Q’eswachaka, also known as Keshwa Chaca, is one of the last
remaining examples of Incan handwoven bridges that were once common in the
Incan road system. Located in Peru, this bridge is made from woven grass and
hands 60 feet above the canyon below.
Before you do a jar spell, it’s a good idea to ask yourself where that jar will spend it’s life. Is it going to be buried immediately? Will it hang out in your closet for a few years? Will you keep it on your dresser to shake and re-energize every now and again?
Why is it important to think about? Eco-friendliness, my pals. Glass isn’t exactly what you’d call biodegradable. Many witches are replacing jars with more sustainable, eco-friendly options.
Is the spell going to be buried, left outside, tossed in a river, left at a crossroads, etc.? Leaves, flowers, coffee filters, anything made from wool or cotton, tea bags, peat pots, egg shells, natural clay, long grass woven into baskets, and so many more biodegradable options are available to replace the standard glass or plastic jar.
Can the spell eventually be disassembled? Cool, you have my permission to use glass or plastic, but consider using one from the thrift store or one you already have! Peanut butter jars, tomato sauce jars, etc. That way you’re not condemning another jar to its eventual landfill destination. When you’re done with it, take it apart and recycle the jar.
The spell can’t be disassembled? Go to Michael’s(or equivalent craft store) and go to the wood aisle. There, you will find small jewelry boxes made of either wood or cardboard. Many will have metal closures, and you can seal them with wax if you need to. They will biodegrade significantly faster than glass or plastic.
I know, glass jars are pretty, and contribute to the aesthetic of witchcraft. By all means, use glass jars to hold your herbs, to store your moon water, for anything that’s temporary. Because you can recycle those. But spells are a commitment, often we don’t want to take them apart once they’re put together. So it’s our job to consider how our practice effects our planet.
I’m approaching the end of WMF, when we first see Bast’s room. Apparently it’s full of “[…]pictures, trinkets and oddments. Locks of hair wrapped in ribbon. Whistles carved from wood. Dried flowers. Rings of horn and leather and woven grass.”
In Vintas, a ring of horn indicates powerful and lasting enmity. A ring of leather indicates service. And a ring of green grass indicates new love or courting.
The grass ring is fairly easy to explain - Bast is a bit of a player. And the leather ring probably represents his service to Kvothe/Kote, although he doesn’t wear it, which is interesting. But who is Bast’s powerful enemy?
The sea air filled your nostrils with its organic, refreshing scent as you sat, knees propped up and palms leaning back behind you into the wet sand. Beside you, this week’s pile of little trinkets sat in the sand. All in all, there was a small mirror from an old makeup palette, a tin foil origami crane, a couple of glass beads, and a cup of boardwalk fries to share. As you glanced around through the space between the tangled branches, you swept some of the damp earth off of the underside of your legs. It was lucky you’d found this little hiding spot to have your rendezvouses, it was remarkably secluded for being so close to the main beach and so easy to get to. It was around a bit of a bend, so people swimming wouldn’t be able to look straight in, and there were short, gnarled trees cutting it off from the people on the shore. You both had yet to be caught.
As a gentle splash heralded his arrival, a little smile graced your features and you curled your toes in happiness. You got to see Jae once a week, for only an hour or two at a time, and you savored every second of it.
“How’s it goin’?” His voice exuded a sense of casualness and ease, as if there was all the time in the world and nothing to spend it worrying about. It was easy to get wrapped up in.
“Pretty good! How’s the ocean?”
“Has anyone figured out where you’re spending your Sunday evenings yet?”
As he drew closer and closer to the shore, he transitioned from swimming to scooting backwards through the soaked sand until he was perched right next to you. After he settled with the end of his tail gently swishing back and forth in the water, he opened his hands, letting a few broken off pieces of coral, a couple small, long, glassy looking shells in a pale pink color, and a thin rope of weaved sea grass. In its fronds were trapped various kinds of small, colorful shells. It had almost a tribal sort of look, in the most beautiful way.
“Woah, what’s this?” He picked up the origami crane and began examining its folds closely with a fascinated expression. He always looked so excited to see reflective things like metal and mirrors. As he turned it around delicately between his long, slender fingers, you couldn’t help but lean back as your heart fluttered just a touch, and watch him with a sense of delight in having brought this kind of wonder to him.
“It’s a paper crane. Well, not really a paper one. It’s aluminum foil that’s been folded into a bird.”
“Did you do it?”
“Can you teach me?”
“Sure, I’ll bring some foil next week!”
