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allthingskenobi · 3 months ago
Happy anniversary to the best piece of 'Star Wars' literature ever written. The Revenge of the Sith novel by Matthew Stover was published on April 2, 2005.
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Some of our favorite quotes from it:
Obi-Wan Kenobi opened his eyes to find himself staring at what he strongly suspected was Anakin’s butt.
A pair of starfighters. Jedi starfighters. Only two. Two is enough. Two is enough because the adults are wrong, and their younglings are right. Though this is the end of the age of heroes, it has saved its best for last.
Kenobi was luminous, a transparent being, a window onto a sunlit meadow of the Force.
Skywalker was a storm cloud, flickering with dangerous lightning, building the rotation that threatens a tornado.
The weapon floated gently up to Kenobi’s hand, and when he smiled down at the clone commander again, Cody could swear the Jedi Master was blushing, just a bit. “No, ah, need to mention this to, erm, Anakin, is there, Cody?”
Cody grinned. “Is that an order, sir?”
Boga had known, somehow… the dragonmount had known what Obi-Wan had been incapable of even suspecting, and without hesitation she’d given her life to save her rider.
“I suppose that makes me more than her rider,” Obi-Wan thought. “I suppose that makes me her friend.”
And there is one blazing moment in which you finally understand that there was no dragon.
That there was no Vader. That there was only you. Only Anakin Skywalker.
That it was all you. Is you.
Only you.
Obi-Wan, staring, wished he had the strength to rip his eyes out from his head.
But even blind, he would see this forever.
He would see his friend, his student, his brother, turn and kneel in front of a black-cloaked Lord of the Sith.
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it's a good day to remember that Corlath canonically a) was jealous of Narknon, because she could follow Harry wherever, b) made one or more of his Riders come with him on "romantic interludes ... that had included galloping across the desert at night," and c) has half brothers and sisters because his dad was "A Notorious Lover Of Women" (sorry for the random ask haha, I hope you have a good day!)
Honestly these are three of my favorite factoids about Corlath.  Walk with me.  We’re going to go in reverse order because I’m gonna talk the most about the first one.
First of all, the idea of people rolling up to the City and just cheerfully telling people that they’re the king’s illegitimate half-sibling is hilarious to me.  The fact that Damar doesn’t have a strict taboo about illegitimacy and therefore that you could and, as long as you had the kelar to prove it, no one could question you is…so funny to me.
Second of all, the idea of tiny baby teenage Corlath smitten with some girl and sneaking out to see her is GREAT and made only better by the idea of Faran, with the patient and long-suffering expression of an old tomcat being harassed by a kitten, waiting for him in the stables.
“Ah, hello, sola,” Faran says serenely.  His mare is already saddled up and he’s dressed for riding.  
“Hello, Faran,” Corlath says.  He’s not really surprised.  Faran’s father was his grandfather’s Rider, Faran was made Rider within a year of Corlath’s father’s coronation.  Faran Knows How The Royal Family Thinks.  
“Are we going riding, sola?”
“Apparently so.”
Once Faran decides he’s too old to keep tabs on his king, he pawns the duty off on the younger riders, who enjoy the thrill and adventure of it all more than Faran ever did.  Faran is grievously betrayed by Corlath’s sudden spur-of-the-moment decision to steal an Outlander girl, he thought he’d done his time on this nonsense.
Third of all…Corlath…is jealous…of Narknon.
This is.  This is the good shit, my dudes.
This is always the part of the book where I have to put my book (or my phone or my Kindle) on my face and make noises until I’m physically able to continue.  Corlath is a king.  He is pretty much universally beloved by his people.  He is, as previously discussed, canonically good with the ladies.  He’s handsome and powerful and all that good shit AND YET.
He’s desperately jealous of the cat.
I love this trope so much you guys, and its quality is directly proportional to how petty the jealousy is.  Exempli gratia: a king being jealous of a cat.  He could be jealous of her teacher, who gets her undivided attention all day every day, or jealous of her horse, who spends all day every day with her and gets talked to and chased around, but no.  He’s going to be jealous of Narknon, because Narknon can spend as much time as she wants with Harry without consequences, and she gets tidbits from Harry’s own plate, and she can usurp Harry’s pillow and get doted on and cuddled and petted.
It’s killing Corlath the whole time Harry’s training, you just know it, and honestly hit me up for my headcanons about the Damarian courting rituals that Harry just desperately misses out on through the whole novel.  I’m honestly The Worst Person because whenever I talk about romances across cultural lines the culture clash is all I care about.  (Legolas and Gimli, my dudes, that’s my jam right there.)  But like, being brought to a room full of precious jewels and beautiful sculptures and being told “this was a wedding present from my father to my mother and I want you to have it” is pretty fucking unsubtle by anyone’s standards.
Harry you beautiful moron.
