you need to work first

3

GO EKUBO!!!

2

oh I´m in pieces, it´s tearing me up.

3

Raise your hopeful voice, you had the choice - you’ve made it now.

Energy Tethers 101

Updated (again): 04.28.17

*this post is fueled by angst*

Okay, no, seriously though, it really does make me sad that so many people seemed to have no idea what I was talking about when it comes to connecting things for energy transfer.


So, what even is an energy tether?

I personally use the term “energy tether” to describe this type of energy work, but they could be called anything - energy cords, energy feeds, etc. Basically, it’s a metaphysical connection to allow a direct and continuous flow of energy from a source into a target. And I say target, because it doesn’t need to be an inanimate object - it’s possible to do this with yourself too.

That sounds a little convoluted, Richtor; can you break it down a bit more?

Yes, I know, I’m fancy with my words. You’re creating an energetic line between two things, one thing to be used as a battery, to allow energy to constantly flow from the battery into the second thing, keeping it charged / powered forever.

Are you serious?

Yes.

Why don’t we do this for everything in magic?

Honestly, I don’t know. If you’ve got an understanding of energy work and visualization, it really isn’t even that hard to create one. It can even be done with representational magic if you really wanna go that far, but it’s not that complex when you get down to it. 

I’m assuming it’s just a case of, people don’t think about it like that, or, it wasn’t as widespread a thing as I thought it was.

Can’t we just do this with passive charging, like how we charge things in moonlight?

Yes, but objects only hold a limited amount of energy before they become full; once you’ve used up the energy, you need to recharge it again. Creating an energy tether allows a constant flow of energy, so as it is being used up by your intent or goal, it just refills itself.

To me, passive charging is no guarantee that the energy will stick or be absorbed by the object, and that is also why I prefer things that require focusing on the energy yourself (direct channeling), or this method.

What *can* you use energy tethers for, anyway?

Basically anything you want to keep charged for extended periods of time. Optimal for sigils, any sort of charms - hell, you can even connect thoughtforms / servitors this way. But, seriously, anything you want to keep constantly charged with minimal effort, this is a way to do it.

What can you use for “batteries” or power sources?

Anything that produces an almost endless amount of energy. The sun is the first and most obvious one I think of. You can use anything else that produces a lot of energy, though. If you live near a dam, or those electricity windmills, those would work. Power lines and electric generators are awesome, and a great way to incorporate different feels of energy (and tech magic) into your practice. Space, even; like, the entire damn thing. If it produces energy, it can be tethered.

What do you mean about different feels of energy?

This isn’t specific to tethers - all things that have and produce energy have different “feels” to them. The sun is more hot and energetic than the moon, which is cool and calming. Rose quartz is a bit more gentle than, say, jasper, which is hot and fire-y. Tiger’s eye is more solid and stable than clear quartz, which is fluid and mold-able to almost any intent. 

We all experience feels of energy differently, however; these are just how I “energetically feel” those things.

(You also don’t need to “feel” anything to still do energy work, but that’s like a  whole ‘nother post.)

Can you tether to something that doesn’t have unlimited energy?

Sure, yeah, but you’ll drain it, and then it won’t be fulfilling its purpose anymore.

So, you could use yourself as a power source?

You could, but it’s super draining and I wouldn’t recommend it. That object would constantly be taking your energy away from you, and it could have bad consequences, including physical ones - physical exhaustion is a side effect that can occur when you use too much of your energy, and I see it happen often to people who are not careful about their energy expenditure.

However.

You can create switches for your tethers. As in, you can cinch them, close them off, to stop the flow of energy. Like you can turn on a pipe to get water flowing, then shut it off just as easily - you could create a “modification” for a tether similar in that manner.

Can these energy lines be broken?

Yep, absolutely. You can do it yourself if you no longer want them, someone else could do it if they could sense them, or they can naturally fade over time if you don’t give them proper upkeep and care.

Wait, upkeep? What happened to endless energy?

Yes, upkeep. You’re creating something to funnel energy, with energy. Energy needs to constantly be molded and kept in shape, or else it tends to just drift away. It really isn’t that hard to upkeep, though.

How do you keep your energy tethers safe from other people? 

Just program that into them when you make them.

Any disadvantages to using an energy tether?

It depends on how you view the term disadvantage. 

I think the thing that energy tethers lack is that bit of personalization that we often talk about being important in witchcraft. For example, you can keep a thoughtform powered by the sun, but it won’t contain your energy, won’t be as personally tied to you as if you charged it with your own energies. That can lose a lot of impact, when you really think about it, especially considering the nature of thoughtforms and the like.