While the two of you started to just talk, you began to roll the shells over in your fingers, admiring their smooth, slick texture. You couldn’t help but glance at the woven sea grass in his hand periodically. However, words were exchanged, conversation and laughs were had, and the hours stretched on with no other notice paid to it until the sun began to fall lower in the sky. This was when he usually left. Right on cue, the conversation lulled to a halt, and he moved a couple of feet down towards the water, and turned back to you.
You crinkled your eyebrows in confusion. “Why?”
“Just trust me.”
So, with a quizzical look, you did as he asked, swiveling around in the sand so that your back was towards him. After a moment you finally understood why as you watched the mysterious sea grass rope pass in front of your face to be draped around your neck. Unable to contain your smile at the sweet gesture, you reached up to roll one of the shells tangled in its strands between your index finger and thumb.
“Whatcha think?” He finished tying the not. You turned back to face him again while still admiring the exotic jewelry hanging in front of your chest.
“Did you make it-” You were cut off by a sudden, closed in sort of darkness. Once your vision adjusted, your heart skipped a beat at the realization that Jae had leaned in until your noses were just brushing, and you could feel his breath against your face. After a brief moment, he leaned forward just another inch, to give you a small, sweet kiss. And the next moment, he was grinning his boyish, unabashed grin.
“Yep, I did.” He answered your previous question as he turned to dive off into the water, leaving you frozen, touching your lips gently with your finger and wondering for a moment whether there was something about that that you could have possibly been mistaken about. There was not. And what’s more, your heart was beating much faster, and you couldn’t help but curl your toes up just a little from excitement. Oh boy, were you in trouble now.
August 19, 2017 - Yellow-crowned Bishop (Euplectes afer)
Found in a spotty range through parts of central and southern Africa, these weavers have also been introduced to parts of the United States, the Caribbean, Japan, and southern Europe. They eat mostly grass seeds and possibly some invertebrates, foraging on the ground or on plants, often joining mixed-species flocks. Males display by puffing their feathers while calling and sometimes flying to attract mates and defend territory. Each male breeds with several females, building spherical nests from woven grass, often over water, which females line with grass seed heads. Females incubate the eggs and feed the chicks alone.
Summary: He finally figured it out. The key to his unhappiness was in the beginning of their story and Luke wants nothing more than to finally have a chance at a happy ending with you. You have spent a century running from a truth you thought you knew. But when you finally decide you’ve had enough, will Luke be the savior you need to rescue you from yourself?
A/N: This is the second and final part of my Vampire!Luke series. Stay tuned for more halloween themed imagines coming soon! This imagine contains violence and gore, please read at your own discretion. I hope you enjoy and thank you for reading! -Bronte
Luke had been searching the entire world for you since that fateful night in Sydney. Finally, after a century of despising you, he had found a reason to love you again only to have you slip through his fingers once more. He had been to countless countries around the world, following lead after lead that never gave him any closure. You didn’t want to see him and so you made sure he would never find you, thus never staying in any city for too long. Although, his various leads had brought him to Argentina this time, and he was sure this would be the time he finally caught up to you. He had already found where you were living and had used his superhuman agility to break into your small cottage on the outskirts of the big city. Now, he lie in wait hoping that you would come back and he could explain everything. You had to know the truth. If he could just tell you what really happened then maybe you would be able to love him again and he would finally be with the girl he had spent more than one lifetime loving.
He was dangerously close, that much you knew. You didn’t know what game he was playing trying to catch up to you. He usually kept a safe distance, but over the past decade he seemed to be relentless in catching up to you. Perhaps it had something to do with the way he had looked at you back in Australia. His eyes had been full with something you had only ever seen from him back when you were both still human, a look you had since become unfamiliar with. His hand had still been wrapped around your throat, but his eyes said it all. Something had happened for him back there, and as much as you wanted to figure out exactly what had changed, you were too scared to face him now.
The moment you were in range of your small house, you sensed him. You could hear his footsteps pacing back and forth in your room, smell his musky scent even from here. Suddenly, the sound of his footsteps stopped and you heard him take a sharp intake of breath. He knew you were here. Before you could move, his broad form appeared in the window and his piercing blue eyes met yours and once again you saw that same look of adoration written clear as day all over his chiseled features.
“Y/N!” You heard him yell, snapping you out of your trance. Your entire body kicked into survival mode at the sound of his voice and as quickly as you had come, you were gone without a trace.
You didn’t know hot much longer you could keep up this game. It was mentally draining you and no amount of blood was making you feel any better. You couldn’t shake the look of sheer hope and determination in his eyes just now, and for the first time in a century, you felt the familiar prick of tears behind your eyes, falling down your face as you left the metropolis, and a broken hearted Luke, behind yet again.
