the monument to the great fire

Chinese Food and Confessions (Lin-Manuel x Reader)

Summary: You’ve been Lin’s friend for years and after a bottle of wine and some pressing questions you learn he’s in love with someone.

Word Count:1,904

Warnings: I’m getting increasingly more cliche so that’s a good one to start with. Drinking. Swearing.

A/N: Did anybody order a lame “you said you were in love and I’m too dense to realize you meant with me so I’ve been moping all week” fic? No? Well here, have this one on the house. Someone feel free to stop me at any time. You’re gonna keep getting these halfhearted ideas until I finish battling this one fic I’m working on. It’s angst. I’m bad at writing angst. I have a blurb I’ll post later to make up for how lame this one turned out though.

“C’mon, you have to tell me something! There has to be something I don’t know about you.” you pushed, swinging your legs up onto Lin’s lap. His hand wrapped around your calf, adjusting your placement. The wine in your glass sloshed around but managed to stay where it was - your couch eternally grateful for that.

“I think you know just about everything about me at this point. This game seems kind of moot.” Lin chuckled at you.

“Just about. But not everything.” you countered and he paused to think of something that might be enough to satisfy your sudden pressing need to know every deep, dark secret he had - which wasn’t many. His hand absentmindedly traced patterns on your leg as the thought.

“Alright, I have something but there’s conditions if I tell you.” Lin posed and you frowned.

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The Public Advertiser, London, May 20, 1758

Lost Yesterday, going from the Naked Boy next Door to the East India Warehouses, and thro’ Fenchurch Buildings, up Leadenhall-street to Birchin Lane, and so to Lombard-street, to Sir Charles Asgill and Co. a Bill for Ten Pounds, drawn by Holden on Mess. Holden’s, wrote on the Back payable at Sir Ch. Asgill’s and Co. last Indorsers Mess. Brassey, Lee and Co.

Whoever will bring the said Bill to the Naked Boy as above, shall receive Ten Shillings Reward. No greater Reward will be offered. 

From what I can tell, the Naked Boy they’re referring to is now known as the Golden Boy. Wikipedia says of him:

The Golden Boy of Pye Corner is a small monument located on the corner of Giltspur Street and Cock Lane in Smithfield, central London. It marks the spot where the 1666 Great Fire of London was stopped. The statue is made of wood and is covered with gold. The building which incorporates it is a Grade II listed building.

It bears the following small inscription below it:

“This Boy is in Memmory Put up for the late FIRE of LONDON Occasion’d by the Sin of Gluttony.”

(That inscription is a bit of a pun - sin of gluttony - playing on the fact that the great fire began in Pudding Lane and ended at Pye Corner.)

Why I Think Zuko’s Arc (And Zutara)  Is Better Without the Betrayal

As much as I like Zutara, it wasn’t the only reason I disliked the plot twist in the Book 2 finale. My biggest issues with the betrayal in Book 2 were:

1. It didn’t seem believable to me, from the characters’ perspectives. Zuko had no reason to trust his sister; Zuko was never portrayed as being stupid in Book 2. And it was ridiculous that he was capable of doing something after his spiritual transformation that he wasn’t even capable of before his spiritual transformation (betraying his uncle). That’s…not how spiritual development works in real life. And Azula had nothing to gain by allowing Zuko to come home and be the heir to the throne and this is never explained in canon.

2. It wasted good storytelling opportunities in favor of what I saw as unnecessary and unpalatable melodrama. Melodrama of the type that just didn’t exist in Books 1 and 2.

I’m going to speculate on my opinion of how I think Book 3 would have been improved without the betrayal in Book 2 and demonstrate how nothing would be negatively impacted without the betrayal.

The Awakening

Ever since I first saw this episode 9 years ago, it always perplexed me how different everything seemed in this episode compared to the later episodes. Zuko really didn’t seem like he wanted to go home or see his father at all. In fact, without the betrayal, there’s a sense of irony that’s quite…poetic. He’s forced back into his old life and, ironically, after obsessing over it for 3 years, all he does is miss his commoner life. All his relationships in the Fire Nation would contrast and mirror his Earth Kingdom relationships. It would be quite sad and would have been far more compelling in my opinion.

