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Martingales: The House Goes Bust

Martingales
Part One: Something Wicked This Way Comes
Part Two: Instruments of Darkness
Part Three: Absolute Zero
Part Four: All Sevens
Part Five: Whale-Watching
Part Six: On the Shores of Oblivion
Part Seven: Ante Up
Theme
“Okay, what the hell is this?” Martin’s confusion is evident in his tone as he takes in the sight before him, slowly stepping out of the elevator as he does so. Rather than the sumptuous yet gaudy building he’s been used to, here it looks like he’s entered into some ancient Greek temple. Worn columns reach to support a supposed ceiling, and rather than carpet, colorful flecks of tile make sweeping images that spread across the floor. The walls are stone as well, daubed in paint and carved with expressions of stern individuals, and of others kneeling before the banks of a snow-white winding path. No, not a path, a river, Martin notes as, upon closer inspection, he sees hands reaching into the depths, and others raised before mouths.
“Welcome to the Executive Level, Mister Gale,” A smooth voice says from beside him, causing the boy to jump a solid foot. An immaculate looking man in black suit and tie stands beside him, his face masked with an inscrutable mask of tragic woe. “Your friend mentioned that you were having troubles with your memories; please, allow me to be of assistance.”
Martin turns to look for Anthony, but only an elevator door is to be seen, the lift hidden behind twins doors of steel.
“Come now, Mister Gale, let’s have a conversation, you and me. Are you thirsty, hungry?” The masked figure saunters deeper into the room. Beyond a fountain of oily black water and that looks like its offering liquid snow, there sits a stone table, a pair of chairs on opposite sides. Well, a throne and a chair; the one beside the fountains is tall-backed and imperiously proud compared to its counterpart. Settling into his throne, the man gestures to the chair across from him. Martin’s teeth gnaw at his lip in concern, but he gradually makes his way into the room. As he does so, he notes the ceiling, where two figures are coiled overhead. Each is the mirror of the other, one dressed in white and with platinum tresses, while one is dressed in the inky coils of night. They stare down from overhead, neither lesser than the other.
“There we are.” The man says as Martin settles into the chair across from him. A gloved hand sweeps across the table in a casual grandness. What Martin thought was just a stone table bears second inspection, as it turns out to be tiled with squares of obsidian and some white stone-
Howlite, his mind supplies, though he hadn’t had a clue the word existed until that moment.
-Obsidian and howlite. On the table, a richly lacquered box rests. The figure across from Martin opens the lid, and begins to pull piece after piece from within. A chessboard, with pieces of onyx and moonstone.
“Do you play, Mister Gale?” the man asks.
“I- uh, I don’t know, but I-!” The confusion of this situation is all encompassing; whatever Martin had expected up here, it was not a chess game with a masked individual in what looks like a forgotten ruin. He begins to protest, but is cut off by one gloved finger being raised. The figure, whomever they are, commands authority to silence with even just a gesture.
”Right, I should’ve guessed. Well, let’s see what you remember, then. I find it easier to talk while my hands are distracted. Memory goes first, and the House responds.” The gloved hand goes from interdiction to encouragement. Martin looks down to the pieces, but his gaze lingers for only a moment before he’s back and focused on the stranger across from him. Another stranger and place he doesn’t understand, again!
“I don’t even know who you are,” Martin glowers at the tragic mask sitting opposite. “Why should I play?”
“You’re right, you’re right of course, Mister Gale. How about this then; we’ll include an ante for each piece taken. With each successful capture, the loser shall answer the question of the claimant, and do so truthfully. And as a show of good faith, I’ll give you an answer unbidden.” The woe-struck mask leans across the table, looking at Martin with a misery that he can feel deep within his chest. Pinpricks of red light can be seen within the depths, but anything remotely passable as eyes cannot be seen.
“You may call me Stamatios the Tragic,” a sibilant hiss of a sentence comes from behind the mask. It takes all of Martin’s effort to avoid shivering, but the displeasure must be clear on his face as Stamatios leans back into his throne.
“And now that we’re acquainted, Mister Gale, let us begin the game.”
Black 1; White 0
“First piece to me, Mister Gale,” Stamatios notes as a bone-white pawn goes back into the box. It was bound to happen, Martin figured. It had to be done to succeed down the road.
“How is your head feeling? Anthony had mentioned that you were still dealing with one doozy of a migraine when we talked.”
“It’s… better,” Martin says guardedly. He’ll play by the rules of the game, even the added ante, if it means getting some iota of knowledge from the stranger across from him. “But I still can’t remember much.”
“Well, I’ve always found that a little bit of knowledge can be a most dangerous thing…”
Black 1; White 2
“Well done, Mister Gale,” Stamtios says approvingly, “in just a few moves, you’ve claimed a pair of pawns. Have you had time to think of your questions?”
“What is this place is my first one.”
“Good, good. This room is a penthouse suite for my brother and myself to reflect and separate ourselves from the world. Just as the Lotus is a place of refuge for some, we need that ourselves.”
“A brother… Do I have any siblings, then?”
“A sister, that I have been told of; my brother would know better,” Stamatios sighs. Martin is hooked though. What he couldn’t get from Anthony in the terms of answers has been claimed here in just minutes! And what’s more, that proves the dream was right! A sister, a father and mother, cousins and uncles; a whole family is out there waiting for him!
“Can I-” He begins to press his advantage, but a warning finger is raised again.
“Questions, questions Mister Gale. If you want answers, you must play better.”
Black 3; White 3
A pair of white pieces return to the box soon after, along with an ebony as well.
