party finally meets.

The evil regime in the Call to Action ends up invading the players’ quiet suburb to enforce martial law. The players escape or fight back or else they and their loved ones die or are enslaved. The rogue decides to run from their debts by joining the party. The paladin has seen firsthand what the regime can do, and will now join the party to find someone else who can help them stop it. The wizard seeks out more power to stop the regime.

1st Plot Point

The players learn the first shreds of information about the overarching narrative of the campaign. After the inciting incident, some characters might not be convinced and want to turn back. This gives them a reason to continue onward together, as a team. There should be no turning back from the 1st plot point.

Players learn how this evil regime has been spreading across the kingdom. It still holds many mysteries, but its power is great and threatening. Its power is centered in a capital city, which the players now opt to travel to in order to find the things they currently desire.

1st Pinch Point

A pinch point is the first real display of power from the antagonist or opposing force. In D&D this should be actual combat, though it doesn’t have to be. As long as the players see firsthand what the antagonist can do to their characters, this part will add the tension/drama that it should. If you want to have a 1st Pinch Point for each character, then this display of force should directly target the player’s character arc and spark the desire to change through a moral quandary. It’s an awakening. Create tension by ending a session with this pinch point.

The players come across a thieves’ guild run by the evil regime. The rogue takes note of how rich, glamorous, and lawless the life of a criminal is to spark their tragic fall arc. The paladin realizes how deep the corruption of the world runs and sparks their coming of age arc as their innocence starts to fade. The wizard realizes how much resources the evil regime has, and wonders what sorts of power they had in mind for him sparking their corruption arc.

Midpoint

More info is revealed about the antagonist and the perception of the characters change. They have an epiphany and decide to continue onward through their arc. This can, and most likely will, happen at different times for each character and their varying arcs.

The players learn about the leader of the regime. They have been pushed to the breaking point by the regime’s forces. The rogue decides join the regime and start doing crime for the regime and acting as a double agent against the party. The paladin no longer cares about finding someone else to help them stop the regime, vowing to end it themselves. The wizard gets an unholy tome and decides to learn how to make a pact with the demon the regime mentioned to overpower the regime. They are all still heading to the capital, though now with severely divergent goals.

2nd Pinch Point

The antagonist reveals their full power and threatens the completion of the characters’ arcs. The entire party should, in general, be at their lowest moment and completely without hope. This should happen at the same time for everyone. Ideally, end a session with this pinch point to create a cliffhanger and highlight the hopelessness.

The players reach the capital of the evil regime. The rogue is faced with a moral test, where they will be offered riches and allowed to live if they rat out their adventuring party. They choose to take the offer and are betrayed by the regime’s leader and sentenced to death anyway. The paladin comes face to face with the regime’s leader after being ratted out by the rogue. They fail the encounter and barely manage to escape with their life. The wizard is also defeated and their unholy tome is destroyed in the battle. The rogue is imprisoned and the paladin and rogue escape the leader and are being hunted in the capital.

2nd Plot Point

The last piece of the puzzle has come together in the second plot point. The characters finish their arc and learn how to overcome the antagonist. This can happen at different points and doesn’t have to happen quickly. For a tragic character, this is the part where they finally meet their end. Tragic characters fail to change or their change is self-destructive and they fail to overcome the antagonist of the story (tragic, isn’t it?). Think of this part as a moral quandary that characters’ finally “know the answer” to, as far as their character arc is concerned.

The rogue tries to escape, succeeds, but heads back to the thieves’ guild instead of his adventuring allies, and they ultimately betray and kill him. The paladin’s innocence is shattered and they gather rebel forces over time to take on the regime’s leader, becoming a leader themselves. They also find an unlikely ally in the wizard, who has finally succumbed to evil. The wizard still doesn’t know how to summon the demon, but they have already gotten a taste of evil’s power by performing vile rituals on captured regime members and will now use their power for vengeance against the regime’s leader.

Climax

The characters finally face off with the antagonist. The promise set out at the beginning of the campaign is fulfilled. The characters, having completed their arcs, are now changed enough to be able to defeat the antagonist. This should be the players at their most powerful and should be the most epic battle to take place in the campaign.

The paladin’s rebel army and the wizard’s evil magic face off against the evil regime’s leader. The battle is long and epic, but the characters succeed, freeing the kingdom of the evil regime.

Resolution

The game shouldn’t abruptly end after the antagonist is defeated! There needs to be closure. The players’ characters find out the results and the aftermath of defeating the antagonist, for better or for worse. In the case of an ongoing game, you should now set up the next campaign here.

The paladin and wizard regard each other as unsteady allies who no longer have a common enemy. The wizard seeks more power, even seeking to possibly usurp the void of power left from the regime’s defeat. The paladin and their rebel army gather in defiance of the wizard. The paladin tells the wizard to leave the kingdom and not threaten anyone with their evil, else the paladin will smite them down. The wizard, not having many spells left after the battle and not being ready to face an entire army, teleports away to parts unknown with a puff of green smoke. The paladin is placed in power, and the wizard now acts as a looming threat. Perhaps an NPC and villain for the next campaign?


This character arc outline is not cut-and-dry. You should use it as a guide, not a rule. Some characters might abruptly choose to change. Some will reach different parts of the outline at different times or out of order. Some characters might waffle between two sides of their arc before deciding which side they want to be on. But the more you talk to your players about it, the easier it is to come up with a generalized plan for your campaign’s story. Heck, your story might even change from what you initially intended by the end of it (a character with a bad roll can still end up dying before even finishing their arc!) But hopefully this will aid you in making the players love their characters even more and have fun as they grow and change in your campaign’s world. That’s what it’s all about, after all.