You just know that she thanks Corlath and he goes and doesn’t sulk because he’s not really given to sulking, but the Riders are all like “hm, kinda thought she was quicker than that?”  And of course the hafor are like “hey, what’s wrong with our king, he seems sad” and the younger Riders are READY for that question, they have ALL the gossip from the desert camp, LISTEN TO THIS NONSENSE.  
“She took the trials, you should have seen the way Corlath looked at her,” Innath confides to a cook with relish.
“She seems a nice enough girl,” the cook sniffs, “but thicker than two short planks.  You said the sola hand-selected a horse for her?  And put her up in his mother’s gardens?  How much clearer does he need to be?”
Corlath, who is not as far out of earshot as Innath maybe thought he was, gives Narknon’s face a scrub between his hands and asks, “Do you think you’d like to rule a country for a few days?”  And he kind of quietly wonders if this is just How It’s Gonna Be Now.
Yes, Corlath, yes it is.
And then Corlath telling Harry that he’s been jealous of Narknon, I just.
This kills the man.
Because Corlath is such a mythic heroic figure in Harry’s estimation of him and then he’s like “also I was really intensely jealous of your cat” and it’s just so good.
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moviewarfare · 10 months ago
A Review of “Mulan (2020)”
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I am still waiting for that all Asian cast American movie that will be the "Black Panther" for the Asian community. So far the only proper all Asian cast American movie is Crazy Rich Asian and that was a rom-com about rich people which isn't what I am looking for. The Disney live-action remake of Mulan (1998) is a proper big-budget all Asian cast movie that aligns with what I am looking for. However, Disney live-action remakes have been mostly a miss apart from "The Jungle Book" and "Cinderella". Mulan (2020) is directed by Niki Caro who won lots of awards for her movie Whale Rider(2002) but it does make me wonder if they couldn't have just hired an Asian director but whatever.  The trailers though seem to suggest that this remake was actually attempting to do things differently from the original which intrigued my interest. Unfortunately, due to coronavirus, this movie got delayed and then shoved to streaming with a hefty price instead of going to cinemas. I actually avoided watching the original Mulan recently just to make myself go into this movie with a more open mind and to have a sort of first time watching experience again. Therefore, I am going to avoid comparison with the original in this review. So after watching this, did the movie live up to the expectations? Note: unlike my previous reviews there is going to be a fair amount of minor spoilers here so be warned.
Firstly, visually the movie is quite beautiful. There are some gorgeous shots in this movie such as the martial art practice by the lake, Mulan running on the rooftops and even the war itself was quite visually pleasing. The cinematography isn't "Roger Deakins" level of stunning but it is definitely really good looking. This is also elevated by the really good set design and costumes. The set design allows for great scenery and the costumes feel authentic. These really help pull the audience into the movie and the era that Mulan is set in.
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Secondly, the score by Harry Gregson-Williams who has done the score for movies like Shrek and The Martian does a pretty good job here as well with Mulan. They use a lot of wind instruments that are heard from a lot of Chinese movies and pretty much use them here. The score generally works and it really helps create the atmosphere for each scene really well. Also, the orchestral cover of Reflection from the original Mulan is used in this movie and is just really awesome,
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Now my gripes with this movie. Firstly, is the lack of emphasis on emotional moments. It feels like the movie brushes over a lot of what I would consider quite important. The scene where Mulan makes the decision to go to war is one of the important decision she makes. However, the movie just has her pick up a sword and then the next scene she is in armor and off to war. We don't get any emphasis on how important this decision was and the sacrifices she had to make until halfway through the movie for some reason. This happens a couple of times as well such as when there is a destroyed town which shows the horror of war but they only spend a couple of seconds here with minimal reaction from the characters and it's then just off to the next scene. Another being a character dying and it's just whatever. The movie feels really lacking in a lot of humanity but there are a couple of banter moments between Mulan and "friends" that have some fun in it.
On that note of characters, the supporting characters are rather bland. Honghui (Yoson An) acts as a love interest, rival and ally for Mulan which is all there is about him.  Commander Tung (Donnie Yen) sort of mentors Mulan and knew Mulan's dad but that's really it. The Emperor (Jet-li) is a badass and wise emperor who barely appears in the movie. Bori Khan (Jason Scott Lee) who is the main villain also barely appears in the movie despite being the bad guy who started the war. The Witch (Gong Li) who is probably the worst character in this entire movie is like Mulan but bad. These are all the relevant supporting characters but there are others who are so forgettable I don't remember if they even had names.
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The character arc which is part of the story is not great either. Mulan's decision to finally be true to herself and not hide that she is a woman just sort of happens because she got beaten up. Instead of it happening in a dramatic way it just feels rather random. Also, Mulan is special because she got lots of chi which ruins the message of the movie. Instead of feeling like she earned her place in the army and gaining the recognition of her comrades through her efforts it instead feels like she only got it because she is the chosen one. So the message is now "be true to yourself only if you're the special one". The Witch also goes through a character arc as well but it is extremely rushed and dumb. She makes choices that don't even make any sense such as divulging the main villain plans or sparing Mulan constantly or the really dumb choice at the end of the movie. Her addition to Mulan is pointless and if anything took away all the screentime from the main villain instead.
