the plinth

4

And all along the corridor the statues and suits of armour jumped down from their plinths, and from the echoing crashes from the floors above and below, Harry knew that their fellows throughout the castle had done the same.

“Hogwarts is threatened!” shouted Professor McGonagall. “Man the boundaries, protect us, do your duty to our school!” - Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, page 602

Dungeon Crafting: Puzzle Dungeons

image source: Legend of Zelda: Oracle of Ages

Now, I don’t know if you people have seen Mark Brown’s miniseries on YouTube known as Boss Keys, but it’s pretty great. It picks apart and analyzes some of my favorite dungeons from the Legend of Zelda games and finds out what makes a dungeon a Zelda dungeon. I have always loved these dungeons because they have a lot of density and force you to explore the space slowly and think your way through its puzzles. Definitely check out Boss Keys. From what I learned from those videos plus my own experiences as a DM, I’m going to try and detail how to create a Zelda-like puzzle dungeon. There are a few hallmarks that you should hit on:

Dungeon Density

Each area in the dungeon should be complex. It should have several things to interact with in each room other than the monsters or guardians. Everything doesn’t have to be immediately useful or usable, but it should provide context for the dungeon. For ideas, think what the dungeon was used for and research what sorts of things might be in an ancient tomb, lost temple, or forgotten keep. Have certain puzzle elements stand out. A good example from the Legend of Zelda is the eyeball above a closed door. I would stray away from that type of “puzzle” as it’s very well-known, I assume, that you have to hit the eye to open the door. On the other hand, a well-known puzzle like that could signal to the players that this is going to be one of “those” dungeons.

Making a dungeon complex and dense will mean that you have less rooms to populate, and will make it feel robust and well-used. It will also give a feeling of slight confusion for the players as they try to organize all of the information you’re giving them, but as the dungeon progresses, they can pick and choose which parts of the dense dungeon are integral to solving the dungeon!

Hub Areas

With all of that dungeon density I’ve been talking about, it’s good to have some sort of hub area. It could be a large room, a safe sanctuary, or have some overbearing landmark for players to imprint on. This will be the main part of the dungeon that they remember and can rely on. They will pay the most attention to this hub. So if this hub is a main part of solving your dungeon puzzle, they will notice changes made to the room very easily. For instance, a hub room could be a gaping chasm with bridges that seem to be mechanical. When certain levers in other parts of the dungeon are pulled, some pathways in the hub open up and some close off as the bridges ascend, descend, or turn. Back in my post about dungeon tempo, this creates a nice rhythm for players to always come back to a room that they’ve cleared and notice progress.

Branching Paths

Branching paths are a key part of puzzle dungeons. Don’t have a dungeon that is all one path that railroads players to the end of the dungeon with a puzzle for each room. Players need to be able to explore and discover the available paths in the dungeon and find the path for themselves. In the Boss Keys miniseries I mentioned, Mark constantly differs Legend of Zelda dungeons by whether they make you find a path versus making you follow a path. I personally enjoy finding the path and I think most players do too. It is key in creating what are known as…

A-Ha Moments

An a-ha moment is not that feeling you get when listening to Take On Me, but it’s pretty close. It’s that feeling a player gets when they figure out a puzzle by suddenly putting two and two together. There are a few aspects to create this in dungeon and level design:

  • Foreshadowing: implying that one part of the dungeon must be revisited later or implying something further in the dungeon exists. Laying this groundwork puts thoughts in players’ heads to help them markedly acknowledge that it’s okay to leave this area, because something lies ahead.
  • State Changes: the environment of the dungeon or its parts changes based on the actions of the players. This is the “puzzle” part of the a-ha moment. Pressing a button to change gravity, move a pylon, or change water levels can would count as a state change. Even acquiring a key item that can affect the dungeon or the players’ movement would count (see Link’s Pegasus Boots, Hover Boots, Silver Gauntlets, etc.)
  • Backtracking: After the state change, the dungeon has shifted. Some areas that were once inaccessible can now be accessed, and areas that were once open have closed off. This forces the players to backtrack. Where do they backtrack to? The place that foreshadowed the backtracking.

How does this look in practice? Let’s make an example:

The players enter a dungeon and quickly make it to a hub area with four doors. three of the doors have a bridge extending from it to a central platform. The platform and bridges are 100 ft. above a pit of spikes, which are very satisfying to kick the kobolds in this room onto. Once players tire themselves of punting kobolds, they notice that the central platform has a large plinth with a stationary mirror set into it. The mirror is facing one of the directions of the bridges. The mirror can’t be easily moved without tools, and it has no apparent use yet. The players move on to one of the doors connected by the bridge.

The players go through several chambers, fighting monsters and avoiding traps, when they find a room with a lever in it. When pulled, they hear a low rumbling and grinding of stone elsewhere in the dungeon. When they return to the hub room, the central platform and bridges have rotated, allowing passage to the door that didn’t have a bridge leading to it before.

Down this new route, the players find a stone button with an angel relief on it. After pushing a huge rock onto it, they hear another rumbling. On returning to the hub room, an angel relief is now visible on the wall as a stone slab has moved away to reveal it.

The yet unexplored room is still accessible by the bridge, and after exploring down that path, the players find a crank near a gilded relief of a sun. The crank opens up a sunroof in the hub area. The sun (if daytime) shines light onto the central mirror in that room, which then reflects it out in one direction. The only problem is, the beam of light from the mirror isn’t facing the way the PCs want (towards the revealed angel relief in the hub area).

Realizing that they need to point the mirror so the light shines on the angel relief, they must backtrack to the room with the lever that rotates the bridges and mirror until the mirror is oriented the way they want.


This example has density. It’s essentially four rooms with all the things they need to solve a puzzle in the hub area (the central room with the bridges). It could use more density though with more puzzle intertwined throughout some filler rooms or with more things to do in each room; I was light on description for the purpose of the example. It has three branching paths (four if you include where they entered from). The mirror foreshadows a light puzzle, and the sun icon foreshadows the opening of the sunroof. The bridges, angel relief, and sunroof all exist in the hub area and change states based on the players’ actions in the rest of the dungeon. Players have to backtrack to the room that changes the bridge orientation so they can rotate the mirror to face the right direction. This is a fairly simple puzzle, but in the context of a session of D&D where the story less shown and more told, it can prove more difficult. Keep all of these factors in mind when making a puzzle dungeon, and don’t forget to watch Boss Keys!