Not to mention, you can overwhelm yourself with energy if you use a tether to connect yourself to an external source that produces more than your body can handle. You know how you can be overwhelmed by external energies, just by walking around? Yeah, now imagine that pumping straight into your body without a natural exit channel. Not fun.

Are there any other applications for energy tethers?

Fuck yeah. Use them to draw energy out of a target, in the form of a curse - literally sap their energies away so they have none left for their daily lives.

You can even connect yourself and another person with energy tethers, if you want to be able to share energy more freely and with more ease. (This is basically what I did with @ashesforeverashes​, in a sense.) 

Some people don’t like their energies taken without consent, though, and certain witchy protections can even prevent these sorts of tethers from forming in the first place, so keep that in mind.

Okay, all this talk about tethers, are you gonna show us how to make them?

Only if you ask nicely.

Please?

Okay that’s better. 

It is essentially just a combination of energy work, intent, and visualization.

The first thing you need to do, is have an object you want charged.

Now, pick an energy source. You don’t need to be able to see it, but it can help.

Relax yourself, clear your mind if you can. Hold onto your object in your hands. 

If you can, look at your energy source; this is clearly not applicable with the sun, so close your eyes and have your face turned toward it. If you can’t see your energy source, picture it in your mind as clearly as you can. Try to get a feel for its energy as well as you can, too. 

Once you are confident with your source, imagine a cord connecting from it and to your object you want to keep charged. A nice visualization for this would be seeing the particles form together out of thin air to form your tether - literally materializing out of nothing and attaching to the source, creating a line that is slowly building down from the source and to your object. This can be done in whatever way you wish - just make it.

Take as long as you need to allow the cord to be build from your energy source to the target - it can take some time, depending on the distance and how experienced you are with energy work.

While you are creating it, focus on any attributes you want it to have - a thick cord that is hard to break, a shimmery appearance so no other magic users can see it, etc. Keep in mind the purpose of the cord, what you want it to do, how you want it to behave, and fuse that into it as it is being formed. If you wish to incorporate a switch, in order to turn on and off the flow of energy, now would be the time to do so - more visualization and intent, and declarations of “I can halt this flow of energy whenever I desire” should do the trick.

Once the cord is in place, you want to draw energy from your source and into the object, through the tether. Make it clear that energy only flows one way through this particular tether. Continue to draw from the energy source and down into the target, until you begin to feel the energy flowing through the tether naturally. Once energy is accumulating into the object on its own, you know the tether is complete.

For the upkeep; about once a week or so, focus on the tether and visualize it still being strong, without any gaps for energy to sift through. See a smooth, clean flow of energy from your energy source and into the target. If there are any obstructions, break them down and funnel them out.

What was this “representational magic” method you mentioned?

Oh yeah. 

As a boost, you can have a representation of your energy source physically attached to the object or target, if you can. So, for example, you could have a tiny model of the sun, connected to the physical vessel for a thoughtform, by a piece of string. This can help keep the energy tether strengthened in a “physical” aspect, especially if you bind the physical to the energetic. Not to mention, just looking at it, you are reaffirmed that the tether is there and the object is charged, and that can assist with the upkeep.

Are there any “modifications” for energy tethers?

Totally. You can change the “material” you make the tether out of. Think of how people can put spikes onto personal shields, or make them have reflective surfaces - it’s sort of like that, but moreso changing the tether itself into something besides a beam of light. It can be a black cord like the ones electronics use; it can be made out of natural rope or hemp; it can be just a metal pipe that the energy slides through. Try to think about how each “material” might impact the flow and/or feel of energy.

You can also have one tether break off and charge many items at once - you don’t need a separate tether for each thing. Just focus on your tether and how it can fork, and imagine another branch coming from it naturally. Or, if you’re adding a separate line after the original tether has been “installed,” imagine a separate line growing or being molded from the first and down to the new object.


And there you have it - my post on energy tethers. Obviously this isn’t complete or all encompassing. This is just my view on these energetic cords, what they are, and how they can be made and used. I wrote this off the seat of my pants, but I think I covered everything I intended to. (And it feels hardcore like the old windvexer posts to me, which I’m not bothered by lol.)

I hope this helps you guys, or inspires you, or whatever. If you have any more questions, I… guess I can open my ask box, as long as y’all behave. Good luck, and have fun!

Overrated First Year Advice

Disclaimer: I don’t mean to discredit the posts that have these suggestions in them… However, I know that for people going into first year university, it can be stressful seeing pages and pages of “must-dos” and feeling like you have to do them all. As always, different things work for different people! 