It also would have been an interesting parallel with Aang’s side. Aang’s side is also entering the Fire Nation with a sense of dread and foreboding. Aang is struggling with having to let go of attachments, not really understanding what it means, eventually reuniting and embracing his friends. Zuko’s side would be the opposite of that, by showing how he’s longing for his attachments, but is all alone.

The Awakening itself has both a literal and a figurative meaning. Aang is literally waking up from his coma, but Zuko is still in the beginning stages of his spiritual awakening. He says it himself while talking to Mai how much he’s changed. It’s interesting to see how he’s gone from being single-mindedly obsessed with capturing Aang, to seeing his new sadness at being celebrated as a “war hero”, for having helped “kill” Aang. Zuko had started to accept that Aang wasn’t so different from him after all. He released Appa and had decided to move on with his life. It’s a compelling dichotomy that foreshadows his eventual decision to join Aang as a comrade.

Let’s get to with his relationship with Mai. Zuko doesn’t seem at all interested in Mai in this episode. Her coldness seemed like it was a major turn off to him. I think it would have been really fascinating to see this dynamic expanded upon. I found Mai in Book 2 to be a really cool, badass character. After this episode, her personality felt completely different.  I think it would have been more interesting to see her keep her cold, sarcastic personality and see how she would have interacted with a very depressed Zuko. Far more interesting than what she was reduced to as Zuko’s girlfriend, where all her personality and independence was stripped from her. She would have been a mirror to Jin, who was very warm and sweet and was able to get Zuko to smile.

I mentioned this already, but I think this scene would have had far more impact emotionally if it had been about Zuko actually feeling protective of Aang and Katara, choosing not to reveal the Spirit Water. Azula serves as a mirror to Katara. Katara had been very kind and compassionate to Zuko, whereas Azula does nothing but lie, use and hurt him. During the final battle with Azula, it is very obvious that Zuko’s relationship with Katara is directly counter to Azula. Azula nearly kills him with lightning, and Katara heals him and saves his life. It would have foreshadowed his eventual friendship with her and been pretty cool.

Zuko’s relationship with Iroh would mirror quite nicely his relationship with Ozai. Ozai values Zuko only because he “killed” the Avatar. He may finally be “accepted” by his father, but it isn’t satisfying like the unconditional love his uncle had for him. A very lonely position to be in.

I also liked how Zuko and Katara’s relationships with their fathers mirrored each other. Katara lost her mother and felt abandoned by her father. But she realizes by the end how lucky she is to have such a loving father, even if he did have to go away for a while.

Zuko has no such luck. It’s obvious how much he misses his mother while he’s sitting by the turtleduck pond. Unfortunately, his father is not such a loving presence to turn to.

As I’ve mentioned previously, Azula had really no motive to want Zuko to come home so badly. He was the heir to the throne and she is a very ruthlessly ambitious person, who would have never let her brother come back out of the goodness of her heart. She would have let Zuko come back if she suspected the Avatar may have lived and she needed a scapegoat. This scene would have been so dramatic and awesome if it was the scene where Zuko finally realized the real reason he was allowed to come home. Because Azula needed him as a pawn. This episode would have been the perfect illustration of just how empty and cold all of his Fire Nation relationships are and set up a very compelling first half of the season where Zuko has to come to terms with his misery and finally choose to stand up for himself once and for all. “Never give up without a fight.”

The Headband

Recently I found out that The Headband replaced an episode that was going to be about Aang and Kuzon’s backstory. Now this really bummed me out. I’ll be honest that The Headband is definitely my least favorite episode in the series. It was the first time I felt like I was too old to be watching the show, because it just felt so juvenile (even though I was still in the target demographic at the time lol). And Zuko’s melodramatic scene with Iroh felt so stupid to me.