Numbers

One / Ace: New beginnings, first steps, fresh starts, initiation, conception. Leadership, taking action. Planting the seeds of a project, process, ambition, desire, or plan. Testing the waters. Imagination. Potential. Possibilities.

Two: Duality, partnership, cooperation, sharing, equalizing, balancing. Options, the need to make a choice. Separate paths or directions. Togetherness or a need for it. Attraction. Yin and Yang, the harmony or conflict of opposites.

Three: Scattered or coordinated energies in multiplicity. Communication and connection in groups. Creativity, abundance, growth, progress. Fluidity and velocity of a process, forward movement. Acquisition, collecting, gathering.

Four: The structure, the foundation; the basis for fruition. Nurturance, care, maintenance, caution. Securing current progress. A milestone or significant checkpoint. The seeds begin to sprout. Slow advancement, stillness. Patience.

Five: A sudden change, challenge, conflict, obstacle, or new idea/option that disrupts the present process. Crises, instability, chaos. The need to recreate, reroute, re-evaluate, or regroup. Realization, clarity, a change of mind.

Six: Solving or transcending a problem. Finding a new path or an escape route. Support and harmony. Relief and relaxation following adjustment to a new condition or reality. Acceptance, working with the truth/situation.

Seven: A disruptive halt caused by the need for introspection, intuition, reflection, assessment, and consideration. Deep thought, solitude, inspection of the spirit/subconscious. Cultivating faith, openness, & a new perspective.

Eight: Power & mastery. An excess of energy, a culmination, overflow. Using the knowledge gained to start again; rebirth & claiming what’s been earned. A need to purge what is below to make room for what’s above. Accomplishment.

Nine: Completion, the end, finality. Transition, transcendence, transformation. Wisdom. Overwhelm. Letting go. The peak, the final fruition, the harvest. Resting now that it’s all over – grieving or celebrating the results.

Ten: Coming full circle, starting again. Razing after raising; a state of “too much” and needing to purge, cleanse, flush the remains of the prior process or experience. Opening up to release the old, as well as to take in the new.

@badcharacterdesign
Okay so I’m calling it right here right now you heard it here first my dude this lady is gonna be one of 4 things:

1 - Conventionally attractive but shallow love interest the main dude ditches for the alt punk girl in the 3rd act

2 - Smiley but secretly prejudiced stuck-up girl who devalues/gives the main an emotional beatdown about not fitting in as the “point of initiation/action” because of course she does and then is proven wrong at the end and has a snobby meltdown

3 - Dated 1980s valley girl role, an older variant of #2 but minimized with less emotional validity and played as a secondary antagonist or for laughs

4 - Pointless and stupid background bit character who might have a few scattered lines that they just slapped on a poster and that I am now pointlessly reading way too into

Jieun’s Personality + theory on her purpose

So there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Jieun, her personality, and her ultimate fate after chapter 18. In terms of her potential death, it’s a huge probability she won’t live, there’s really no reason for her to stay alive much longer. Now what’s always interested me is how much of chapter 15 and 16 were dedicated to her background and even her own thoughts and internal dialogue. I don’t think Jieun will just be another unfortunate victim of Sangwoo.

A good portion of this post is going to be dedicated to taking a better look at Jieun’s personality in relation to Sangwoo, I won’t go into her treatment of Bum because that’s been hashed out tons of times by now. So there’s Sangwoo’s infamous speech about how she’s shallow and only into appearances, and while it was very intense and elaborate, I have plenty of reason to believe that he was wrong and only spoke so much to make a half assed justification for killing her. Let’s look at some parts of his dialogue:

So Sangwoo is the type of person to use any excuse to kill anyone, it doesn’t matter what they do. The first girl he killed because he felt she challenged his ego, Sangwoo said he killed the old man because he stuck his dick in his face, and now Jieun is about to die because he says she doesn’t deserve anyone for cursing people who don’t look good. It doesn’t matter to Sangwoo whether or not he’s wrong but, he’s kind of wrong.

This is our introduction to Jieun, the first impression of her is that she seems to be bored with being told she’s hot, it’s a reasonable assumption that she’s frequently told that she’s beautiful. She’s the kind of person that didn’t put much effort into anything because she’s never had to try. Things are handed to her for being so pretty, and it’s actually gotten old for her at this point

But then here she is, putting effort into her appearance, getting out of her way and actually trying to look good for Sangwoo. He is clearly special to her just by this small action. Although initially she wasn’t interested in him.

Here is more insight into Jieun’s mind and how she used to perceive Sangwoo, she wasn’t interested in his appearance, but they began to hang out more and she was swept away by the persona he created. When they were singing their duet, there was a montage of moments between them that she was reflecting on. It’s very clear she’s developed feelings for him, not based solely off of his looks, but because of how he treated her as well. Jieun gets flustered when Sangwoo says she’s pretty, not because of the compliment of being told she’s pretty, but because it’s coming from him. 

Now given that Jieun has had a decent amount of time dedicated to her personality, thoughts, and even some development, what does this mean for her purpose in the story? She’s been given more attention than Sangwoo’s other murder victims, it would be a waste if she was just killed and never heard from again. 

My personal belief is that Jieun will become a martyr of sorts, she has the ability to be the catalyst for Sangwoo being caught. Jieun is within his social circle, and Sangwoo was the last person she was in contact with. It wouldn’t take too much work to connect the two together (maybe her going missing would even bring back Seungbae into the plot). And if she did become the key to Sangwoo’s downfall, then that would almost be as satisfying as when she punched Sangwoo in the eye.

The Benefit of Squares (Astrology)

In astrology, the common association with hard aspects such as squares is that they are inherently negative aspects which will cause great difficulty in ones personality and environment.