The Daqri Qube™ provides ground-breaking 360 degree coverage with four built-in optical cameras, two infra-red sensors, two motion-tracking rangefinders, echolocation, and a short-burst X-ray emitter capable of penetrating a seven-inch lead blast shield.

The Daqri Qube™ is ruggedized to withstand the modern business environment, with ISO-3103 compliant impact resistance, waterproofing tested up to thirty meters, an ablative carapace that can regenerate in less than six seconds after sustaining small arms fire, and the award-winning DoomEye™ point defense system.

The Daqri Qube™ is compatible with a wide variety of connectors and communications protocols, including USB, wi-fi, FireWire, serial port, point-to-point laser communications, telepathy, and dripping messages written in blood that spontaneously manifest on the walls. Additionally, from time to time it emits a low, ominous chanting in an unknown language. The meaning is as-yet unknown, but our top linguistic engineers are exploring the exciting business uses.

The Daqri Qube™ is ergonomically designed to be comfortable for long periods of use, with cushioned handles, a carrying strap (sold separately,) and seventeen separate mucous membranes to provide ample hand lubrication at all times.

The Daqri Qube™ has been cleared of all charges in the 2015 Alabama Chicken Farmers Association v. Daqri 5th Circuit Court case. However, we are legally obligated to inform you that the Daqri Qube is known to display erratic behavior when insulted. Until this minor design flaw is corrected, all new orders will include a tub of Qube Pacification Ointment, free of charge.

The Daqri Qube™ has a battery life of up to seventeen hours under normal conditions, and can be recharged in the field with standard USB battery packs or by leaving it on an obsidian plinth during a solar eclipse.

The Daqri Qube™ comes with a lifetime limited warrantee, with full parts and replacement for the first two years. The Daqri Qube™ w̠̦͓i̱͡l̟̜͖͠l̛̲ ͚̭̯͍̕o̹͜u̖̰̳t̘̞̟̝͓̖̜͘l͍͈͙̩͔͔͝ìv̼̬͓̜̀e͏̮̼̫͈ ̙̦̤̠̖͙̠͠u̧̘̬s̳͎͓͞ ạ̴ͅl̖̺̦͜l.͏̼̝

—  the project manager sent us a message asking us to look up something named the Daqri Qube for him, aka google it for him. I sent him this and he thanked me for being the first person to give an actual answer after reading the first ten words or so.
7

Tomb of Anthemia

Naoussa, Greece

3rd century BCE

This is a graceful, two-chamber monument with an Ionic facade of four semi-columns which support the entablature and the pediment. In the pediment’s hollow, a semi-declining couple is depicted in fresco. The three fleuron points which decorate the pediment retain their intense red and blue colours untouched, while the whole vaulted roof of the antechamber is painted with water lilies and fleuron (anthemia) in white and violet tones on a light blue background. The tomb gets its conventional name from these flowers.

The facade’s entrance was blocked by simple stone plinths, while the passageway from the first to the second chamber used to close with a monumental two-leaved marble door, which today we see fallen to the chamber floor. Inside the main death chamber, a four-sided stone base is preserved which contained some kind of metal vessel or reliquary with the bones of the dead.

The Serpent and The Swan - Ch.1

After expecting a marriage to Prince Archibald, Princess Elizabeth is shocked to hear of her new match to Prince Forsythe - a Serpent. What begins as a less than ideal match soon turns into something quite different, but nothing is ever as it seems when it comes to royalty.

Back at it again with a new multi chapter! I don’t know how frequent updates will be for this one, so bear with me, and I hope you enjoy! Sorry mobile readers, I had to put it under a cut <3

Read on AO3


“Elizabeth, where are you?”

Those four words haunted her – day in, day out. If not those it was something similar. Elizabeth, you have to come here. Elizabeth, you can’t wear that for dinner. Elizabeth, please stop doing that. Elizabeth, Elizabeth, Elizabeth. She was so tired of the sound the name made as it rang out through the castle. She had enjoyed, however, the tone her sister, Polly, used as she said it in mocking, causing her to hide her giggle behind her hand before their mother caught them.

Polly. Thoughts of her sister clouded her mind as she walked past the tightly locked door that led to her sister’s quarters. Or, more accurately, what used to be her sister’s quarters. Defiled and disgraced, Polly had been banished from the castle, disowned by the Cooper faction as an example of where ill morals would lead you if you let them.

Betty scoffed. She didn’t see Polly’s dismissal from court as a punishment. No, Polly had succeeded in getting what Betty knew that she herself would never manage to obtain – freedom. When she could Polly wrote to her sister, telling Betty tales of her life as the wife of a farmer on the outskirts of the Andrews’ faction, happily set on bedrest, making garments for her future babe while her doting husband worked tirelessly to provide for them all. Betty was aware that fairy tales usually involved princes and princesses, but to her Polly’s current affair sounded like the stuff of romance, like those that filled the pages of the books that littered her well-loved library. There had been a few close calls when she was certain that Alice, their mother, had intercepted their letters, but she still prayed that Polly never stopped sending them; they were her only link to the outside world, to a life of normalcy.

Elizabeth!” The shout had taken on a firmer edge now, echoing off the stone walls that closed in on her. Betty quickened her pace, hurrying towards the Throne Room to avoid further scolding.

“Yes, Mother?” she asked, not until after curtseying before the throne her father, King Henry, sat upon, gazing down at her from the raised platform with careful, guarded eyes. The blue in his eyes always held more warmth than that of Queen Alice’s, she’d thought; where his were the still, shallow waters of a warm harbour, her mother’s eyes were the icy glaciers that shrouded the freezing islands of the South, relentless and unforgiving.

“I’ve been calling you,” Alice replied, ignoring Betty’s question. She did her best not to sigh.