“Two for me, and one for you, Mister Gale. You seem to have come off a little rougher on this exchange. I think I will hold onto my questions for now; feel free to ask yours, though.”
“Can I talk to your brother?”
“I certainly believe you could, yes. But he is not in currently, and I have no way of contacting him that you can use, I am afraid. Do not worry though, Mister Gale. If he wishes to talk with you, he will make himself known to you.”
Black 4; White 3
“”Mister Gale, what do you think of Anthony?” Stamatios the Tragic asks as he a white rook finds its way into the box.
“I… I don’t trust him. I think he’s lied to me about a lot of things here. I think I trust you more than I trust him,” Martin admits. “At least you didn’t try buddying up to me as a friend.”
“Hmm, I see… It’s a shame that some people have such disreputable motives. Taking advantage of someone’s memory lapses like that; simply boorish behavior.”
Black 6; White 3
“Mister Gale, you simply need to play sharper, you won’t get any answers at this rate.” The pieces are definitely looking lopsided in their box, with ivory outnumbering ebony by a significant amount.
“How does it feel, knowing nothing of yourself?”
“It’s… it’s not something I like. I feel like someone took five different puzzles and tossed all of the pieces together. Just when I think I’ve got the frame completed, someone goes and messes it up.
“Truly unfortunate to hear; it sounds miserable.”
“I… I wouldn’t say that,” Martin muses. “There’s nowhere to go but up, isn’t there?”
“Isn’t there?” Stamtios echoes. If a mask hadn’t been between them, Martin would swear that an eyebrow was being raised with the mirrored question.
Black 6; White 4
“Did I know Anthony before he found me?”
“No, I highly doubt it. He’s been a long-term resident of the Lotus for quite some time, and it’s a shame to hear that he’s being… casual in his approach to things. I take it he didn’t offer you anything to eat, did he?”
“I- Wait, you didn’t take a piece here, I don’t have to answer,” Martin retorts. The synapses in his head went into overtime now, dealing with that bit of information. Anthony had never known him, and he had stayed at the Lotus for a while. Nothing he said is true, nothing.
So… Where does that leave him?
“You’re right of course, Mister Gale,” Stamatios inclines his head in a slow nod. “Shall we continue?”
Black 6; White 6
“Is my name Martin Gale?” Martin asks.
“My answer will be a history lesson for you, Mister Gale.” Stamatios begins, as Martin takes another pair of pieces. The board has thinned considerably, with roughly half the soldiers and nobility on each side of the board. “In eighteenth-century France, gambling parlors were home to a particular theory of betting, and by extension, probability. Do you know what that is?”
“No…”
“I’ll tell you, then. If you bet fifty dollars on a hand of poker and lost, how would you go about recouping said loss?”
“I’d bet again,” Martin notes, wondering where this is going.
“But would you bet the minimum, or fifty dollars? How safe would you be, and how brave would you be in going past a point of safety?”
“I, uh…”
“Enter the Martingales; those supremely brave and supremely foolish gamblers who, when faced with loss, doubled their efforts. If you lost fifty dollars, you bet one-hundred. Down one million, you’ll bet two million; so on and so forth. I doubt you need more explanation than that.”
“That’s a terrible idea though, why would anyone do that?”
“Well, if you win, you aren’t out anything at all, of course. Someone can go from serfdom back to their lordship.”
“And a lord could be made a pauper,” Martin counters. “I don’t know how this connects to me, though.”
“Well, Mister Gale…. You may not be the Martin Gale, but you are certainly a Martingale, at least in our eyes.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Questions, Mister Gale. I have answered what you have asked. Keep playing.”
Black 4; White 7
“Why do you think I’m a Martingale?”
“Because Mister Gale, I know you.”
Black 8; White 8
“Here we are, on the crossroads; halfway between existence… and oblivion,” Stamatios intones as Martin rolls his eyes.
“A bit melodramatic, huh?” He asks, and Stamatios shakes his head.
“Not at all, Mister Gale. There’s a tipping of the scales that one can only see when they’re perfectly balanced; your cousins know that better than most, I’m sure.”
“Wait, you know my cousins?”
“Only by reputation; and no, I won’t tell you their names. Focus on the game, Mister Gale.”
Black 9; White 10
“How can I get my memory back?”
“There’s several ways, I’m sure. Time would probably be the most effective method, I would say. Certainly the safest.”
“What happened to me?”
“I cannot say, for I was not a witness. I can only offer a guess, but that would not help your situation, I fear. Mister Gale, how does that make you feel?”
“Why are you trying to psychoanalyze me?”
“I’m not; I’m trying to understand you. If you want help, you need to be understood. And unfortunately, there’s not much for me to understand yet. Like you eloquently said, you’re like a bunch of puzzles put together. We can each put together a different picture, and what I think you are may be very different than what you think you are.”
Black 12; White 12
“And now we’re in the endgame, Mister Gale. May I say, this is a most admirable game. I daresay you could even give my brother a run for his money as well; we’ve had ample time to practice together, and it seems like you would fit in quite well.”
“What do you mean?” Martin asks.
“Well, quite simply, you would be a natural fit to join my brother and myself in our day to day operations. The Tragic, The Comic… The Cynic?” He offers in a lilting voice. “It’s not like anyone except for me has given you the truth so far. The Lotus-Eaters down below hardly care about you, Anthony is a tool that I would leave to you to take care of as you’d like, and you’d have quite a bit of autonomy to pursue your own endeavors.”
“That’s… what’s the catch?”
“Hmm… ask a different question for now, I’m not sure how to properly answer it for you yet, and don’t want to lead you astray. I’m not a proverbial snake.”
“Then what is Camp Half-Blood?”
