urb an

; April 21st, 2770 Ab Urbe Condita

  It begins with two brothers, an origin tale of glorious roots and mythical foundation; one that rarely features harmony in the place of discord, trust in the place of fear, pure springs in the place of pools of blood, fraternal love in the place of hatred. Greed, not Pride, is the true root of all evil, for the latter follows the former, but the former holds fast to the heart of all sentient creatures. Humans, most of all: but not all those who appear human are as such; divinity is but another word to loosely describe those who live above the empirical laws of mankind - they aimlessly float above it, inhabiting the mysterious planes of the metaphysical. 

 Who are those gods, monsters whose hearts are tainted by emotions, virtues and vices, just as profoundly as their empirical counterparts? Who live amongst, above, below, beyond them, equally searching for a purpose in their eternal existence? 
 History, the greatest teacher of all, tells of how tragedy befalls those who fall under the spell of the tempest of emotions. The more power one holds, the more dire the consequences of their actions, driven by most selfish instincts - desires. The thread of equilibrium is thin, too easily snapped. The scales may tip, ever so slightly, sending rippling cracks across the mirrored surface of the fraternal bond. Then, the point of no return: Fratricide, the perversion of the sacred link between blood brothers.

 Cain and Abel, Hodr and Baldr, Seth and Osiris, Eteocles and Polynices, Arjuna and Karna, Romulus and Remus.

 One was to prevail over the other, and write the tragedy-ridden course of history in blood. Some nod their heads solemnly, calling history the complex tapestry of destiny, and its players mere pawns weaved into it.

  Others learn from those they deem mistakes, and choose to fight for harmony, to coexist and cooperate, to overcome the differences, to never repeat them again. An eternal warfare declared on their darkest instincts, the struggle of a lifetime, a path infested with pitfalls.

  Love, ever battling with resentment, admiration with envy, tenderness with anger, equality with inadequacy, partnership with competition.

Castor and Pollux, 

       Romano and Veneziano.

  “Why wish a happy birthday to someone who has been long dead?
Your distant, fading memory and the smell of blood and steel is all I hold dear, and all I have left of you.

Ave atque valē, ave.”

Boost your Spanish with more complex synonyms for words you already know

Here you have some words/expressions (in bold) that you can use to show off while speaking Spanish. A native will know them, but if you use these you will impress them. Also, in your writings these words will look quite good.
NOTE: Some of them are quite formal and not used in conversations.

  • similar - semejante, afín, cercano, aproximado, símil, parecido (adj.) (similar)
  • parecerse - asemejarse, semejar, darse un aire, recordar a (to resemble)
  • divertido - ameno, entretenido (adj.) (fun)
  • difícil - peliagudo, arduo, espinoso (adj.) (difficult)
  • fácil - sencillo, factible (adj.) (easy)
  • empezar - emprender (to begin)
  • terminar - concluir, ultimar, finiquitar (to finish)
  • la misión -  la empresa, el cometido, la tarea, la labor, el quehacer  (mission, duty)
  • caro - costoso, prohibitivo (adj.) (expensive)
  • barato - asequible, económico (adj.) (cheap)
  • distraer, desentender, simular - hacerse el sueco (expression, lit.
  • to do the Swedish. To avoid doing something that you must do)
  • enfermo - aquejado, indispuesto, alicaído (adj.) (sick, ill)
  • la historia - el cuento, la leyenda, la fábula (story, tale)
  • el cotilleo - chisme, chismorreo, enredo (gossip)
  • aprender - cultivarse, formarse, educarse, empollar (to learn)
  • gustar - cautivar, embelesar (to like)
  • saber - estar al corriente, estar al tanto (to know about something)
  • siempre - perpetuamente, constantemente, continuamente (always)
  • malo - diabólico, maléfico, maldito, ruin, infame, sinvergüenza, insolente, maligno, malicioso, depravado, inmoral, pérfido (adj.) (bad, as in “a bad person”)
  • malo - nocivo, dañino, perjudicial, nefasto (adj.) (bad)
  • comprar - adquirir, obtener (to buy)
  • la tienda -el comercio, el establecimiento, el negocio, la botica (shop)
  • continuar -prorrogar, prolongar, preservar, aguantar, proseguir (to continue)
  • buscar - indagar, rebuscar, escudriñar, revolver (to search)
  • contestar - objetar, contradecir, rebatir, refutar, rechazar, disputar, discutir, argüir (to reply, as in refute)
  • abandonar - marcharse, desaparecer, largarse, ausentarse (to abandon, as in “to leave a place”)
  • feliz - radiante, contento, risueño, campante (adj.) (happy)
  • triste - afligido, apenado, desconsolado, abatido, entristecido, apesumbrado, desolado, deshecho, desamparado, mustio, taciturno, tristón (adj.) - sad
  • antipático - desagradable, enojoso, aguafiestas, pesado (adj.) (obnoxious)
  • la ciudad - la urbe, la localidad, el municipio, la población
  •  (city)
  • el país - la nación, la patria, el pueblo, el estado (country)
  • la familia - la estirpe, el linaje (family)
  • los padres - los progenitores, los ascendientes, los antecesores (parents)
  • la casa - el domicilio, la vivienda, la residencia, la morada, el inmueble, la edificación (house)