The action scenes are also mediocre which is such a shame. Asian movies have always nail action scenes with their amazing choreography but in Mulan it is BORING. The trailers made it seem like it might be in the veins of "Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon" withs it floaty yet elegant style of fighting. However, it instead really plain and overly edited with many cuts.
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On that note of edits, there are some weird edits in this movie that make it feel like there were important scenes that were cut. Minor spoilers but there is a scene where Mulan is riding a horse towards the enemies army in an open field but then the next scene suddenly has her behind the enemy hiding behind a rock with no explanation whatsoever. There is also a scene where after Mulan has decided to be true to herself in which she saves an ally but makes a choice to disappear into the fog. The next scene is then showing her dramatically coming back to her allies seconds later. It is so weird and took me out of the movie for sure.
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I also have to talk about our main lead actress Liu Yifei who plays Mulan. She sucks. She plays Mulan with no charm or charisma or even a personality. The tone in her voice is always the same and the only real change in her voice is when she is pretending to be a male with a deep voice. She also makes no expression whatsoever, it always feels like she has the same neutral expression in every moment even when someone died its the same expression. At least Donnie Yen and Jet Li are good in their roles though.
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Overall, the movie is not the all Asian cast American movie I am waiting for. It is just another inferior remake from Disney. It has none of the fun that was in the original so the movie just ends up being boring. There are some things you can enjoy in the movie with some pretty good moments sprinkled in there. Additionally, it is still pretty much a retelling of the original Mulan so the overall story is still there. It just isn't as good it could have been. Such a shame...
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rainbowlinegifs · 3 years ago
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                                    Week of Toku Ladies
                                      February 12th - 18th
Join us and @week-of-toku-ladies in celebrating all the lovely ladies of tokusatsu for Valentine’s Day this year! Ladies from every series are welcome, and you can tag #week of toku ladies so we can reblog your posts. Valentines-themed prompts are listed below, but feel free to go your own way!
Monday (Feb 12th): colors
Tuesday (Feb 13th): canon ships
Wednesday (Feb 14th): romance (happy valentine’s day)
Thursday (Feb 15th): free day
Friday (Feb 16th): touching
Saturday (Feb 17th): heartbreaking moments
Sunday (Feb 18th): should’ve been canon ships
If you have any questions you can go to our askbox or week-of-toku-ladies :)
(Reminder that this week will fall during Femslash February if you want to highlight your favorite toku femslash ships as well!)
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kaenis · 3 years ago
“ She wears an eye cover that seals her excessively powerful Mystic Eyes of Petrification within the Bounded Field. Her sight is completely sealed. Although Rider perceives the world through senses such as hearing, touch, smell, and magic-detection, she is able to acquire more precise information than sight. “
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jen-iii · 3 years ago
You can’t convince me otherwise that when the crew made their DnD characters, they chose what would fit them best cuz they’re new to all this EXCEPT Pidge who is a VETERAN at DnD and totally made her barbarian character to what she wanted to always do like this is her OC she’s cultivated for YEARS like like she says this is THROK'NKA THE DESTROYER or some shit the barbarian queen of the blood riders, she makes her enemies deep throat her massive two handed battle ax, she rips the spines out of dragons, etc etc and the team is just SHOOKETH and they try to tell Matt but he’s heard it all, he has been DM for her for YEARS
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rainbowlinegifs · 3 years ago
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make me choose  ↳ @powerprincesses asked: tomoko/ryusei or akiko/ryu
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varenys · a year ago
The Ghost of Her Wounds
“She was never one for much emotion, for her unique heart failed to even beat. But their reluctant eyes as they pointed their weapons toward their former teacher, whom they used to greet, admire, and love, made even her motionless heart waver with remorse. 
For the first time, Byleth Eisner, the formidable Ashen Demon, felt weary about war.”
A Claude/Byleth oneshot | 3384 words | Read on AO3 here! | or not ↓
Dawn. It was Byleth’s favorite time of day—when the sky was young, flushed with hues of pink, purple and blue, when the hours ahead brimmed with bright potential, and when the ever-busy world seemed to slow down, at least for a little while. Dawn reminded her most of the journeys during her early years as a traveling mercenary, when she traversed through the great cities of Fódlan’s three territories, from Fhirdiad to Derdriu to Enbarr, with her father Jeralt. Five years had passed since his untimely death, but the years had not made her miss him any less deeply.
After nearly a year of incessant fighting and warfare, the decisive battle of the Great War of Fódlan crept ever closer, and day by day Byleth found herself lured outside by the early morning zephyr. The feeling of the crisp breeze dancing across her skin seemed to be her only solace during difficult times of war, marked only with bloodshed, pain, and loss.