“...I see you are recuperating more than Anthony would have led me to believe.” Stamatios’s voice is guarded, for the first time since the game of chess and questions began it actually sounds like he is on the defensive. “I am bound by my word though, Mister Gale. It’s a Camp, one for training people such as yourself to fight and survive a world that would have you dead. A Camp that you left of your own volition, I might add.”
“Why would I do that?”
“Because you’re a Martingale, Mister Gale. First for a claim, then for family, then for fraternity. And everytime its cost you something more; your normalcy, your innocence, and now, your memories. Eventually you won’t be able to pay the costs… and what then?”
Black 14; White 13
“One minute from doomsday, Mister Gale,” Stamatios notes. “And with myself right behind.”
Martin’s eyes scan the desolate board. If this were a literal battlefield, it would be clogged with blood and corpses. Here, on immaculate howlite and obsidian, it’s an austere representation of the battle of questions between them.
“...Why did this happen to me?” He asks as the seconds transform into minutes of silence between them. The question had been building for some time in him, and now seemed as good a time as any to ask, with an onyx bishop and ebony rook, staring down the gleaming bastion that his own rook provided against, as Stamatios had put it, oblivion.
“I mean, why me? Out of everybody in the world, why am I the one who has this lot?”
“Because we needed someone like you. Someone intelligent, and enduring. Those qualities are rare to find together, and even rarer when you look for the other conditions as well. Not many people would be willing to play a twenty-hour game of chess for answers.”
“Twenty hours?!” Martin exclaims. It had hardly felt like twenty minutes, let alone twenty hours. No twinge of hunger, no parched throat; nothing to indicate that this had been going on for the better part of a day.
“Well, in here, I suppose it seemed a little faster,” Stamatios admits. “I can only imagine how it went outside of here… But yes, you have the patience to see something through to the end, that’s another thing.”
“I- I don’t care about that, I just- I don’t want to be a toy to you, or to anyone else!” Martin protests, pushing his chair away from the board.
“Mister Gale, I do have an alternative for you, if you’ll hear me out? ….Good, thank you.” He adds as Martin, halfway to his feet, settles back into his chair again.
“You’ve been hurt by everyone you know, and forgotten everyone else you knew. You don’t even know what your life was like before the Lotus Casino took you in… So why risk the outside being worse?” Stamatios asks. From within a pocket of his suit jacket, he pulls out a small earthenware bottle with a wooden stopper.
“I can make the pain stop for you, in all ways. You just need to drink of the Lethe, Mister Gale. One mouthful, and you’ll forget everyone that’s wronged you, every pain that’s hurt you, everything that’s happened to you; just let the River consume it all.” With a free hand, he points up to the ceiling. Martin’s eyes follow his hand, and he stares up at the figures, astounded to see them slowly revolving around each other. More shockingly, they each look wounded, hurt. Cuts, scrapes, and bruises mar their body and clothes, looking as if they spent the past twenty hours on the chessboard’s battlefield rather than the pieces.
“Existence is a terrifying thing,” Stamatios continues. “And I can offer you a reprieve. Think of it, oblivion. You don’t have to worry about knowing anything, you just get to be! There’s no expectations, no obligations, you will just get to exist, in the truest sense of the word! This is a brand new start, Martin; very few get an opportunity to travel this particular road.”
Martin’s eyes drift to the clay bottle. It looks so plain, how can it do what he’s promised? There has to be a catch.
“There has to be a catch,” Martin echoes, an observation which Stamatios rewards with a nod.
“Astute. With this option, we would like you to become one of us; a Brother of Oblivion, a member of our dear little cult. And no-” he stops the protest. “I won’t tell you who or what we serve; it’ll be a waste of my breath if you do choose the option, and I do hate repeating myself.”
“And if I don’t take your option? Am I free to go?”
“I don’t know about free, but you will be able to leave, yes.” Stamatios muses. “We’ve found you before, we will find you again. I doubt you’ll like what happens when we find you again. I daresay you’re running out of limbs and friends to save, at this rate. We won’t kill you, but everyone else… well, if Peleus didn’t hate dogs so much, we would have already solved this problem.”
“I… are you-”
“Yes, that’s a threat, Mister Gale,” Stamatios sighs. “I rather thought you’d pick up on the inference, honestly. You were much sharper with all of your memories, you know.”
DWOOOOoooooom-
With a droning noise being the only alert, the lighting of the room vanishes in a trace. Martin’s eyes dart from side to side, looking for the source. His own eyes widen as they settle in on Stamatios’s eyes glowing red in the depths of his mournful mask.
”Please do not be alarmed, guests. We are currently on emergency power due to an unscheduled power outage. Concierges, please guide guests back to floors ten and up and explain the compensation package at their convenience. Also, inform them that any damage due to flooding on floors one through nine is covered by our comprehensive insurance plan. Mister Dhark, to the basement level ten. I repeat, Mister Dhark to basement level ten, please.”
“Damn it…” The expletive drips like poison from behind the mask. Stamatios rises to his feet, staring down at Martin and their board.
“Stalemate it is, Mister Gale. You have a choice before you now. If you are here when I return, we will welcome you into the Brotherhood. If you are not, then my brother and our agents shall plan our next move. This elevator is set to run on emergency power, so your escape will be guaranteed in these conditions; I doubt my brother or I shall have time to hunt you for quite the foreseeable future…”
“But when we do, I shall see you skewered on a dozen spears and force-fed the waters of the Lethe, so you only can remember the agony of pain without the reason why… Keep that in mind during your thinking process. I shall return within the hour.” And with that, the pair of red eyes vanish. Martin stands from his chair, looking around the room. The only measure of light comes from the elevator’s readout, otherwise the room is in complete darkness. Martin looks down at the chessboard, his eyes looking for any sort of answer that may be hidden in the battlefield.