“I’m sorry, Mother. I was in the library with Mistress Geraldine,” she offered by way of explanation, hoping the mention of her tutor would satisfy her mother’s complaints. The queen pursed her lips tightly, the lines of aging that surrounded them becoming more pronounced with the action.

“Elizabeth, we have news for you. Regarding your impending marriage,” Alice continued on in a sterile tone, clearly moving past her accusations of tardiness. Betty straightened at that, curious as to what she could mean.

“But I thought Archie– Prince Archibald,” she stammered, “was engaged to be married to Princess Veronica?” Betty questioned with a furrowed brow, the words tasting bitter on her tongue.

Keep reading

Having grown up in DC, statues of various dead guys on horses are basically background radiation, or they were before I became Hamilton trash and started noticing them again. Now it’s like every time I turn around there’s a Founding Father looking at me like I personally disappointed him, and it’s getting a little unnerving.

Although: as a result, I sort of want to write a magical realism thing where that can really happen. Where if you do something they would have disagreed with strongly enough, the statues climb down off their columns and lumber down Mass Ave to the Russell Building or the Capitol, where they stand on the sidewalk, arms crossed, glaring into the window of whoever’s just introduced legislation that offended them. They don’t speak, or attack anyone, or damage anything– well, they do tend to bump their heads on low-handing streetlights, sometimes, but that doesn’t count. Mostly they just stand there, mournful, accusing, for everyone to see.

Sometimes lawmakers can talk them around, convince them they’re not actually betraying the political ideals of their predecessors. Politicians who are good at this tend to have much, much longer careers than the ones who aren’t. Politicians who piss off the wrong statues seldom get reelected.

George Washington rarely budges, and when he does it’s front-page news, nationwide. Madison’s always been easier to talk around than most. Hamilton spend more time off his plinth than on it, but he cools off fast. Jefferson holds grudges, to the point that hardly anyone worries too much about making him mad. 

It’s not just politicians, either, and they don’t always come to life in anger. Joan of Arc’s bronze horse will shiver to life in Malcolm X Park, sometimes, and carry her off to join protest marches, when she thinks their cause is just. Gandhi walked with Iraq War protestors. The Spirit of American Womanhood, outside Constitution Hall, danced on the day that Roe v. Wade was decided, and when Obergefell vs. Hodge went through, Eleanor Roosevelt taught a clumsy Lindy to Baron von Steuben. 

Lincoln has only risen from his seat once since he was put there in 1922, and that was to nod in solemn approval at LBJ from the White House lawn.

Some cities rarely put up statues, and many have taken theirs down. Paris has a great many artists and writers memorialized, and curiously few politicians. In London, during the Blitz, Nelson shinned down his column to help dig people out of collapsed buildings, until he was broken to pieces himself; he stands atop the column again today, reassembled, but has never moved since. In the last months of the Soviet Union, a desperate Communist Party had the statues of Moscow chained in place. These days, Monument Avenue in Richmond is punctuated with  a long series of empty plinths and bare columns. 

But DC keeps theirs, and keeps building more.

Promising Futures ((Cedric x Reader))

summary: cedric is ridiculously romantic and y/n is ridiculously surprised. 

request: Could I request something that’s not a prompt? :) cuz I would loveeee to read a Cedric x reader where he proposes to her during the tournament. :9 and then there’s a nice lil AU where he lives and they get married!

warnings: SPOILER warning for The Goblet of Fire, slight swearing

pairing: cedric x reader

prompt(s): none

a/n: i’m sorry post layouts are such a mess right now i’m kind of experimenting at the moment, so if you see any that you like or that bother you let me know

also i had to go back to the book and read the specific pages for this one so i felt very professional

but i love cedric so much and i’m honestly very glad you requested this so thank you. 

__________

 “We’ll take it at the same time. It’s still a Hogwarts victory. We’ll tie for it.”

Cedric stared at Harry. He unfolded his arms. 

“You– you sure?”

“Yeah,” said Harry. “Yeah… we’ve helped each other out, haven’t we? We both got here. Let’s just take it together.”

For a moment, Cedric looked as though he couldn’t believe ears; then his face split into a grin

He grabbed Harry’s arm below the shoulder and helped Harry limp toward the plinth where the cup stood. When they had reached it, they both held a hand over one of the cup’s gleaming handles.

“On three, right?” said Harry. “One–two–three–”

- J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, pg. 634


“My God– Diggory!” it whispered. “Dumbledore–he’s dead!”

Those words were repeated, the shadowy figures pressing in on them gasped it to those around them…and then others shouted it–screeched it–into the night-”He’s dead!” “He’s dead!” “Cedric Diggory! Dead!”

- J.K Rowling, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, pg.671

You feel all of the air force its way out of your lungs, and before you know what you’re doing, you feel your legs push your way across the terrain and through the crowd, not even apologizing to the people you bump into along the way- though they certainly bother to scold you for it. You just had to see it. You had to see Cedric… 

Sitting up? You freeze when you see him, and feel your mouth drop open at your clearly perfectly okay boyfriend. He’s gazing around from his spot on the ground, a rather frantic look on his face, completely ignoring the various hands reaching out to him. 

You’re not completely sure how or when you got from where you were to where he is, but you throw your arms around him, pressing your face into his very real and very alive shoulder. You don’t even remember when you started crying, but you feel his arms pull you closer, holding onto you with the same desperation that could be found in your actions. 

“Oh god! Oh god Cedric, they were saying that you were dead.” you tell him, running a hand through his matted hair. “Why would they do that? Why would they ever do that?”

“I was.I thought I was. I think he missed.Or maybe he wasn’t powerful enough, I don’t know. Doesn’t matter.” he wipes your tears away, pulling you back to him. “I’m so so glad I’m holding you right now.”

You don’t know what he’s talking about, but frankly you don’t care at the moment, so you just nod in agreement. “Me too. I love you. I don’t know what I would’ve done without you.”

You can feel his smile, and then his mouth brushed against your ear. “Marry me.”

You freeze. “What?”

Marry me.” he repeats again, his voice just above a whisper.

You pull back so that you can look into his eyes. “Are you serious?”