Dublin, Ireland 1986
You sat alone in the dead of the night waiting for the pain to subside, your only shred of light produced by a small candle placed at your side. Once again, you had narrowly escaped Luke just barely avoiding him for the second time since your encounter in Sydney. Your head pounded at the lack of blood in your system. He had gotten to you just before you were about to feed, descending upon you like a ghost without any warning whatsoever just as you had caught your meal for the night. He knew you would be distracted during your hunt, focused solely on catching your prey, but he had also severely underestimated your will to evade him. You had barely made it out in time, your only option having been to leave your victim behind and use it as a distraction. Luke would never be able to resist fresh blood and your diversion had led him astray just enough for you to escape his grasp once more.
This is what you wanted, right? You wanted him to leave you alone and never to see him again. So why did it feel so wrong to leave him behind? You hated the conflicting emotions. Hated how you wanted two things that were mutually exclusive. You tried to picture the old Luke that you knew, with his floppy blonde hair and gangly appearance. Even back then he was radiant, and you remember being so excited when your engagement was announced. You had always pined for him with the way he would stare at you as you worked in the garden and how he never failed to tell you how beautiful you were even with the grime of a day’s work all over your face. You remembered the stolen kisses beneath a clear sky untouched by pollution and the midnight excursions alone together under the shadow of the trees. You remembered the fiery passion you shared on the birth of a new year, just you and he and nothing in between on a bed woven of grass and wool. And of course, the secret glances you kept hidden from the rest of the unsuspecting village, the way you looked at him through your eyelashes as he worked the land and he returned your coy glances with stolen kisses. He used to write you letters that he would nail to the tree you made love under for you to find when you ventured out alone. Those letters, written on any scrap of paper he could get his hands on, were the only keepsake you kept with you had as you traveled the world. It was a simpler time back then, a time when you knew nothing of the violence and bloodlust of that came with being what you were. You hated killing, but you hated the idea of dying even more so you persisted with the nonsensical violence despite the emotional setbacks that came with it.
And so now, alone and in agony you made the decision you never thought you would. It was time to turn off your humanity. Closing your eyes, you made the transition, burying your emotions deep inside you only to be revived by the strongest emotional trigger. Glancing down at your small knapsack, you pulled out the small stack of letters bound by a cord that had long since begun to fray. With a smirk, you toyed with ripped edges of the old paper, teasing the stack over the candle before it caught fire, the flames spreading and eating your once precious letter whole.
“Goodbye Luke Hemmings.” You whispered to no one but yourself as you left the ashes on the dirty floor of the cabin you had taken refuge in before disappearing into the darkness. The only evidence that anyone had been there at all was the small curl of smoke emanating from stationary, the small burning flame eating up the final words written in his beautiful penmanship. Forever you and I.
Hong Kong, China 1992
The crunch of bones under your foot sent a wave of pleasure through your body as you snapped the leg of your victim as he lay helpless of the muddy ground.
“Sorry, dear. Can’t have you getting away can we?” You laughed as the man tried to haphazardly crawl away from you. You had clearly broken not only his leg, but his ribs as well as blood began sputtering from his mouth, filling your nostrils with the heavenly scent.
“How can something so beautiful…be so deadly.” The man wheezed. It had been all too easy to lure him in, just like it had been with the rest. Even the strongest of men would fall to your beauty. Ever since turning off your humanity, you had not one care in the world. You thought not of old memories laced with sweetness nor could even fathom the idea of fear. The only thing on your mind now was when your next meal would be and you reveled in the power you held over the humans who were so much weaker than you.
“I don’t think you’ll ever find out.” You leaned over him and smiled before sinking your fangs into his neck, draining him completely within a minute and dumping his body on a smoldering pile of garbage. Dusting yourself off, you began to discreetly head back to civilization before you felt a pair of unnaturally strong arms wrap around your neck and pull you into a hardened chest. You kicked and thrashed about, hissing and baring your fangs, but your captor would not let you go.
“Easy darling, it’s only me.” The smooth Australian accent eased its way into your ear, fueling your rage as he tried to cut off your air supply. But your recent feeding made you strong, the fresh blood coursing through your veins giving you enough strength to flip him over your shoulder where he landed on the pavement, his head hitting the concrete with a loud crack.
You turned to run, but not before he was able to reach out and grab your ankle, sending you tumbling to the ground. Though out of the corner of your eye, you could just see a broken broom handle sticking out of a pile of rubbish giving you the opportunity for a perfect getaway plan.
But Luke wasn’t going to let you go without a fight. His hand still wrapped around your ankle, he began dragging you backwards. “Since when did you feed so carelessly? Makes you easier to find you know.” He grunted as he hauled you up and pressed you against the brick wall of the alley.
“Since I stopped caring who saw me.” You grinned wickedly, the kohl liner underneath your eyes giving you a deadly appearance. You answer shocked Luke, and you could tell by the horror written on his face.
