marathon event


Katie McGrath + wearing her watch on her right wrist (even though she’s right handed)

MP100 Marathon information!

After taking into consideration the timezones some of you sent me, I decided that the best time for the marathon will be 5 pm UTC. To make it easier for all of you to calculate the time, I’ve created a countdown. As stated before, the date is Saturday 24 of June.

The dub VS sub poll has come to an end, and the results show that 59% of you want to watch the subbed version, so we’ll go with that. The link to the stream will be posted 30 minutes before its start!

Disappointed by the results? Worry not! There will be another marathon for the dubbed version at a date and time that will be decided later.

Thanks to everyone who voted and sent me their timezones! I hope to see many of you at the marathon!!

Peed my Pants in a Haunted Maze!

Another accident I had that I wrote an account of for :) I hope you all like it.


Hi everyone! Its been a week or two, I’ve had a bit of a dry spell, likely due to the fact that midterms were going on and I’m a lot less playful and risky when I’m in work mode. Work and fun are two separate things for me, which isn’t to say I don’t enjoy working; I’m a working and writing machine! Anywho, I’ve finally been able to wind down and relax finally after what feels like however, in the last few days I’ve attended a few Halloween parties, a few Halloween events, marathoned bad horror movies for all nighters, and another in particular relating specifically to this forum: I had an accident.

Now if you’ve read my tale regarding my recent fable while playing a certain horror game you know two things: One, I love horror but don’t handle scares well, and two, I’m oh-so woefully stubborn. As is usually the case when I have an accident, the stubbornness of course comes into play. Allow me to give a bit of context..

There’s a local park a city or so away. Like a lot of places, it has a yearly Halloween attraction. Its very sizable; it is also used as a campground in the summertime. I have attended this event every year!

This year I went with a few of my friends (Same group from the apartment story), and we showed up early. Naturally there was a line already, and we still had 45 minutes before the event would start and the line started moving up…The line ended up being very large in total, the event was very popular. We had all been picked up at our houses, and most of us had overnight bags in the trunk, as we were going back to one of their places to marathon horror movies for the rest of the night. In the hour before we arrived I had drunk a monster and a hard lemonade, though I didn’t really think anything of it until I polished off a 1 liter pepsi from the concession stand halfway through the line.

Description phase! By now you most likely have a general idea of my appearance, for newcomers I’ve got long black hair, am pale enough to fit into the cast of twilight which I am ashamed of, unhealthy tiny at 116 pounds last weigh-in, at 5'8-5'9. To try and turn my pitiful bodily state into a point of attraction, I try to maintain care of my face with various face washes, and creative use of eyeliner. If people are going to think I’m anorexic or something, I might as well look semi-pretty in the process I figure. But enough of that. Tonight I was wearing a pretty dark blue jeans, you could think they were black if you didn’t see them in the light. Very tight too. Black tank top, black zipped hoodie for the brisk October weather, along with a nice blue bra/panty combo. With this outfit I usually wear 2 earrings, a gold moon and a star, but as I might end up running for my life I left those out this time.

So again, we were in line, and as aforementioned halfway up there was a food stand. I got a hot dog and a 1 litre pepsi, and those were gone pretty fast I will say. Now see at this point I hadn’t used the bathroom in a few hours easily, but I didn’t even think about that until all the drinks from the past little while had caught up. By the time we were ¾ of the way up the line I was squirming and inwardly groaning from the typical this-is-the-worst-time-to-need-to-pee realization. I resolved to hold it because again, I’m stubborn, and I didn’t want to lose my place in line next to my friends. I realize I probably would have been let back into my spot, but I didn’t want to take any chances.

We slowly moved up in line, and my need to go slowly got worse, but I didn’t really plan to budge. It was almost an exciting feeling, but as per usual I didn’t really put enough thought into potential consequences. Its something I really need to work on. Anywho, I had my hands stuffed in my pockets and my legs crossed and I’d bounce a little every now and again. At one point Kate asked me what was up and I started bitching about the cold. We got to the end of the line up and it was our group, and another few girls, like 3 others I think for the next go around. I think they let another set of people in every 5 minutes or so.

