iron within

10

“Cold hearts and bitter souls have the Iron Warriors. To them war is the clacking of the tallyman’s measure; all the blood spilled and the lives spent, the high walls toppled and the foes cast down to them is all no more than coins added to death’s coffers. The profit and loss of battle is their bread, the arithmetic of massacre is their wine, and with them it is an ashen feast they serve and yet find no pleasure in. There are many who look to the Emperor’s Legions and see Mortarion’s get as the ancient spectre of death come to flesh, the wiser few look upon the graveyards Perturabo’s faceless sons make of worlds with such calculated efficiency and may beg to differ.”

-Lord Militant Pietra Veitz Gustavus (Rt) Of War; A private Memoir of the Great Crusade Vol III, Mediations on the Legiones Astartes

2

And there the children of dark Night have their dwellings, Sleep and Death, awful gods. The glowing Sun never looks upon them with his beams, neither as he goes up into heaven, nor as he comes down from heaven. And the former of them roams peacefully over the earth and the sea’s broad back and is kindly to men; but the other has a heart of iron, and his spirit within him is pitiless as bronze: whomsoever of men he has once seized he holds fast: and he is hateful even to the deathless gods.”

The One That Got Away

<Hopefully I’m doing this right and it isn’t too terribly long…>

The humans don’t talk about the Fair Folk they notice, so none of them seem to think about the ones that don’t reveal themselves. We don’t exist - never have, never will.

I’m one of the younger Fair Folk at only 87 years old. My abilities lie in shape-changing and glamours, and I like to blend into the background. Because of this I can ensure that my features are normal; I have the proper parts - no more or less, and my hair and eyes are a perfectly normal brown and green respectively. In short, I look like a normal human girl.
I guess that’s why the actual human girl felt comfortable approaching me. I’d been sitting in the library reading when she walked right up to me and introduced herself.
“Hey, I’m Melody. What are you called?” (No one ever asks what your name is. Answering truthfully would be as unwise as lying. It’s one of the first “customs” that incoming students learn about.)
“I suppose I’m called Siné.” I don’t know what to think of this bold, blue-haired, dark-skinned girl. Her eyes are a lovely shade of blue-grey.
“Neat name. So what’s your major? English somethin’?” She gestures toward the book I’m holding. It’s Shakespeare and I’d been considering Taking it for my collection.
Instead of answering, I shrug. She seems to think that I’m a student, and I’m certainly not going to correct her.
Rather than getting suspicious, she takes it as a yes. “That must be fun! I’m a double major in the arts - Music Theory and Creative Writing.”
Interesting. Such a clever and creative mind she must have… “You write and you compose?”
“Yeah…” She blushes. “It’s really fun but also really stressful. Especially here.”

In the end, we talk until the library clocks have moved forward several hours. The clocks outside have probably marked less than 45 minutes since she introduced herself.

(“Why did you come over anyway?” - “It’s been hard settling in. I’m from southern Louisiana, so I don’t know anyone here. Everyone else is too scared of the… forest… to talk to strangers, but you don’t seem to mind.”)

She invites me to her room when the librarian starts glaring at us.

(“I need feedback on my latest piece. How do you feel about the fiddle?” - “It’s a lovely instrument and I’d be honored to hear you play.”)

I was right, she is very creative. The Shakespeare is back in the library, but some of her sheet music goes missing. The other Fae try to find her, but her room is blocked from Their sight. They’ll just have to be content with listening.
That night, I enroll as an English major and arrange to be roommates with her. Melody’s original roommate gets moved to another building. The humans assume I’m a late transfer, and the other Fae don’t care.

Eventually, she learns enough of the Rules to understand why she still can’t find her music, no matter how hard she looks. After that, it all gets locked inside a hawthorn box with an iron lock within a circle of salt. She tells me this while complaining that she worked hard on that music and it’d be nice if They’d at least left a note or something.
The next morning, she finds a politely worded and complimentary letter on her desk. It has no signature. The music is not returned.

Months pass while we grow closer. I go everywhere with her; we have writing classes together (I try to see what she writes, but the angle is bad), and I wait outside her music classes (at least I can listen to her play). When she goes to a party, I’m always by her side. She dances sometimes, and I’m always watching. Eventually she stops going to parties.
One night she shares her stories with me and I have to fight the urge to Take her as I listen to grand tales of adventure and magic. It’s good that she wears enough iron to stop me.
The other students start to notice that we’re inseparable. So do the Gentry.