“I faced bloody Voldemort. And all I could see was your face. And your hand. I couldn’t believe that I was stupid enough to die without placing a ring on that finger. So, Y/N Y/L/N, yes I’m serious. Marry me. Marry me.” he shifts you out of his lap so that he can get onto one knee, and the voices around you– everything around you- stops, as the crowd stops trying to get to you. You can’t help but glance at Cedric’s parents, who stop dead in their tracks, their mouths open. “Don’t look there. Look here.” he urges, grabbing your wrist to get your attention. “I haven’t exactly asked you yet. Kind of just commanded, actually. So, Y/N Y/N, will you marry me?” He searches your eyes, seeming to loose a bit of confidence as his voice cracks in his next word. “Please?” 

“Cedric… You’re in shock. You don’t mean it. I mean, you can’t mean it. We’re… You’re… You almost just died and now you have some condition that I can’t currently remember the name of, but really you don’t mean it, and you’re going to regret it the moment this wears off, and-”

“I don’t have some condition, Y/N.” he looks at your solemnly, though there’s a hint of laughter in his eyes. “I mean it. I swear I mean it, and nothing that I ever feel could make me regret asking you this. Because I love you. Everything other than love is just silly, Y/N, and I don’t care about it anymore. All I care about it you. I want to be with you forever. The only thing almost dying has done is given me the confidence to ask you something I’ve wanted to for a long time. So will you please marry me, Y/N? Or at least reject me before my parents have an aneurysm?”

“Oh. Oh wow. Of course I’m not going to say no to that. Who could possibly say no to that?” There’s a moment of silence before you realize that you haven’t actually said “yes” yet. “Yes.” you breathe out. And then he’s up and twirling you around, and the crowd is cheering. Then, glancing around, you remember what was going on. “I think maybe you have some explaining to do.”

 that summer –

“Do you, Cedric Diggory, take Y/N Y/L/N, to be your lawfully wedded wife,to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and promise your love to her forevermore?”

Your breath catches in your throat at the smile on his face. His eye meet yours, and you can feel the warmth from them inside your heart as he squeezes your hand. “I do.”

“And do you, Y/N Y/L/N, take Cedric Diggory, to be your lawfully wedded husband,to have and to hold, in sickness and in health, for richer or for poorer, and promise your love to him forevermore?”

You almost giggle at the anticipation in his eyes, wondering if he actually expected that you’d say no. “I do.” 

He grins, surging forward to kiss you before anything else can be said, though no one makes a move to stop you as his lips touch yours. You peck his lips lightly, pulling away quickly, flushing at the idea of kissing him in front of an entire crowd. 

“Mrs. Diggory.” he murmurs, winking at you, before focusing his attention back to the crowd. 

i feel like the book excerpts were a little confusing, so i’m sorry, i just didn’t know how else to convey time well, i guess? my transitioning sucks lol.

but…….. i hope you liked it because it was really fun to write. *editing soon*

gif isn’t mine

masterlist | requests | prompts  

Hundred Percent - Steve X Reader

I really want to do a Q&A so send in as many questions as you want both about me and about my writing!

MASTERLIST

Summary: You have inhuman strength and haven’t really gotten around to show the team the limits of your power. That is until you meet Steve in an arm wrestle challenge.

Warnings: None.

Words: 1 042

A/N: This is just a stupid drabble in lack of other things to post tbh. There are also a bunch of typos in this I’m sure cause it’s 1 AM and I didn’t read through this :)

Originally posted by iluvaqt


She watched Steve heave his entire body up and raise his chin over the bar. Natasha rolled her eyes, muttering “show off” quietly before continuing to punch the padded shields covering Y/N’s both hands before her.

“You know, you should train with someone, not with yourself. That’s the whole point of these little sessions of ours.” Tony called out from across the training room where the entire team was, apart from Thor, who conveniently had needed to return to Asgard two weeks prior when Tony first introduced his new idea.

It was all Tony’s happening that twice a week the team trained at he same time to try and do some exercises with one another. Y/N approved. It was more fun than being alone and allowed for more and new ways to train. Steve did not approve however. He felt like he couldn’t use his full capacity and then he didn’t see much use in training. Thor was one of the few that could take Cap’s punches along with Bucky, but as Thor was gone and Bucky couldn’t always train with Steve, the super soldier turned to his own corner of the gym.

Y/N kept saying she could take his punches and kicks, but Steve wasn’t so sure. He had seen her toss a car but still wouldn’t believe she was durable enough to merely train with him.

“You copy?” Tony called out again as Steve didn’t answer, taking a break from teaching Peter close combat as far as his personal skills would allow.

Steve abruptly let go of the iron bar and landed on his feet with a thud, turning his head towards Tony and approaching with a few steps, clearly annoyed. “Why don’t you stick to your training and I’ll stick to mine, okay?”

“Take it easy, Steve.” Natasha laughed slightly. “You were all onboard with this until Thor ditched us and Bucky grew tired of your same old, close-up, combat.”

“I’ve volunteered a dozen times.” Y/N spoke up and watched Steve groan hopelessly. She was tired of it. If he didn’t want to train with her because personal reasons, that would be one thing, but he didn’t want to do it because he thought she wasn’t strong enough, and that she would not accept. “You know I can take you, right?”

Steve raised a brow. “What?”

“All of you have barely seen half my strength, and I don’t complain about not being able to let loose during these training sessions.” She removed the padded gloves and threw them on the floor, crossing her arms.

“Wait, we haven’t seen your best?” Peter questioned, intimidated. “When you’ve gone at a hundred percent? Full strength?”

She hadn’t thought much about it. She had shown that she was strong enough for the Avengers on more than one occasion. If that meant she had only shown a fraction of her capability or if she had shown it all didn’t matter to her.

“No.” She smirked at Steve who had always looked down on her abilities compared to his own. “And I know for a fact that I would easily win over Mr. Patriot here.”

“In what? A test of pure strength?” Bucky questioned, walking away from Clint that he had been training with and approaching the center of the room where everyone were gathered.

