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  2. Yeah I feel that we need about 4 parties to bring some ballence back. At least that would force the corruption to spread thinner, and be more circumspect, as the other three will be looking to publisise. What we have now is everybody being too comprimised to act. Say a "left", a "right", a "centrist", and the Greens
  3. Yeah I feel that we need about 4 parties to bring some ballence back. At least that would force the corruption to spread thinner, and be more circumspect, as the other three will be looking to publisise. What we have now is everybody being too comprimised to act.
  4. Sorry I did not see it that way. I see you saying Hillary would have been a good pres....and I am saying Nope. perhaps I was not clear, I think that Trump could not have won without Both party machines churning out un electable candidates, I cannot endorse the concept that Hillary would have been "OK" Except in comparison to Trump, And if the parties don't change their ways I'll have to endure 4 more years of the Dufus in chief.
  5. I do really like the Black Knight as a character concept, but it never felt like anyone could write him engagingly enough
  6. Field Guide for Identifying Cults, Preface As a Special Agent of Section-M, you may very likely find yourself investigating a potentially cult related case. When first encountering an organization that may be a cult, your first goal is to perform an initial finding to ascertain the organization's overall nature, legality, motives, acts, and practices and whether it appears to be a cult or not. Many cults are relatively harmless or benign; others are merely deluded or impotent. Not all cults are supernaturally aware or active, and thus are not within our purview...the finding will be deferred for general Bureau handling. However, there are supernaturally relevant cults that are harmful, dangerous, and engaged in or are in the process of engaging in Accords-violating activity which Section M will proceed with handling once your finding has been filed. One of the most morally and intellectually challenging duties you might be called upon to perform is determining whether or not a particular group is truly dangerous and in violation of the Accords or simply hold non-mainstream beliefs. It is a weighty decision for based upon your judgement the full weight of the FBI and our assets can be brought to bear upon them. This field guide exists to help guide you in first assessing whether a given group qualifies as a cult. Although cults vary in size, beliefs, structure and motives, there are five things that most cults need to maintain stability and growth which we will refer to as the Five Pillars; focusing on identifying these Five Pillars will give you a framework to proceed with. A group where four or five of these Pillars are present is most likely a cult. If that group is also supernaturally active then they will be classified as an active cult and will be investigated further for Accords enforcement. The Five Pillars Pillar 1: Initiation All organizations need new recruits to grow and survive, and cults are no different in this regard. However an initiate in a cult is typically subject to a different level of commitment than a non-cult organization would require. An organization adept at garnering new members is very stable; those that struggle to gain new people are vulnerable. Some cults primarily go after people who are frustrated, misguided, lonely, and need acceptance; many are very suggestible and willing to do anything to feel accepted and valued. However, some cults go the other way and target only high achieving or elite individuals with strong motivations that are in line with the cult's goals. Most cults have more than one level of initiation, such as circles or tiers within the group to which membership can only be gained via service to the cult. Pillar 2: Resources Many cults have specific rules or requirements around controlling the resources of their members, either indirectly in the form of tithes or dues, or directly by taking all or most of their members possessions outright. This both provides operating funds for the Cult and leaves its members more dependent upon the cult's collective resources. As a rule of thumb, no matter how non-materialistic a cult may profess to be, upon examination those at the top of the cult are almost always found to have control over the majority of the resources available to the group and have the latitude to use those resources as they see fit. Pillar 3: Dogma Cults almost always have some alternate dogma, belief system, or conception of themselves and their members as being unique or different in some way. This serves to separate the initiated from the masses, causes a severing with old causes, beliefs, and other psychological roots, and becomes the justification for acts that initiates would not otherwise entertain. Typically dogma also serves as the rules and code of conduct for a cult's members, encouraging them not to think for themselves or make their own judgments of right and wrong. Pillar 4: Loyalty Cults typically require extreme loyalty and frequent proof of that loyalty to the group at the expense of the self, with threat of exile and censure for perceived acts of disloyalty. The fear of being cast out can cause even less-brainwashed individuals to at least appear to toe the party line of the cult and participate in activity that they would not initiate on their own. Often, under pressure, cult leaders will reveal that their own loyalty is to themselves and if this can be revealed to the rank and file of the cult it can cause a dramatic dissolution of the cult's membership and power. Pillar 5: Secrecy While some organizations might evince the other four pillars and upon analysis turn out to be a belief system but not technically be classified as a cult, when secrecy is added to the equation...particularly when secrets are kept not just from outsiders but from members of the group...it is very likely the organization is in fact a cult. Note that investigation into the secrets and agendas of such an organization will proceed after the organization is identified as a cult; doing so is not necessary or advised during the initial finding.