She always stood at her favorite spot, right in the middle of the colossal stone bridge outside Garreg Mach Monastery’s holy cathedral, overlooking the golden amber valley below that disappeared into the mist. Something about that particular spot made her feel at the center of the world, and it had become almost a morning ritual for her to watch the wyvern and pegasus riders make their morning patrols in the cotton candy sky.
But as her steady gaze drifted to the horizon, her mind drifted to the young students of the Officer’s Academy five years before. In the present year 1185, Garreg Mach’s Officer’s Academy was no more, since Emperor Edelgard von Hresvelg of the Adrestian Empire, a student herself, ascended the throne and turned her blade to the Church of Seiros, declaring war. Ill-prepared for the ambush that appeared on its doorstep, the Church of Seiros fell with Garreg Mach and its Officer’s Academy. As quickly as a rug would be pulled under their feet, friends became enemies, roads diverged, and backs were turned to join their sides of the war, many void of much choice for their stances.
It pained Byleth to remember the students so full of life, so eager to prepare their first steps into the world, starkly contrasted with the hopes and dreams that left their eyes as they fell, one by one, under Byleth’s own sword.
She was never one for much emotion, for her unique heart failed to even beat. But their reluctant eyes as they pointed their weapons toward their former teacher, whom they used to greet, admire, and love, made even her motionless heart waver with remorse.
For the first time, Byleth Eisner, the formidable Ashen Demon, felt weary about war.
“Something on your mind, my friend?” inquired a voice from Byleth’s side.
She jolted, but eased into a smile as Claude, her beloved friend and ally, came to join her. The warm familiarity of his presence shone a light in her chest like how a torch would light a cave, relieving Byleth from her moment of darkness.
“Just reflecting.”
“Oh?” Claude raised an eyebrow. “But you don’t look like a mirror to me.”
Before he even finished his sentence, Byleth scrunched up her face in disgust—oh, she saw that coming. Predicting Claude’s punny jokes was now her sixth sense after spending so much time with him these past several months.
“You’re slipping, Claude,” she warned. “That wasn’t even funny.”
“C’mon, you still gotta rate my delivery.”
“Okay, fine. A one out of ten. And I’m being generous.”
Claude laughed, with his vivacious, emerald eyes twinkling with a boyish charm that Byleth inevitably couldn’t help smiling at. Unbeknownst to her, to see the corners of her lips upturned at him was Claude’s real purpose for all his awful jokes.
“Thanks, Teach.”
Claude von Riegan, the charismatic and tactical leader of the war and of the Leicester Alliance, dressed handsomely in gold with his royal Almyranesque garb, adorned with colorful tassels and an intricately embroidered cloak that draped over his robust body. Byleth felt as if it were just yesterday when he was her student in the Golden Deer house that she taught as their professor. In five swift years, the mischievous boy she once knew had grown into a man’s body, with a beard, longer hair, and an even more overbearing array of jokes up his sleeve. But he had also grown to be a force to be reckoned with in his own right—a masterful tactician and indomitable archer—yet personable and kind to those he led. Byleth, proud of who he had become, couldn’t help taking a little credit. He was under her guidance, after all.
“Well, just letting you know, after an embarrassing amount of pleading by the rest of us, Lysithea finally agreed to bake some of her special cakes for us,” Claude proudly announced, rubbing his hands together.
“Really? There’s enough rations?”
“Well, not too much. But I figured having gone this far in the war, we all need a little something to celebrate not being dead.”
“I suppose that’s reasonable.” Byleth smiled cheekily at Claude’s humor. “I’m more surprised you managed to convince her to do it.”
“To be fair, she wouldn’t budge until Felix said he ‘wouldn’t mind some.’”
“Ah.” Byleth and Claude had both suspected Lysithea had a bit of a crush on Felix. “She’s adorable.”
“Sure, until you call her out on it and she turns into a deranged monster of denial.”
The two friends chuckled knowingly with each other. Byleth won’t ever forget Lysithea’s tomato red face and her shrill, verbal assault when Claude teased her about Felix the other day.
“DO YOU WANT TO DIE?” Byleth remembered Lysithea screeching in the dining hall. If Claude didn’t duck away in retreat, she looked as though she was ready to thrust him a critical Miasma hit.
Byleth leaned on the bridge railing alongside Claude, the pair observing the sun’s rays that peeked from below the horizon. Sunrise was nearly over, but that still didn’t discount the beauty before them.
“I don’t think I’ll ever get used to the view from here,” Byleth muttered.
Claude never really had a good look of the view from the bridge these days. With the war nearing its end, he had been especially busy making preparations to soak any of his environment in. But having been raised in Almyra, a neighboring country of Fódlan, he always harbored an appreciation for nature’s wonders, such as the magnificent display that was in front of him. The deep valley below was otherworldly, from the majestic pine trees that looked ever small from where he was, to the coursing river that led into an unknown place obscured from view. It was refreshing to see from a bird’s eye view without having to ride his wyvern for once.
“You sure have good taste in views, Teach. It’s no wonder you’re always out here.”