“That too, but I had something more like arm wrestling in mind.” She looked straight into Steve’s eyes and could see the hint of a smile on his face. He loved a challenge and he couldn’t deny it even if he tried. “You up for it?”

He tilted his head, considering the offer. “What the hell… I’ll never pass on the chance to put you in your place.” He turned around and hauled the chest high plinth to the middle of the gym, placing himself on one side.

“Okay, who’s betting?” Tony exclaimed as Y/N got into position. “A hundred grand and a Ferrari on Y/N.”

“I- I have three bucks and a van, but I really need the van… And the three bucks…” Scott stuttered nervously as he would never be able to match Tony’s bet.

“Ignore him.” Clint sighed to Scott before looking back at Y/N and Steve who placed their elbows on the padded surface at the top and grabbed hold of each other’s hands.

She never broke eye contact with Steve and neither did he with her. They both smirked like they both knew they were going to win, but only one of them were right.

“You ready?” Natasha prepared to count down. As the both participants nodded, she began. “3… 2… 1…. Go!”

A loud thud echoed in the hall and an equally loud crack came from the plinth which had splintered by the wheels as it had been pressed down to the floor. Y/N removed her hand from Steve’s and Steve had to wriggle his loose from the padded material at the top which his hand had sunken through and then dented the wood underneath it.

“Holy crap.” Tony admitted, his face blank and lips parted. “Cap, you didn’t even try.”

“I did.” Steve defended, a puzzled look on his face as he had barely realized what had happened himself. His hand hurt a bit however, which was clear proof that he had lost.

“I told you.” Y/N kept her smile up as she backed away from the ruined plinth that was no longer able to roll on its wheels.

“You’ve just casually kept your strength a secret to us?” Tony questioned, crossing his arms dramatically. “That’s against our rules, you know?”

She pulled her head back. “What rules?”

“The rule about… Keeping secrets…” Tony made up on the spot and she rolled her eyes, turning back to Steve who was clutching his aching hand.

“Are you okay?” She asked, suddenly feeling bad as she realized she might have actually hurt Steve.

He huffed, smiling wide enough to show some teeth. “I’m good. Honestly, I’m just surprised… Sometimes you need someone to remind you of your limits.”

“So I qualify as your training buddy now?” She wondered, looking at Steve from the side with a hopeful look on her face.

He pouted but nodded. “That you do, my friend… That you do.”

For the Love of Dance

Originally posted by theavatar

Request by @i-wished-upon-a-star-one-night
I would love an prince adam x reader imagine where the reader was a dancer and she ends up getting turned into a music box (the ballerina on top) and has been in love with Adam since was little. She’s been his confidant for the entirety of the curse as well. One day, he realizes he loves her and poof! Human again! He connects the dots and races to find her and they confess to each other? Everyone else is like….wow…I called it. Why did it take so long?
 

Author’s Note: This is by far the longest thing I’ve written in one go. This is my first request so I can only hope I’ve done the idea justice. Hope you all enjoy! MY MASTERLIST