The problem here is that in astrology, NOTHING is black and white - there are a lot of grey areas where aspects between planets and also signs have an inherent sense of light and dark, but nothing is strictly ‘good’ or ‘bad’.

It’s often too easy to simply say something is ‘good’ or ‘bad’ than to analyse how these supposedly difficulties energies can make a beneficial compromise.

Each sign and aspect has both positive and negative qualities within them, it’s there inherent potential of how we choose to use these energies that is the key.

Knowing this, there is potential for squares to become a beneficial aspect.

The reason for this is that the nature of a square causes friction to the point that manifestation and/or a release of energy must occur. Two planets in a square aspects will cause a friction of two personality types. The point to remember is that planets in Square often share the same modality - therefore a compromise can be made between two planets if the goal of the modality is taken into account.

… 

EXAMPLES

Cardinal Square: They share the same need for forward movement and initiation of an idea (♎️), action (♈️), project (♑️) and self-care and security (♋️).

Knowing this, you can find what each planet in Square wishes to accomplish.

♋️/♎️: Initiating a new idea for self-care through interaction with or for others. Emotion vs logical rationalisation of things.

Taking into consideration personal needs and the needs of others. Compromising the need to take action based on logic and rationality and emotional provocation and intuitive action.  

♎️/♑️: Initiating a new idea or plan into a practical project. Compromising the need for a goal with working with other people and taking their perspectives into account. Understanding that one can not always be in charge of a situation, and shared responsibility must take place. Compromise needed to achieve a goal.

♈️/♋️: Initiating an action based on emotional provocation. Needing to recognise when one is becoming too aggressive to emotional stimulation. Learning how to care for others through action. Caring for ones own emotional wellbeing and stability. Providing oneself their own sense of security.

♑️/♈️: Initiating an action on a practical goal and project. Leading by power and example. Working for oneself and relying on ones own actions and energy. Sticking to a set path. Taking the role as authority. Doing things in ones own way to benefit the self.

Mutable Square: These signs are inherently changeable and adaptable to their circumstance, often changing and evolving as their perception changes due to new experiences. Mutable squares can be seen as being the easiest signs to integrate, as their natural flexible nature allows a compromise. These signs are about adapting and changing their physical surroundings (♍️), their ideas and perceptions (♊️) , their emotions based on sensory perception (♓️), and the way they take action, extending beyond what they can do and have done (♐️).

♊️/♍️: Changing the way tone does things when new information is presented. Testing the practicality of other ideas and thoughts. Perfecting known ideas and information. Testing the logical of preconceived ideas and information, and changing the way things are originally done.

♍️/♐️: Changing the day-to-day routine by engaging in long distance travel. Making philosophical ideas practical and perfecting them. Expanding and questioning the initial way things are done and creating something new from it. Servitude for a higher belief. Being humorous and playful when giving critical feedback.  

♊️/♓️: Thinking about and rationalising an emotional connection to others and the universe. Communicating ones sense of empathy to another. Writing down intuitive feelings and perceptions as possible psychic provocations. Communicating artists thoughts and ideas, perhaps in a form of a story or poetry.

♐️/♓️: Taking action on spiritual receptivity to the universe. Understanding life from a a far higher perspective. Activity teaching higher knowledge and understanding of spirituality and connection to the universe as one. Changing spiritual beliefs based on ones own sensory perception and connection to the universe at large. Healing and charity for those living overseas in unprivileged countries.

Fixed Square: This square is ultimately the most difficult to integrate due to its inherent nature to stay in one place due to stubbornness for change. If these energies can find a particular goal to aim for, these squares can provide the most beneficial results due to the massive power expended once the energy is related to create something great. These energies aim on building upon and maintaining ones sense of material security and resources (♉️), ones sense of self and their individual expression (♌️), their emotional security and inherent emotional power (♏️), and their own original unique and innovative ideas (♒️).

♉️/♌️:  Maintaining a sense of security when expressing the self as they truely are. A step-by-step approach to leadership. Expressing ones own inherent and natural beauty. Productivity in creative expression. Expressing the self through creating material objects and products. Using charisma and an extravagant presentation to create profit and wealth.

♌️/♏️: Transforming the way one expresses themselves. Integrating deep emotional connection and passion into creative expression and assertion. Sexual extravagance. Projecting a powerful sense of expression. Pride in ones own transformation. Sharing the spotlight. Passionate and powerful leadership.

♏️/♒️: Deep connection to humanity. Transforming people by the masses. Destroying and transforming the dynamics of society. Passionate connection to unique and innovative thoughts to benefit humanity. Deep passion for change and reform. Sexual innovation and transformation. Healing others. Deep and through scientific analysis, uncovering what is hidden.

♒️/♉️: Innovation and change on the way to create material things. Unique creations for profit. Originality in practicality. Scientific and practical step-by-step approach. Detached and objective evaluation using the 5 senses. Innovative way to building towards material wealth. Originality and innovation in artistic pursuits.

The planets involved in the square aspect will indicate what parts of the personality and sense of action is in tension, the signs on the planets will indicate how they do things. Applying the above formula of the compromise between sign modalities will show how to compromise the parts of the personality in tension.

Example: Mars ♌️ Square Saturn ♉️.Taking creative and powerful action towards approaching a career goal, involving passion to create ones own wealth that will last. Fixating on a long term goal to reach material success by applying ones self to the task, being authentic in their self-expression and creative passion. Consistently applying ones self to create long-term results.

Remember that absolutely nothing in a natal chart is inherently ‘bad’ or ‘good’, they are simply a composition of energetic potentials that can work to your benefit when consciously applying yourself and your actions. 