I would have gladly traded this episode for the Kuzon/Aang flashback. It would have done a great job developing Aang’s past, showing more of pre-war Fire Nation and foreshadowed Zuko and Aang’s friendship. I remember reading that Ehasz had plans to parallel Zuko and Kuzon, and demonstrate the theme that “Fire cannot exist without Air.” A huge wasted opportunity in my opinion and a monumental disappointment.

Zuko’s relationship with Mai should have remained negative, and Zuko should have tried to visit his uncle in prison, but it would have been more interesting if he were unable to see him. That would have made it more compelling and dramatic and increased his anger and misery.

The Beach

This episode really wouldn’t have been any different from Zuko’s perspective, without the betrayal. He’s obviously still lonely and miserable and unable to readjust to his old life or interact with his peers. He’s yearning for the old days when his family was happy, but those days are long gone. I think the ham-fisted shipping did this episode a disservice. I would have preferred the fight scene in the party to be more personal. Maybe Ruon-Jian mocking Zuko for being anti social and weird or something about his scar, instead of about Mai. Having him make out immediately after the sad scene, kind of ruined the tone as well. Zuko’s stay in the Fire nation should have emphasized his isolation and emptiness in order to prepare him mentally to join the Avatar.

The Avatar and The Firelord

This was a really good episode in my opinion, mostly. And has nothing to do with his betrayal. Zuko needed to learn the truth about the war in order to really understand the Fire Nation’s role in history. It was his ancestor that started the war, not the Avatar, like he had no doubt been indoctrinated to believe. He would have had to contemplate whether he really was capable of carrying on Sozin’s legacy after learning this truth. The only scene I didn’t like was the ending. I think the episode should have ended with Zuko learning the truth and ending it there.

The scene with Iroh kind of kills all the subtlety of the episode. I’ve always thought that Zuko’s scenes visiting Iroh in prison were kind of…goofy? It was just strange and awkward to see Iroh and Zuko have these weirdly unemotional conversations, with this melodramatic scene where Zuko learns Roku is his great grandfather. It just felt so cheesy and unnatural to me

I was not a fan of Zuko (or Ursa) being related to Roku, or at least the implication it sent. Up until Book 3, Zuko’s inner conflict and imbalance was about his desire to be loved, his sense of empathy and natural morality conflicting with his Fire Nation “duty” and indoctrination to equate honor with strength and ruthlessness. After this revelation, the story seemed to be implying that it’s simply “in his nature” to struggle with good and evil as a result of having one “evil” ancestor and one “good” ancestor. This is emphasized even more in the comics with all the nonsense about Zuko needing to be put down like a dog if he ever “goes bad”. As if one’s ancestors make someone so morally bipolar. Far more childish and simplistic (And conveniently doesn’t explain Azula’s lack of inner conflict despite having the same ancestors).

As we can see in his childhood and before he got his scar, Zuko’s natural disposition is to be kind and compassionate. It is not in his nature to be conflicted, that turmoil is a distortion of his true nature as much as the scar is a distortion of his face. His problems stem from abuse, not some kind of “inner darkness.” His entire arc is about learning to love the parts of himself that he was taught to be ashamed of. The gentle, loving sides. And to learn to love others. That’s what made it so fascinating and compelling. It wasn’t a generic good vs. evil. His inner imbalance represents the imbalance that the Fire Nation is in because of the war. There is no evil nation; just an imbalance that needs to be remedied.

One of the best things about Zuko in Book 2 was that his character was about how your parents or lineage don’t determine what kind of person you are or your destiny. Only your heart and your free will. A far more healthy message consistent with the show’s themes. Instead of emphasizing Zuko’s ancestors, I would have preferred the episode foreshadow the contrast of how, unlike the broken friendship of Roku and Sozin, which almost destroyed the world, Aang and Zuko’s future friendship would help save it.