We got in and I really had to go, but I figured should I stay on my toes I could hold it until the end no problem.

First we went down the trail, pretty spooky. Torches and bridges, people in costumes…I tried to stay relatively quiet and blend in with my friends. One of my friends is a screamer, and the screamers make themselves targets. So I let her take the brunt of the people jumping out of the woodwork as it were. It was all really cool, and went really smoothly for me until the little house filled with zombies. It was wide open, and had a whole strobe light thing going on. One was waiting around the corner of the entrance door and spooked the group with a lunge. Everyone, including me, scattered. Everyone took off, zig zagging through the would-be zombies, through the large barn-like structure, until people found the way out. My luck started to run out around here.

I found the door and escaped. I was alone. I had figured everyone else had gone on ahead. I took a moment to lean against the outside of the house/barn/thing and hold myself, placing my hand between my legs and holding my legs together long enough to take the edge off, and continued on down the trail. I would later find out, as my luck would have it, that I was actually the FIRST out. And not only that, after I had gone off down the trail, everyone else would get out and proceed to head in the wrong direction. The lot of em had to be redirected back onto the trail by a supervisor and the like. I mean…I went in the direction that had a torch on a tree. I thought it was obvious, myself.

Now all of a sudden, I was target number 1. There was actors dressed as ghouls constantly lurking about, being creepy, saying creepy shit, or jumpscaring me. Some of them were really creative, and I loved the costumes, gotta give em props. I tried to play it cool, waving to them and being like “Hi, hows life?”, and just being chill, even though I very obviously wasn’t chill, given the fast walk I had going. My first minor leakage came at the hands of a guy who was hanging. I don’t know how he was alive, or how the engineered it, but the guy hanging from the noose was a living dude. He was legit hanging. Maybe invisible wires or something. Anyway I assumed he was a prop for obvious reasons, and of course he lunged and yelled. I let out a tiny shriek, and felt myself dribble into my underwear. I ran off cursing under my breath.

Eventually I came to another house, larger than the last one. It looked incredibly dark inside. I knew that was probably the gimmick, and walked in. I discovered it was very narrow with winding hallways, in what was basically pitch black darkness. My shaking legs carrying me and my aching bladder, I soldiered on. About a minute in I heard a voice behind me. “Hello? Is anybody there?” She called out a few names I didn’t recognize, but I called out anyway. I waited for this girl to catch up, and she latched onto my arm and told me she lost her friends and was gonna tag along with me. I replied that I was grateful for the company, and I continued on with this girl on my arm. Making nervous and frightened small talk, we continued our way through the winding pitch black maze. Things were going well until a hand came out of a hole in the wall and grabbed my other arm. I let out a sharp noise I can’t really describe, and the other girl shrieked as well, I had assumed in reaction to me. It was simultaneous to the noise I made that I realized I was spurting into my pants. I yanked my hand away from the wall presence and shoved it between my legs, quickly feeling my pee leaving my bladder, saturating my pants and beginning to tickle my inner thighs. I panted, with each pant accentuated with a small alarmed moan, I clenched just about every muscle in my lower body to regain control. The girl, who in the dark has no idea what was happening, questioned if I was alright as I quickly checked relevant areas for dampness, trying to assess how visible any damage might be. I didn’t think it was too bad, the pants being dark and all, and horror trails tending to lack in the light department. My nether regions were certainly damp and I no doubt had a wet patch, but I clenched quickly enough to cease a dangerous spread. I reassured the girl and we continued. At some point I unzipped my hoodie, as the air in the structure was fairly heavy.