©ellie-mae-astrology on Tumblr

Yo guess who’s back with more space orc content™ because I am obsessed™

So a bunch of people have irrational fears, me included, one of the most irrational happens to be fear of the dark (whoops, if that ain’t me) but imagine the reactions aliens would have to this human among their group who all are reckless and will go up to a furred monster that could kill them easily, and mimicking the actions the creature makes in order to initiate playful actions and befriending them, but this human, this one human just can’t take the darkness, and no one knows why. So bear with me I’m gonna go story mode.

Zeren sat settled in xeir sleeping pod ready to enter into their sleep cycle. From the other side of the room xe heard the sound of breath hitching. Worried, xe climbed out of their pod and moved nearer to the sheet of soft cushion the humans typically slept on. Xe adjusted their eyes to see the room better despite the utter darkness bathing the room.
Upon the bed sat Kiki, more upright than she usually is when on the said bed. Zeren moved themselves to the chair nearby and sat facing them. Xe saw Kiki tense up and attempt to scan the room, clearly looking for danger. It was unclear, but it looked as though she was crying, her breath was shaky and her general appearance looked disheveled.
“Human-Kiki are you alright?” Zeren asked cautiously, as they adjusted themselves on the seat. “Zeren?” The distressed human responded, their voice cracking slightly, “I’m fine, I’m just scared.” The response baffled Zeren, Kiki was the most brave human on the ship, constantly finding themselves in dangerous situations for fun.
“I don’t understand, are we in danger?” Zeren inquired, confused. “No,” Kiki reassured, “it’s just, really, really dark in here.” Zeren tilted their head in confusion, “it was my understanding that humans are typically soothed by dark spaces, and find it easiest to sleep when it’s dark.” Kiki wiped their face, confirming that she was crying, “to most humans it is sure, but it just really scares me.”
“If it would put you at ease I could activate my biolumecent patterning to provide more light.” Zeren offered, straightening their back. Kiki nodded, “yeah, that would be nice.” As discussed, Zeren’s skin began to light up a soft yellow tone, lighting up the room slightly.
Kiki stepped off her bed and moved towards Zeren. Before xe could ask what was happening, Kiki pulled Zeren into a hug. “Thank you.” She sobbed as she held onto Zeren’s larger form. “You’re welcome.” Xe responded, softly patting Kiki’s back. They both returned to their sleeping areas, the light spilling from Zeren’s sleeping pod, and they both slept soundly.
The next morning Zeren found Kiki within the group of the other humans, “Human-Kiki, if it would make you more comfortable would you like me to contact one of the engineers to put in a light that activates during night cycles?” Xe asked while approaching. One of the others, Finn, snorted a short laugh, “wait hold on, Kiki are you afraid of the dark?” He chuckled, “what are you five?”
He was stopped by a swift push from Carol, “shut up Finn, it’s very common for adults to be afraid of the dark.” Zeren wrote that down, to inform the captain so they can update their guide for human care. “Yeah, I think it would be cool if you’d do that.” Kiki told Zeren, before leaving to grab breakfast.

This is just one irrational fear idea, if anyone else has some good ideas for aliens dealing with irrational fears I thing they’d be awesome to read.

When you become comfortable with uncertainty, infinite possibilities open up in your life… fear is no longer a dominant factor in what you do, and no longer prevents you from taking action to initiate change…
—  Eckhart Toll​
Birthday ; Sebastian Stan

WARNINGS: nsfw!!, overuse of the name ‘doll’, unprotected sex, oral (male receiving), birthday sex, 2k words of just sweet, passionate filth tbh (and some cute stuff at the end)

summary: after seb’s long day of filming, you planned on surprising him with the casual gift of birthday sex!


A/N: was supposed to be uploaded on Seb’s birthday but i was so busy, hope you’ll still enjoy this!

The mirror overlooked a reflection of yourself which exhibited a matching pair of sexy black lingerie –the pair that always had drove Sebastian crazy whenever the both of you became frisky in bed. And since today was a special day, his birthday, you planned on spending his night full of heat, sweat, and skin-to-skin interactions. You wore one of Sebastian’s shirts, that always was over sized for your body, atop of your lingerie along with a pair of shorts that hugged your ass. All you needed to do was wait for Sebastian’s arrival.

Keep reading

3

Senketsu + Ryuko’s Head

Meaning of the Modes in Astrology
  • Cardinal (Aries/Cancer/Libra/Capricorn): The cardinal signs signify spirit, action, initiative, power, and strength. People with fewer than four planets in cardinal signs are not self-starters and will need someone to prod them on, while those with more than four will go on their way with little interference. Cardinal people are bossy and competitive and like to stay busy even into old age. The problem is that they don't know when to stop, they'd rather burn out than take it easy. They have enough energy to carve out their own destinies, here to create karma rather than be subject to it. Aries is personal or individual action, Cancer is family or group action, Libra is partnership action, and Capricorn is organized or business action. Aries and Libra are outwardly active while Cancer and Capricorn like to pull the strings.
  • Fixed (Taurus/Leo/Scorpio/Aquarius): The fixed signs signify matter, stability, fixity, and perseverance. People with fewer than four planets in fixed signs lack purpose or follow-through, while those with more than four are solid, determined, and unchanging. Fixed signs can make excellent executives and can be relied upon to get things done. Fixed signs believe that they were meant to achieve something since birth. Taurus is financial or material stability, Leo is spiritual stability, Scorpio is emotional stability, and Aquarius is mental stability and fixity. Taurus and Scorpio are determined in a quiet manner while Leo and Aquarius display their determination outwardly.
  • Mutable (Gemini/Virgo/Sagittarius/Pisces): The mutable signs signify versatility, adaptability, and communication. People with fewer than four planets in mutable signs are not very flexible or adaptable and have trouble seeing things from others point of view, while those with more than four are very changeable, restless, and unstable, but the best communicators. Mutable signs make excellent subordinates or employees, they were born to serve and follow. They also make great writers, newscasters, secretaries, or artists and other jobs with a need for communication skills. Mutable signs' way of life is to be prepared for whatever is coming and let it come. Gemini is mental versatility, Virgo is organizational versatility, Sagittarius is arrangement versatility, Pisces is emotional versatility.Gemini and Sagittarius are more vocal with their ideas and beliefs while Virgo and Pisces like to express themselves more quietly and through deeds and sacrifice.