“Well...“ Byleth drawled, cocking her head to the side. “Sometimes if I’m lucky, I’ll catch Sylvain doing weapon tricks on his wyvern to impress the ladies. That's always a treat.”
“So is that why the guy’s always ‘losing’ his axes?” Claude chortled. “I should’ve guessed.”
His ringing laughter subsided into a moment of quiet that he and Byleth relished, the two silently glowing in each other’s company. It wasn’t long before Byleth slowly lost herself into contemplation again, and she failed to notice Claude’s wandering eyes that traced her, admiring her slightly tousled, mint green hair that somehow still flowed into place past her shoulders. He gazed at her doll-like lashes that naturally curled upward, and the raw sunlight that colored her pale cheeks with gold. Upon Byleth’s visage was a dignified expression—solemn and pensive, yet gentle. She glimmered softly with an ethereal and divine aura that quietly took hold of his heart.
In his youth, Claude never really believed in Sothis, the Fódlan goddess. But for a second, just for a second, he truly thought he was seeing her before his eyes. And she was beautiful.
Although, these days he couldn't help noticing the vibrance usually reflected in Byleth’s eyes had been clouded with a sadness he hadn’t seen since her father died. Like a child pulling on a mother’s sleeve, his instinct nagged at him that Byleth was obstructing her true feelings. She was present, yet simultaneously far away, and Byleth remaining distant from him bothered him infinitely. While Claude usually enjoyed solving mysteries, he didn’t feel particularly joyous about this one.
“There’s something on your mind, isn’t there,” Claude presumed, posing it more as a statement than a question. “You know I’m all ears if you need to talk about it.”
Flustered, Byleth’s ears burned crimson as she refocused her attention. She knew Claude was naturally scheming all the time, but she never understood how he always seemed to see right through her mind.
“No, nothing is wrong.”
Claude smirked at her meek attempt to deceive him. “Well, when you’re bluffing to the self-declared king of deception, you’d ought to do a better job at it.”
Though he was sure his suspicions were correct, he grew disappointed all the same when her façade slowly melted into her true unsettled expression. Byleth stared out to the horizon yet again, more solemnly than before. Though she didn’t speak, Claude knew her well enough to give her a few minutes. With her reputation as a stone-faced army commander whom people looked to for unwavering assurance, for her to find a moment to confide in someone about herself was few and far between.
“It’s true I don’t remember much about my past,” Byleth began after gathering her thoughts, ensuring her voice remained steady. “But when I was young, I was stabbed in the leg by a thief when I tried to escape him.”
A delicate spot on her upper right thigh dully singed her skin. She idly traced it with her forefinger, knowing well where the scar began and where it ended. At least a decade had passed since the incident, but the ghost of her wound was evidently still there, seemingly never leaving.
“My father took no chances after that—he gave me an iron sword to replace my little dagger as soon as I healed. He actually gave it a name, ‘The Silencer,’ so I’d think it was more impressive than it was,” Byleth reminisced with a wistful smile. “He trained me to kill… and I killed to survive. My first blood was a lowly bandit in the outskirts of Empire territory. And I felt nothing of it.”
Keeping silent, Claude furrowed his brows. He watched Byleth close her eyes, sighing her many months of hidden despondency into the sky above her. Her face, though looking physically like porcelain, revealed shadows of wear and exhaustion.
“You would think after all those years of killing as a livelihood, killing without a second thought, that this war would be easy. But it’s not. It’s different this time, perhaps knowing I helped build the dreams of those kids... and was the same one to destroy them.”
She paused when she realized her voice began to crack, not fathoming how much it could hurt to hear her innermost feelings made manifest into words. Tightening her lips, she continued, straining to stabilize herself.
“But I know… I know we didn’t come this far for me to lose my focus. These feelings... they’re holding me back. They’re just useless. ”
The word escaped her mouth with scorn, as if it were something she spat out on the street. But with every word she uttered, the more she broke, and the more her walls revealed their deterioration. She averted her dampening, sullen eyes to the fog accumulated below the bridge. Blinking hard, she straightened her back, but Claude was no stranger to the act of hiding behind a façade. He himself did it all the time.
With his position as leader of the Alliance, Claude didn’t have the liberty to show his true feelings about the war. His jokes, his cheerful face, and his carefree disposition were all for the sake of the people around him. Maintaining the morale of his soldiers and allies, the ones who bravely hurled their lives on the line for his dream to unite Fódlan, was far more important. But when he was alone, he too grieved the familiar faces of those he saw fall on the battlefield. Just like he was, Byleth was struggling to keep her head above water, and Claude’s chest sunk with her. Even his most unfazed army commander wasn’t immune to the toll of war.
She blinked, shifting to face him. He rarely called her by her first name, and neither did anyone else, but to hear it from him now strangely comforted her.