“You…You turned you humanity off?” He stuttered, his heart breaking in the process at the thought of you without a single emotion.
“What use do I have for emotions? All they do is hold me back.” You hissed, struggling in his grip.
“No…No you can’t. Turn them back on.” He demanded, but you only gave out a cold chuckle.
“Why? So I can go back to feeling lonely and weak? No thank you.”
“You don’t have to be alone anymore.”
“Oh? And who’s going to keep me company? You? That sounds worse than bathing in vervain.” You snarled, sneaking a glance to your right, your eyes landing on the splintered broom handle.
“Please, Y/N you have to understand, this is different than what we thought it was all a misunderstanding. We don’t have to be alone anymore. After all this time you have to understand, I can’t keep chasing you…”He was so lost in his monologue that he didn’t even notice you reaching for the wooden handle until it was too late. With lightning fast movements, you snatched the handle and drove it deep into his abdomen, stopping him mid-sentence as he groaned and loosened his hold on you.
“It’s over for you Hemmings. If I ever see you again I won’t hesitate to stake you. And next time it’ll be in the heart.” You twisted the stake into his stomach, as if to prove you point before callously kissing him on the cheek and speeding off into the night.
Vancouver, Canada 1998
“You can’t run from me anymore!” His voice sounded from close behind. He was gaining on you and fast. Someone must have tipped him off about your whereabouts because there’s no way he should have been able to find you here. The cold November air whipped through your hair as you ran through the dense forest, your feet barely touching the ground as you bolted away from him. “Y/N please! Just listen to me!” He cried, the sound of his footsteps thundering closer and closer. He always was a faster runner than you.
Suddenly, his entire body crashed into yours, knocking you off your feet and sending you tumbling into the dirt. You tried to get up but he grabbed your leg and dragged you back before climbing on top of you, straddling your waist and pinning you to the ground.
“Now you have no choice but to hear me out.” He smirked down at you as you bared your fangs at him, trying to appear threatening even from your feeble position underneath him.
“Thirty years I’ve spent trying to catch you and you can’t even muster a simple hello?”
“Hello Luke.” You sneered. Clearly he had forgotten about your previous threat. Either that or he had a death wish.
“There’s a good girl.” He teased as your wriggled in his strong grip.
“Have you forgotten what I said about you coming after me Lucas?” You mused.
“Of course not darling, but you know I always love a challenge. Catching up to you and forcing you to turn your humanity back on when you refuse to see me? My biggest challenge yet.”
“You know why I don’t want to see you.” You growled.
“Yes, and I know why you think you hate me.”
“I don’t think I hate you, I do.” You showed him your fangs again, ready to fight to the death at any given notice. “I told you if I saw you again I would kill you and I won’t hesitate. You know I won’t.” You seethed, searching for anything you could use to kill him at this point. But his next words, something you never thought you would hear from him again, surprised you immensely.
“Go ahead darling, rip my heart out. I’d still love you all the same.” He whispered, and you paused your thrashing, eyes wide at his declaration. “I never left you, I was taken. The vampire who turned me killed my whole family and forced me to go with her the night before I was going to ask you to elope with me. She turned me into this monster and she took me away from you. I wanted to come back for you, but I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to control my bloodlust. I didn’t want to hurt you. I could never live with myself if I did. By the time I regained my self control and finally came back for you, you were gone. I left flowers at your grave. I thought you were dead.” He rambled, and you thought you almost saw the glisten of a tear begin to form behind his eyes. “But then I saw you again in Budapest and I thought that maybe I would finally have a chance at happiness after all the agony I had been through. But then you tried to kill me and I didn’t know why. I wanted so bad for you to be the same girl I fell in love with back in the village. But I guess we both went through some things that changed us, didn’t we.” He sighed, leaning his head down so that his lips were brushing your neck. “All I’ve ever wanted is to be with you. That’s all I ever wanted. You’re it for me darling. I love you.”
Luke was exhausted. He was tired of chasing you, tired of hating you and most of all, tired of not being able to call you his.
You shouldn’t have cared about his words. Shouldn’t have cared that the only boy you had ever been in love with was professing his undying love for you. It shouldn’t have mattered that his lips were inches from yours and that he smelled exactly how you remembered and that his eyes bore into yours with such intensity that you could feel it in your very soul. You could feel it. You could feel.
All of the emotions you had hidden away inside your blackened heart came rushing in all at once, covering you like a tremendous wave. The echo of his voice telling you how much he loved you covering you like a blanket of warmth, soothing the horrible feelings that came with the territory of being a vampire. Memories of his boyish grin and calloused hands smoothing your skin came flooding back to you in a flurry of raw feeling.