You had always loved to dance. Ever since you were little you’d skip and leap everywhere instead of walking. When you first arrived at the castle, when your mother was employed as a maid, you would sneak down to the ballroom when the rest of the castle was sleeping and dance around until your shoes wore down. You remember the night when he found you dancing like no one was watching. You had been too busy spinning round and around that you jumped almost four feet into the air when he called out to you. You had turned to see the Prince staring at you, bleary eyed, in his night clothes. You felt sheepish and couldn’t form any words to explain why you were there so you just stood for several moments in silence. He walked up to you hand outstretched.
“My name’s Adam.” He said and you stared at him in shock.
“You….. You’re not mad?” You asked cautiously.
“No. I was watching you for a while.”
“I should go.” You started to tip-toe away. He followed you with his eyes.
“Why?”
“Because you’re the prince and I’m just me.” You said, looking down at your feet. “I don’t want to get into trouble.”
“Mama always says to me that everyone is equal. You won’t get in trouble. I won’t tell. I’m not meant to be here either.” He smiled at you. You smiled back.
“Will you teach me to dance like you?” He asked. “You’re really good.”
You thought about it for a long time before you simply nodded your head and grabbed him by both arms as you began to teach him some simple steps. From then on, your friendship with the Prince only grew. Practically every night you’d sneak down to the ballroom to give him a lesson. You and he would spin around and giggle to your hearts content until your bodies couldn’t keep up with your thoughts. Some nights you wouldn’t even dance. Instead you would just stand outside on the balcony, a breeze drifting through the air, and talk about anything. What he learnt in his lessons with Cogsworth. What new role in the household you’d been assigned. He even taught you how to read by sneaking you up into the castle library, where you sat by the window studying by the moonlight. Other nights you and he would sneak outside and play games, trying ever so hard not laugh too loudly and risk your night time activities be discovered.
Though you spent most of your time with him during the nights for several hours before you physically couldn’t stay awake any longer, during the day you still found ways to spend time with one another. Whenever you had a break from your chores (as you were a maid in the making) you’d run up to join Adam in his lessons, where the tutor was thankful to have someone who actually wanted to learn. Whenever he had a break he would come and find you and sometimes help you with your chores but he mainly just chatted with you till he was called for again. Spending as much time together as you did, the staff couldn’t help but wonder whether there was something going on between the two of you, and if they ever asked you about it you would have said yes. It was hard not to love Adam, and eventually that’s what came to fruition. You loved him plain and simple, no matter what happened. The only thing about him that made you sad was that he didn’t reciprocate those feelings. The trails you two faced only got tougher. When the Queen died, Adam didn’t come down to the ballroom at night for a month. You still went down though, every night, hoping that he would come. On the night that he did, you didn’t dance. You didn’t play. You didn’t talk. He just merely cried and you simply just hugged him. As the years went on, Adam became more detached from everyone in the castle. During the day he didn’t socialize with the servants anymore and that included you. You couldn’t help but feel upset that he was distancing himself from his family, his true family, not his father. He still came every night though. To you in the ballroom. You talked less, you found, because as time went on you found that what he spoke of was stuck-up and selfish. Instead you danced together, you still teaching him steps so he could be the best dancer in all the kingdoms, second to only you.
Though you still danced every night together, you found that nights were no longer like before. When the King died, Adam took no time in spending money. He usually had a ball every week, which meant you were busy preparing for them. That in turn meant you were tired. Also balls took up nights, which meant you spent less time with Adam. Whilst he danced better than any of the ladies he invited to the balls (something you were very proud of) you were downstairs helping the staff with drinks and decorations. You couldn’t help but feel sad at the fact that though Adam and you still danced at nights, it was no longer together. He danced with the beautiful women and you danced around the servants halls with a tray full of beverages in your hands. You still loved him though. Inside at his core, he was just the same little boy you had fallen in love with. You were the only one who looked past the monster he had become.
Naturally when a beggar woman came knocking at the door interrupting Adam’s night of dancing, you knew it wouldn’t end well. You knew how precious dancing was and you only feared for the beggar, of what type of monster she would unleash from Adam. What you weren’t expecting was for the beggar woman to be an enchantress of extraordinary beauty. You stood fixed in your position at the side of the ballroom as the scene unfolded before you. You had felt every cry Adam made whilst his bones cracked and his body shifted to become the monster that everyone else thought he was. He ran from the room as soon as it was over, through the same doors his guests ran through mere moments ago. He had seen his shadow and he feared it. You remembered when the enchantress looked down at all of the servants present in the ballroom.
“You did this too.” She said glaring at you all. “You stood by like invisible objects.” You looked down knowing that she was right. You loved him and because you loved him you failed to see what he had become. You failed to stop it. You felt shame like no other when she declared her final spell for you all. You knew the Prince’s curse, and now you were to receive yours.
“You all did nothing. Stood by like nothing was happening. Now be turned into what you always were to him. Mere objects.”
You welcomed the punishment, the truth, and accepted the blackness that overcame you whilst everyone else screamed in panic.
———————————————————————————————————–
You had always loved to dance so you found it extremely ironic that when you woke up for the first time after the night that changed it all, you had been transformed into a music box of sorts with a ballerina on top. You had your small plinth that you stood on that wound up and played beautiful music. You couldn’t believe what had happened. You awoke in the kitchen instead of the ballroom with the rest of the staff, your mother (now a feather duster like other maids) lying beside you. Amongst the chaos, Lumière (who was now a candelabra), managed to call for silence. Everyone obliged. They did a head count to find that no one was missing (it wasn’t until Mrs Potts went into the ballroom later that day, that the staff realized that the Maestro and his wife were still in the castle, transformed as well. It took several days to find the Madame who turned out was in a room in the east wing). Not only did the head count provide numbers, it also gave you an insight into what everyone now looked like. Mrs Potts and Chip were now a matching tea set. Cogsworth a clock. Chapeau a coat rack. The entire staff spent the majority of the morning trying to figure out how to move properly with their new bodies. The feather dusters found out it was easier to fly, Cogsworth, Lumière and Chapeau found that they could walk just slower than before, Mrs Potts found a trolley that moved by itself and Chip found that he could surf about on a saucer. His first attempt failed causing him to chip by his handle, making him have a literal chip to match his name. Lumière found he could start a fire with his hands, as did the chef but unlike Lumière, Chef couldn’t walk anywhere. Amongst the chaos, you managed to find a way out of the kitchens to get some peace and quiet. It took a while to figure out how to move in your new form. You were a ballerina, so you could move that easily enough. What you took a while to figure out was the plinth you were attached to. Eventually you found that your foot remained attached by a small metal string. You could move the stool like a small carriage when standing on it but when you went up stairs you had to pull the metal string as far as possible whilst you dismounted to carry it up the stairs. It was painful to go upstairs but you endured it.
When you escaped the kitchens you enjoyed the silence as brief as it was. You travelled just to go to the ballroom, to dance, to ignore the emptiness you felt. You barely made it to the stairs before you heard the faint yelp from upstairs. You knew who it was. Adam was all alone up there. You sighed, knowing that you couldn’t just leave him there, so you started to make the painful trek up the stairs, which now took ten times longer than before. That was probably a good thing. You used that time to think of what you would say to him. You were determined to heed the enchantress’ words. You wouldn’t let yourself be blinded by love, you’d see every flaw and not let him act like he did before. You didn’t want him to be as much of a beast on the inside as he now was on the outside.
As you approached where his bedroom was, you found it harder and harder to navigate through all the debris that covered the corridor, furniture that he’d broken in his rage creating large obstacles that you had to avoid. Portraits were torn, windows and mirrors smashed. As you approached the doors to his room you could hear loud thuds coming from inside the room. You prepared yourself for the worst when you pushed the door open (which took you several minutes to do as you were still learning how to use your new body). You had to dodge a chair almost immediately, as it was thrown directly at your head.
“Adam.” You said timidly. He didn’t hear you and continued ripping at his bed sheets with his new claws.
“Adam!” You practically yelled this time. He looked up searching for your face until his gaze fixed on your much smaller figure.
“Y/N?” He questioned. You waved in return. His face went from shock to rage once again. “Get out.” He growled at you, his attention once again focuses on the sheets. You were about to turn around but then you remembered what the enchantress had said and you spoke up.
“I’m not leaving until you stop destroying your room like a stroppy child.” You stated actually feeling good about speaking your mind. He looked up once more and clearly you had struck a nerve with him as he began to sob uncontrollably. It took a while but you eventually managed to climb up onto the bed where you went over and hugged him as best you could with your small frame.
You stayed with him for the rest of that day. He didn’t speak to you or to anyone until a week after the curse was set. You were on the bedside table, next to his bed when you heard him whisper to you, “Why me?” You scoffed at his question.
“If you actually used that brain of yours Adam, the answer should be blatantly obvious.” He didn’t think about it so he sat up and talked to you. You liked it. It wasn’t the usual pompous garbage that came out of his mouth, it was like he was nine again. Just like you remembered.
You spent most of your time with Adam for the first couple of months until the argument occurred.
“I can’t believe she did this to me Y/N!” He stated one day. “It’s not fair.”
Your blood (if you had any, you weren’t sure) boiled at his statement.
“Of course this is so unfair on you.” You said sarcastically.
“It is, isn’t it? Why I’m hideous! I can’t be seen by anyone, not one lady has come.” He said not noting your sarcasm.
“Are you serious?” You practically screamed at him. “It’s always about you isn’t it? Of all those nights we spent together after your mother died, not once did you actually care about me even though I did for you. Not once did you show kindness to anyone of the staff. You were cruel to the villages. You were so self-absorbed that only pretty or superficial people could be invited to your self-loving balls. And now you’re saying it’s not your fault. You are unbelievable.” You jumped down from the table and began to walk away from his bed.
“Wait Y/N!” You turned and looked at him dead in the eyes.