“I haven’t told you, but I was the one who took down Linhardt at Fort Merceus,” Claude confessed, his jaw tightening. “You know I wouldn’t have touched him if he hadn't already killed so many of our soldiers. I had to. But the sad thing is... I still remember him from the academy. Always in the library, only ever wanted to nap and study crests, and I’m sure that’s exactly what he would’ve wanted to be doing instead of fighting someone else’s war. When his body toppled with my own arrow in his chest, his eyes started glassing over and I just… I don’t know. I don’t know why that affected me so much.”
Claude looked down at his palms that were ragged and severely blistered from years of constant bow and sword handling, despite the gloves he made sure to wear. It dawned on him how he can’t seem to remember what they looked like when they weren’t this way. But he knew his hands weren’t always like this. His hands didn’t have to be. It was only because of the war.
“The reality of war... you and I know it well. People die, by our hand or not. And sadly, our old friends are among those we had to kill. Linhardt, Caspar, Ferdinand, the others that hurt to name—we know none of them deserved to go like that.”
Byleth’s chest twinged at the sound of their names, much like how the old wound on her thigh did. They might have been her enemies of war, but to her, they were still her students, and she loved them still the same—even Edelgard, the one who ignited the war to begin with. Edelgard’s last words, before Byleth struck her final blow with the Sword of the Creator, rang out in her mind.
Your path… lies across my grave. It is time for you to find the courage to walk it.
They haunted Byleth the worst.
“Sure,” Claude continued, “Maybe we shouldn’t dwell too much on the ones we had to put down. The war goes on after all, and, y’know—” he glanced back at Byleth, “—we kill or be killed. You know that more than any of us. But even amid the most gruesome of wars, it’s unrealistic, even foolish, to force ourselves to feel free of any remorse, especially when the ones at the ends of our blades used to be our friends.”
Carefully, he pulled Byleth closer to him, extending an arm around her waist to let her rest her head gently on his shoulder. Leaning on him, she felt herself liberated from the baggage she had shouldered since the war began—the baggage that had been heavy for her to carry alone. And she found it ironic that the one to lift her from that burden was the same one who drove her up the wall in her lectures all those years before. The sudden reassurance from none other than Claude evoked a rare strand of tears that slid down her cheek. He had come a long way to become the sole person she ever truly relied on, other than her own father.
“Allowing yourself to feel isn’t always a sign of weakness,” Claude murmured. “It’s just a sign of humanity.”
Byleth stopped.
“Humanity.” She repeated it as though she was hearing the word for the first time.
In truth, Byleth wasn’t completely human. Her unique heart that failed to beat was one she shared with Sothis, the Fódlan progenitor god herself. As a newborn, Byleth neither laughed nor cried. She had no pulse. To her father’s silent horror, she was incapable of any emotion at all until 21 years after her birth, stepping in as the Officer’s Academy’s youngest professor at the archbishop’s request. Byleth’s time teaching, learning about the students, discovering their past, their present, and their dreams for the future, sparked a fire that thawed away her stoic demeanor. The students fell in love with her, and she too fell in love with the students. She began to smile, to laugh, to develop her own dry sense of humor—no thanks to Claude—and to shed her first tears, when she witnessed her father murdered senselessly in front of her eyes.
“Love, happiness, guilt, remorse... they’re the very threads that keep us human.” Claude turned to firmly grasp Byleth’s shoulders to face him. “Allow yourself to feel them from time to time, else you’re no different from a beast.”
Byleth, slowly comprehending his words, took comfort in his earnest, verdant green eyes that pierced through hers. The youthful gleam in his face was alive and well, but intermingled with a new maturity that she grew to love the more time they spent together. He wasn’t just her student anymore. He was her smile, her anchor, and her confidant. He was the healer of her wounds. With him, she felt the most human she had ever felt. With him, everything was going to be alright.
With him, she was home.
Claude smiled warmly at her, more glad than ever to see the light that reemerged in her pale green eyes. That very light was what fueled him to keep going, and he needed to see it more than she would ever know.
“Well, in a way, I’m kinda glad you’re being crippled by tormenting feelings of grief,” he chirped to lighten the mood. “Kind of reassuring to know I’m not in love with a cold-blooded killer.”
Byleth snorted in disbelief that he could be cracking jokes at a time like this. But she couldn’t fight a radiant smile from spreading across her face as she wiped her tears away. Out of all the things in this world she could be at the mercy of, she never expected his humor to be one of them.
“Claude, thank you. I mean it.”
She reached to intertwine his hands with hers. Like his, they were rough and callused from more than a decade of sword wielding, but to Claude, they felt just as beautiful as a swan’s delicate feathers. 
He squeezed her hands. “I’m here for you,” he assured. “Just like how you are for all of us.”
Between them, there was a clear longing for each other that they both knew. They communicated it through their playful banter, their eyes, their touch, and their quick, stolen kisses in the cardinal’s room in the dead of night, when they were alone to strategize the war. Their respect for each other as partners had evolved into something much more, and they knew, as well as everyone else around them, that they were in love.