Talking to Profs 

  1. Getting to know profs personally. If you don’t feel comfortable talking to profs personally, don’t feel like you have to. In upper years, it can be really valuable to know profs for recommendations, etc. but in first year this is less important. Profs also don’t usually mark your work in first year, so you don’t need to suck up to them for good grades. 
  2. Going to office hours every week. Going to office hours can be very valuable if you have questions about the course or an assignments. However, I see a lot of posts telling students to go every week even if they don’t have a question. You don’t need to do this unless you want to! Often times, profs will even request that you talk to your TA before them.
  3. Emailing the prof if you miss class. Unless you go to a very small school, the prof is not going to notice if you miss class. You don’t need to email them telling them why you were absent, you can just go to a different section of the lecture or get the notes from someone. (If you have labs/tutorials/seminars, the same does not apply!! Email your TA.) 

Studying and Grades

  1. Starting to study for tests six weeks in advance. This is one piece of advice that always baffles me. The semester is only 12 weeks long (usually), so if you have a quiz in week 6, you can’t start studying for it much before week 4 or 5. Also, there is no way you will retain the finer details of things if you learned them 6 weeks before writing the test. 
  2. Guaranteeing a 4.0. I see a ton of posts telling students how to guarantee a 4.0 average or straight As. But honestly, as much as you do all of the readings and go to lectures and follow all of the studyblr advice out there, you can still get a TA who won’t give any mark higher than an 80. Just try your best and know that even though getting high marks is great, it is not the only indicator of success in uni. 
  3. Sitting in the front of the class. This is not a necessity. A lot of people post that if the prof can see your face and remember you, you will get better grades. However, in first year, the prof doesn’t mark your papers usually and even if they did, your paper doesn’t have a photo of you on it. Also, they teach so many classes I doubt they just naturally remember the first three rows of each one and no one else. Just sit where you are comfortable and can pay attention and see, and you will do fine. 
  4. Choosing your major in high school or based on what job you think you will get. If you think you want to major in something and then it turns out you hate it, that is fine! Your major should be a subject you are passionate about and can get good grades in, not something that you chose in high school or will “guarantee” you a good job (although, its also okay if your major is all of the above). 
  5. Taking full notes on a topic before the lecture. If you are going to the lecture with a ton of info already, it is easier to get distracted or to feel like you don’t need the lectures at all. Instead, take notes in the lecture and then supplement them with notes from readings or bonus material rather than the opposite way. 

Textbooks

  1. Buying textbooks online. I definitely think that buying textbooks online can be a good idea, but sometimes it is just easier to buy them from the bookstore. For example, if you are not sure if a site is legit/the book will come in time/its the right edition, etc. it might just be safer to get it in person or buy it used on campus from an upper year. (Remember, you can probably sell it next year!) 
  2. Buying old editions of textbooks. If you have the two books side by side and can tell that they are very similar, go for it. But often times, two different editions are totally different and can just mess you up. Science and math books often have different practice questions, and even in social sciences and humanities, the content can change drastically in one edition. 

Lifestyle/Personal

  1. Buying extra storage and furnishing for your dorm. Make sure you do a virtual room tour or talk to someone about the layout before you buy a ton of storage. Most dorm rooms that I have been in have a ton of storage (mine has a closet, a huge desk, shelves to the ceiling, a dresser, and cabinets for extra storage). You don’t want to show up with way too much stuff. 
  2. Keeping 1000 things in your backpack. If you live on campus, you don’t actually need to carry every single thing on earth in your bag. It will get annoying carrying around a heavy backpack while walking. Unless you are going to the library for a huge study sesh or can’t make it back to your room all day, pack lightly! 
  3. Avoiding wearing “freshman clothes”. No one cares what you are wearing. People often wear pajamas or just track pants and a baggy t-shirt to class or the caf. If you like dressing up, that’s great! But don’t feel like certain clothes are off limits. 
  4. Living at home meaning you aren’t independent. Posts that look down upon living at home or going to your home university are garbage posts in my opinion. Being able to live away from home is a privilege, and many people are not financially, physically, or emotionally able to do that. If you are living at home, do not feel bad about it. You are still an adult and you are still independent. 

Hope this helps reduce some rising freshman anxiety! And remember, if you do want to follow any of the original tips, that is okay too. :) 

A Killer First Chapter

Anonymous asked:

Do you have any advise on how to open a story? I have all my characters and my plot and my conflict and everything but I don’t know how to start. How to keep a reader hooked and interested enough to keep going.