Eventually, I could see the glow of an exit, and became excited. The trail wasn’t over, but at least I’d be able to see again. We crept up the incline leading to it, and I exclaimed “Its a good thing to be finally free eh?” to which my companion replied  "Boy, it sure is!“

I will never forget the next moment for the rest of my life.

Something in the way she said that was almost mocking, and I turned to face her, who was still clinging onto my arm and had her head on my shoulder. My escort, who I had presumed to be one of the three other girls who wasn’t part of my friend group, was wearing a tattered white, almost hospitalish gown, and in addition to appearing to be rotted, also appeared to be missing part of her jaw. This really wasn’t the time to get an eyeful of the amazing makeup work done at such close proximity. I think I stood there for a moment with my eyes and face just widening in absolute realization and comprehending terror. I assume she had been near the house and seen I was alone. I gotta give it to the crafty bitch, that was one of the most clever things I’ve ever seen, and I’ve never screamed so loud in my entire life.

I sprinted up, barreling out of the exit door. I tripped, scrambled to my feet, and has my luck would have it, on my way upright I went face first into another chick. Also rotted looking. Wielding a now revving chainsaw. I could hear my evil escort from earlier cackling like mad as a I fell back onto the ground, staring at the chainsaw wielding nurse. I think it was a nurse. Don’t quote me on that. I screamed again as she darted forward with the chainsaw which more than likely had no chain on it, holding it above me. I was screaming, and I then realized, also wetting my pants. I have no idea when it started, probably somewhere around my stumble out of the house, or even my initial scream. All I knew was, I was suddenly wet, and there was a vibrating hiss accompanied by a spreading warmth. Chainsaw lady looked to the sky, laughing and waving the saw around as I attempted to grab myself, pushing my hand and pants into my crotch, resulting in a loud PSSSSSHHHHHH. I could feel my ass becoming absolutely soaked, and I could see the puddle forming underneath me when I looked down. I realized Saw Girl wasn’t looking, and I shot up and took off like a dart, deftly kicking my foot back over my puddle, hopefully covering it. I sure wasn’t sticking around to find out. I ran, and ran around the corner of the trail, spurts of urine shooting out every step. I went off the trail the moment I knew I was out of the sight of ghouls which was pretty quick.

In the relative darkness I leaned against a tree, on the opposite side of said tree where I wouldn’t be seen from the trail. My bladder was panging, as if to say "No” is not an option right now. I could feel my control slipping again, but I couldn’t let that happen! This wasn’t really a situation or attire I could afford a full on accident. I shoved my hands down there again and started frantically crossing my legs, uncrossing, bouncing, moaning and gasping, you name it. I had to get my pants down or something, but as I pulled one hand out and tried to unhook my button, I started peeing my pants again. The hissing returned, and as much as I struggled and whined and frantically tried and failed to open my fly after unhooking the button, it started streaming down my legs.

My ass was becoming soaked, and I could feel the warm trails flowing on my previously relatively untouched legs, dripping onto the autumn leaves underneath me. I moaned loudly as the stream intensified, leaving no part of the backside of my pants, from the cuffs of my legs to the seam of my ass unsoaked.

I tried so hard to stop the flow, finally getting my pants completely undone I shoved a hand into my panties to try and block my pee-hole. Didn’t work out too well…When I leaned over from the strain of the stream and the effort of trying to stop it, the position of my hand redirected the flow frontwards, and now the front of my jeans were becoming even darker than their natural dark blue color; the resounding pssssh of my pee soaking the front of my legs and knees echoing through the forest with the sounds of distant screams. I whined, strained, moaned, criss crossed, my usual dance. But even I knew it was over, as my last move ensured no part of me was getting away unsoaked by the shame of my failing bladder.

My stream slowed to a crawl as my bladder finished emptying. I was in a bit of a pickle now. I finished the trail with a few more screams, staying as far away from light sources as I could. My pants were dark enough that you probably couldn’t tell the difference if I wasn’t next to a torch or light….But given they were certainly over-saturated, even the faintest source of light might have caught a glisten, being drenched and all. I sure hope not.