But the two young leaders knew better. During this critical time of the war, overindulging in love was a risk to be avoided. No matter how much Claude’s throat burned to ask her to be by his side as his wife, and no matter how much Byleth yearned to love him freely, now was not the time.
Nemesis, the ancient King of Liberation, treaded the lands of Fódlan once more, and he was coming for them. They had an army to command. They had a dawn of a new world to lead. But at the very least for now, they could promise each other.
“Don’t die on me.”
Claude chuckled. He cupped her face in his hands, playfully squishing her cheeks knowing well she hates it when he does that.
“I won’t,” he promised, gently pressing her lips with his.
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thesleepingnotsobeauty · 2 years ago
Which one is the one devaluing a female character?
Someone who draws sexy fanart of a female character who is badass/has deep lore/is essential to a story?
 or someone that decides that a character must be nothing more than fapping material because people make sexy fanart of her?
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nighttimepixels · a year ago
bonejour it is officially Spooky Season so i have a question i’ve been waiting all year to ask: do the lovely lilytale ladies do anything for halloween & if so do they have any costumes planned this year? :D
bonejour indeed >:D of course, it’s always a bonejour in my neck of the spooky woods, skeleton siestas all day every day here-
And heck yes, the Lilytale crew loves Halloween because it’s the best~ Their costumes, once they get acquainted with the idea, tend to range from absurdly hilarious to killer cosplays, but here’s a sample of what they might do this year:
Serif (Lady UT Sans): ... is wearing a black cat kigurumi with an upside-down sickle moon sticker on the drawn-up hood to match Vellum-
Vellum (Lady UT Pap): ... who is cosplaying as Usagi in full Sailor Moon outfit!
Sapphire (Lady US Sans): ... is cosplaying as Lady Thor, with incredibly convincing armor and decor, and at least one costume change halfway through the night-
Amber (Lady US Pap): ... is, almost-but-not-quite confusingly, wearing a Raccoon Kigurumi, with an outift Sapphire designed to go over it to make her look like a particularly cozy Rocket Raccoon.
Crimson (Lady UF Sans): ... is dressing as a particularly roguish lady pirate. She’s a sucker for the fantasy/storytelling versions of pirates in general, and let’s be real - she absolutely kills in that sort of outfit.
Scarlet (Lady UF Pap):  ... is dressing up as, ohoho, Utena. Complete with replica-and-very-real-and-sharp sword. Before the evening’s out, she’ll have staged a very convincing battle, whether she drags a surprisingly adept-with-a-swashbuckling-sword Crimson into it or sets up something a bit more canon-appropriate.
Pepper (Lady SF Sans): ... is dressed up as San from Princess Mononoke. She may or may not actually have a wolf with her, depending on the night’s events.
Cinnamon (Lady SF Pap): ... is dressed up as Howl from Howl’s Moving Castle. It’s slightly unfair how well she pulls it off. And how she actually reappears in different Howl outfits without you even noticing her leaving the room.
Blade (Lady HT Sans): ... understandably enough, doesn’t let herself get pulled into any situation where a surprise might actually get the better of her and trigger a bad reaction, but she nonetheless does generally get a chuckle out of the holiday. She dresses up, too, at least a little, particularly because Twist loves it - this year, she’s wearing a handmade kigurumi and carrying pocketfuls of gummy worms/insects, as her kigurumi looks like Oogie Boogie -
Twist (Lady HT  Pap): -because Twist is dressed up as a dapper lady Jack Skellington! She can even sing his songs, and absolutely will, if you’re interested in being her Sally ;Dc
Alpha (Lady Q Sans): ... technically, can be anything in the digital world, but she’s made herself either a miniature BumbleBee body this year to pilot (complete with turning into a tiny VW) or, without even seeing the movie, literally made herself a body of that robot guy from Promare who sits on that throne.
Glyph (Lady G!Sans): ... is often playing shows on Halloween, so she doesn’t generally go too crazy - can’t wear anything that’d make playing too difficult - but this year she’s wearing a black leather outfit and has some pyro planned for one particularly rocking song that’ll make her look very convincingly like Ghost Rider ;D
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scarlettroubles · 2 months ago
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Finally introducing you guys my silly hphm dragon riders AU! (I don’t have a very creative name for this au yet unfortunately) an AU I’ve been clowning with @weirdcursedvaultkid and @carmilla-the-bird XD
I don’t have the entire AU fleshed out yet and I’m really bad at explaining shit but the basics of this AU was when a wizard or witch receives their wand they also get a dragon egg. The egg hatches by the end of the students 1st year at Hogwarts and the species of the dragon/physical attributes depend on the witch’s/wizard’s wand core. In 1st year you care for the egg until it hatches. In 2nd-3rd year you learn to bond and work alongside your dragon. 4th and 5th year is when you learn to ride them for the first time and 6th-7th year is when the dragon learns to breathe fire. In this AU dragons also have magic and mostly use it for battle or for hiding from muggles by transforming themselves into lizards, geckos, snakes, frogs, salamanders and other smaller reptiles or amphibians to hide themselves from the muggle world. Dragons can share their magic with their rider and vice versa and they also have this telepathic link with their riders to communicate but if the bond between rider and dragon breaks then so does the link and in most cases, neither party survives a broken bond and even if one or both party members survive it, they’re magic grows weak and most don’t live for very long.