This is a little ironic, because I’m about to rewrite my opening three chapters for The Warlord’s Contact from scratch for about the tenth time. But practice does make perfect, and boy have I learned a lot through this process.

Sometimes you look at a story and you just know how it needs to open. It’s the most obvious choice in the world, and it’s clear why no other option would work.

Unfortunately, that’s not often the case. Usually, the beginning to your book will take preplanning and rewriting and replanning and bit more rewriting, and all the while you’ll never quite be sure you chose the best spot to open to, or the right characters to introduce, or the proper setting. 

Here are a few specific methods of thought for tackling your first chapter…

Keep reading

the heart is a treacherous beast, but it means well.
[ the short film ] [ @inaheartbeat-film​ ]

photo [ @jxmind ]

💖 It my birthday :D happy me day! 💖

Carousel | 07

Playlist | 01 | 02 | 03 | 04 | 05 | 06 | 07 | 08 | 09

➤ Character: Min Yoongi x reader

➤ Genre/words: Arranged Marriage! AU, Smut, Angst / 16,742 words

➤ Summary: He is the successor of his family’s business empire, and you are the female heir of yours. After the trouble his older brother had created in the past, he now must face certain requirements needed for the sake of the family’s future and to save his rights of inheritance, and you become his only way out. Everything might seem so simple, just the way they are supposed to. But everything isn’t always what it seems, is it?

➤ Warning: Mentions of death, major character death, smut/mature scene


Keep reading

Emergency guide for langblrs

I thought i should make this guide with suggestions for people who:

1. Don’t always have internet.
2. Go somewhere where there’s no internet.
3. The internet is slow/barely working in their area.
4. People who want to be prepared.
5. Others that i can’t think of now.

Everything I’m going to say works offline so in case the light went out for a couple of hours and you don’t know what to do to practice your target language, here are some suggestions.


Notes!

You should have a notebook with grammar in it and it doesn’t really matter if you just copy-paste an entire grammar book. (However it would be pretty good if you actually pay attention to what you write otherwise you’ll have to work twice. 1st you copy-paste then you have to figure out what’s important and what isn’t and that takes pretty long time.)

Alternatives

  • Print a book. try to find a place where the printing is cheap. Usually these are small bookshops or so. Take a walk around the town and check out many places or ask friends of yours, maybe one of them knows a place.
  • Buy a book


Print some lists with verbs and their forms. 

I’d suggest you guys to always have a list with irregular verbs. If you have time you can actually make a big poster with their forms and practice them daily (or just look at the poster, after a while you remember what you wrote) or keep it for days with no internet so you can study them.

Alternative: you can download a PDF but if you have no light for hours, your phone/laptop will die pretty soon and you might need them for more important stuff.


Always have books, magazines, comics in your target language. 

Now, it doesn’t matter if they are PDF or physical. My tablet has comics in Danish in case i have no light and i’m bored. It’s pretty handy to have something to read.


Idioms all the way~ 

You might be a beginner so you didn’t really want to learn idioms usually because you think they are “too advanced”, however, it’s no harm to have 2 packs of flashcards at you in case you want to play a game.
I said 2 packs so i should explain why. 1 is in your target language while the other is the translation. Put all the cards with their writing facing the rug/table/book/whatever and turn them 2 at the time. If the translation is the right one for the other card, take them out or leave them with their “face” up, if not, turn them again and turn 2 cards again. 

pro tip: have a list with the pairs since you don’t know the meaning of the idioms.


Dictionaries

You can buy one/download a pdf or use an offline dictionary. I’d recommend using ProDict or BitKnights Ltd. You need internet only for 5 min to download all the content and then your app is good.


Movies/series

Try to have at least 2-3 movies in your laptop or on a flash stick/USB. Now, if you stay  1 month at your grandparents, you might learn the lines of these movies but at least you used your listening skills.


Music

I’m pretty sure 95% of langblrs have at least 1 song in their target language(s) but i’m still going to say this. When you’re bored, these songs will save you, also, singing improves your pronunciation.


Apps that work offline

Pocket - basically, you need internet at first (the app has to download the content and you have to log in) and after, you have to save a few stuff. The app allows you to read articles offline. It saves the page and you can acces it later.

While you are at a computer you “save” the page through the browser’s extention and they will be added to the app from your phone.

50Languages - just like every app i’m going to mention, you need internet only at the beginning. This app has games, audio, vocab. I like it for the fact that the audio is really good. As you guessed, it’s for 50 languages.

Fun Easy Learn - it has a version for words and one for phrases. The app has 7 games and you have to play them all in order to have “learned” the vocab.