Nightmares and Daydreams

Another episode of Zuko’s development that would have been basically unchanged without the betrayal. This episode is mostly demonstrating how much the modesty and humility he gained in the Earth Kingdom, now make him uncomfortable with all the praise and extravagance of the palace. It’s very difficult for him to adjust to his old life.

It would have eventually culminated in his ultimate and final moment of clarity. After the war meeting, being the “perfect prince” simply isn’t him. This is the last straw. He’s spent his whole life hating himself, being called soft and weak, and striving to gain approval. But at the expense of himself. Finally he realizes the meaning of his mother’s words, “Never forget who you are.”  His purpose of being in the Fire Nation is complete. He is ready to finally stand up for himself and his beliefs and take his destiny into his own hands.

The Eclipse

I feel this episode would have had so much more impact if Zuko hadn’t chosen to go back. It would have symbolized him finally being ready to stand up for himself once and for all, after an entire half of a season being passive and depressed and feeling defeated. He’s ready to fight and go back to the people who really care about him. “Never give up without a fight.”

It’s like Zuko said in Bitter Work: 

“You’ve always thrown everything you could at me! Well, I can take it, and now I can give it back!“

Confronting his father mirrors that, showing how he’s no longer going to let anyone victimize him anymore and his destiny is his choice and his alone. His father rejected him for being too soft and “weak”. Zuko is now able to see that his father is wrong, and is finally able to embrace his inner peace and kindness and not be ashamed of it.

The Western Air Temple

If that Aang/Kuzon episode had actually been made, this episode would have been waay more impactful. Instead of the awkwardness and lousy dialogue in this episode, we’d get a pretty moving scene showing how remarkable destiny is. We saw how much Aang wanted to be Zuko’s friend in The Blue Spirit. Now that wish is finally granted. It should have been so touching instead of just a throwaway line like it was. Without the betrayal, it allows for so much more emotional depth. Katara and Zuko’s friendship could have picked up where they left off from Ba Sing Se (avoiding more unnecessary melodrama), and Zuko’s decision to let Appa go would have been far more meaningful than it ultimately was.

The Firebending Masters  would be practically the same, so I won’t mention it.

The Boiling Rock Part 2

In The Awakening, Zuko and Katara’s relationships with their fathers was contrasted. In this episode, Zuko is able to help Katara and Sokka reuinte with their father. He is obviously very happy to help them restore the loving bond with their father that he doesn’t have with his own. It is a very nice scene that would have furthered their friendship and trust.

The Southern Raiders

I’ve mentioned this already, but I would have preferred a less preachy version of this episode. I resent when the story tells me what to think about a morally complex issue like this and it really didn’t do Katara, Aang, or Zuko’s characters any favors. Katara’s agency was diminshed by the implication she only spared Yon Rha for Aang. Aang was made to be far more moralistic than usual, and Zuko was uncharacteristically cold and vengeful, which was out of character. I’d have loved to see the original version of this episode, which I’m sure would have done a much better job respecting the audience’s intelligence.

Without the betrayal this episode serves two very compelling purposes. We know that Zuko and Katara both lost their mothers; This episode allowed Zuko to help her get closure and further their friendship and trust.

The other reason is that it allowed Zuko to see Katara’s darker side, something that is rarely seen by anyone else. Sokka and Aang both were very taken aback at Katara’s anger and hate; their more lighthearted natures made it difficult for them to know how to handle that side of Katara. But Zuko’s traumatic past allows him to better understand that side of her. She’s seen and forgiven his dark side, like when he called her a “filthy peasant” at the North Pole, used her mother’s necklace to hunt Aang, and captured her. This episode allows him to empathize with her, too and brings them to a place of mutual understanding.

The Old Masters

I think this episode also would have had so much more impact and emotion without the betrayal, and if this was the first time Zuko has seen his uncle since Ba Sing Se. Their reunion would have been so inspiring, Zuko truly having found his way to him on his own, making Iroh so proud after being afraid that he lost his way. His words about Zuko being “an idealist with a pure heart and unquestionable honor” would have been much more meaningful. It’s just a much more satisfying arc. The betrayal adds nothing but obnoxious melodrama, in my opinion.