When I finished the trail, I was informed I was the first out of my group out due to a wrong turn made by others, and that’s when it hit me I had a slight chance to make it out unscathed. I rushed to the parking lot using the same tactics as in the trail, avoiding light like I was a vampire in Florida. The only time I went directly into the light was to rush straight to the car. I had the key, so I managed to pop the trunk and grab my overnight bag. I also grabbed a plastic bag and took off into a porta-potty. I quickly changed out of my pants, panties, and socks, and through on a pair of white undies and a pair of sweats. To seem less suspicious, I also changed from my tank top into a jammie T-shirt I wear. I tossed the wet stuff in a plastic bag, and then the plastic bag into my overnight bag. I then proceeded to wait by the car. Eventually they came back, laughing and giggling, getting the jitters out. Kate immediately noticed my change in attire and yelled “Oi (INSERT MY NAME HERE), you piss your fucking pants?”, laughing and obviously joking around, which got an equally jokey reply in “Nah man, those jeans make my ass look fucking fantastic and all, but too tight and I wanna hit up the comfort game early. Look at the goddamn indent from the button!” I accentuated this by lifting my shirt to show the crater where the button had been digging into my tummy. Continually laughing and carrying on, we went back to Tanya’s place and marathon-ed classic horror movies for the night (Return of the Living Dead is a classic for me.)

As always I hope you enjoyed my tale! Feel free to comment, shoot your thoughts my way, or fire a message at me. Love you all, have a lovely Halloween!~ <3


For my Canadian followers - Cineplex announced that advanced tickets are indeed on sale tomorrow (10/9) and that there will be an opening night fan event, double feature, and marathon event in celebration of The Last Jedi, confirming that this leak wasn’t limited to those in the US. 

If you’re from outside of North America, keep checking with your local theatres!

Details below:

Star Wars: The Last Jedi Opening Night Fan Event

Be among the first the see Star Wars: The Last Jedi at the 6PM Opening Night Fan Event. Fans will be treated with exclusive content, collectible cards, and a special concession offer. * At select locations.

Star Wars Double Feature

Experience Star Wars: The Force Awakens and an early 6PM viewing of Star Wars: The Last Jedi. Fans will be treated with exclusive content, collectible cards, and a special concession offer. * At select locations.

Star Wars Marathon

Experience all eight Star Wars saga films in one epic day. Fans will be treated with exclusive content, collectible cards, a commemorative blanket, and a special concession offer. * At select locations.

“Pointing to Thornfield Hall, on which the moon cast a hoary gleam, bringing it out distinct and pale from the woods that, by contrast with the western sky, now seemed one mass of shadow.” - Jane Eyre by Charlotte Brontë 

I want to invite everyone to the UCLA marathon reading event happening on May 8, 2018 at the Fowler Museum Courtyard at UCLA. Contact email:

History part 2: Greece and Rome

(Part 1)

Ok, this is a further effort to remember what S told me happened in history, before the fun is ruined by the various spoilers in popular culture, S enthusiastically trying to educate me, and the powerful combination of those two (S enthusiastically encouraging me to watch 300 with him and play Greek-history-based Civ IV scenarios). The rest of this post is history as I vaguely recall it from some conversations in recent weeks, now with added Civ IV and 300 so probably wrong.


We left off sometime early in Greece’s history (let’s say 450BC), when the Persians were a large and successful military force to the East who had never lost a war. At this time Greece was pretty interesting. The people in Athens and around were a group called something like Iberians, and they had many especially clever people who did things like philosophy and political innovation, of a calibre that gets them remembered today. Greece was a democracy, which I think was unique. 

Sparta (near Athens, to the West) was populated by Spartans, who were terrifying warriors whose main interest in life was being terrifying warriors. Sparta was a very small city relative to others around—it had maybe a few thousand people while other big cities were hundreds of thousands. But everyone was scared of them because each Spartan was such a devastating military asset.