Memrise - everyone knows it so i won’t say anything else than the fact that you can download a couple of their courses. (i’m not sure if for ios you can download them but i know that on os you can)

Learn - this app has audio and vocab. The game for “teaching” is more of a way of testing you after you learned the words but it’s still pretty handy.

Learn Languages - this app is built to work hand in hand with 50Languages and i just love them? So, you use 50langs for the audio and LearnLanguages tests you for what you know. If you don’t know a certain word or phrase, the app will send you notifications with what you don’t know and its translation. You set the timer (15min, 30min, 1h, 3 h).

If you have words that need to be learned and you don’t know how, Quizlet might be a good option since it has different games and also a flashcards option.

Questions

If you by any chance don’t understand something, write it down. Try to have a notebook or a paper only for questions. When you have internet again, use HiNative or ask a native friend of yours.

It’s time for a comeback.

“Some gringas have imitated me; they want to dress like ‘Mexicans,’ but those poor women look like cabbages, and to tell you the truth they look plain ugly”

   -Frida Kahlo, The Letters of Frida Kahlo, 1995

This quote has a lot of relevance in respect to the recent events in the fandom. Too often Whites have stolen, taken, and appropriated the identities and cultures of People of Color for their brown paper doll oc’s. They bastardize them, filling their backstories and personalities with racist tropes and stereotypes. They ignore criticism of such actions, dismiss and trivialize concerns of People of Color as drama, and attempt to victimize themselves or dismiss their actions with shitty excuses and shitty apologies.

It is because of these recent events that I have decided to bring Not your White Fave’s OC back. People of Color cannot rely on whites in the fandom to do right by us, to stand up for us; we cannot rely on them to own up to their racism and take the appropriate steps to rectify their disgusting actions.

People of Color truly need a space for themselves, away from the racism, ignorance and indifference of the mainstream white fandom.

There have been many People of Color in the fandom and in general on Tumblr that call for the creation of “our own spaces” because we are ignored, harassed, stereotyped, etc in the mainstream fandom. However, once a said space is made, those same people leave it on read so to speak. Either it is performative, or they still desire white affirmation.

I’m here to say that we do not need white affirmation. Referring back to the original Characters of Color post, “ We don’t need to ask for acceptance from anyone. We are enough, we’ve been enough and we always will be enough.”- Taraji P. Henson.

The goal of this blog is still the same, to create a safe place in response to the othering, and  exclusion of creatives of color in the white mainstream fandom. A place where people of color could share and celebrate their ocs and their work without fear of being spoken over.

A place for original characters of color made BY people of color, for any form of creative content made by people of color. A place to celebrate our races and cultures without having to censor it for a white audience. It is a place to encourage creators of color to share their work, to make oc’s that represent them, and to be surrounded by a community of people like them!

And so with that I’ll end with this:

Welcome to Not Your Yt Fave’s OC, a blog made for Creators of Color by People of Color!

anonymous asked:

Serious question!! Would beautiful buff bokuto still be wearing his kneepads with his hooter's uniform?? Thanks for sharing your art friend, LOVE your stuff!

Short answer: PROBABLY

Akaashi, your poker face isn’t fooling anyone!

THANK YOU ANON! I tried to do well on this since I made you wait so long to see this one. Thanks for your support!!~

Fic Rec Aesthetic: Kiss With A Fist by @clockworkswans

“When agent Alec Lightwood is given his first kill hit, he doesn’t expect much trouble. Of course, he also doesn’t expect it to be a cheerful assassin who lands him in a whole load of trouble. Enter Magnus Bane: an assassin turned thief who reluctantly teams up with Alec - and The Clave - after he pisses off a very important and powerful crime boss, Valentine Morgenstern. In a world of violence and unjust laws, can the two put aside their differences and work together?”


Rescue My Heart by Liz Longley

Lie and tell myself I can
make it on my own
Making it alone is lonely
Twisting and I’m turning
oh I’m crashing and I’m burning
So reach out your hand to me

Come down
and rescue my heart
I’m deep underground
I can’t dig my way out
so come down

I can’t breathe any faster
all the air I wanna capture
It’s heavy and it hurts my head
If you found me, would you save me?
If you touched me, would it break me?
Will I come back from this?

Come down
rescue my heart
I’ll drown
without you

Rescue my heart
I’ll drown
Without you

3

the six thatchers caps ➔ 3/?

anonymous asked:

would you say the sith academy from the star wars universe fits for an abusive training situation?

Yes.