“You are not the only one suffering here Adam. You can still walk downstairs without feeling pain. You can still see every room in this castle even though you choose not to. You can still see the people who care about you. You still breathe. But Mrs Potts can’t see her husband, Chip his father. Cogsworth can barely make it up the stairs and the Maestro and Madame can’t even see each other, as they’re too big to leave their respective rooms.” You sighed and as you closed the door to his room you left him with “It’s not always about you. Grow up your highness.” You left him alone, your words ringing inside his head.
You didn’t speak to him for over a weak until he came downstairs from his room for the first time in months. He came into the kitchen and apologized to you first and then to everyone else for not thinking about their suffering. You smiled as he left the room knowing that the best friend you once knew was breaking through the beast.
For the next few years you found that you became Adam’s confidant. Whenever he needed to talk about something he’d come to you. He talked about how lonely this was, how guilty he felt for past actions. You listened to him and didn’t hesitate to tell him when he was being insensitive or spoilt. Thankfully they were occurring less and less, and you never repeated the argument again. You had shouted at each other but it was never as bad as before. Eventually after at least three years, you managed to get Adam to be less of a recluse in a place where everyone was already one. He talked to Lumière, managed to bond with Chip over sliding down stairs and even played chess with Cogsworth. You felt happy, seeing the man you love grow close to his true family once more. The staff were thankful for it. At the beginning of the curse, the castle felt gloomy and claustrophobic, but with Adam trying to once again grow close to them all the castle started to feel instantly brighter and warmer. It wasn’t perfect though. Although the staff were happy he was trying to fix what occurred between them, everyone was still hoping for someone to break the curse. It hung over everyone’s heads and Adam usually was the one who told you how he feared about the future of everyone, not just himself, if no one came along.
It was after the fifth anniversary of the casting of the curse when Adam asked if you’d dance. He took you down to the ballroom where Cadenza played a small aria and you spun around on your plinth; happy and carefree forgetting about the curse for a few brief moments. You once again made a ritual of meeting after dark in the castle. You usually went outside, where you’d just sit and stare at the snow glistening in the moonlight. Adam would talk about days before the curse and you’d join him in reminiscing. Unlike before, however, people saw. Objects don’t need sleep, so many staff members were awake to see you and Adam outside in the snow, you on his shoulder.
By the seventh year, Adam was a changed man. He still occasionally acted like prick, but you, Mrs Potts and the rest of the staff teased him mercilessly until he apologized for his selfish behaviour. Everyone was joyous that he had been wiped of his father’s image and all the staff loved spending time with him, like the one big family you were all meant to be. You all celebrated Christmas that year. The first time in seven years. There was little to give everyone but it didn’t bother anyone. Everybody was too happy to care. You all exchanged homemade gifts. You received a small tutu to go over your current china one from Garderobe, and a beautiful painted flower band from Mrs Potts and Plumette. Chip pitched in and gave you wide base so you could race him easier down the stairs. Adam gave you a book from the library. ‘The 12 Dancing Princesses’ instantly became your favourite story. Your present to Adam was a friendship bracelet made of string and cloth you found in one of the many spare rooms in the palace. It was a Noël you wouldn’t forget for a long time.
By the ninth year, although everyone was happy and Adam restored to his previous self, his un-beastly self, there was an overwhelming sadness that now took hold of everyone. The petals on the rose had begun to fall and the castle was crumbling into nothing. Each petal that fell made you more like the mechanical machine you had been turned into. You found it harder to move without making music play and you felt scared about what could become of you. You sat up with Adam in his room one night, when there were only about five petals left. You sat discussing the curse. Not once did he ask why him, he knew the answer just like he knew why all the staff were cursed too. You talked about how no one had come to save them. There had only been one visitor in the almost ten years since the curse was placed. An old-ish man seeking shelter from a storm. Adam had had a meal prepared for him and the man left the next day, warm and well. As you talked, you told yourself (like you did every time you saw him) how much you loved him and how proud you were that he’s changed for the good. You talked well into the night until Adam drifted off into sleep. From where you sat, on the fireplace mantle opposite his bed you uttered the four words you’d been wanting to say for the last fifteen or so years.
“I love you Adam.” You whispered as you walked back downstairs to the kitchens.
Adam awoke the next morning to find you absent from the room. He couldn’t help but feel upset at this. You were his best friend, someone who never gave up on him. He dressed and headed downstairs to get himself breakfast when he stopped at the bottom of the stairs when he heard music coming from the ballroom. He slowly creeped over and peeked into the room. The Maestro was absent, much to Adam’s surprise and then he saw you in the middle of the ballroom on your plinth. Your music filled the ballroom and he just stared at you as you danced gracefully around on your small platform, completely unaware of the world around you. He smiled as he remembered the first time he met you in that very same ballroom almost twenty years ago. He took one last look at you before heading to get his breakfast.
As he sat there in the dining room, he found himself thinking how beautiful you were. How smart you were. How gracefully you moved. His stomach fluttered. The longer he thought about you, the bigger this feeling grew until it hit him. He loved you. Quirks and all. He smiled to himself as he finished his porridge. He sat there smiling before he whispered in realization, “I love Y/N.”
No sooner did he say these words, he felt light almost as if he could fly. A bright yellow glow surrounded him as he felt his muscles loosen and his clothes get slightly baggier. He felt colder too until the light faded and his feet touched back on the ground. Unaware of what just occurred, Adam reached for his glass (which was full of water) so that he could get his bearings. Before he grabbed it, however, he jumped with shock at what was grabbing the glass. A hand. A human hand, not paw was reaching for the glass. His hand. He yelped with glee. He was human again. How? He didn’t have anyone who loved him that way. He only loved… Then it clicked. You loved him back. He couldn’t help be it be overjoyed at the fact you, his best friend, actually cared that much about him to love him. Before he could rush over to you in the ballroom, someone else rushed into the dining room.
“Adam!” He turned to see Mrs Potts, back to her human form looking at him with the upmost pride. He stared at her, mouth agape. They ran into each other, embracing in a tight hug. Moments later, practically the entire staff descended into the dining room. Maestro and Garderobe, didn’t let go of one another (as did Lumière and Plumette). The entirety of the castle staff all hugged one another, thrilled to be human again. Cogsworth congratulated Adam on breaking the curse and it was at that point that Adam realized that you were nowhere to be seen. Lumière approached Adam and asked the question everyone wanted the answer too.
“Who was it who freed us mon ami?”
Adam only smiled at him and headed straight for the ballroom, with everyone else following suit.
Sure enough you were still in the ballroom, still dancing with your eyes closed. Adam walked slowly over to you and said, “Will you teach me how to dance?” He tapped you on the shoulder, “You’re really good.” You stopped dancing and turned to face him. You screamed in shock.
“You’re….. You’re…. You’re yourself again.”
He smiled before gesturing to you.
“That means I’m….” You looked down at your hands to see flesh not china. You couldn’t believe it. Human again. What a nice feeling.
“But that means you love someone.”
He nods whilst looking directly at you.
“Me? but I’m just…”
“You’re just you.” He replied. “And that’s all I can ask for.” He leans into you and you lean in and press your lips against his. You hold each other tightly until you can’t breathe. As soon as you separate the cheering begins. You turn to see the rest of the staff clapping as they come over to you to congratulate you on helping save them all. Amongst the chaos, Mrs Potts makes Lumière and Cogsworth give her the money they owe her for losing the bet they made. Everyone was so happy that you couldn’t move from the amount of hugs you were receiving. You didn’t care though. As long as Adam was with you, you could do anything.
———————————————————————————————————–
You had always loved to dance. What you didn’t know was that you loved it even more when you danced with him. That’s what you were doing now, dancing at a ball with your betrothed. Everyone from the local villages were invited, from all ranks, at not one person declined. It was strange for the villagers suddenly remembering about a prince and their loved ones who worked in his castle, but everyone was thrilled that they did. Mrs Potts and Chip were reunited with Mr Potts and the joy on their faces was something that made everyone feel as light as air. The same couldn’t be said for Cogsworth’s reunion with his wife, Colthide, as you walked past them you heard Cogsworth mumbling about he wanted to be a clock again. You burst out laughing as soon as you were out of their earshot. There was some slight resentment towards Adam when people remembered him, after all he had taxed them all mercilessly. Thankfully, most had forgiven him as he lowered them all completely and insisted on inviting the villagers to any balls that would be held hence forth.
As you looked around the ballroom you saw everyone’s faces painted with a large smile. You could see Lumière and Plumette dancing, very much like the lovers that they were. The Maestro and Madame were on the stage, singing and playing their hearts out, not looking away from one another whilst Froufrou sat on a cushion by their side. Cogsworth was actually smiling at his wife and the villagers were enjoying every moment in the grand ballroom. Chip was laughing with some of the other children from the village but he came up to you before-hand to ensure that you’d still be willing to slide down the stairs with him, just like you did whilst you were cursed. You hugged him tightly and told him you wouldn’t miss a single day. After taking in all the happiness from the rest of the ballroom, your attention finally was drawn to Adam. He was smiling at you, his eyes never leaving your face even when you twirled around him. As you stared back into his eyes you couldn’t help but think back to the beast, how it made you closer than ever before. You missed it slightly, but you were happier now, human once more. Adam must have seen the slight concern on your face because he asked you,
“What is it?” You smiled, glad that he thought about you now in the same way that you had for so long. You thought of the beast and couldn’t help but ask if you could get some part of him back.
“How would you feel about growing a beard?” You asked. He chuckled before doing a playful roar. You laughed at his gesture, secretly hoping that it meant yes.
That ball lasted well into the night; the majority of the villagers ended up staying in the castle, retiring to one of the many rooms in the castle. You and Adam, however, danced into the night and beyond. You danced even though you were the only ones left in the ballroom with you making your own music. You danced just like when you were younger.
Mrs Potts found you the next morning in the ballroom. You were both sound asleep in the middle of the floor, curled up around one another. She smiled and let you sleep, telling no one to disturb you. As she walked away she couldn’t help but feel giddy with happiness, knowing that you’d both keep on dancing like you had done, for the remainder of your life together. 