  7. Today
  8. Just say it's a default name for certain locations. For example, Oak Street will be the default name if you need your players to go somewhere. No matter where in the world they may be, there's always an Oak Street for them to be in or go to.
  9. Yeah, I'm sure you're right about that. As for Kit Harington, looks like he's going to be Black Knight in the Eternals movie. Almost feels like type casting...
  10. Been binging this since yesterday: https://www.netflix.com/title/81026915 Better Than Us, is a Russian Netflix Series, set in a few years int he future, where Robots are ubiquitous, To the point of the Government trying to lower the retirement age to 50-55, as Unemployment is rising. It's a slick, well directed, and well written series that doesn't follow the cliche's and all the characters except the lead 'bot are magnificently flawed. The director(s] manage the "bot" actors well, making made up human actors, step into the Uncanny Valley with waders on. On Episode 6, of 10. Russian with Englis Subtitles.
  11. Capsule summary of the Burrows Taxonomy of Demons Demons can be broken into several general Types, based upon their motivations and overall activities, and many Categories based upon their manner of manifestation. Categories of Demons At the most basic level, there are the Demons that lack the strength to possess a host, instead manifesting as malevolent non-corporeal forms, which we will refer to as Category I. Then there are the Demons that are too weak to possess a human being, having to settle for lesser animals and projecting some Demonic attributes upon them (such as hellhounds), which we will call Category II. After that are the Demons that are able to possess a host and invest it with powers but not take full control of it, which we will call Category III. These first three categories are referred to collectively as Lesser Demons. As Demons increase in power, they are able to fully supplant their host; Demons of this power level are referred to as Category IV. With more power Demons are able to switch hosts; these Demons are classified as Category V. Growing in strength, they are able to remain active during the day and during the night; these belong to Category VI. Demons of these three categories are collectively referred to simply as Demons. Sufficiently strong Demons can temporarily alter their hosts to appear Demonic, causing fear and insanity in unprotected and weak minds; or in some cases are able to possess multiple hosts, but not project full power through them; these are classified as Category VII. With growing strength Demons can physically alter their hosts form to suit their whim, or possess multiple hosts at near full power; these fall within Category VIII. Demons of these two categories are referred to collectively as Greater Demons. Some very powerful Demons are able to manifest physically without a host; these are Category IX. Finally, the most powerful are able to affect the physical world on a vast scale without manifesting any physical form, possessing vast powers and influence...these compose Category X. Demons of these two categories are referred to as Demon Lords. Types of Demons Demons have motivations, just as men do. By knowing a Demons motivation you might better be able to anticipate it or understand it’s nature. I have broken the most common motivations of Demonic creatures into seven basic groups. Other worthy scholars of the past and present have used this method, some with more types and others with less. The key is to not become too focused on the semantics of the point, but rather to use it as a quick method for identifying what makes a particular Demon tick. All Demons seek to feed on the essence of earthly creatures. How they vary is in their method of doing so. The most basic of types are Feeders, who draw essence directly from the physical, usually through blood but sometimes flesh also. Above Feeders you have Slayers, who draw their energies directly from the psychic trauma of violent death. Beyond the Slayers you have the Tormentors, who draw sustenance from pain, frustration, stress, and terror and torture their victims endlessly to generate negative emotions. Above Tormentors are Deceivers, who spread lies and deceit, leading men to wrongful acts and treachery, feeding on the negative emotions of all involved. Next you have Corrupters, who draw energy and apparently amusement by luring men into negative acts. After this you have Dominators, who seek to control and debase large groups of people, often controlling cults and religious orders. Finally, you have the Fiends, who seek to stir negative human activities on a truly epic scale; starting wars and acts of atrocity, spreading vices, diseases, and