The Fair Folk never stopped looking for the musician whose performances hold the entire campus in awe of their beauty. They just could never find her until they saw how I favored Melody. After that, it was a simple matter for them to peel back my protections and confirm their suspicions.
I should have Taken her while I had the chance. I would have taken care of her, given her anything she wanted in exchange for her creations.
The students aren’t surprised when we both disappear one night.

It’s easy enough to find Melody. She’s inside a golden cage in front of the entire Court of Underhill. A Fae made of sharp edges and glitter is using her like a puppet, forcing her to play. Their magic shines like silver threads as it wraps around her hands.
I’m about to act when Melody speaks.
“Are you happy with this? Because this is all you’ll ever get from me again. Old music, old tales. I’ll give you nothin’ new while I’m trapped here.” Her hands keep moving, but it’s obviously only by rote.
The Fae tilts their head. “I could just kill you.” A string of magic twitches toward her mouth before disappearing once more.
“You could. Why should I care? If I stay, I’m dead no matter what.” I couldn’t be prouder or more scared. This could set her free, or it could get her killed. If this goes wrong, I’ll just have to step in like I’d been planning.
“Aren’t you scared?” The Fae rests fingers like knives around her throat. “You’re in mortal peril. Don’t you want to live?” The only thing keeping her alive is the curiosity of Fair Folk.
“Course I wanna live. But I’m not going to get to if I stay. You’ll make me a caged bird; you already have. This’ll kill me as sure as anythin’ else.” Her eyes stay open and unafraid.
With a hiss, the Fae steps back. “You aren’t willing to bargain for your life then?”
“I’m not willin’ to bargain for my death, but I’ll stay where you can hear me if you send me back unchanged. That’s my bargain and it’s the only one I’ll make.” The Court titters.
Minutes tick by as I hold my breath waiting for the Fae’s response. The Court starts shifting - some impatiently, some uneasily. Then, just as I start to think the deal has been rejected -
“I find these terms acceptable.”
I step out of the shadows to guide her back home.

When we come back, there are whispers. They’re shocked that we came back the same as we left; that we even returned at all. Some speculate that we tricked our way out, others that we were never with the Fair Folk at all. No one thinks that it was sheer stubbornness and determination that saved her, or that we weren’t together wherever we were.
Melody never asks why it took so long for the Gentry to find her in the first place, nor how I knew the path from campus to Court. She knows, and all she says is that if I ever try anything she’ll never speak to me again. I accept her bargain, because what else can I do?
Our days return to normal, except the Fair Folk are all terrified of her now. They address her as The One That Got Away, and when she passes by the lesser Fae bow and the Gentry simply nod. Once she loses her iron rings after a shower. For the entire week it takes to find them again, none of the Fair Folk risk being seen by her.

When I finally ask why she was willing to trap herself at the University when she was so against being trapped at the Court, her response is simple.
“I was already plannin’ on bein’ a professor here.” She grins toothily, “I just made them think they got the better end of the deal while giving up nothing.”
My collection is now in our room so she can be the centerpiece. I don’t want to Take her anymore; she’s already mine.

[x]

4

Iron Within, Iron Without, the mantra of the Iron Warriors. His armor was of the utmost quality, reinforced visibly and beneath the outer layers with the precision of his artifice. His wargear, tied into the oversized power pack of his armor to ensure that each shot, and each strike carried the force to bring down even the most resilient of foes, and the massive arm that posed with quiet menace over his shoulder all gave their mark of truth to his position. World burner, destroyer of tyrants and democracies alike. Warsmith, the title of one who had been chosen by the primarch himself to enact the will of the legion without qualm or question. 

Avengers, Assemble!

Pairings- Damian Wayne x Sister!Reader

Word Count- 1556

Hopefully, this will be fluffy. I got the idea when a kid in my skating class made me promise to go over to her house and play with her.

Keep reading

3

Kleopatra Selene II ( 40 BCE - 5 BCE ), Queen of Mauretenia and daughter of Kleopatra VII, the Hellenistic Queen of Egypt

“Raised in Rome after her mother’s death, Kleopatra Selene was married to King Juba of Mauretania, who apparently needed the marriage to legitimize his claim to the throne. Very calmly, Kleopatra’s daughter proceeded to follow in her mother’s footsteps, establishing a major temple to Isis in her capital of Caesarea….Kleopatra Selene ruled alone when her husband was detained in another part of the empire, and she issued coinage as a Ptolemic queen, sharing her coins with depictions of Isis and other Egyptian symbols. She continued her mother’s habit of dressing as Isis for occasions of great significance…Kleopatra Selene was also an astute politician, and might well have led armies to battle, but her skills as a diplomat and negotiator made this unnecessary. For years she met with troublesome chieftains and artfully prevented open rebellion against the Roman empire she ironically represented. Within a year after her death, the delicate balance she had maintained was shattered and Mauretania was torn by strife between different factions.”  -  DeTraco Regula, Mysteries of Isis: Her Worship & Magick

10

Castlelaw Iron Age Earth House and Hill Fort, Edinburgh, Scotland 11.11.17. 