Lamb, P. F., & Veith, D. L. (1986). Romantic myth, transcendence, and Star Trek zines. Erotic universe: Sexuality and fantastic literature, 235-55.

One of the earliest pieces of research published about fan fiction, Lamb and Veith’s essay is a first crack at answering the foundational question of fan studies: why do straight women read and write about men banging? Lamb and Veith focus their analysis on Kirk/Spock slash. They argue that in fan fiction, rather than being presented as masculine, both characters become androgynous by acquiring both typically masculine and typically feminine characteristics, which often complement each other. By removing gender differences from the equation, fan fiction writers are free to explore relationships which are genuinely equal and unencumbered by power dynamics.


Image description

A table reproduced from Lamb and Veith’s essay outlining the different feminine and masculine characteristics given to Kirk and Spock in K/S fan fiction.

Kirk feminine qualities: Femininely “beautiful”; shorter, physically weaker; emotional; intuitive; sensuous, engages in much physical touching; verbal; evokes powerful emotional responses from others

Spock masculine qualities: Masculinely rugged; taller, more powerful; logical; rational; controlled, physically distant; reticent; keeps others at a distance

Kirk masculine qualities: Sexually ready at all times; is undisputed leader, initiator of action; is the “real” or “norm”, always at home; is fulfilled prior to Spock, only with acceptance of the bond is he firmly united with Spock; Spock complements his “at-homeness”; is sexually promiscuous (Spock assures his fidelity); is usually the seducer

Spock feminine qualities: Sexually controlled (except during his Vulcan mating cycle); needs to be led, follows Kirk into action; is the “alien” or “other”, always the “outsider”; is fulfilled only with Kirk; felt one-sided fidelity to Kirk even before the bond; needs Kirk for full identity; a virgin until marriage, he exhibits absolute monogamy after marriage; is usually seduced, but once unleashed his sexuality is very powerful

SVT Hip Hop Unit React: Being Their S/O’s First Kiss

Request: hi! could you please do a seventeen hip hop unit reaction to them being their s/o first kiss? thank you :)

I am so sorry this took so long ): I still have three requests after this, but a lot of schoolwork to do as well. I will do the jackson (got7) boyfriend au after this if I have enough time!

Again, I’m sorry, but I think I got a little carried away with Wonwoo and Mingyu and Vernon’s reaction ): I made Seungcheol’s a bit shorter because wOW I can’t go any further or eLSE SOMETHING WILL HAPPEN


SEUNGCHEOL

Originally posted by cappukino


Your first kiss with Seungcheol (and in general) was short, but sweet.

His fingers were threaded in your hair at the back of your head while his free hand was splayed across the small of your back.

He held you close to his chest when your lips brushed along his own, your breath slightly catching at the contact. Your hands were curiously grabbing onto his bicep and shoulder before they fell limp against his torso when he fully pressed his mouth against yours in a gentle kiss.

Seungcheol cradled the back of your head as he pulled away after a few seconds and he smiled in content, brushing his fingers through your hair.

Your cheeks were a rosy red when you reluctantly pulled away from the kiss, biting the corner of your lip with a shy grin on your face, tucking your chin in out of embarrassment. As Seungcheol basked in the comfortable silence, you suddenly hid your face in the crook of his neck which made him hum in surprise.

He had barely heard you when you murmured on about how you just had your first kiss with him. Of course, this surprised him and he pulled away from you just enough to look at you with a pout on his lips, cupping your cheek in his hand.

“I’m honoured, cutie, but why didn’t you tell me? I hope I didn’t scare you much with that kiss.”

WONWOO

Originally posted by hanwooz


“Stop blowing kisses, you’re distracting me.” Wonwoo said with a playful little pout on his face. He was currently reading a book while you were sitting on the other side of the couch; feeling restless and content at the same time.

Even though you were quite new to being affectionate with Wonwoo, you weren’t as shy as you used to be with how much skinship you share with him. He didn’t exactly know that you didn’t have your first kiss yet, he innocently thought that you two just weren’t at that stage yet and was waiting for you to initiate the action first because he wants to wait until you’re ready (what a bean).

But right now, you’re testing his patience without you knowing. Wonwoo’s eyes would discreetly peek at you whenever you blew him a kiss, his gaze focused on the way you pucker your lips. Subconsciously licking and biting at his bottom lip, he flipped the pages to his book without reading at least half of the text. You grinned happily to yourself once you felt content and grabbed your own book from the coffee table to start reading where you left last time you opened it.

As you were reading, Wonwoo put a bookmark on the page he finished reading before putting the book down on the table in front of the couch, watching you carefully with a fond smile on his face. When you were about to reach the climax of the chapter you were on, he interrupted by carefully crawling over your figure with a sigh escaping him, carefully removing your book from your hands. His nose gently bumped against your cheek to tilt your head up as he rest his hands by either side of your hips, carefully leaning closer and closer to you while his eyelids fluttered, his warm breath fanning across your cheek while his fingertips rest underneath your chin.

You knew what was happening and understood the situation, but you just couldn’t react the way you wanted to. You were too shy to initiate what you wanted and Wonwoo was unintentionally teasing you (nah he was doing it on purpose) by pulling back just the slightest whenever you were brave enough to nudge your head forward to press a kiss to his lips. A playful smirk was playing on his lips before he delicately slots his mouth against your own in a featherlight kiss.