It’s a stalemate game; neither of us would have won this. Just where this innate knowledge of chess comes from, he has no idea. The same thing happened with the game of Mythomagic on the main floor, though… Just a sense of how things work in terms of logic and tactics.
That’s neither here nor there, though. What matters now is the impasse that Martin finds himself in the twixt of.
If I drink the vial.. I lose sight of who I am, but the people I left behind will be safe… But I’ll never remember them again. He grabs the vial from the table and bounces it experimentally in his palm. It’s such a light object, to hold such weight in his mind.
“But if I go without, I put everyone in danger… But I could remember who everyone is… maybe,” his thoughts turn into words as he weighs the option in hand.
Which is better to choose? Should I be turned into one of them to protect others? Or should I be myself, and live with the consequences and dangers that such a choice brings?
“What would Father do?” He asks aloud, with only the babbling of the fountains available for reply. He sighs, looking down at the phial in his hand. Slowly the gears begin to turn in his head, as a plan begins to form.
Thank you for your patience, Lotus Hotel and Casino Patrons. We are now pleased to announce that our temporary power issue and flooding has been corrected. You are now free to return to the lower floors, where we will be offering free games for the next two hours! No risk, only reward as our way of thanking you for your patience! Thank you, and remember, when you stay at the Lotus; a weekend stay is like a year’s vacation!
Hundreds of people slowly return to the lower main floors of the casino. Bell-bottoms, poodle skirts, three-piece suits; all walks of life push against each other, eager for the opportunity to let their wallet’s feast on fortunes that they cannot understand… or care to, for that matter. Waitresses flit from table to machine with serving trays filled to the brim with ambrosial lotus flowers, ensnaring their prey just as surely as a spider pounces on the fly already ensnared within its web.
Martin notices none of this as he pushes out from the crowd, shoving his way through to a direction that nobody else seems to care to go; the exit.
“Excuse me sir! The game floor is-” The woman behind the check-in counter begins, but her words die in her mouth as she sees him effortlessly walk through the revolving door. In the past year that she’s worked the welcoming counter at The Lotus, she’s only seen two other groups do that. One pair with a lawyer towing them out, and the others after causing a scene and leaving after a few minutes. Never someone just by themselves.
“Have a-” She can’t even remember what she’s supposed to say when someone leaves the Lotus, it’s such an intermittent occurrence. Instead, she presses a button on the phone resting on her desk. She knows what she's supposed to do when it happens though, the laminated sheet of paper by the phone ensures that A few seconds of ringing, and a click is heard as the second line connects.
“Mister Dhark, the House has went bust. I repeat, the House has went bust.”
“So, both of you have lost your shirts in this little thought experiment, I see.” A man dressed in an impeccable charcoal suit and a mask miming comedic joy. Before him kneel two other individuals, each wearing masks of tragedy, one with hunched shoulders and a cloak, while the other wears a suit that is a twin of his comedic twin.
“Dear brother, it is not our fault; Anthony threw the game before we even had a chance to turn him to our side,” the Tragic protests.
“And who is Anthony’s handler, kind brother?” The standing Stamatios asks, being rewarded with a slumping of his twin’s shoulders.
“But, Lord Stamatios, we aren’t… aren’t done yet.” The hunched figure wheezes. “He’s… he’s hardly left…. Left Vegas. I can, with Skilos… I can catch him.”
“No.” The word is absolute, a glacier that signals the finality of all life that dares defy its passage. “He beat the pair of you, as I thought he would. He deserves the reprieve. I take no satisfaction in taking a piece off the board when it’s broken.” Stamatios the Comic turns from the kneeling figures, crossing back to the stone chess board where his Tragic brother and Martin had played their game. Kings and rooks and bishop still stand tall upon the board. Idly, he flicks the ebony king, sending it toppling to the floor with a clatter.
“And he managed this without only instinct… He did not know of Athena or his gifts, and he still put you to a stalemate, kind brother? Surely, you were humoring him?”
“...No, dear brother. I played my best game. We took twenty hours, which the Casino took as twenty weeks. The House always-”
“Don’t you dare say that tiresome cliche, kind brother, or else you shall find yourself as a fountain ornament before the month is out.” the smiling Stamatios notes. “Though, you did well enough to stall for time. My agents have found several leads that we have been looking for for some time. We shall prepare to move when we are able.”
“And what of us, dear brother?”
“You, kind brother, will see to the Casino. Make sure that there is no lasting damage from the power outage. And see to the rainwater that poured in; I swear we’ll have to get that carpet torn out and replaced. It absolutely reeks of seawater, dead fish, and failed ambition down there.”
“And me… Lord?” The Oathbreaker heaves the question. Stamatios the Comic turns to him with his forced smile.
“You, my loathsome abomination, will be going to New York. If our Martingale ups the ante, then take him out, but not before. Skilos is yours. And if you fail or kill him before his time… You’d best hope he remembers how to kill someone like you first. His mercies will seem like a mother’s compared to what will await you should I get my hands on you.”
“...Yes, Lord.” He gasps his assent as he rises to his feet. From within the depths of the cloak, he draws a crystalline whistle. Pulling the mask up to his nose, he brings it to his exposed mouth and blows. Nothing happens for a heartbeat, then two. On the third, a bounding hellhound leaps from the shadows.
“Skilos… bring me to New York.” The Oathbreaker commands as he clambers up the monster’s back. Once he is firmly seated, the pair bound into the shadows and vanish once more.