Apparently Aaron Ehasz planned to have the ending, instead of Katara making out with Aang, a conversation between Zuko and Katara about how much the world has changed. A subtle bit of foreshadowing of their future together. He wanted to build on the trust and friendship they had into something more. I think it would have been a lot easier to write a subtle, believable and slow romance that way for Book 4. It would have been a very meaningful scene.

In Book 4, he also had plans for Katara to be Zuko’s confidante, offering him emotional support as he was torn between his duties as Fire Lord and searching for his mother. Yet another parallel between Zuko and Katara to build on their relationship. Just like how Zuko helped rescue Hakoda, Katara would have been there to help Zuko reunite with Ursa.

February 22, 1916 - Main German Blow Lands at Verdun, Colonel Driant is Killed

Pictured - A German shock trooper takes cover next to several French corpses in a ruined trench.

For a brief period on the morning of February 22, the French held the initiative at Verdun.  In a magnificent display of ingrained élan, the remnants of French front line battalions attacked to try and recapture ground that had been lost yesterday, the first day of the Battle of Verdun.  Officers led the charge with drawn sabers. Almost all these attacks failed, wrecked by German batteries, which for their part were directed by aerial reconnaissance 168 airplanes overhead.  The French artillery did take some vengeance for its losses the day before, however, by hitting German positions with a phosgene gas shell of their own.

Behind the lines, the French opened a supply line to Verdun from Bar-le-Duc.  Soon, trucks carrying munitions and troops were zooming down the road, feeding the flames of the battle.  Soon the road became known as La Voie Sacrée, the Sacred Way, the defense of which was vital to the battle.

The Germans hardly took this laying down.  On the 22nd the main blow of their operation began.  Again, a withering artillery barrage smashed what was left of the French positions from yesterday.  Unlike on the 21st, the infantry attack this time was a mass assault, penetrating the French lines.  The Germans deployed 96 flamethrowers to help the attack, which were brought up to burn out the most stubborn French positions. 

The French fought back tooth-and-claw, cutting deep holes into the advancing German ranks.  Steadily, however, their machine guns were knocked out one-by-one, while German planes directed close-range mortar batteries to smash their trenches with aerial torpedoes, and gaps in the French line became harder and harder to plug, while hundreds of heavy shells rained down on the tiny villages that were interspersed along the French line.  On the 22nd, the German VII Reserve Corps captured the village of Haumont, driving a dangerous wedge into the French positions.  Haumont, and many of these other villages, were never re-inhabited after the war, due to thousands of tons of unexplored munitions still trapped underneath.  Today their sparse ruins are a monument to one of the First World War’s worst and longest battles. 

In the Bois des Caures, a couple hundred chasseurs from Émile Driant’s two regiments still hung on.  After enduring another artillery barrage, the whole weight of the German XVIII Corps went forward in waves 500 meters apart to clear them out.  Again and again, Driant’s skillfully selected defenses blasted apart German attacks, the landsers picked off without any idea where they were being fired at from  But the odds were too great.  The French were wiped out peace-meal as they ran out of ammo and resorted to rocks and rifle butts.

Driant watched the fall of his front from a secondary position several hundred meters back. Perhaps eighty or so of his men were left, the survivors of eight platoons.  Many of them called out to their captain, imploring him to take cover as he stood in the open, watching the battle.  “You know very well they’ve never hit me yet!” he replied.  But soon it became clear the positions was no longer tenable; German infantrymen were spotted swinging in from the flanks, trying to get behind and cut off a retreat. 

Driant burnt his papers, gathered his men, and hopped off to try and escape.  In three groups, they dashed from shell hole to shell hole.  Driant stopped to aid a man who who hit.  Suddenly, he threw his arms into the air and cried out as a rifle bullet hit him.  “Oh! Là, mon Dieu!  A Sergeant came to help him, but he was already dead.