ill will amongst entire nations and glutting themselves on the emotional proceeds. Well-known ‘Named’ Demons Abaddon “the Destroyer”: Category IX Slayer. Very rare and little is known due to lack of survivors; believed to be responsible for several massacres of unknown causes. Qabbalists cite him as being key in their concept of Armageddon. Abigor: Category IX Fiend. Believed to be the ruler of many legions of lesser Demons, this creature rarely bothers to personally visit Earth, acting through lesser Demons. Credited with vast abilities to foretell the future and uncanny knack for generalship. Abishai: believed to be a Lieutenant of Lucifer, posited to be a Category VI Slayer. Little is known other than it acts as an agent for infernal powers. Perhaps also known as Anubis. Ahazu ‘the Seizer’: A Category X Fiend; a plague lord, perhaps one and the same as Beelzebub or a potential rival. Ahrimanes: Category VI Tormentor, reputedly keeps caches of prisoners to torture. Accredited with the possession of many Inquisitors of the Roman Catholic Church. No recent activities known. Some rumors indicate that this being has mastered the ability to pass completely unnoticed, making him one of the most potentially dangerous of all possessor Demons. Alastor, ‘the Executioner’: an old Demon first catalogued by the Persians, perhaps a Category IX or X Slayer. No recent activities known; perhaps this entity has been renamed by more recent peoples; some ancient texts confuse him with Azrael the so-called Angel of Death. Aldinach: First cataloged by the ancient Egyptians, a Category X Fiend who was accredited with great power to cause natural disasters. Little known of more modern activities due to lack of physical form and need for a host. Alu-Demons: General class of Tormentor Demons. See also Caco-Demon Amon: Category VIII Deceiver\Corrupter. Vast physical power; very dangerous when confronted, but concentrates on games of the mind. Extremely dangerous and subtle. Anneberg ‘the Whisperer’: Category II Slayer. Usually possesses horses, mules and other mounts, and projecting a Demonic appearance to them. Kills with a breath; originally catalogued by Germans after a band of miners was terrorized by it. Arphaxat: an ancient Persian sorcerer struck dead by lightning; reputedly so evil that he became a Demon and survived by possessing hosts. Currently a Category VIII Dominator Demon able to possess multiple hosts, he is credited with the possession of the Nuns of Loudun in 1633 and the possession of the Sons of Weirus in 1982. Very dangerous. Azael\Azazel: a Category VI Corrupter\Slayer, last encountered in New York; typical M.O. appears to be serial killing interspersed with occasional attempts to corrupt and\or disrupt his pursuers. According to Qabbalistic lore, cast into the material world after supporting Lucifer against Jehovah, staked out in the desert; scholars posit that the desert is the relatively energy-poor earth. Baal ‘Lord of Battles’: Category X Dominator, bringer of war. First catalogued by the Sumerians; extremely powerful but seldom encountered directly. Has many underlings. Also called Bael and Bal. Belphegor, ‘the Soul-merchant’: A Category IX Fiend, an entity of ambiguous motivations exhibiting a complex range of behaviors normally associated with Corruptors, Tormentors, and Deceivers. Unlike most Demons Belphegor can be altruistic...or at least reliable. It always honors any deal it makes to the letter of the agreement; there are documented cases of those who have benefited from their dealings with this entity. Beelzebub, ‘Lord of Flies’: A Category X Fiend, a plague lord, perhaps the same entity as Ahazu. Well known amongst Christian and Judaic lore, but possibly just a personification of natural disease. Biifant: A little known Demon reputed to have disclosed a manner of exorcising Demons after being forced by an unnamed mystic. Perhaps a Category IV Demon of unknown motivations. Supposedly utterly destroyed. Bitru: A Category IX Corrupter, prefers lust and sex as its tool, and always assumes an exquisitely beautiful form of either sex. Bune ‘the Gravelord’: A strange Category IV or IX Dominator first catalogued by the Tartars, it apparently controls many lesser Demons whom he summons to this plane to invest recently dead corpses as Category III Feeders (which have been erroneously described as vampires due to similar habits but which are an entirely different kind of supernatural creature). Bune does not speak, and communicates only by sign. It appears to be a normal human male at all times, never altering appearance and possessed of only physical powers such as superhuman strength and toughness. Last active in Montana in 1972 (see Case#11089322G1). Caaerinolaas ‘the