“Dear brother, I do not trust him… I believe we were rash in elevating him,” the Tragic intones.
“I do agree, kind brother. Consider this our third test of Mister Kaufmann. If he finds a way to remember that he is in fact Mister Kaufmann, then he will be rechristened in blood.”
“I remember our game on Tetepare, when you thought Mister Cleary would be Mister Kaufmann’s equal. Do you stand by that?”
“No,” the Comic smiles, and based on the tone, a genuine one hides beneath as well. “I do not believe we’ve met his equal in many, many years, dear brother… We will either enter true existence once more, or final oblivion. We stand-”
“At the Crossroads.”
“At the Crossroads, yes. And Mister Kaufmann shall dictate the path. Now, go get that carpet dried. Oh, and have a long talk with Anthony about his… thoroughness when it comes to preparing our guests.”
“...Yes, dear brother.” Rather than rising to his feet, Stamatios the Tragic sinks into the shadows pooled around his feet. Stamatios the Comic looks up at the slowly spiraling image of the mirrored women on the ceiling and sighs.
“You really only have one hope, you know.” He pauses, then adds. “Each of you, I mean. Either I shall win, or Mister Kaufmann will… Best of luck to both Memory and Oblivion, may the true grandmaster win.”
The world is dark outside the bus depot, as dark as Vegas can manage with all of the neon and gaudiness. By contrast, the depot is threadbare and boring; Martin can’t think of the last time he’s been somewhere that’s felt half as comfortable. The light up display board he has been watching updates, with the second bus listing ratcheting up to the top of the board. A screech goes up through the building’s speaker system, followed by a scratchy voice.
Now boarding, Las Vegas to New York City. Please have your boarding ticket ready, and begin forming to board. Now boarding, Las Vegas to New York City.
Martin settles near the front of the bus, a small bag filled with toiletries by his feet. The card that had been handed to him by the concierge in the Lotus seemed to have a few uses outside of the casino, it seemed. Beyond the necessities, there were just a few other items; two to be exact. The first, the logo of the shirt he had found in the suite’s hamper. And two, wrapped within the cloth, a stoneware bottle that sloshes ever so slightly when it is moved.
Wait, what? A third item, a box the size of a pencil case stamped with a Caduceus stares up at him. Curiosity getting the better of him, he gingerly opens it. Nestled on a fitted interior rests a bronze ring, and a matching bracelet. Tucked into the side of the box, a small note is hidden. Unfolding it, his heart begins to tap away at a faster speed as he reads the contents, one part typed, the other handwritten on the bottom.
Dear Mister Gale,
We at the Lotus Hotel and Casino wanted to say we appreciate the opportunity to cater to you, and hope you enjoyed your stay with us. Please find enclosed a lost item that was recovered in the flooding, as well as a token of esteem from one of our patrons. We do hope that you will consider the Lotus in the future for all of your celebration and relaxation needs.
The Lotus Hotel and Casino
Well done, Mister Gale. Enjoy your reprieve before the game begins anew. Olly olly oxen free.
“You got cleaned out too, huh kid?” A man in his late forties settles into the spot behind him. Peeking over his shoulder, he shakes his head good-naturedly. “How much did they take you for?”
“...Everything.”
“Damn, at least you thought ahead enough to have your ticket home and souvenirs prepared. Me? I had to call up my wife and ask her to wire me some money. I’m just glad we have a comfy couch; I’ll be sleeping on that for a while, I think. Fuck Vegas.” Regardless of the expletive, he still seems in good spirits as he laughs at the thought.
“Fuck Vegas,” Martin echoes, though no laugh follows. The air brakes hiss as the bus lurches forward. Turning his gaze to the window, Martin watches as the bus garage is left behind, and soon enough Vegas itself fades away. Before his eyes drift closed, he sees one last thing.
“WELCOME TO FABULOUS LAS VEGAS, NEVADA” the iconic sign greets the departing demigod.
“...Fuck Vegas.”
[Storymode]
Total Time in the Lotus: 28 Hours (6 on the casino floor, 2 unconscious, 20 in the Executive Level)
Total Time Elapsed: 26 weeks.
submitted by SuperEnergeticNow to CampHalfBloodRP [link] [comments]

[Lets Build] Gods and Goddesses

Welcome to the 22nd [Lets Build!]
TOPIC: Gods and Goddesses Requested by: u/MysticMeow and u/SheogorathGaming
Die Roll Result
1 The Allfather - Ruler of the gods and creator of humans and other races.
2 Război - One of two gods of war. Although often seen as bloodthirsty, he actually hates war. He encourages brutality so that people will fear war and try to avoid it.
3 Erou - One of two gods of war. Generally the more worshipped of the two, being seen as the goddess of honorable war. Loves the thrill of battle and she appreciates it most when her worshippers fight battles in her name.
4 Nälij - Goddess of knowledge. Legend says she lives in an eternal archive with the knowledge of all that does, has, or will exist.
5 Rymat Samiar - Demigod of bridges, ferryboats, and fjords. Samiar was born a mortal who later achieved great renown for his swordplay, trickery, and legendary ability to escape from the most secure prisons in the multiverse. His most famous exploit was escaping from the afterlife by transforming into a frog and swimming back across the Stream of Life. He tricked the Servitor of Death sent to retrieve him to make a bargain that he would protect others from mishaps when fording the Stream if he could remain free. Now he is invoked by those wishing a safe crossing across rivers and streams. He usually appears as a rapier-wielding bipedal frog.