Driant and his men payed for the French General Staff’s mistake of stripping Verdun’s defenses.  But in a way, Driant’s martyr’s death may have been lucky.  Driant was almost guaranteed a court martial for his constant (though correct) nagging of superiors, and his death made him an instant hero of France’s great new struggle for survival.  Moreover, the colonel and his men had died hard, inflicting 500 casualties on the initial German waves, the heaviest enemy loss of the first week. 

By the end of the day, the Germans had pushed further towards Verdun.  However, many of them, used to fighting Serbs who often broke more easily, were frustrated at the tough opposition they came up against.  The French artillery fought as hard as the infantry, but its could not see its targets through the smoke, and had to content itself by firing at old, known, targets, which was not much help to French infantry desperately sending off rockets calling for support.

German artillery fire steadily whittled down French guns one-by-one.  Gunners took harsh losses, and horses, unable to take cover, suffered even worse.  One French 160-mm naval gun, crewed by sailors, spent all day in a David and Goliath fight versus a massive 380mm German siege gun.  The Germans’ massive shells eventually completely dislodged the French gun from its rock emplacement, but the steadfast sailors managed to get it up and running again for a while before another shell took it out of action.  Rhey retreated to a nearby trench and waited for the infantry attack.  However, their ancient 1874 black-powder rifles gave away their positions with puffs of smoke, and they had to retreat again.  Incredibly, they managed to counterattack twice and recover their gun, destroying its breach block so it could not be re-used before finally retreating.

The lovely daishannigans sent me this about Edward Brittain:


yes! anon, he was a gay man. geoffrey thurlow (who is shown in the movie) was his lover, though they’re very very implicit about it in the movie. ed was also rumoured to have a lot of other lovers before geoffrey with some of the other soldiers, as well as a few experiences while at school (his school was apparently “laced with homoerotisim”). 

His sexuality is what drove him to his death aged 22, when letters were beginning to be opened  and censored before being sent, and back in the early 1900s, homosexuality was a legit crime and according to his officer, edward was about to get court martialed for the apparent homosexual/erotic/romantic nature of his letters between him and geoffrey (i THINK it was between them two, but i could be wrong) and unfortunately, he allegedly threw himself into enemy fire as a result, being unable to face the law, the public, his friends and family and the shame of being a gay man then vera, though, makes no mention of it in the book, so you wouldn’t be able to find evidence there. although, in the private memoirs of edward’s commanding officer, he wrote about meeting with vera (before testament was written btw) and telling her that edward purposefully threw himself into fire (i believe he mentioned the homosexuality part too). in the book, she says he died heroically in battle, though historians now pretty much all agree that she left the true nature of his death out. 

SORRY i just kind of threw that all out there but yeah, i hope that clears it up, since the movie made it so low key and so insignificant even though it’s so monumental and would’ve been a great way to demonstrate and add to vera’s messages about the war & her society and i get bitter about it so i’ll save you from the rant but yes, edward was a gay man in real life and in the movie, though it’s not explicitly said (it’s more they hope you assume while watching it) xx

Dominating the City of London with the world’s second-largest church domes (and weighing in at around 65,000 tons), St Paul’s Cath­edral was designed by Christopher Wren after the Great Fire and built between 1675 and 1710. The site is ancient hallowed ground with four other cathedrals preceding Wren’s English Baroque masterpiece here, the first dating from 604.

The dome is famed for sidestepping Luftwaffe incendiary bombs in the ‘Second Great Fire of London’ of December 1940, becoming an icon of London resilience during the Blitz. Outside the cath­edral, to the north, a monument to the people of London is a simple and elegant memorial to the 32,000 Londoners who weren’t so lucky.