Persia decided to take over Greece, so they sent in a small army, figuring that would be plenty. The Athenians were worried about this, and went to ask the Spartans for help. 

The Spartans agreed that Persia coming to conquer everyone was troubling, and at any other time they would have helped, but they were having an important festival for like a month, so they couldn’t right now. In their defense, work-life balance is hard.

So the other Greeks went and fought off the Persian army themselves. And they won! I think because they had an excellent general or something. But this was pretty surprising to the never-before-defeated Persians. The battle was at Marathon, and when they won, a guy ran as fast as he could back to Athens to give them the good news. He dropped dead from exhaustion upon arrival, because he ran really fast, and Athens was however many miles away a modern marathon is long (26 maybe? —one of those numbers that is vastly bigger than it seems to be possible to run, empirically). For some reason this made people at the time think running that far was a good idea, and so they commemorated his feat by starting the athletic event, the marathon. 

The Persians were not permanently discouraged, and returned with a larger military force. Again it seems the Spartans were busy with the same festival, which was unfortunate since they really liked being great warriors so much, and totally would have thrashed the Persians in a moment if they weren’t already fully booked with all these festivities. 

This time 300 Spartans decided to fight though, and went up North to head off the Persian army, joined by another small army of ‘Thespians’ from a place called Thespius or something. This stand was sort of ridiculous seeming, because the Persian army was really, really big. Probably like tens of thousands of troops. However, as depicted in the movie 300, the Spartans were very manly, and very well trained warriors, and they had very cutting edge military technology—for instance the idea of standing close together with your shields so that your shield defends the people next to you. The Thespians (as a society) were very good actors, and inspiration for the modern word ‘thespian’. As far as I know they were not inspiration for fear in the hearts of their enemies, so while there were more of them than Spartans, they do not seem to have been a main factor in this military action. (Though note that Spartans and Thespians alike are now represented to us by actors, presumably because actors are more convincingly warrior-like than actual warriors, so maybe the Thespians were pretty scary, but everyone just assumed they were especially Spartan-seeming Spartans).

A key fact in the Greek side’s favor was that they were defending a narrow gap. So as long as they didn’t get too tired, it would always be however many people fit face to face in the gap, meeting face to face. Plus however many arrows or whatnot could be hurled over the top of the frontline. The Persians said that the number of arrows would be enough to blot out the sun, to which some Spartan, probably the king, who might have been called Peleponides II or something, famously responded that they would then fight in the shade. 

So, the Spartans did astonishingly well, and killed heaps of Persian soldiers, and were eventually defeated not by being worn down by the massive Persian army, but because a Greek traitor showed the Persians a route around that didn’t involve dealing with Spartans.

The Athenians meanwhile had emptied Athens onto a small nearby island, figuring that they couldn’t beat the Persian army, but they might be able to defeat the Persian navy, given that they had a pretty good navy themselves. So they were going to let the Persians take the mainland, but defend this island, and then maybe work their way back again from there. The Persian army did come down into Athens, though weakened by the 300 Spartans, and then by the whole Spartan military when it was done with the festival. But the Athenian navy won the seas, leaving the Persians in Athens without the water-based supply lines that they relied on, back to most of Persia. So having come so far, Persia had to retreat home, and Athens went back to Athens, and all was more or less ok modulo lots of deaths, and Greece remembered ‘that time we beat the Persians’ with fondness for a long time. 


Greece was happy and successful for about a hundred years, roughly between 450-350BC. 

There were lots of famous philosophers, including what we would now think of as scientists. For instance, Democritus invented atoms. Someone, maybe also Democritus, came up with the notion that at a tiny scale something must be random, which also seems impressive (unless its just that someone believed every random thing possible in the ancient past, and we primarily remember the winners). 