However, I want to point out that when you’re talking about scenarios where the teachers are sadists that’s:

1) Not what makes their training good, but is rather the method that secures the students’ loyalty.

2) Useless if the students don’t receive an education.

The problem is that in order for the setup to succeed the students still need to be taught. Which… means you still do all the “boring” and “mundane” stuff. Contrary to popular fictional conception, cruelty doesn’t make you learn faster. More than that, in poor hands, cruelty will trap you in a shock and awe setup where you’re continually having to escalate your measures in order to keep the students on their toes and the audience engaged. This is what we’ll call “not good, Bob” when dealing with a training setup because the author inevitably focuses on playing up the instructor’s sadism and not on the students education. When this happens, we get nothing but a dysfunctional methodology that creates broken dolls who aren’t particularly good at fighting.

What cruelty will provide (when not overplayed) is motivation. Cruelty can be an excellent motivational tool, but only if you give your student the tools to succeed.

When writing “sadistic training” it is important to keep your eye on the prize and the goals of the trainer in mind. Unless we’re talking an elite force (like a Sith or the Imperial Guard) where you don’t actually need many of them and they aren’t your main force, then a meat grinder scenario is not a good one. You can still have a sadistic training scenario but there’ll be a lot less death. (One can be sadistic and successful without killing a single trainee or letting them die.) 

They want to create a student who is either an exceptional warrior or just a good one and a student who is loyal to them or their organization. They may be a creation of this system, and genuinely believe in it. You can have a trainer who engages in sadistic training methods because that’s how they were trained, not because they enjoy being sadists. These guys are even more dangerous than the other types, as none of the flaws usually found in sadistic teachers apply to True Believers. They’re not in it for the power trip, or because they like being a bully but because they believe in the system. If you’ve got a sadistic training methodology, disseminated and practiced by multiple individuals in an organization then you’ll be dealing with True Believers. If so, then may God have mercy on your poor characters’ souls.

A trainer who was raised on the system they’re teaching knows all the tricks a student can pull. They’ve seen it before and seen it from within the student’s barracks. So, good luck putting anything past them, especially in any modern or futuristic world where they’ve no problem hiding cameras everywhere.

The Sith Academies of the EU run the gamut between sophisticated mind fuckery and hatchet level meat grinders. When they’re meat grinders, all they do is pointlessly waste resources. And, yes, there’s been more than one Sith Academy and the concept probably predates whichever one you’re thinking of. Korriban, for example, originates in Tales of the Jedi. Anything that predates Lucas’ “Rule of Two” will have the suggestion of an academy, and the Rule of Two came into established canon with the prequels. (Whether anyone remembers Brakiss, Zekk, and the one from Young Jedi Knights is another question entirely.)

So, here’s some training don’ts:

1) When your trainer kills, have them kill with purpose.

The way a teacher kills one of their trainees may seem random to their students, but if this is a methodology then there is a firm reason behind the why and the who. Trust they’ve picked their target before they ever walked into the room. They may change their mind in a snap decision once they’re dealing with the students, but a plan is always at play. Remember, a successful sadistic instructor plans and executes training their students like any other operation.

2) The first brutal murder will never achieve the same affect on its subjects again, so use it wisely.

Shock and awe works… once. If you want shock to keep working, then you’ve got to change tactics and attack where the subject feels safe rather than trying the same technique over and over again.

The problem with most sadistic training setups is they’ll take the ideas, but keep attempting to use the same tactics in repetition. No. To keep your skin in this game, you better be switching up.

3) Sadistic training is the torture methodology, if you don’t understand how A leads to C then you won’t grasp its lasting effects or why it works.

I’m going to keep pointing out that sadistic training is a mind game and not a physical game. Competent torture is about controlling the subject’s state of mind and reconditioning them to give you what you want. This is why it’s a far more effective as a form of control than information gathering.

Sadistic training is the same way. The goal is not to kill off what matters to the subject. The goal is to get the subject to kill off what matters to them for you. Whether this is their parents, their old life, their pet Skippy, a girlfriend/boyfriend, a friendship they’ve formed during their training, it doesn’t matter. They’ll kill whatever symbolic part of themselves they were holding onto, the piece which makes them who they are. A trainer creates a pressure gate to lead the student where they want them to go, so the student and their peers will kill in themselves what the trainer can’t.

“The Corps is mother, the Corps is father,” as PsiCorps says on Babylon 5.

When dealing with someone competent, this is insidious. Remember, the trainer controls the student’s whole world, who they interact with, whether they’re allowed contact with the outside world, and what happens to them.