This 1st or 2nd century CE Earth House sits within an Iron Age Fort. By the time the subterranean features had been constructed the fort served a more domesticated and defensive role. The souterrain has a long curving passage with a sizeable side chamber. It seems likely that it was not used for dwelling but the storage of foodstuffs and valuables. It would have been distinctive and noticeable from the surface and was therefore not really likely to be a hiding place. The underground passage stretches for some distance and in the last few minutes of light yesterday, it provided a real sense of what domestic Iron Age life might have been like so long ago.

Salt and Iron

Salt and iron are widely accepted as necessary for survival on campus at Elsewhere U, but the form that they take varies wildly from student to student.

Freshmen are generally given a washer on a string as an orientation gift, and this works in the broadest of strokes, but most still abandon it by the year’s end, if for no other reason than it being a marker of a freshman. You wouldn’t want to advertise your lowly freshman status at most universities, but especially so at Elsewhere U, where a washer on a string suggests that its wearer is oblivious, is new, is fresh meat in the most literal of senses.

Some students stay straightforward with their choices, line their pockets with nails or screws or, yes, washers, add in a few salt packets taken from fast food restaurants or a handful of grains from a salt shaker.

Others get more creative; nowhere in the world is iron jewelry more common than on the campus of Elsewhere University. Some keep the iron in its more common forms, wear nails as earrings or necklaces of strung-together washers and nobody blinks an eye. Others wear pendants in a variety of forms, crosses or circles or stars or roses, sometimes worn as a fashion statement, sometimes hidden away such that only the wearer knows of its presence. Iron piercings are common as well, as are rings for both fingers and toes.

(This desire often confuses these students’ parents, who will never truly Get It unless they themselves were alumni, who see little appeal in knick-knacks made of iron and ask if their offspring wouldn’t prefer silver or gold.)

One student who went by the name of Slinky wore two of their namesake toys every day as bracelets- not the cheap, technicolor plastic kind but ones made of pure metal. (Their strategy seemed to work, as they never got into any Trouble while attending Elsewhere U, but wearing slinkies nevertheless did not catch on around campus.)

Some swear by very specific forms of salt and iron- refined iron is best due to its purity, Himalayan salt is best given its far-away origins, sea salt is best due to the work put into obtaining it, kosher salt is best as one belief system reinforces another. In reality, though there may be kernels of truth to some of these claims, if one particular form of salt or iron works best for its user, it generally is so because the user believes that to be the case, not because of whatever minute differences are actually present.

A pair of twins attending the school decided upon entering their sophomore year to change their safenames to Salt and Iron, to see if the name alone was enough to keep them and their compatriots safe. (Few were surprised when both the newly-christened “Salt” and “Iron” went missing within the week.)

One of the many factors that distinguish a changeling from the human student they replaced is that, for fairly obvious reasons, they will never adopt these safety measures that are otherwise so widespread. Once or twice, a changeling truly trying to blend in has implemented replacement measures that looked right at a glance- packets of sugar instead of salt, pendants painted to look like iron. But if one is suspicious that a student is not who they appear to be, one could simply thrust their own salt or iron in the direction of the suspected changeling and wait to see if they recoil or hiss- however, though this may prove one’s suspicions true, it may be seen as a threat or challenge, and is thus not recommended unless in the direst of circumstances.

Just having some thoughts
What if all the flights have different currencies. They’re all worth the same, but different styles of tokens and coins?

Light: Perfectly octagonal coins made with various metals. The one treasure coin is the smallest and made of copper while the most valuable is the 100kt, a massive disc of gold stamped with lightweaver’s visage

Lightning: The only flight to use paper bills, each one depicting a value and a stylized dragon. The ridgeback is worth the most.

Shadow: Wooden tokens. Each value is only slightly different from the others, best to know the differences well and count them fast before you get short changed.