One guy (probably called Herodotus) discovered recording history, and he spent a lot of time carefully talking to various people about what had happened in the past and writing it down. Apparently the distinction between true statements and made up statements implicit in this agenda was novel, and some of his interviewees do not seem to have grasped it well. Some of these histories are very interesting, especially if interpreted as non-fiction.

He wrote about Xerxes trying to cross a narrow sea way up North where it was necessary to let the Persian army across. First Xerxes made a bridge out of boats, and everyone was happily jumping boat to boat, but then the wind moved the boats and out of bridge-alignment, so Xerxes whipped the sea into submission and then they continued. 

He wrote about Darius’ ascent to leader via horse neighing contest, described previously.

He wrote about some other things I forget. Oh, one was probably the fate of King Croesus. This story took place earlier, before Persia attacked Greece. Croesus was extremely rich. I think he was the son of King Midas, who at much personal cost had discovered how to turn all kinds of things into gold. Or possibly Croesus had a good economy for some other reason. Anyway, he was worried about the Persians, who were getting to be a big empire to his East, and he had a bunch of money, so like a good rationalist he set out to determine whether any of the oracles around were really oracular. To do this, he did the weirdest thing he could think of —some series of wrapping disgusting things in other things and boiling them in things and eating it. Let’s say he took the heart of a lamb and wrapped it in pig skin and then boiled it and sliced it and wrapped the slices in leaves and then ate the pieces. And then he went to the oracles in turn, and gave them some money, and said “guess what I just did?” Most of them got it wrong, but the Oracle of Delphi was like “you took the heart of a lamb, and wrapped it in pig skin…”, so he gave her money and asked what would happen if he went to war with the Persians. She said that if he went to war, he would destroy a great empire. He hadn’t heard about cryptic prophesies with double meanings yet, because he was in possibly the first story about them, so he went to war, and this destroyed his great empire. The end.

Socrates was another still-famous philosopher from that time in Greece. His fame was more for his style of clarifying questions than any particular discovery, so he was more like a modern philosopher than a scientist. His student Plato famously wrote a lot about Socrates, making him very much like a modern philosopher. He also wrote about what an ideal republic would be like, in a book that is still well known, though I think mostly famous for being a very early work of political philosophy, rather than for not embodying terrible ideas for how to run a country. His student Aristotle was famous for all sorts of philosophy and science. 

Toward the end of Greece’s golden age, Macedonia (to the North of Athens and Sparta) controlled a lot of Greece, under the reign of Philip. Philip hired Aristotle to teach his son, Alexander. When Alexander became leader, he decided to take over Persia in revenge for the earlier attacks. Persia was still doing well enough that this was an insane plan. But in an astonishing turn of events ascribed sometimes to Alexander’s training in science and philosophy and reason, and sometimes to his biological father being a major god who his extremely creepy mother had an affair with one time, he succeeded in conquering everything as far as India in about a decade. India was probably unappealing because it had elephants and such in it, and he had had about enough anyway. He went back to somewhere near Egypt, and had some other plans (maybe to have a thriving society of reason and peace?) but died of malaria within a decade.

There were some endearing stories about Alexander the Great, during his life. One time a philosopher studying astronomy told him that there were other worlds out in the stars, and he sat down and cried. When asked why, he said that there were so many worlds out there and he hadn’t even conquered one.

He met another philosopher called Diogenes the cynic, who was an early thinker on social status, and had decided to live without any. Appreciating the breadth of status’ infiltration into life, Diogenes forwent all sorts of things that are marks of status, such as sobriety and hygiene. Alexander approached him in the gutter one day with great respect, said he really liked his work, and if he wasn’t busy with being Alexander the Great, he would like to do what Diogenes was doing. Diogenes said no he wouldn’t, or he would do it now. Alexander was like ‘yeah, good point’. 