6 Ismaros - God of stalking. The hooded figure looks a bit like the grim reaper, but without being a skeleton. He is not very popular, but he is always there, always watching everyone and everything. If you wish to make a deal with him for information, it will come at a great price.
7 Edrun-Of-Far-Places - God of the unknown and the wanderer, dressed in a traveler's cloak patterned with stars. He has no realm in the Astral Plane and instead is believed to wander the mortal realm.
8 Talichtoli - God of Murder, justified or unjustified. Talichtoli's symbol is a simple bone knife, and they gives their aid to any who truly wants someone dead.
9 Pocaba, Lady of Islands - Goddess of sailors, fishermen and any who lives away from the mainland.
10 Hornfels - Dwarven god of home and hearth. It is common for members of any faith to keep a statue of Hornfels on the mantle. This god demands no worship, no tradition. Warming yourself by his protected hearth or eating food cooked at his hearth offers a kind of boon over the years. A request for home and safety can be made. Locate an outcrop of rock and, using soot from a campfire, draw a door-frame on the stone or boulder. The door-handle is drawn with a special rune. If done correctly and by the right person the door will materialize and a hearth and bed will be waiting inside the stone.
11 Fýsi - Goddess of the reclaiming wilds. When disaster strikes a town and buildings or lives are lost, that is the work of Fýsi, she takes back the man-made. Followers of Fýsi are nomadic and travel between villages on the outskirts of the wilds. Followers of Fýsi are not so much protected by her, or sent by her for specific bidding, but rather understand that Fýsi will act and it is a question of disaster, or a safe offering. They understand that Fýsi acts to protect nature and her disasters are akin to the lashing out of a scared animal, when her home is encroached by mankind. Followers are often offered respite in abandoned buildings in the village. Often, disaster can be warded off when followers arrive at the village and suggest safe homes and objects to offer to nature, so that disaster can be averted. Rangers and hunters will seek out these followers for blessing to avoid animal attacks and other dangers of the wild. A common ward is a packet of seeds kept in a cloth pouch with dry earth from their village. As long as the traveler keeps the soil dry, they will be safe.
12 Calais - God of vigilance and domesticity. Domain: Life/Light Calais is not the most powerful or well-known god, but among the pantheons he is the most well-loved. Keeper of homesteads and of vigils he comforts the wives whose husbands have gone off to war and keeps hope alive in the hearts of men who are in far off and possibly dark places. Although his representation among clergy has diminished over time, he keeps the hearth alive and warm for all mankind.
13 Noklaji - The Construction god, representing the expansion of cities and towns. This gnomish god is a deep gray all over and always carries a wooden plank with a nail in it as his weapon. Protects buildings and the people inside.
14 Vigo - Faceless Prince, Master of Lies, Patron God of Actors and Charlatans. Shapeshifter, Facechanger, the Great Mimic. Has no temples but a yearly festival where a parade of masked worshippers marches through cities. His holy symbol is a plain gold coin with two eyeholes, but any mask can be used to depict him.
15 The Crone - Goddess of Mists, Magic and Prophecy. Worshipped primarily by the river halfling nomads, she is a little known deity and very mysterious. It is said these Halflings read the cards each morning to determine her will for them, and that her chosen on this earth (often an elderly female seer), is imparted with some of her divine manifestation.
16 Samuqan - God of the Desert, Sun and Stars. He is known as a god of little mercy because of what he did to the land, but also as a guide for people, using the stars to help travellers find their way and tell their history.
17 Sangasu - God of Storms, known as a destructive force of nature, but necessary for renewal. It is believed he kidnapped [Goddess] and forced her to help him make monsters.
18 Naphistim - God of the Sea and Sand, people worship him when they need to travel through harsh and unforgiving places. They often give thanks to him by way of sacrifice as a reminder of their mortality, but also their strength.
19 Mezizi - God of Time and Death. All things turn to dust and sand, many are burnt in funeral pyres to honour him as it is he who allows life even in the harsh climes of the deserts and wastes.
20 Lugalme - Goddess of War and Fire. This goddess is the heat of passion and bloodlust, embodied literally as fire, she is prayed to in times of tragedy but also renewal, consummation and of course, before war.
21 Amarazen - God of Protection and Life, she is said to be the one that guided [city’s founder] to the oasis that made [Desert city] possible. Those who anger her are given visions of water that isn't real. Most claim her essence rests in the oasis and so the largest temple belongs to to her as she allowed them to live at the oasis’ side. Thus all who wish to take from the waters must pay tithes to the temple. She is secretly the goddess of secrets and sacred knowledge.
22 Elutil - Goddess of Monsters, Madness and Evil. Often depicted as an elderly woman, Elutil is cursed and hated by the people as the mother of Hags. Thought to have created most of the monsters in the world, it is hate and fear that strengthens her.
23 Delondra - Goddess of Woe and False hope, but at the centre of her machinations is the promise of something greater. She is a fickle Goddess, known to test mortals, sometimes out of sadistic humor and sometimes from a desire to help. She is also a Goddess of Hope and Risk.
24 Toitel - God of Travel, Wandering and Beasts. It is said he walks the world and has no domain other than where he stops to rest each night. He carries a shell on his back that looks like a rock to hide from people. Those who find him, he blesses with luck.
25 Caileon Le Corre - God of Protection, Music and Joy. He was sad to be a human who saved thousands from disaster and so was worshipped by them. He is depicted with a ring of swords and a lute. In times of revelry, some say they can hear his voice, keeping the party alive.
26 Prophet of Harvest - All who wish for a plenty to befall them pray. A god of Hunting, Harvest, Wellness, Livestock and Famine A skeleton god, with a complete digestive system, the ribcage being filled by a beehive. Offerings are made with fresh meat, honey and pommegranites.