Agitator’: Also known as Caasimolar and Glasya. First catalogued by the Polish, this Demon is a Category VIII Corrupter, assigned responsibility for the 1389 invasion of Serbia by the Turks. Particularly adept at inciting homicides that lead to great conflict. Caco-Demons: A general class of Corrupter\Deceiver Demons. See also Alu-Demon. Cambions: Category IV ‘wildchildes’; children that are possessed in the womb by stronger Category III Demons that grow to strength by feeding on the child's mind, finally growing strong enough to take total control of the host. Very dangerous and difficult to exorcise as the host mind is entirely blank. Even if exorcism is successful the human host has an undeveloped mind and is therefore an empty shell. Eblis: See Lucifer Haris: See Lucifer Inccubi: a general class of Feeders that materialize in the night and seek to feed from the life essences of those they seduce. Always appear as extremely attractive males. It is unclear if they possess a human host or manifest a body, which makes classification difficult. See also Succubi. Kostchtchie ‘the Deathless’: First categorized by the Russians, a Category VII or IX Tormentor that manifests in a particularly gross form, appearing as an animated skeleton with black blood pumping through fibrous veins and a visible yellow heart. Believed to be an ancient sorcerer that either made a Demonic pact or seized control from a possessing Demon, using the Demon's essence to power his existence. Whether or not the entity is a true Demon is unknown. Lilith ‘Queen of Darkness’: Category X Fiend. Supposedly the First Woman in Judaic lore, put aside by the First Man Adam due to her lack of subservience. Supposedly became a great sorceress and eventually left her body behind to become a Demon and rising in power. Renowned for her great powers to torment and bedevil men with her great skills of seduction and cruelty. Believed to draw power from emotional traumas caused by human intersexual relations. Lucifer ‘the Lightbringer’, ‘Father of Lies’, ‘the Deceiver’, ‘Eblis’, ‘Haris’, ‘Set’, ‘Satan’, ’Old Scratch’, ‘THE Devil’, etc.: If this is an actual entity, then it would be among the most powerful of Demons. Supposedly originating in the Upper Planes and believed to be the loser of a power-struggle with the being known as Jehovah, Yahweh, Elohim, Brahmin, etc. (as interpreted through various cultural-mythological backgrounds), this entity is accredited with all manner of atrocities, so it is difficult to discern which are actual manifestations of its powers and which are more appropriately attributed to other causes and powers. However, many religions and occult theories of the world’s cultures agree upon a startling similar embodiment of malevolence, and the existence of such an entity is entirely plausible. Malphas: Category IX Deceiver\Dominator. Appears as a normal but rugged human with a deep voice; famed for leading rebellions and overthrowing beneficent rulers and for giving great gifts to but ultimately deceiving those who follow him. Mephistopheles: Category IX Corrupter\Deceiver, usually appearing as an educated older man of spare features. Supposedly one of Lucifer top followers, this being delights in making pacts and deals that ultimately leave it in possession of a humans honor, integrity and ‘soul’. Rahu ‘the Tormentor’: Category VIII Tormentor. Cataloged by ancient Hindu mystics, renowned as a truly fiendish and cruel creature; sacrifices were made to it to buy protection form its subject Demons. Raksasha: a general class of Feeder\Dominator Demons. Succubi: a general class of Feeders that materialize in the night and seek to feed from the life essences of those they seduce. Always appear as extremely attractive females. It is unclear if they possess a human host or manifest a body, which makes classification difficult. See also Inccubi. Zabulon: A Category VI Corrupter. Particularly fond of members of religious orders. Zagam ‘the Transmuter’: Category IX Corrupter, renowned for transmutational powers. Fond of luring men in with promises of wealth which are in reality transmuted items of trash and no value that revert to their true state after a deal has been conducted. Zeernebooch ‘the Dark God’: See Lucifer Zepar: Category VI Corrupter. Always appears as a warrior, feeding off of the lust for battle amongst humans. A rabble-rouser and riot starter. - Prof. Tinneas Burrows, Director of Parapsychology, Fairfield University, 1989