Mumbling against his mouth about how he just became your first kiss, he acknowledged what you said with a surprised hum against your soft lips, causing you to giggle at the tingly vibration. He grinned at that and pulled away for a brief second, only to move in for another gentle kiss.

“I hope I can be your last kiss too, sweetheart.” he mumbles cheekily against your mouth.

MINGYU

Originally posted by maymay-lovekpop


This boy kissed you on your fifth date ??? He couldn’t control himself, he just couldn’t. You looked cute that day and his mind was telling him not to but he DID IT.

You two were on your fifth date at the park. Since it’s spring, the cherry blossoms were blooming and the sky was a vibrant lilac. Conjoining your hands together, Mingyu swung your arms back and forth as he held out his other hand to catch the floating petals that fell off of the branches of a cherry blossom tree.

You let go of his hand to let him catch more and more cherry blossom petals. A smile was on your face as Mingyu caught more petals in his large hands. He immediately ran back to you when his hands were full with the baby pink petals, opening his hands before raising them to his face so he could blow all of the silky petals into your face. You squealed in surprise and closed your eyes with a giggle, barely covering your face with your hands.

Mingyu laughed when you blew away the petals that went too close to your mouth, but stopped your hands from removing the ones that fell in your hair because they looked pretty there.

There was an adoring look in his eyes when you let him wrap his fingers around your wrists. You shied away from his gaze while your cheeks flushed a pretty colour that made Mingyu’s breath catch. When you turned your head to look at him, his mouth was suddenly pressed against yours in a firm, but short kiss.

You gently pushed at his chest with a breathy whine and covered your mouth with your palm, your cheeks heating up much more than before. Mingyu had a curious look on his face when you pushed him away, but then smiled, his head tilting to the side in an innocent manner.

“You’re acting so shy, angel,” he cooes adoringly and brushes his thumb against your cheek, leaning in again to just barely brush his bottom lip along your upper. He grins cheekily when he notices your hands gripping onto your shoulders, printing a tender and loving kiss to your lips, “I know I’m your first kiss,” he whispers, wrapping his arms around your waist, “and I know you’ll let me be your last.”

VERNON

Originally posted by imaginetheseidiots


You have never kissed anyone before in your life and Vernon knew because you two were a little new to dating. He hasn’t had his first kiss either.

Your first kiss with Vernon was really clumsy (and cute). You two were hanging out with each other at the library and were reading the same book because Vernon chose the book first, but it was a novel you have always wanted to read and so that’s how you suddenly ended up with your back pressed against Vernon’s chest as he read out each page to you with his mouth brushing along the shell of your ear whenever his lips formed a word.

His breath tickled your skin whenever he spoke and it made your skin heat up in embarrassment, but you pretended his whispering voice and the contact of his mouth against your ear didn’t make you feel shy. Your fingers were fiddling with the loose strands on his jeans as he continued reading, his chin now hooked on your shoulder.

He leaned his head on yours and tucked you closer against his chest with a content sigh before noticing that you weren’t paying attention to him reading the book anymore; you were unknowingly staring at his lips. Vernon began to blush at this fact and put the book down with a flustered smile, rubbing your arm as he peered at you, “Are you okay, babe?”

Snapping out of your gaze, you smiled sweetly and nodded just the slightest, mumbling a ‘yes’ in response.

Vernon pursed his lips in thought, his gaze settling on your mouth. A nervous breath escaped him before he tried to lean in. And by tried - I mean tried. Your eyes nearly fluttered closed when you saw him get closer, but he clumsily bumped your noses together with a quiet ‘ouch’. You winced slightly at the sting, but giggled along with him when you both soothed your noses.

After you two settled down, Vernon placed a delicately sweet kiss onto your lips with his arms firmly wrapped around your waist.

Magic RPG Idea

You have five dice; D4, D6, D8, D10, D12

Assign each to a color of magic. Whenever you do something using that color of magic you roll the die you assigned to it

The baseline you need for a success is 4 with – anything less than that and you may still succeed but not with the ideal results

So for example I wanna summon a Grizzly Bear but I’m real bad with green mana. I roll a 2 on my D4. Maybe I summon a weak Grizzly Bear that’s basically a 1/1 (not that this RPG uses stats like that probably). Maybe it’s a sort of illusion and vanishes when attacked. Maybe it turns on me. Maybe I just straight up summon some other green animal instead

You have five dice to assign to mundane skills as well. Stuff like longsword, athletics, first aid, guitar, etc. They work like the above except they govern doing stuff that isn’t magical. Probably anything outside of that stuff you roll a D4 on

Having advantage means you roll a die of the next unit up (for advantage on a D12 you add 2 to your roll). Disadvantage means you roll the next die down from what you would normally (and disadvantage on a D4 means subtracting 2 from the roll). So for example advantage on a D4 means rolling a D6. Disadvantage on a D10 means rolling a D8

BUT not every blue mage is the same. Maybe you’re better with artifacts. Maybe you do counter and control magic. Maybe you summon illusions. You have a specialty (maybe, maybe, two of them). The DM should take this into account when determining the difficulty check for a roll and adjust it lower for something that falls under your specialty

The first night his boyfriend didn’t come back to the dorm, Other Red (Red had already been the name of a student when Other Red was a freshman, and changing your nickname too much wasn’t the best idea) didn’t think much of it. It wasn’t unheard of for one or the other of them to spend a night with friends. But when he wasn’t there the next morning, or in their one shared class that day, Other Red started to worry. As spacey as Frankie Lee could be, he was an avid student. Frankie Lee wasn’t his real name, of course. It wasn’t a surprise to those who knew him that his taken name was musically inspired. He wasn’t answering his phone, either. When there was still no sign of him on the third day, Other Red started asking around. He found what he needed to know pretty soon.