Tag List: @ilvermornyqueen @childoftheshire

the chicken

so my dad and I have been having a lowkey fight over this old meme toy thing we own and I left it under his chair so when he sat on it he’d hear it scream. it worked but then I heard outside my window a tap tap tap i opened my blind and saw  the toy

he hanged the goddamn chicken

he came running down the stairs cackling and i’m speechless because there’s a dangling screaming chicken toy in a noose outside my bedroom window

HE’S A MONSTER

but we from the vague woods 
have been broken, 

no longer
is there warmth between
the wicked hands

no life,
no life anywhere

but the phantoms and
thew hite sylph-wylds     

who flutter, flit
and bewail 

where we stand with
the forest’s eye,

the dangerous
torchlamp lit

you, beloved
black lace ophelia,

pierced by the dread
pale moon 

may we wander through,
as the river,  

swaying like the hymn
of sea

- that somewhere you are good

O, forest 
pillar and plinth of pine

the swelling green enchants
through the arches of starlight

and I
unravel into the moorwind
of a diaphanous fall

where all the past
has come to rot

Saint of the Forsaken,
Lady of the Lyre and Ever-Light

the year’s heap their empty horrors

and its woodsmoke curls
the open wound,

snaking the deep
loam & molding

of the heart that was hardened

the arrow
                faithless and blunt