27 Michizane - patron god of learning. Often students will pray or provide offering ahead of a major exam. He is known to be fond of poetry, plums and oxen. Legend tells of the time a nobleman closed down a library, to expand his palace. Misfortune had befallen the nobleman and his family, until they reopened the library and built a shrine in his honor. His holy symbol resembles a plum tree.
28 Molac - God of Flame, Red Dawn, Flame Tyrant. The god of the primal wild nature of fire. He represents chaos, and that is passionate (love, art, war. etc...). He appears as a being made from flame bearing a mask made of blackened wood. He represents things that are all consuming and destructive.
29 Tempsdule: God of time - Born out of the fragmentation of Relatitus, former Deity of The Singularity, Temspdule lives in a temple on the Moon, guarding and manipulating the Universal Hourglass, that controls all time in the Multiverse.
30 Metria - Goddess of space - Also born from Relatitus, Metria dwells on a mile-high tower on the Sun, which she moves and protects, using it to coordinate the movement of the planes.
31 Decepscher - God of illusion - Worshipped by illusion mages, Decepscher is often depicted as an artist, using a canvas and paint to shape the perception of reality. It's said he lives in a personal semi-plane, where all normal concepts of space and time are irrelevant.
32 Aveli - Deity of birds - Once a majestic winged creature that soared through the skies of the old world, it created all the bird species, and sacrificed it's own flying abilities in favor of it's creation. Penguins and emus are a question Aveli refuses to answer it's followers.
33 Falkorta - Goddess of luck - Ironically, she's worshipped by strategists and leaders, who believe chance plays a huge role in any important event. She decides who to give her blessings, and does so to anyone, just to make it look like she's neutral, even though she prefers to bring luck to those who never give up. Usually takes the form of a small pink dragon.
34 Icholese - The Lady of the Lake, the Teal Stream. Godess of lakes, rivers, and all inland waters. She protects the health of her people by granting them pure water and healings. She can take the form of a great predatory fish or a willow. Her fidels often throw offerings in ponds and ritualistically drown sacrifices
35 Doran - The God of the Forge. He is a Dwarf with a mighty hammer in hand and towers even Orcs in size. It is said that the unique weapons that Dwarves use come from Doran telling them how to make it when they sleep. These same legends say the weapons are to have a greater purpose in the future against an unknown enemy.
36 Bob - God of the mundane.
37 Peolai - Goddess of luck. Big on irony, she tends to make life chaotic for those people most staunchly committed to our ability to control our own destiny. On the other hand, for those who rely upon luck and appease her, their good fortune becomes almost predictable.
38 Lelia - One of the twin druid gods, Lelia is the opposite of Vadaszat. Called the Mother of Nature, the owl-headed goddess represents life and balance in nature. She and Vadaszat select a shared mortal champion from among their druids, called the Skinwalker.
39 Vadaszat - The second of the twin druid gods, Vadaszat the Huntmaster is the brutality and ruthlessness of nature made manifest. Appearing as a man with a deer head, he stalks the world's forests at night hunting prey for sport.
40 Aussiria - Goddess to Kobolds, Dragonborn, and other races with draconic heritage. It is said she was born a pure white color, and emanated a powerful good aura unlike her brothers and sisters. Unlike other chromatic dragons, she values kindness and well being over power and hatred. Draconic societies that worship her are therefore very welcoming with their hospitality to outsiders, though they are not against using claw and breath to maintain the sanctity of their homes.
41 God of the Forgotten - you know how sometimes you wash your laundry and sometimes you end up missing a few socks? They're his now. Orphanages hold a special place in his heart, and any legends, stories, or prophecies lost to time are his to know.
42 God of Belief - If an "AllFather" or "God of Creation", or "King of Gods" had an origin story, it would be because of this god. Following through on superstitions (like knocking on wood, or throwing salt over your left shoulder) is worship to him, and as this God is of Belief, he is able to create new Gods--which may or may not be properly thankful for their creation (e.g. "Oh hero, it is because of your belief that I am alive! Here is a boon."). His true form cannot be seen by anyone, as anyone who sees him sees what they believe he looks like.
43 Goddess of Choices - Much like her sister the Goddess of Luck, this goddess is more on the "cosmic" scale of things. Able to see other outcomes for different choices--and depending on the outcome of the choice and whether or not you are in her favor, she may let you choose the more fortunate path. Alternatively, if you piss her off, she may send you down the more destructive path--even if it seemingly looks like the best path, at the moment. She is fond of games that require logic or math.
44 Goddess of Elements - not just of water, nor solely of fire, air, or earth--and certainly not "mother nature". "Element" golems worship her, as it is she who grants them life. She has a particular fondness of fire and lava--or, really, any of the "heated" elements. Being a high priest in her temple means remaining virginal--she rewards loyalty with immunities.
45 The Gray God - A solitary genderless god, half pure evil and half pure good, both sides are eternally in pain from the others' existence. Worship at their feet means relief of pain from it's existence, and with relief brings information that Good can use against Evil--as well as information Evil can use against good (both pieces of information are given at the same time to the one worshiping). Also could be considered a god of wealth, the Gray God also finds pain relief in donations of silver coins (melted in sacrifice). The larger the donation, the more your alignment slides towards True Neutral.
46 Goddess of the Gift - any time something is given selflessly, or out of good will to another is worship to her. Fun fact: any version of "Santa Claus" on any version of reality is her champion. Usually "appears" to those who have great potential but are in dire straits--she isn't ever actually seen, mind you, but something draws her target to whatever gift she's left behind. Typically, her gift is contextual in nature.