“Luke.” Your voice was small and timid as his name left your lips. You took a deep breath, embracing the familiar feeling of affection. His body was off of yours in a flash, dragging you along with him and pressing your back up against a tree, his leather jacket soft against your bare arms.
“You’re back.” He smiled and you could feel the beginnings of a blush form on your tinted cheeks as his long fingers traced your jawline.
“All this time. You were searching for me just to tell me you loved me.” You swallowed a lump in your throat as the realization of all the time you wasted hit you like a brick wall. “I wasted so much time.” You wailed, but Luke only wrapped his arms around you and pulled you close, kissing the top of your head. It had been almost two centuries since he had felt you in his arms like this but it seemed like only yesterday as he kissed the top of your head that was so familiar to him.
“Don’t worry about it darling. We have forever to spend making up for it.”
New York, 2015
The morning sun streamed through the window of your penthouse apartment, reflecting off of your daylight ring and giving it a glorious sparkle. You got up slowly, trying your best not to arouse the blonde vampire silently sleeping beside you. Wiggling out of arms that were carefully wrapped around your waist, you padded over to the refrigerator taking out a pre-packaged blood bag that you and Luke had discreetly taken from the local hospital, and squeezing it into two crystal glasses. You had both long since given up feeding on humans, opting to steal extra bags of donated blood instead. Over the years with him by your side, you had come to terms with what you were and now you couldn’t be happier.
Returning to your shared bedroom, you sipped on your drink and stared out the large, bay window that overlooked the entire city of New York. Luke’s old band tee shirt fitting you like a dress over your cotton underwear that you often used as pajamas. It had been seventeen years since you and Luke had settled your problems and finally gotten together and you had never been happier in your hundreds of years of life.
“Starting breakfast without me baby?” Luke’s sultry voice rasped in your ear, the scruff on his jaw tickling your ear as he came up behind your and wrapped his arms securely around your middle.
“Well if you’re going to sleep all morning you give me no choice.” You teased, nestling yourself back into his embrace.
Luke took his glass from your hand, downing it in one gulp before gripping your shoulders and turning you around, the coolness of the daylight ring adorning his pinky finger evident on your skin.
“I still can’t believe you pierced your lip.” You giggled, fiddling with the small, black ring that sat atop his smooth, pink lips.
“I had to get with the times darling. We’re not as young and hip and we used to be so at least one of us has to blend in.” He chuckled and you rolled your eyes, before pecking his nose.
“You were never hip Lucas. And besides, I don’t look a day over twenty years old and I’m going on two hundred and thirty this year. I’m vintage chic.” You laughed, sending him a flirtatious wink and this time it was his turn to roll his eyes before he gripped your hips and pulled you in, colliding his lips with yours and sighing into you.
Today I thought I would go over the various races and peoples of the Monster Hunter world, as they can be easily glossed over or even missed entirely in the games, and they are pretty important to understanding the lore of MH.
There are four major groups of intelligent races in the Monster Hunter world: the wyverians, the troverians, the humans, and the lynians.
Lynians are small, bipedal creatures with tribal, rather low-tech societies. The lynians are comprised of three separate species:
Felynes are the most well-known of the lynians. They are small cat-like people, typically beige in color with brown markings, although a rainbow of colors and a variety of markings are possible. In the wild, they live in small villages with their close cousins the melynx. They do not appear to have written language, but they do pass down tales and stories orally, and they do paint pictograms and symbols onto rocks and other surfaces to mark and decorate their homes. They’ve also been known to construct crude statues in cat-like shapes by piling up rocks and boulders and painting them. Sometimes altars can be found in their villages in front of one of these statues, with offerings of fish and other goods piled around them, but aside from this, little is known about their superstitions or religious practices. A felyne altar found in MH4U.
Their villages can be found literally everywhere, from frozen tundras to volcanic caves, as the felynes themselves are extremely hardy and resourceful. They tend to burrow into the sides of cliffs to make their dens, although they are capable of constructing buildings with wood, thatch, clay, and other found materials.
A felyne and melynx village in the Dede Desert, displaying typical rock face construction, as well as cat-face pictogram paintings.
Of the lynians, they are the most integrated into human and wyverian society. They are typically considered the lowest caste in society, and are sometimes denigrated for their mannerisms, like meowing when talking (yes, unfortunately racism, classism, and other forms of bigotry are alive and well in the Monster Hunter world.) They usually take on service or labor jobs such as cooking and cleaning, selling items, or working as farm hands or blacksmith’s assistants. Of course, the most dangerous and most glorified profession for them is that of Palico, being hunting companions for human and wyverian monster hunters.