Wind: almost as confusing as Shadow in the fact that nearly each individual coin is perfectly unique with a value stamped…. well somewhere. How do they use these things? Very pretty, but nigh impossible to count if you weren’t raised in the system.

Water: Smooth stone tokens carved with images of various shells. Often times they are hollowed and filled with cork so that they float when lost.

Fire: Dark steel coins valued by their weight. The sizes are standardized, but every coin is the same cast black color.

Ice: Stamped iron coins each baring the ice flight rune on one side and a printed value on the other. The stylization of the rune grows more complex as value increases.

Plague: Round, often blank cast coins. Lower values are made from stone, while higher are of iron. Within these, their worth is told by size.

Nature: Square wooden tokens often hand carved. They are made from the wood of naturally fallen trees and are valued by the type of wood from which they are made.

Arcane: Tokens made from shards of crystal. They are irregular in shape

Earth: Cut tokens made from semi precious stone. While each is only a plain disk, they are all patterned with the intricate swirls and bands of the stones from which they are cast.

2

Rae Sloane and Gallius Rax

I really enjoy it when we get insights into the childhoods of villains! Aftermath: Life Debt did this really well for both of the main antagonists.

It’s interesting to me how they have an underlying similarity in their origins: two bright and hopeful little kids who wished to escape the struggle of abject poverty, but their escape plans turned into nightmares. They also both had their selfhood threatened to be demolished.

One got away with psychological scars, the other… didn’t exactly get away. In the end, each in their own way, they found their purpose by being shaped within the iron hold of the Empire. Oh, children.

“Oh wow! I love clown genetic stripe ball pythons!” I say, as though I need to add a fourth recessive gene into my breeding projects.


Me to myself: ok sweaty

Originally posted by cordeliaistheone

The Mysterious Tower of Trickery
What you need to know:

A mysteries tower with no origins appears randomly allowing people to venture inside before it disappears again to re-appear somewhere else.

How it begins:

Given the nature of the tower, it can appear at any time anywhere; during the players’ travels while in a town or city, in a large caravan, etc. The choice is yours, the stranger the location the better, adding to the mysterious nature of the tower.


–TOWER–

The tower is made out of smooth black stone and is about 20 meters tall and 5 meters wide. There are no windows and on each wall at the base is a wooden door.

  • -A- The wooden doors are illusion and in fact gelatinous cubes. When a player touches the surface of the door, in reality they are plunging their hands into the cube.
    Note: The gelatinous cubes stats are per the monster manual.
  • -B- Halfway up the tower is a secret door that, when opened, leads inside to part 1.

–ONE–

The door opens into a smooth black stone chamber. A set of oak stairs leads up to a trap door in the ceiling. Two lit torches are on either side of the room held within mounted iron brackets.

  • -A- The wooden stairs are X number of mimics.
  • The mimics will wait till a number of players climb onto of them before they attack.
    Note: The mimic’s stats are as per the monster manual.
  • -B- The trap doors opens to a flat wall of smooth black stone.
  • -C- The torches are levers, and when both are pulled, open a secret door in the wall leading to part 2.

–TWO–

The door opens into a stone hall extending into darkness after 20 meters.
Note: Beyond 20 meters, the hall is shrouded in a continual darkness spell.

  • -A- The floors is an illusion of stone and is actually X number of acid slimes.
    Note: The acid slime stats are as per the monster manual.
  • -B- The end of the hall shrouded in darkness extends only anther 10 meters before it reaches a dead end.
  • In the ceiling, however, is a secret door that when opened leads to part 3.

–THREE–

The door opens into the floor of a stone chamber.

  • -A- If the players close the hatch on the floor and reopen it, it will lead to part 4.
  • To revert the opening back to leading to part 2, the players only need to close the hatch again - a simple, but hopefully clever puzzle your players have to figure out.

–FOUR–

The door opens into the ceiling of a smooth black stone chamber. On the back wall is an iron plate on the wall with a lock. On the opposite wall is a wooden bench containing a bunch of keys.