It’s like dealing with your parents, if your parents were perfectly willing to blow your brains out. With no outlets, no friends except the ones you’re allowed and can’t trust, no other authority figures to turn to, no internet, no connection to the outside world, and armed guards to catch you when you run.

4) There is always a carrot to go with the stick.

Abusive tactics aren’t successful if there’s no carrot. This is an enhancement of regular training, not the sole form of training. Abuse by itself doesn’t make someone a better martial combatant (or good at fighting at all).

The problem with a lot of “sadistic training setups” is the author goes overboard. They want to make it obvious that the teacher is bad, and give the story no room to breathe. Give the characters no time to sort themselves out. The teacher’s abuse is there to make a point and specific intervals, and it won’t happen on the regular. If it’s regular, you adapt to it. The uncertainty and the lack of comfort is what keeps it scary.

A trainer won’t just abuse, they’ll also offer a sympathetic ear, be encouraging, and act as a mentor to their students. When their students have earned their wisdom then they share. This gives students a feeling superiority over others, reminds them that they’re special, and they want to work harder for their teacher or toward their goal.

As a reward, their trainer may give their students the opportunity to watch the more advanced students or the warriors they admire in practice or sparring so they have a goal to work towards.

5) The goals are always clear, and can be accomplished. It’s the goalposts that shift.

The trainer is very good at telling their students what they want, on giving them a venue to develop skill before upending them again. Like I said, abusive training is an utterly pointless practice if the process of learning is skipped.

If you want to write an abusive setup then you need to learn how normal training is supposed to work first because the abuse is just another added layer. This is why there’s a tendency to assume this training is just “more hardcore”. 

6) Punishment is not the point, what punishment gets you is the point.

Reward them when they’re good, punish them when they’re bad. Write punishment with purpose. The trainer wants their student to think, consider, and come to an understanding. Punishment is supposed to make one side too uncomfortable so one starts looking at good behavior as acceptable. Unless there’s a reason to be ambiguous, the student must know why they’re being punished.

7) When you’re looking at a situation with plans to axe a few of your trainees, the troublemakers and the problem children will be first on the slate to die.

This is one of those favored misconceptions with some authors, where the belief that a student’s “special talents” and “status” override everything else. Here’s the honest truth: a trainer working under a sadistic methodology wants loyalty over skill. No amount of ‘natural talent’ or ‘skill’ will save these troublemakers because they’re challenging the trainer’s control over the rest of the class.

Now, there are ways to manipulate any problem child into good behavior without obvious punishment whether its by convincing them they’re special, flattering them, separating them out from the others, and making them feel important or like they’re “winning” the power struggle.

If they can’t be convinced to play along, though, then it’s ‘too bad, so sad’ and will be offed. At this point, it’s attrition. Better to risk losing one, even a promising one, than it is losing the whole group. A student with less potential but loyal is better than one with high potential but unwilling to cooperate. After all, natural skill is just potential. A metric for the greatness one might achieve. If the talented student isn’t going to put effort into honing that potential, then it’s just a waste. Better to have the student who works hard, strives for success, is clever, and wants to please their teacher.

Now, back to Star Wars.

On the whole, when looking at the Sith, you’re going to find a lot of the good, the bad, the mediocre, and everything in between. With the current EU, we’re usually dealing with the meat grinder. In this case, the meat grinder rears its head anytime there’s a lack of respect for the rarity of Force Sensitives. Even in a galaxy full of trillions, the pool of candidates who are Force Sensitive is extraordinarily small. The number with the ability to actually become Jedi or Sith is a tiny fraction of that pool. They’re so rare, in fact, that it’s easier for a Sith Lord to risk themselves targeting adult Jedi or Jedi trainees for conversion than it is to go through the trouble of finding new candidates.

Think about that.

It’s not a Sith Academy if they don’t raid the Jedi Temple for recruits at least once. Given the Sith’s training methods, there should always be fewer Sith than Jedi by order of attrition. The Jedi may send their students away if they don’t make the cut, but they don’t kill them during training. The Sith blow through their candidates faster, thus needing more raw bodies while churning out fewer Sith as a result.

A good Sith Academy is one where the students are terrorizing the local population of whatever planet they’re inhabiting rather than each other. Where their methods are harsh, but the vast majority of their students don’t die in training. If you want more Sith out there than Jedi, then their period of training is ultimately shorter and they’re released to terrorize the universe more quickly. If a Sith can be trained in, say, four years compared to a Jedi’s fourteen to twenty then there will obviously be more of them.

However, the Sith will ultimately need more recruits and bodies than the Jedi because the Sith die faster. Which creates a shortage when your talent pool is already limited.