Melynx are the close cousins of felynes, and are noted for their black and white fur with black and pink markings, although other shades exist among melynx palicoes. They wear handkerchiefs and pouches made of woven green grasses, and carry their cat paw staves. Melynx are known for their thievery, as hunters are well aware of their tendency to attack and steal items without provocation while out in the field. Because of this, they’re often labeled kleptomaniacs, and are far less tolerated in human and wyverian society than felynes are.
It is my theory, however, that the label of “kleptomaniac” is misplaced. Kleptomania is a compulsive disorder, marked by an overwhelming urge to steal just for the sake of it. While it is known that they are aggressive thieves out in the field, even to the point of stealing from other melynx, they do not attempt to steal or attack hunters if the hunter is visiting their villages, and they apparently do not attempt to steal from members of their own village (else the felynes would likely not tolerate them either). Thus, I believe that the melynx one encounters out in the field are actually members of raiding parties, and that this is how the felyne and melynx villages are able to survive in such varied and extreme locations: by raiding other felyne/melynx villages, raiding human/wyverian villages, and attacking hunters for supplies and to obtain offerings for their altars. (Note that in the villages that do have statues and altars, those statues and altars are almost always the drop spots where you can go to try to reclaim your stolen items if a melynx makes off with them.) So, rather than being compulsive thieves who steal just for the sake of it, I believe melynx are actually very purposeful in their stealing.
Felynes and melynx both share of a love of a plant called “felvine”, inspired by the real world silvervine, a plant of Asian origin with strong catnip-like properties. Hunters can exploit this, either by carrying felvine on them to entice melynx to steal it rather than more valuable items, or by using it to craft felvine bombs. When used on a monster (or another hunter, hehehe), a felvine bomb draws all nearby felynes and melynx with it’s enticing scent, and they will attack the target in a frenzy. If the bomb goes off on a felyne or melynx, they will become extremely intoxicated, to hilarious effect.
A kind hunter gives her palico an entire felvine plant, how generous!
Shakalakas are the last group of lynians, and are more distantly related to felynes and melynx. They are small, green-skinned, goblin-like creatures, known for always wearing masks and for their dancing. Cha-cha and Kayamba of MH3 and MH3U are the only shakalakas known to have willingly interacted with human society, otherwise shakalakas tend to keep to themselves. They are extremely aggressive, attacking hunters who wander too close, often by popping out of holes in the ground to ambush them. They live in very primitive tribal societies, with little to no known architecture, or writing, (and no art aside from their masks.) Each tribe is headed by a larger King Shakalaka, who often wears a flaming barbecue spit for a crown and attacks by hurling fireballs and swinging wildly with his club (which is usually a haunch of meat). Young shakalaka often change their masks, but upon entry to adulthood, go off on a quest to find the one mask that they will wear as an adult.
Shakalakas are never seen without their masks on, and are very adept at changing masks extremely quickly so as to not allow their faces to be seen.
Cha-cha celebrates with a dance at the end of MH3
Humans are the second-most technologically advanced race in the Monster Hunter world, and are rather self-explanatory. They come in a variety of shapes, colors, and sizes, and are the most populous race in the MH world (well, more populous than wyverians, at any rate, it’s unknown how they compare to lynians.) They tend to be considered roughly in the middle of the social ladder, with lynians on the bottom and wyverians on the top. Most monster hunters, and all player characters in the games, are human. Although quite capable of technological innovation in their own right, a lot of human technology is borrowed from wyverians.
Troverians, (土竜族, literally “Earth Dragon Tribe”) are the latest addition to the races of MH, having only been just introduced in MH4 and MH4U. As such, there is extremely little information on them. They’re pretty much the dwarves of the MH world. Given their Japanese name, it’s likely that they are related to wyverians, but exactly how is not known. Their only known village is Harth, from MH4/MH4U. They are a short and stocky race of extremely industrious blacksmiths, miners, and builders. Although quite adept in their own right, they revere wyverian blacksmiths for their skill, and claim to have learned blacksmithing from wyverians in the distant past.
The wyverian village of Cathar
Wyverians (竜人族, literally “Dragon People Tribe”) are probably my favorite race in MH (although the cats are hard to resist, not gonna lie.) If troverians are the dwarves of MH, then wyverians are the elves. They have long pointed ears, 4 digits on their hands and feet, and have extremely long life-spans, possibly to the point of immortality, although that is not confirmed. (The only confirmed age for a wyverian that we have is Treshi, from MHF2 and MHFU, who is 350 years old and still kicking.) All of this stems from the fact that they are evolved from wyverns, despite their rather human-ish appearance. Some of them are depicted as still having scales on their hands and feet, and as having sharp, black, claw-like nails. Although most have light skin, wyverians with darker skin do exist.