  • -A- The bench has several keys, each having an effect when used on the lock. Also on the bench, there is an outline of a key drawn in the wood.
  • 1 - an iron knobbed key: forms into a fist, getting one attack against the players using it for X D10 damage.
  • 2 - a skeletal finger key: any player who uses this key is drained a level or D6 CON.
  • 3 - a glass key with yellow liquid flowing inside: the key explodes when used, splattering the user with acid for X D6 acid damage and burning a whole into their armor.
  • 4 - a thorny wooden key: when used, a pit trap dropping X meters to spikes opens up under a random player.
  • 5 - a meter long key: when used, all the players double in size for X rounds, bursting out their clothes and armor. Roll saves for the armor to see if its destroyed.
  • 6 - a glowing red key: when used, the entire room bursts in flame for X rounds dealing X D6 fire damage to everyone inside, each round.
  • 7- a black smoking key: when used the chamber fill with thick un-breathable smoke for X rounds, causing the players to suffer the rules for drowning or suffocation till the smoke clears or they leave the room.
  • -B- The outline of the key, when cut out from the wood, can be used as a key to open the lock and slide open the wall leading to part 5.

–FIVE–

The door opens into a stone chamber with a single one meter long chain (A) dangling from the ceiling.

  • -A- Chain A when pulled collapses the ceiling dealing X D6 crushing damage to any player inside.
  • The ceiling then opens up to another ceiling 10 meters higher with another one meter long chain (B) dangling from the ceiling.
  • -B- Chain B when pulled for the first time causes the floor to slide open revealing a pit of lava underneath 10 meters below.
    Note: The lava can do normal lava damage or X D6 fire damage if your players are lower level.
  • -C- When chain B is pulled for the second time, panels on the wall slide open and release jets of flames that fill the room dealing X D6 fire damage every round – 1 D6 is what I recommend.
  • -D- When chain B is pulled for a third time, 4 panels on the ceiling open and release one meter long electrified chains that are bolted to the ceiling.
    Note: Any player touching one of the electrified chains is dealt 1 D6 lighting damage.
  • -E- Pulling on any one of the chains has no effect other than dealing damage, but if a player pulls on the 4 electrified chains and Chain B at the same time, then the floor slides closed, the panels on the walls close, the electrified chains retract into sliding closed panels and a panel on the wall opens leading to part 6.

–SIX–

The walls open into a small circular smooth black stone room. Chests of gold and silver lay next to weapons, racks and armored manikin. Coffers of jewelry sit onto sacks of potions.

  • -A- This is the tower’s treasure. All the treasure will be real, but cursed in some way.
  • Every coin will be coated in contact poison, dealing stat damage or regular damage.
  • Every weapon and piece of armor will be hot to the touch as if heated metal has been cast on it, dealing 2 D4 damage or X D6 fire damage.
  • The jewelry will bind to the players and give negative penalties to stats, skills, saves, attack rolls, etc. The jewelry will need a remove curse to be removed.
  • All the potions will have the opposite effect of their intention. Healing will be harm, flight will plunge the players into the earth X meters, invisibility will make the players bright, etc.
    Note: To even this effect out, consider giving 2 to 3 times the normal amount of treasure since some of it ma  end up being worthless, tossed or spent to counter-attack the effects.

End:

The tower, as mysteriously as it appears, leaves after its treasure has been plundered, or does it?

Maybe the tower was a test by some planar creature studying mortals for an important assignment and appears to congratulate the players on a job well done before sending them off on its mission.
Maybe the tower itself carries a curse and by entering its walls, the players contract an illness slowly transforming them into an ooze or blob, then needing to satisfy the tower in some way to be cured of it.
Maybe the treasure is the reincarnated spirits of the adventures who died in its walls and come to life in some way once the players leave. The coins jump about trying to escape, weapons and armor can speak and potion feel violated when drank.

Either way, have fun and hope to see you again.

Cheap Thrills - Suho X Reader (Part 3) - Final

Originally posted by kyungsuhos

Synopsis: Junmyeon helps you recover from your panic attack at the amusement park and things get cUte~

Genre: Fluff/angst

Word Count: 2,764  

Part 1 | Part 2 



The girl looked down down at you, a mischievous, playful smirk highlighting her despicable expression.

“He’s my boyfriend.”


“Wh-what?”

You were dumbfounded.

No, you were more surprised at yourself for not having realized sooner. You weren’t on par with someone like her. Just by looking at her, this girl screamed elegance and envy, and here you were in a soaked, oversized sweatshirt with your hair resembling that of a wet dog.

Junmyeon had finished his sprint and arrived in front of you, shoving himself between you and the woman who claimed to be his girlfriend.

“Seomin, what the hell do you think you’re doing?” He panted, turning around to face you in the midst of your confusion, “Listen, (y/n), it’s not what you think at all, I don’t even-”

“No, it’s okay, it really is,” You smiled at the ground as you stood up, gathering your belongings and preparing to leave, “I’m sorry for not realizing sooner. I’ll give you two some space.”


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