First dragon up for this AU is Merula’s dragon, Maxima the great and powerful.
They say the dragon reflects the rider and Maxima fits that description perfectly. She is every bit as deadly and prideful as her rider and loves to show off and assert her dominance. Maxima doesn’t get along too well with other dragons and for that reason has her stable farther away from the other dragons in the school to avoid the possibility of her starting a fight. Her inability to get along with other dragons make hard for her to work in teams with other dragons and their riders .. other dragons usually avoid her unless they're like...Stupid. Or brave.. Or stupidly brave (Like Alex Vega’s dragon, Rosie @weirdcursedvaultkid). Despite this, Maxima has on occasion shown a softer side of herself much like her rider, Merula Snyde. Although Maxima works well with her rider and obeys most of her commands, she will on occasion disobey Merula if she deems the command stupid and has even whacked her in the back of the head once when she was given a command she didn’t like.
While some dragons get serious separation anxiety when separated from their riders, Maxima is very self reliant and independent. She can be far apart from Merula with no problem usually unless she sense danger.. (lovely headcanon written by @weirdcursedvaultkid​)
 It’s rumored that the main reason Maxima is mean to most dragons is to hide the fact she’s sad over not being able to play with them because she does it too roughly and tends to hurt her playmates (the fact that she’s venomous doesn’t help matters at all). 
If you guys have any questions for this AU, don’t be afraid to send me an ask!! :D 
Maxima’s species of dragon is known as the Violet Cuddlebug (You can thank my irl friend @hanzeebuns​ for that name and to mella and cassie for voting on it being called that lol). These dragons earned the name for their violet colored hide and the way they kill their prey. These dragons can extend their neck and use it to coil themselves around their prey before dealing the killing blow with their deadly venom. If the dragon is feeling particularly sadistic it will merely suffocate their victim to death and not use their venom at all. If in a hurry however, they’ll use their long, sharp tail to slice their victim in half instead.
 The colorful stripes on their neck to the base of their tail is an indicator of how venomous the dragon is. The more colors on the stripe and the more vibrant, the more venom they have packed. It also serves as a warning to other dragons, humans and magical creatures alike to stay away and if that doesn’t work, it inflates the neck-flap around it’s head  and roars or hisses to frighten away predators or keep them at bay until it can flee to safety. These dragons are one of the more agile and speedy dragon species and are capable of launching globs of acid that can rapidly catch fire once exposed to oxygen and can melt through wood, stone and most metals. These dragons weak points are their necks when they’re about to breathe fire or spit out acid. Hit them there and they’ll be stunned for a few seconds.
The females tend to be more larger than the males and also more aggressive but the males have longer horns on their noses. Violet cuddlebugs are considered the more difficult dragons to train and require a stern hand and a large amount of patience to tame such beasts. These dragons are also known to have one of the sharpest tails in the Wizarding World and witches and wizards who have found themselves caring for these dragons have been advised to be extra careful when grooming this dragon as to not accidentally lose any fingers or any other appendages. 
Some concept notes:
The possible species names I had for Merula’s dragon were:
Ghastly Frilled Snapdragon
Ghastly Frilled Devil
The Devil-Horned Viper
Ghastly Frilled Pit Viper (can u tell I really wanted it to have the word ghastly in it XD)
and Harrowing Horned-Devil
I showed these as well as the concept art I had for merula’s dragon to my irl friend and they said and I quote “ I really like the second one. But wanna know something funny?  What if the name is like, something that sounded cute and harmless.  Like "violet cuddlebug" or "horned hugger" and then it turns out its a fucking alien with a huge mouth.’ And I fucking loved it. I showed the names to mella and cassie and they both agreed with violet cuddlebug lmao.
I got the inspiration for Merula’s dragon from pit vipers and cobras and also from Arbok from Pokemon as well as the Deathgripper and Razorwhip from HTTYD (which is honestly where the idea for this au came from anyway LMAOOO).
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These are the concept sketches I did for Maxima before settling on a final design.
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tidal-elegy · 24 days ago
ill never stop trying to manifest a summer medusa alt despite dw’s dream shattering line ups crushing me further down under the earth’s crust but i wont lie this boy would like an anya or eresh to have a hot girl summer
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I was in the middle of writing one of the works that I wanted to share with you all, named “Only Great Warriors,” and, uninvited, the thought of dragon sweaters came up. I thought of Valka knitting sweaters for dragons that needed extra warmth to make it through the winter, and then teaching the dragon riders how to make them when she and her dragons joined Berk. 
I got the cutest picture in my head of Fishlegs knitting Meatlug personalized sweaters, and then making some for the others’ dragons.
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