In The Old Republic, when a Sith player leads the Attack on Tython they’re given a lightside/darkside option at the end. The lightside option is to release the prisoners. The darkside option is to kill the prisoners. Here’s the problem: these prisoners are Jedi padawans.

When you have a limited talent pool, are at war, and are constantly losing your highly skilled warriors to the enemy, what do you do?

The answer is abide by the classic Sith tactic of stealing the apprentices for yourself. Killing them is a waste. Releasing them is stupid. Taking them to replace your losses is the smart choice. After all, the Jedi would do the same to you. (They do. They do it all the time. In Star Wars, the Sith and Jedi are playing ping pong with the individual members of both orders as the balls. There are numerous Sith rehabilitated into Jedi and Jedi who’ve become Sith. Light to Dark, Dark to Light, then back again.)

I bring this up because this is how you know when characters with this attitude are written in accordance to their setting. They can’t be written in generalities, the author needs to take into account the context and setting specifics which will be at play when it comes to making a decision.

When evil overrules necessity or common sense, you’ve got a problem. Well, you do if it’s not your intention for the character to be engaging in “stupid evil”. All approaches are legit, so long as you meant to do it and serves the story.

The question when either playing with or reading about a Sith Academy is, “do you understand the purpose and philosophy behind what’s happening?”

The lightside and the darkside are a clumsy attempt at Taoist philosophy. The Jedi and Sith are meant to present incompatible ways of life, and more than just an easily digestible code. There’s a lot of play in the “Survival of the Fittest” and “I’ve got Mine” mentalities, but a true Sith believes the struggle itself is what makes us strong.

Let’s look at the sequence between Luke and the Emperor in Return of the Jedi:

-The Emperor has Vader bring Luke aboard the Death Star, everything from that point on including the trap he lays for the Rebellion is part of getting under Luke’s skin.

-While Vader is in active conflict with Luke, he’s also the centerpiece of the power struggle between Luke and the Emperor.

-Both Vader and the Emperor are pressuring Luke in multiple ways to find what makes him angry. They show him how powerless he is by attacking the Rebels in front of him, forcing him to fight, threatening Leia, etc.

-They want him angry. Why? It’s because the Emperor’s goal is ultimately for Luke to destroy what he came to save whether that’s the Rebels or his father. The underlying belief is this crushing failure will expose the futility of Luke’s beliefs, lead him to abandon them, and join the darkside.

-This fight is also a test for Vader, though the Emperor is certain of his control over him.

-The Emperor wants a younger model and new apprentice to replace the old one, but if Luke can’t be swayed then he has no issue having Vader murder what he wanted i.e. his last link to his previous life.

-The Emperor fails because he underestimates Vader, rather than Luke. This happens when Vader’s desire to save his son trumps his loyalty to the Emperor, and leads him to make the ultimate sacrifice.

If you want to understand the difference between Jedi versus Sith, and the power of sadistic training then the final struggle of Return of the Jedi is important to understand. The Emperor had so much control over Vader that Vader valued his personal power over what used to be the most important aspect of his life: protecting his family.

For Vader, we see the struggle is real. When we see him in Empire Strikes Back, he has no problem hacking Luke’s hand off. We find out he’s known Luke is his son for some time, but the boy’s still just a pawn necessary to help him replace the Emperor. The offer Vader makes to Luke at the end of Empire is not one of love, but power. “Together, we’ll rule the galaxy as father and son.” It’s manipulative, designed to appeal to Luke’s desires for family, for his father, and disrupt Luke’s beliefs. Vader means to wrong foot him, make him desperate, and utilize these emotions to take power over Luke. When Luke falls, Vader doesn’t jump after him. Vader doesn’t consider Luke’s life important enough to jeopardize himself over.

The choice Vader makes at the end of Jedi is one of love. He’s hurt when he grabs the Emperor, having lost a hand. The Emperor is shooting electricity everywhere, and Vader’s systems are especially susceptible. Vader understands the sacrifice he’s making when he grabs the Emperor. This is his transition, in his final moments. This is what makes him a Jedi again.

As a haphazard circle, selfish love transformed Anakin Skywalker into Darth Vader while sacrificial love brought him back. Selfish love led to fear of loss, fear of loss led him to the hating those who “stole” his loved ones, and then he needed to control everything in order to make sure he never lost or felt these emotions again. Control led him to needing more and more power, until power itself was all that mattered.

When you’re looking for abusive environments or training methods, take an honest look at the Vader from the Original Trilogy. In a simple sense, that’s what the results look like.

-Michi

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