They are the most technologically advanced race in MH, as most tech in the world was either invented or at least improved upon by them. Their style of blacksmithing is so complex it is usually assumed to be impossible for other races to master it, thus the majority of blacksmiths in the world are wyverian. They are usually at the top of the social ladder, often having high-ranking positions, especially in the Guild, but can also be found as merchants and occasionally even monster hunters.
Wyverians are extremely variable in their appearance, even having some rather extreme differences in their anatomy. Young wyverians tend to be roughly human-sized, while old wyverians tend to be very short, almost felyne-sized. And then there’s “His Immenseness”, Dondruma’s Great Elder, who is absolutely gigantic.
An elderly wyverian scholar, a human hunter, and the Great Elder side-by-side for size comparison.
Their size differences are never really explained. The giant wyverians are said to only come about once every 1,000 years, although why and how are unknown. It seems likely that wyverians grow relatively normally (albeit much more slowly than humans) up until adulthood, and then begin to grow shorter past “middle age”. Maximeld of Cathar points to the possibility of their slow growth, as he seems to have a relatively mature mind and enough experience in his profession to give any adult human a run for his money, but a very childlike body. Likewise, the Jumbo Chief, who is described as “middle-aged” is a bit shorter than his younger brother, the Grand Guru of Cathar.
All of them have long pointed ears, although some have ears sturdy enough to point outward or backward, while others, like the Great Elder above, lack the strong cartilage required for that, and simply have floppy ears. Earrings are a common decoration, among both male and female wyverians, and tend to be more common in the ones with floppy ears (which leads me to wonder if their ears became floppy because of the weight of their earrings.)
Most wyverians, particularly the smaller wyverians, but also the Great Elder and the Jumbo Chief, have digitigrade legs (again harking back to their wyvern ancestry.) However, some wyverians, like The Man and the Cathar village children, are depicted as plantigrade instead. “Digitigrade” means a creature that walks on it’s digits, or toes, like a dog or a cat (or a wyvern). “Plantigrade” means a creature that walks on the soles of it’s feet, like humans, apes, or bears. This is really not a minor difference, and how a species with such extreme variance in anatomy came about isn’t really explained (aside from, ya know, saying “lol Capcom just wanted to use motion capture without having to redo the legs”, which is the likely explanation. :P)
Digitigrade vs plantigrade legs in wyverians
Wyverian language (which is a gibberish language invented by Capcom, and, despite having some consistency as far as sound goes, cannot actually be translated, unfortunately,) can be heard in all the songs in the MH games that contain words, including Moonquake, Eternal Words, all the songs sung by the Diva/Songstress in Dondruma, and White Fatalis’s battle theme. Despite claims on the internet, none of these songs are written in any actual real-world language that can be translated. (Although it would very cool if they actually formalized Wyverian, like Star Trek’s Klingon or Tolkien’s Elvish languages.)
Ikuko Noguchi, both the voice of and inspiration for the Diva, singing “The Departed Ones”
And that’s it for now! If there’s a particular topic you’d like to see in a future post, feel free to drop me a note. Thanks for reading, and may your hunts always be multicultural!
There was nothing. Not a glimmer of existence, not a breeze in the trees, not even a blink of another human or world behind the far sight of the fence way in the distance. Clarke had never felt so alone before in her life, alone in the sense that perhaps no one else could know that this place existed and it was simply her’s and her’s alone.
Flat as far as she looked in one direction, mountains surrounded her, tall and sparse and lazy. The colors all bled together, with the sky deep and getting dark, that rich kind of blue that would have burdened the ocean with itself, and the rocks of the mountains deep, healthy browns that almost smelled like pure earth and dirt, the grasses a woven tapestry of every shade of green and pale yellows. From the door of the stable, Clarke was lost in it.
He hums quietly as she prances around him, chasing a bug here, a falling leaf there, giggling happily through the field, her laughter as sweet as the perfumed scent of spring that lingers in the air all the time now. In his fingers there’s a little fairy crown, woven from the tall grass and the brightly colored flowers.They have blossomed overnight, lovely in their many hues, though not half as beautiful as she is. “Anniba.” She comes hurtling forward as he adds another color, deep blue like her eyes, a flush of pink for her cheeks. “Anniba.” Her small hands are on him now and he turns his face towards her as she crows in delight, fat fingers wrapping around his cheeks and she leans forward to press a kiss to his cheek. He laughs at her and twines yellow in, golden petals to adorn her. She watches transfixed for a moment, his fingers hypnotizing her with their work, the little craft transforming into something more, something greater. Art, he thinks proudly to himself, he’s made it beautiful and it will make her beautiful. It will only linger for a fleeting moment, this loveliness, he knows, before the blooms wither away, death robbing them of color, but he will make her another and another until there are no flowers left in the meadow. “Mine.” She says impatiently after a few moments more, her childish eyes on the crown, a glow of wonder to them, and with a smile he acquiesces, places it onto her head, her hands reaching up to touch it. “Yours.” He agrees. She’s frozen with the magic of it for a heartbeat, then with a laugh is off again, whirling like a forest sprite from his books. He watches, content.