  12. Extra-Dimensional Beings, A Lecture on Human understanding of the names and origins of the extra-dimensional beings referred to as ‘Demons’, ‘Devils’, and ‘Angels’ has changed very little over the years, but our understanding of their motivations, operations, and categorization has increased dramatically. Centuries ago the scholar Michael Prellus placed Demons into five categories: earth, wind, water, fire and ‘shadow’. This categorization was later argued by St. Augustine, who believed that all Demons were composed of ‘shadow’ regardless of their elemental association. Through modern research the categorization of Outer Dimensional beings has changed from the elemental basis of earlier demonologists to a method of categorization based upon intent and methods of operation. The nature, location, and composition of the Outer Dimensions is still not understood, but leading mystics and psychics commonly insist that reality as we know it is but one layer or band in a much larger spectrum, much like visible light has its place in the electromagnetic spectrum. Further, many of these paranormal experts also posit that the ‘scale’ of reality has a positive and a negative balance, with our plane of reality lying close to the neutral middle levels. Beings from the highest and lowest ends of the spectrum are posited by most experts to not possess physical forms and to instead be powerful sentience (though conflicting scholars point to the confirmed existence of so-called 'Elder Things', powerful extra-dimensional entities that definitely do have physical forms as counter evidence). According to the 'non-physical sentience' adherents, such beings are finite but possess the potential for nearly unlimited growth. However, as corporeal beings consume other corporeal beings for sustenance, so to must incorporeal beings consume other incorporeal essences for continued existence, or else they would consume themselves. According to this model, creatures of our plane existing at near balance generate both positive and negative energy and mortal concepts of ‘good’ and ‘evil’ are rooted in perceptions of actions and thoughts that produce positive and negative energies. These energies are of great interest to the beings of the so-called ‘Upper’ and ‘Lower’ planes, who can use it to both sustain themselves and to increase their own power. The efforts of such beings to influence the behavior of mankind exists into the deepest recesses of prehistory. The astute among you likely have already drawn the conclusion that in this model entities of what we refer to as ‘evil’ intent feed upon corruption and foul acts designed to increase fear and terror and hatred due to the production of negative energy such acts generate. Similarly, benevolent acts generate can be thought of as generating positive energy which entities with 'good' intent might sustain themselves upon. While this may bear out in the large, there is also evidence that this is a facile and reductive simplification. To remain active upon what is, at base, a hostile environment, much as the surface of the moon might be for us, extra-dimensional creatures active in our dimension require essences to sustain themselves much as we need oxygen and food. Most Extra-dimensional beings are too weak to find their way to our plane of existence, requiring a beacon of sorts, a casting of consciousness through the void to guide them, or a call from a more powerful being that knows the way. Even still, once they have found their way to our layer of existence, most are still too weak to manifest directly, requiring some form of host. Even having a host, most of these beings can only be active for short periods of time, and are limited in their mobility amongst hosts. Finally, even those able to jump from one host to another are almost always limited to their ability to sustain light or darkness, for creatures of the Lower planes find light anathemic, as those of the Upper find darkness. It is only the extremely powerful that are able to maintain a completely unrestricted existence and activity level, day or night, and only the most powerful of all that are able to construct actual physical manifestations. Thus it is that the vast majority of all encounters with extra-dimensional beings has been with an insubstantial image of their true self, such as possessions. While projecting their consciousness into this plane the extra-dimensional entities find themselves subject to a number of potentially hostile elements native to our existence that to an ordinary creature of Earth range from harmful to beneficial. As noted earlier, there is the sensitivity to light and darkness possessed by these entities dependent upon their origin in the Upper or Lower planes. Direct exposure to sunlight is enough to kill or banish many of the lesser ‘Demons’ and weaken the more powerful to a level which causes them to redirect their powers to merely remain existent in this dimension. By contrast, only the strongest of the Upper planes entities, colloquially