(Incidentally, to the modern eye this looks like Diogenes had discovered countersignaling. Our best understanding probably agrees with Diogenes: not being a drunkard covered in your own urine is often for status. However, if a person is sufficiently high status that they are unlikely to be considered low status even when pissed on and pissed—for instance because they are also a renowned philosopher—then they can actually mark themselves as higher status by conspicuously setting out to look low status and failing. 

After Alexander the Great died, his empire was divided between four generals, but none of them were especially great, so they didn’t prosper that much. One of them was called Ptolmy, and he was a forebear of Cleopatra, queen of Egypt later. 


That was around 350 BC. Around that time, before about 200BC, the Roman Empire was getting to be a big thing, centered around Rome in Italy. There is a myth about how Rome was founded that involve Romulus and Remus setting out to start a new great city, then having a fight about what to call it, and then Romulus killing Remus, and that is why we have Rome rather than Reme. This was before humanity had discovered ‘picking your battles’. 

Rome was a democracy early on. I’m not sure how this related to Athens being a democracy. There were a bunch of wars, probably just with everyone around the edges. At some point young general Julius Caesar and another more experienced general who had made his money from the first fire department, and another rich guy teamed up to do some military conquest, going off in different directions with a bunch of Roman military. Caesar took Gaul—roughly the region of modern France—which proved him more impressive than expected. He also took lots of other things, like the British Isles, which belonged to the Angles and the Saxons. The rich guy died. I can’t remember what the other general did, except after a while worried that Julius Caesar might take over Rome. Generals weren’t allowed to bring their armies into Rome for this reason. Caesar did, and took it over. 

The other Roman Senators promptly murdered Caesar, including his friend Brutus (depending on how you want to assign blame for stabbing people who are already thoroughly stabbed). This prompted Caesar to say ‘et tu Brutus?’, which is for some reason really famous.

In spite of Caesar’s murder, the democracy was over for a bit, because it was unclear whether it should go back to the democracy or to the next in line after Caesar, and the latter won. There were some other Caesars, such as Augustus Caesar. There some other Emperors, such as Nero (who was bad and somehow caused Rome to burn) and Caligula (who went crazy and married a horse) and Claudius (who was a nerd and one of the few people in this part of the story not intent on killing everyone around).

At some point Rome had some war with the Carthaginians, who lived across the sea in much of Northern Africa. The Carthaginians were descended from the Phoenicians, who had lived somewhere near Lebanon a thousand years or so earlier, and invented the first alphabet. Usually the war happened across the sea, but a Carthaginian general called Hannibal took a whole lot of Elephants all the way around through Spain and Europe to attack from the North. I remember that this caused surprise, but I forget whether it had further geopolitical implications.

In around 400AD, the climate was cooler and many smaller groups of people living in the Northern parts of Europe tried to move South-Westish to improve their situation. These people spoke strange languages, so their speech was summarized as ‘bar bar’, which was the Roman equivalent of ‘bla bla bla’. So they were called ‘barbarians’. If we had been there, we might have called them ‘blablarians’. 

Gotland is a lovely island in Sweden, that was the original home of the Goths, one successful group of barbarians. They moved to the South and took a chunk of central Europe—roughly Germany. They separated into the Ostrogoths (East Goths) and the Vizigoths (West Goths) and took more things in their respective directions. 

Some other barbarians were the Vandals, who modern vandalism is named after. There were also the Gauls, and the Angles and the Saxons, though I’m not sure how they fared after Julius Caesar conquered Gaul and Britain. And possibly the Celts were considered barbarians. 

The Western part of the Roman Empire including Rome was taken over by barbarians in the 400s and 500s. Constantine was was the last Rome-based Roman emperor. He moved the capital to the Eastern city of Byzantium, which he renamed Constantinople. Constantinople stood at the point where two land masses nearly touch, dividing two seas (The Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea). So every journey by land or water was funneled through this one point. It was a naturally powerful city. The Empire came to be known as the Byzantine Empire, or as the Eastern Roman Empire, and lasted for another thousand years or so, centered in Constantinople.