As inspired by this picture from the absolutely wonderful @meldy-arts, it’s another Sabezra story from me. Sorry to my followers who may dislike this paring.
To Ezra Bridger, the common room was home.
Perhaps it was an odd statement, since home could take on
many meanings. Home might be the
long-destroyed house of his childhood, the dust-stormed streets of Capital City
or the abandoned coms tower of his late childhood. Home could be The Ghost, where he learnt how to be kind again or perhaps Atollon,
where he discovered so much about himself – both bad and good. The
Starbird was home, his and Sabine’s, these days – their own ship, though
they still used Spector 5 and Spector 6 as code names often.
But The Starbird’s
common room was home, more so than anywhere else.
She testified at his trial. He didn’t even remember the girl but she sat there in the fucking witness stand and said no, she didn’t think he’d like Azkaban and actually wouldn’t it be better if he helped rebuild war damage. She quoted studies and Muggles and they listened and nodded and it was weird.
He’d thought he was a goner, for sure, and yeah he hadn’t had much choice but it wasn’t like they’d have killed him if he’d got a different job… He’d liked hunting people down, tracking people - sometimes animals for the right price. He’d been a mercenary bounty hunter before the War, and one employer was much like another.
Or so he’d thought.
And he couldn’t even fucking remember taking this one. Lovegood. There had been so many, how was he supposed to know who she was?
But she had blue eyes like fucking summer skies and a soft voice that had steel under the velvet and he watched them, a bunch of idiot old-man wizards with beards like lichen, who’d done worse things than he ever had, watched them dismiss her, deceived by her name and her blonde hair. Until they couldn’t and she’d won. Her and the Granger girl - terrifying together.
It takes a weaver three days to craft a medium sized basket which is hand woven from tall elephant grass (Pennisetum Purpureum) using techniques passed from one generation to the next. Traditionally baskets are made by women farmers who double as weavers to supplement their income during the dry season. Ghana baskets are from Bolgatanga, locally known as Bolga - in northern Ghana. Photo: Ogomeh
December 2, 2016 - Vesper Sparrow (Pooecetes gramineus)
Requested by: rainhawk
These sparrows are found across North America, wintering in Mexico and the southern United States and breeding in Canada and the northern United States. They feed primarily on grains and the seeds of grasses and weeds, along with insects during the breeding season. Their large range is due to their adaptability and they are often among the first birds to return to abandoned mining areas and farms. Analyses of their songs suggest that young sparrows learn to sing from older birds, as the songs of neighboring sparrows are more similar than those living far away. Their nests are shallow cups built from woven grasses on the ground. Females incubate the eggs and both parents care for the chicks.
Found in western North America, these aquatic songbirds dive under the water to feed on aquatic insects and larvae, even moving rocks to find food. They also eat dragonflies, worms, small fish, fish eggs, and flying insects. Pairs build nests on cliffs, behind waterfalls, or on boulders, banks, and bridges near the water. They build an outer shell of moss around a woven cup of grasses, leaves, and bark, often dipping the materials into water first. Their low metabolic rate, ability to carry extra oxygen in their blood, and thick feathers help them withstand the cold water during the winter.
Here’s a little snippet from a new fic I’m writing - please give me feedback. What’s working for you, what isn’t, etc. I should have the first chapter ready to post by the end of April!
The banished prince huffed and watched his icy breath linger in front of his face as their ship chugged closer to the Southern Water Tribe village. If you could even call this ramshackle collection of ice huts and skin-covered tents a village, Zuko thought to himself. He ducked his face inside of his breastplate when a blast of wind whipped around and crossed his arms, trying not to shiver. His armor offered little more than a windbreak, even with a heavy coat layered underneath.
May 26, 2016 - Grey-chinned Minivet, Mountain Minivet, Yellow-throated Minivet, or Grey-throated Minivet (Pericrocotus solaris)
These small birds in the cuckoo-shrike family are found in evergreen and deciduous forests of China, Southeast Asia, and the Himalayas. They eat insects gathered from the forest canopy, making short flights to catch their prey in the air and often joining mixed-species flocks. Pairs build their small cup nests together out of twigs, roots, and grass, woven together with spiderwebs. Both parents feed the chicks. Females and males look similar, apart from color. While females have bright yellow undersides and wing patches, the males’ are red.