brainwad  asked:

Your comment about Chicago decaying made me think of the Dresden Files, & how Harry remarks that Chicago is built on Chicago, bc the swampy ground means everything is slowly sinking. How true is this?

100% true. Chicago is built on a swamp, predominantly between a river and a lake. Supposedly “Chi ka gua” means “swamp of the stinking onions” in a local indigenous language (I thiiiiiink the Potawatomi but I could be mistaken, don’t quote me).  

Prior to the introduction of the grillage in Chicago architecture – again don’t quote me but I believe a Chicago architect invented the grillage to deal with Chicago’s unique challenges – high-rise (for the time) buildings would be constructed with a built-in “sink” measurement, usually between eight and eighteen inches. Ground-level doors were placed slightly above ground level with the expectation that over the course of a year or two, the building would sink as it settled into the swampy soil. If you go to the Rookery Building on a Wednesday and take the Chicago Architectural Society tour they will take you into the service corridors of the building, which is pre-grillage, and you can see the frankly fascinating ways in which the floor of the building warped as it settled. 

A grillage is a series of steel beams layered across one another horizontally, which works a little like a raft, allowing a building to “float” on Chicago’s swampy soil; most buildings from the last century, including the one I live in, have a grillage underneath them. Someday a big earthquake is going to hit and it’s going to look awesome from somewhere other than inside Chicago. 

Additionally, the “Streeterville” neighborhood is named for a pirate and all-round asshole named Streeter who basically salvaged and dumped any goddamn rubbish he could find around a sandbar in the lake until he had literally extended Chicago out into the lake in a large enough swath to create an entirely new neighborhood, which is now one of the most expensive areas to live in. That part of Chicago is very literally built on Chicago, as I believe one of the sources of his rubbish was haul-off from the Great Chicago Fire. 

And to conclude there are parts of Chicago, just south of Streeterville, where factories creating very toxic byproducts dumped industrial waste, so part of Chicago is literally radioactive and you can’t build there without extensive soil studies being done to make sure you won’t kick up the radioactive dust and poison everything in the immediate vicinity. 

Chicago’s municipal motto, by the way, is “Urbs in Horto” which translates as “The City in the Garden”.

A Light In The Trees - Ideas


Quite a few people have asked me about more of the story for my Phan Elf AU (click here to see all there is for it so far). Some have written out their own ideas, and quite a few have drawn fanart, which has been amazing!! I just thought I’d just down some more of my ideas:

Phil is a forest elf who lives in the North (Forest of Silva (latin for “forest”)). His role in his village is a herbalist (he originally wanted to work with animals, but could not handle seeing them in pain) and healer (both of body and mind - he’s a counselor). He also enjoys telling stories, but other people find them too weird to be relatable - also he often gets distracted when telling them and drifts off. 

He is traveling South, through the woods and moors, searching for the rare plant Sanitas Medela (it is the best plant for holistic health). He is easily distracted by the many plants he sees along the way. A squirrel chases him deep into the Darker Forest, in the South…. 

Keep reading


Dante: Divina Commedia, 1480-82 Manuscript (Urb. lat. 365), Biblioteca Apostolica, Vatican ~ The picture shows the frontispiece to Purgatory from Federigo Montefeltre’s personal hand-written and illuminated copy of Dante’s Divine Comedy. The manuscript was written by Matteo de’ Congugi of Volterra, it was left incomplete at the Duke’s death in 1482.