“Yeah, the last time I saw him was a couple days ago.”

“Where was he?”

“Over by the track, by that little wooded area. He had his guitar.”

“He was going towards the trees? Sounds like he was looking for a quiet place to write songs.”

“Wouldn’t surprise me.”

“So he went, alone, into the forest, to play music?”

“Looks like.”

“Shit.”

***

Other Red didn’t waste much time. He packed what he needed, knocked on his RA’s door so someone would know where he was going (and so they’d be better prepared to notice if it wasn’t him that came back), and headed for the woods. All this wasn’t strictly necessary, since the RAs would go retrieve Frankie Lee at the end of the semester, but he might be… different by then, and Other Red didn’t want to wait that long to see him again anyway. He walked right into the shade of the trees, and kept going until he couldn’t see the edge of the woods behind him, though the forest he’d walked into was maybe forty feet across. Nowhere on the Elsewhere University campus was a surefire route to danger, if you knew what you were doing, just as nowhere was 100 percent safe if you were reckless enough, but going under the trees to play music? Other Red had to admit that had been stupid. He loved Frankie Lee, but he could be lacking in common sense.

***

As he went, Other Red reminded himself of a story. There was a smith, so the story goes, who made a deal. Who or what he made the deal with changes from telling to telling, but a popular version calls it the Devil. Other Red didn’t know about devils, but any Elsewhere U student knew there were other things you could make deals with. The smith gave up his soul in exchange for supernatural skill at metal work - the ability to weld anything to anything. When the Devil came to collect, though, the smith welded him to a tree and left him there. It’s an old story, one of the oldest, in fact. It’s been told for six thousand years. The story told Other Red a couple of things. One, that metalwork has always been a little bit Else, and two, that it was one way, maybe the first way we ever found, to get a bit of power over the Gentry. At least enough power to get him out of this.

He hoped it was enough to get him out of this.

***

After a while, he could hear music softly through the trees. He walked closer until he could make out the words:


Then the loud sound did seem to fa-a-ade
Came back like a slow voice on a wave of pha-a-ase
That weren’t no D.J. that was hazy cosmic jive
There’s a starman waiting in the sky
He’d like to come and meet us
But he thinks he’d blow our minds…

Other Red could practically see Frankie Lee, eyes closed and head nodding the way he did when he got into his music. He’d smile, and, if he wasn’t playing too, wave his hands slowly like the music was the only thing in the world. Then Other Red reached the clearing where the music was coming from, and he did see Frankie Lee, sitting and playing at the feet of the member of the Court that had taken him.

Less Starman, Other Red thought, and more Thin White Duke. Thin he certainly was, or maybe a better word was long, half again Other Red’s height with his legs - how many knees was that? - stretched out from his seat, which was carved from an enormous tree stump into intricate, disturbing patterns. He was pale, with a human face but a goat’s disdainful eyes, and he wore leather armor with what looked like a bronze sword on his belt. Other Red stepped into the clearing.

The Gentleman held up a hand, and Frankie Lee stopped playing, though his eyes had been closed. When he saw Other Red, he perked up and made eye contact with him, but didn’t speak.

“What brings you here?” asked the Fair One with disinterest.

Other Red indicated Frankie Lee. “I’d like him back.”

“And what will you give me not to simply keep you here as well?”

“I have nothing to give you, but I bring the tokens of my craft.” From his bag, he pulled a welding mask and a handful of nails. “I’m a shop student. If you don’t let me leave, there will be repercussions.” He tried to keep his voice as confident as he could.

The Shining One stared at him for a long moment, then sat back. “You may leave whenever you please, smith, but you cannot command me to give up my musician.”

Other Red had been expecting that. “A game, then?”

“A game. Very well.” said the Good Neighbor instinctively, and then, coming to himself, “What game do you choose?”

Other Red pulled out the other thing he had packed, and tossed it towards the Blessed One. “Fifth Edition, no expansions. One session, seventh-level characters, fight to the character death. I’ll see you a week from today at eight.” He bent down to quickly kiss Frankie Lee, then turned and left.

***

He’d afforded a week because, as much as he wanted Frankie Lee back right now, he needed time to find a DM who was willing to run this fight. Eventually, a girl named Tyto agreed to do it, for approximately a shitton of carefully-specified snacks. This wasn’t the first time someone had played D&D with one of the Gentry. Sometimes, as now, students figured it was the best chance they had of getting something out of them. Other Red’s challenge was a little unusual in that regard - most such games were essentially attempts to impress the Shining Ones with your storytelling talent. They had great respect for storytellers, and a skilled DM could easily get into their good books. Sometimes, They took a liking to the game, and played just for the sake of playing. Other Red had heard of a campaign that met once a month, on the new moon, where students regularly played alongside their Neighbors. Other Red wasn’t making this a storytelling competition, though. He wasn’t a DM, and he wanted a contest he could win.

On the appointed night, they set up in the game room and waited. Other Red wasn’t using his regular character, Ambrose the halfling rogue, for this. It was stupid, but he didn’t want to to let Them know even that fictional real name. Plus, he felt that if he did lose the fight, Ambrose might somehow be dead for good. He’d rolled up a human bard just for the occasion. It seemed appropriate.

At exactly eight, the Duke walked in. He looked more human here, though he was still morning-frost sharp and pale. He was wearing a black suit, and had his hair in a long braid. Tyto shifted in her chair as he walked past her. Other Red offered him a bag of Doritos. Ritual was important, after all. “Given without obligation,” he added.

“Most kind,” said the Visitor, as he took the bag and produced his character sheet. Other Red looked over it briefly. Tiefling druid. Made sense.