Although the Perseids Meteor Shower peaked earlier this week, its not too late to catch some great meteor watching this weekend as the shower winds down. Look to the northeastern sky in the late night and pre-dawn hours.  This image was taken last night in the newly designated Berryessa-Snow Mountain National Monument.  Public lands have dark skies away from city lights and offer great places for star gazing.  The Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monument offers viewing opportunities in the back yard of Sacramento and the San Francisco Bay Areas. Parts of the monument south of Highway 20 are currently closed due to fires so check with the local office before venturing out.

Photo and description by Bob Wick, BLM

Monuments of Thessaloniki / The Arch of Galerius:

The Arch of Galerius, or more widely known as Kamara is another famous monument of Thessaloniki. The arch is aligned with the Rotunda and the Palaces of Galerius. (4th century A.D)

The Arch was built in celebration of the defeat of the Sassanid Persians by the Romans.

Thessaloniki’s Antiquities’ Ephorate has been fighting constantly to keep Thessaloniki’s historical past alive within the city, with most prominent the case of the Roman Forum, which was discovered after the great fire of 1917 underneath the burned remnants of the Jewish quarter. The site had been cleared with the intention to build the new Courthouse. Archaeologists were met with a strong resistance on the city’s part who wanted to build the new Courthouse on top of the Roman Forum. One of the latest such cases was the discovery of a portion of the Byzantine city during the excavations for Thessaloniki’s metro line (2013-2014). Court battles ensued again since the municipality wanted the site removed and stored somewhere outside the city. The archaeologists demanded the site to be characterized as a monument and remain in situ with a museum built around it. Finally a settlement, which has not been wholy accepted has been suggested. The site is to be dismantled and transferred away for the completion of the metro line, and then it will be brought back to be installed as a permanent exhibition. However, that doesn’t really involve a thorough rescue excavation.

This policy has not been without its fallacies since it exposed the monuments to the hard reality of a busy city center. During the ‘80s, a really dark period for Greece, Kamara sustained various damages due to atmospheric pollution and graffiti. Cleaning methods at the time did not help remove the “ghost” of the graffiti after the removal of the first layers of paint. However, the conservation laboratories of the Ephorate developed a pioneering method including the use of a spray on membrane that could be peeled off removing paint and other dirt thoroughly.

Through time, however, the constancy displayed by archaeologists in the preservation of monuments within the everyday lives of modern citizens, has been steadily paying off. More and more young Greeks develop an appreciation for them that is not rooted in naive nationalism.

The bars installed around the monument are meant to protect it from the possibility of a car accident, since the monument is situated right next to the main avenue of the city (Egnatia Odos), and stray dogs that might be tempted to urinate on the monument.

thoughts on yoi ep #4
  • yuuri sleeps with makkachin and his phone case has lil baby makkachins all over it i am deceased 
  • viktor’s cheerful happy face even when yuuri is super late, like are u kidding me what is this boy is he made of sunshine 
  • literally everything about the bath scene oh my god
  • yuri casually standing like that while he’s on his phone, why is he so extra jfc
  • i love mila 
  • i love her
  • she’s so strong and pretty let me live
  • phichit seems so sweet what an absolute darling awww
  • listen yuuri is so relatable, he’s so self conscious but he’s working through it and i’m so proud of him
  • yuri doing ballet with his lil hair bun i’m crying
  • also viktor not getting mad at yuuri for missing practice like does that boy have a mean bone in his body 
  • (also yuuri seems to have a tendency to run away from/avoid his problems and i really hope that we get to see him deal with that and start approaching his problems more head on, i think he’s gaining the confidence to do that and i want to see more of him developing that way yes please)
  • the heart to heart at the beach was so sweet i’m so glad that we got to see them bonding and being honest with each other… yuuri is starting to open up to viktor on a personal level and it’s so nice to see that yuuri trusts him as well as admires him
  • viktor: “you’re not weak” “then [i’ll be] your boyfriend, i guess. i’ll try my best” MMMMMM BOIIIIIIIIIII LIGHT ME ON FIRE 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 🔥 
  • lmao viktor and makkachin turn their heads simultaneously when yuuri freaks out at the word “boyfriend”, amazing
  • yuuri’s stamina > viktor’s stamina 👀
  • no but seriously it’s cool to see that yuuri has talents that maybe viktor doesn’t have? i would love to see at some point yuuri teaching viktor something that he isn’t great at but yuuri is… that would be such a monumental moment in their relationship tbh. i’d love to see them get closer and closer to seeing each other on equal footing
  • yuuri transfixed by the top of viktor’s head and viktor getting embarrassed im  ch ok ign  
  • theme “on my love” mmmmohmygod 
  • also yuuri blushes every time viktor compliments him awww
  • yuuri is starting to get excited about the upcoming year of skating like he’s looking forward to it working so hard, he feels like a new person and he’s gaining more confidence, listen i am so proud of this boy look at him go
  • “i may never regain what i’ve lost, but i can clearly see what’s in front of me now” LOOK AT HIM he’s not letting his past failures keep him from moving forward, he’s learning from his downfalls and aiming for a brighter future look at him
  • yuuri’s theme is so beautiful excuse me while i go listen to it a million times and sob uncontrollably 
  • anyways viktor and yuuri’s relationship is progressing so beautifully i am so happy to see them learning from each other and bonding, i think they will both be so good for each other, whether or not it’s romantic (even though i desperately want it to be romantic)