known as ‘Angels’ in the Western world, are able to remain active by night. Other such harmful aspects include some metals, woods, energies, and elements, all of which are alien to the non-physical planes of the extra-dimensional creatures. The obvious question many ask is why does there seem to be more ‘Demonic’ activities and cases than ‘Angelic’. I cannot fully answer this question as the motivations of such entities is beyond the full understanding of mankind, but theories range from ideas that perhaps the creatures of the Upper planes find our existence and plane repugnant, used as they are to a more rarefied environment, to the belief that they are just as common but far more subtle than Lower plane manifestations. Finally a word on those most evil beings commonly referred to as ‘Devils’ and ‘Gods’. How do they fit within this model, you might wonder? I posit that they are simply the oldest or most powerful of the extra-dimensional beings. Entities so vast in energy that their only limitations are the efforts of other similarly powerful beings. It is only the interference of opposing entities of equivalent power that holds them in check. When faced with the presence of such creatures, I would theorize that most humans would find their consciousness shattered or have their sanity destroyed. However, this is an area with very little creditable research or data, and thus the real answer is...we simply do not yet know. Thank you for your attention; I now conclude my lecture and will take questions... Excerpts from a lecture by Dr. Johan von Strickenburg 1987, on Demonic Studies Held at Section-M Training Facilities, Quantico, VA
  13. Hyperdrive: A racing/drifting competition with cars and drivers from around the world. Some of the obstacle stages are crazy, and many critics are calling it "American Ninja Warrior" for cars. It looks awesome in 4K. (Netflix)
  14. There's generally a longer lead time for animation (6 months for an episode in the case of The Simpsons, for example), so I'm guessing that the project was most likely approved well before the current falling-out between Disney and Sony.
  15. Do Sony's rights cover them doing animated series? Or are the animated rights elsewhere?
  16. Every major nation in history was built through brutality. Some were more brutal than others. And a few raised brutality to an art form.
  17. It could be a follower with Resurrection Regen to simulate being temporarily disabled.
  18. Perhaps you missed that I said nothing of the sort. I said I thought Hillary would make a pretty good president in her own right, not merely an alternative to Trump, and listed the reasons why. As LL said, it was Hillary's bad luck to be playing the old game by the old rules at a time when the voters wanted to throw away the board. We shall see how the new game works out. Dean Shomshak
  19. Another ability for your list might be: Ride Like Hell: +Xm Running Usable by other (only the Horse the character is riding). Player can spur his/her horse to run faster then normal in and out of combat. Perfect for catching up to bad guys or reaching the bank in time to stop the robbery. A spin off of this would be to also increase the horse you are riding's Leap, allowing it to jump further and higher (over wider ravines, washed out bridges, etc...)
  20. @Scything Just remember to act like the Aggie Bonfire's heat affects Joey even though it doesn't.
  21. @Killer Shrike just showed me that Texas A&M has a better tech program than Texas Tech, so Joey actually was planning on going to Texas A&M from the start.
  22. Wow. I love the prospect of a Moon Knight show and a She Hulk show. And I love the What If? premise of Peggy Carter becoming Captain Britain! If only that could have been a live-action show... I'm very curious to hear what MCU role Kit Harington is getting. I hope it is a good one because I've heard he's been having trouble coping after GoT wrapped, kinda like a soldier re-entering civilian life after 8 years in the field. And, um, how are they doing a Spider-Man animated series given the rift that has formed between them and Sony?
  23. Actually, @Durzan Malakim is correct. Despite the names, between those two schools Texas A&M has a more regarded / recognized tech curriculum. Also, College Station, TX (where Texas A&M is at) is basically smack in the middle of the major Texas cities.
  24. When I was coming with the backstory and what he was doing before he was introduced into Arc 1. I said that Joey and his tech partner Teja were in a battle bots program and we won a national competition,and Joey was hoping to get a scholarship from Texas A&M because he knew he couldn't get into M.I.T.
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