“Well then,” said Tyto. “Let’s get started. You’re standing in the street of a small town. You’ve just gotten into a confrontation in a tavern and decided to take it outside. Roll for initiative.”

***

The fight started out slow and cautious. Both characters had swords, and their initial actions were simple. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, roll for damage. Attack, miss. Attack… As they played, they drew an audience. Not students. Any student who knew what was happening tonight had made plans far, far away. There was a man with hair the color of the sea. Two identical-looking girls, neither of their hands quite right. When they walked in, they were followed by a fox that sat quietly and comfortably on a chair. They all watched in silence as the players spoke their battle into being.

Eventually, Other Red’s opponent seemed to get tired of this pattern. “I cast Flame Blade,” he said, “and attack with it.”
Now they were playing with magic. Other Red surrounded the druid with a cloud of daggers. The druid turned into an eagle and dive-bombed the bard. The audience began to stir. This was almost as exciting as the real thing. A few of them could remember when Gwion and Ceridwen tried the same routine. The bard cast a spell of fear to send the eagle flying away, and another spell to deal it damage. The eagle became a boar and charged the bard.

That was two. He was out of transformations. This was what Other Red had been waiting for. “I cast Dimension Door,” he announced, “on both of us.”

“O… K,” said Tyto.  “You both move to..?”
“500 feet directly above us. And as we start to fall, I cast Feather Fall on myself only.”

Tyto and the Fair One both stopped as they realized what he’d done. “So,” Tyto said to the Gentleman, “You’re falling 500 feet. Do you have anything that might help with that?”

“I do not.”

“Then if you’re alright with it, I don’t think we need to roll to know that you’re pretty dead.”
“No.” He stood up and offered Other Red his hand. “How inventive. The musician is yours.” He left the room without another word, and the audience followed behind. After a moment, the door opened again and Frankie Lee stumbled in. He was shivering, with snow melting on his shoulders and water droplets clinging to his tightly curled hair. It was sixty degrees outside.

Other Red almost knocked his chair back standing up. He held Frankie Lee tightly for a long time, and then pulled away a little.

“What were you thinking?”

“I know, I know. How long was I gone?”

“About a week and a half. How long did you…?”

“Damn. I was only there for a couple of hours. I was starting to run out of Bowie. I tell you what, though, I think I finished that song I was working on.”

“If you finished it while you were There, you should maybe never play that part.”

“Good call.”

 [x]

Lunar Cycles

I’m sure I’m not alone being someone deeply effected by the moon to the point where I have emotional episodes due to which phase it’s in. Like the seasons I also adapted my practice to go in the flow which the moon moves in in order to be in balance. Hopefully this practice can help you too if you find this of value.


Major Phases

New Moon
This is the most important phase for me. On the first day the moon enters this phase I cleanse my space energetically and take time to do a ritual bath (or shower with a soap spell if I don’t have time for a full bath). The theme is energy cleansing and starting new. Cleanse the altar, cleanse the crystals, cleanse yourself, set up wards- depending on the element of the moon I cleanse with incense, candle, salt or mist (Or whatever feels right at the time. Usually the element and quality of the sign shows itself more in the bath than in the cleansing of my space but it’s just an example).
The New Moon is also full of cerebral energy for me. The moon rules emotions and inner thoughts and I personally feel the new moon has more power in influencing my mind as the full has more power in influencing my raw emotions. Depending on which sign the new moon is in, I focus my mental energy towards it’s message and the direction I should focus on for the next lunar cycle. Typically the new moon rests in whatever sign the sun is in so I focus on the zodiac season’s energy (like if it’s Libra season, Taurus season etc). The next week following (waxing crescent week) is mentally figuring out and visualizing how I will bring what I want and what I need to focus on in manifesting in my life.

Full Moon
The Full moon tends to be the phase everyone focuses on but its energy can be overwhelming to me since it heightens my emotions and makes me feel irrational. The Full Moon has intense energy and it’s theme is perfect for charging and energy work. Charge magical tools and crystals, charge yourself, channel the moon’s element and sign in a focused meditation and absorb it’s energy. Use the powerful energy lingering to cast spells. I find it easier to manifest something on this day perhaps because my emotions are heightened and a lot of spell casting and success depends on how I feel.
Other activities to engage the moon’s power and emotional influence is creating art or releasing pent up emotions through dance or listening to music. The Full Moon is a phase personally for me, that focuses on the magic of art and how art can help release certain emotions especially if the moon is trying to highlight a hidden or repressed feeling. Take the evening to draw, put on music to fit the mood and use art to explore yourself or do shadow work. If you enjoy drinking, enchant a cocktail or enjoy a beer to help bring to light certain emotions and maybe do drunken tarot or do some journaling to document how you feel and help with further introspection later. You can do this all solitary or gather some witchy friends to get drunk and scream your emotions into the void (I mean wolves howl at the full moon, so why can’t you?) Then put on some music, do some art, dance your feelings away or cry together because you feel irrationally moody and out of control.


Minor Phases

I don’t do anything in particular for these actual days but their weeks are important to me.

First Quarter
The week following the first quarter is dedicated to spells of growth, prosperity, manifestation, momentum and drive. It follows the week of the waxing crescent which is dedicated to visualization and setting goals. First quarter initiates action for the waxing gibbous week. If there’s something I wish to give power to, it’s casted on this week. 

Last Quarter
The week following the Last Quarter is dedicated to cleaning, purging and banishing. I make sure to clean my space thoroughly and throw out old things, ward unwanted energy and try to distance myself from things I dislike, drink more water- eat less red meat and wheat (for personal health issues to help with my digestion)- drink cleansing teas, and focus my energy on release. Spells to cast on this week are warding, banishing, ending or distancing.