Wizard archaeologists and historians say that the Order of Eight was founded anywhere between the years 450-500, lasting well into the early 720’s, and thought to have remained in the shadows even today. They originated in Greece and spanning across the Eastern coast of Europe and the United Kingdom.

Little is known about the Order of Eight–who created it, and where exactly it was formed, but one thing is known: the goal was to raise an army and conquer the mundane world. 

The Order was created by eight witches and wizards, each of great wealth and influence. Known as one of the earliest purist movements, they have been suspected of destroying cities and monuments, though never properly claiming them as their acts. Most of these terrorist attacks are directed towards muggles, such as numerous plagues, and many modern fires, earthquakes, and other maritime or aviation catastrophes. 

The Order of Eight can be compared to the modern version of the Illuminati, seen as a secret organization that sits in the shadows, though the Order of Eight has more interest in dominating the muggle world rather than the wizarding world. 

In 1878, the first piece of proof of the Order of Eight was a magical coin, found by wizarding archaeologist, Lavinia Howell. The coin was suggested to have been made in 456, by famous Greek goblin, Sarx, for the trademark glow the coin gives when under the light of a half moon. 

As mentioned earlier, stories and theories about the Order still float around the media, press, and conversations of young people. Common theories are that the leaders of the American, British, French, German, Chinese, Russian, Australian, and South African wizarding worlds are lead by a Lord or Lady of the Order.

Mr. A. Whitestaff, 5th of September, 2014

They Were Destroyers of Metru Nui

Trial by Fire is an old expression, referring to medieval trials where the accused would undergo an ordeal to prove their innocence or guilt. And ultimately, that is what this book comes down to: a test. However, it isn’t the Toa Metru who are put to the test. Instead, a subversion takes place; they are the judges, putting Metru Nui on trial. Their ultimate verdict is guilty, and their sentence destruction. Metru Nui is a dystopian nightmare that is rotten to the core, the Morbuzakh weed merely a literal manifestation of its corruption, inextricable from the city itself. And by destroying the vine, the Toa Metru doom the city.

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Skeleton of a Forgotten Sanctuary

Tall, lifeless bones
Stand guard against apologies
Constructed from the shattered pieces
Of heavy bonds
Reminders of our old oasis

The spark that kept
Outstretched fingers warmed,
Blossomed into a
Raging inferno
With flames that formed
A wave of destruction, leaving a
Smoking, ruined mass
In it’s wake
Destroying our world that
We created, together
By brick

I guess that
All great empires have to fall

Now, as I walk alone
Through streets of hollow structures,
Making ash clouds swirl
Around my feet
I feel no remorse
For our ruined sanctuary
Leaving behind grey monuments
Of forgotten days