47 The Write/ReWrite God - authors/bards pray to him, their worship is books/songs, his temples are libraries/music halls. This god looks like... well, like a shut-in middle-aged male with a pencil on his ear, glasses down his nose, and rumpled up dark-brown hair with silver streaks on either side. If your adventure, your quest, whatever mission you're on, is not going well... you pray to this god, and hope he doesn't find your story exciting. If your downturn of events makes for a good book, he will ignore you, and may even possibly send more challenges your way; but if you seem unjustly getting the wrong end of the stick (so to speak), he will erase what's happened, and re-write it so you come out better.
48 Spencer - God of storytelling and beards.
49 Vance - the god of deceit, mischief, and insanity. Represented by a smiling gray mask. He blesses those who worship him with insanity and power. On the occasion that he comes to the material world, or a follower gains his spirit, he tends to go to casinos and bet everything he has on him. When losing, he burns the place to the ground. He is known to take any bet, whatever the chances.
50 Judrod - Goddess of lost causes. Taking the form of a brief spark of light, this goddess is known to appear when all seems lost. A flash in the eyes of a sickly child just before a miraculous recovery, a glint off a rock that momentarily blinds an executioner, a meteor in the sky that leads a starving man out of the forest: all these are manifestations of her brief favor. Impossible to prove from mere coincidence, her boons are nonetheless real.
51 Paxe - the god of peaceful passings. Taking the form of a kindly stranger, this god will appear at the side of those dying in pain or in fear and will comfort them until they claimed by Death. Paxe will grant blessings on those that nurse the sick or comfort the troubled. Necromancers and torturers earn the god's wrath, as Paxe will reveal in harsh detail to them how they will die.
52 Fortuna - goddess of luck and gambling that celebrates fair play. She will never alter the outcome of a game of chance, but will often grant boons to those that willingly risk everything. Appearing as a smiling beauty with fire red hair, she might gift a gracious loser at a casino with a priceless ruby or a winner at a card game with a passionate kiss. Those that cheat at games of chance, though, earn her wrath and instead see her moments before meeting a grusome end in a random accident.
53 Azuiar - Secret god of preservation. On the surface, Azuiar is a god of evil, the proverbial devil on your shoulder convincing you to do bad things. In reality he chose to adopt the mantle of the evil god out of fear that the world was changing too drastically toward good. Azuiar is the god of all who wish to corrupt and do evil for its own sake.
54 Entaros - God of the Soil- A massive giant ridden with dirt, grass, and plant life. Many say he is made of stone himself, with a heart of diamond. Legend has it, the most rich soil is that which clings to his back, and that those who worship him will be granted with the ability to grow all plants in any location. He rests in the earth, appearing to be a huge overgrown mountain. Many druids and those who respect nature are his followers.
55 **Knaben: God of archeologists and ruins, he guides those who seek lost knowledge. Mostly invoked to protect graves and monuments from grave robbers, buildings blessed by him are immune to the wear of the elements, at least until someone recovers their secrets.
56 Ub'took - God of Aliens: A disliked loner of a god that has taken an interest in mindflayers, beholders, and other aberrant creatures. Most aberrations stick don't worship him or even acknowledge his existence but Ub'took does have a small following. He is also a patron of all mortals who study alien lore and magic.
57 Nurggle - God of the unclean. Nurggle thrives on the rot and decay of all things as he and his followers see it being the common denominator of everything. Nurggles avatar is the form of a Giant/Orc hybrid with the broken antlers of an elk. He wishes for the decay of not just physical entities but also society, love/purity in relationships, and advancement. His followers often douse townsfolk with their chamberpots and exhume corpses in the name of Nurggle. Nurggle only appears to mortals when they have destroyed or desecrated something of great sentimental worth, when he reveals himself he will complete one task for a mortal so long as it is vile and distasteful. No Lawful or good alignments would worship this deity.
58 Mamcho - Humanoid woman, solid gold eyes, long curly hair, light brown skin, radiates a warm light. Dressed in white robes. Goddess of hospitals, harvests, the home, and family. Patron goddess of parents, doctors, and patrolmen. Described as being very warm and friendly. Symbol: The shield, can be found carved into the cornerstones of fortresses and above the entrances of homes.
59 Masnach - Humanoid man, jet black skin with piercing blue eyes. Dressed in rags and carrying a shepherd's staff. God of travel, shipping, and trade. Ship launchings involve a prayer to Masnach. Patron god of sailors, pilgrims, and the lost. Associated with lambs and sheep. Most likely to visit mortals. Described as kind, quiet. Symbol: The face of a lamb, can be found on all coins.
60 Nador - A very large black owl with eyes like spotlights. God of dreams, science, investigation, research, and above all else: the truth. Patron god of wizards, teachers, detectives, and fortune tellers. Associated with books and learning. Often appears in dreams. Never speaks. Symbol: The eye, can be found at most libraries. “None can hide from the eye of Nador”
61 Rhyfedel - A giant skeleton covered in black resin, the skull above the mouth and jaw is a large brain. God of madness, manipulation, and torment. Patron god of none. Very rarely seen, supposedly he never stops screaming. Symbol: His own face.
62 Yunni - Genderless humanoid, described as a bald monk dressed in orange robes with 8 arms. Its body appears to be made of pure white light and it speaks in thousands of voices at once. God of balance, control, and grace. Patron god of martial artists, sculptors, and dancers. Associated with fire and lightning. Appears only to those who reach true inner harmony, tends to be very direct but patient. Symbol: The scales.
63 Gwallus - Has never been seen or heard. God of lies, conspiracy, and secrets. Patron god of spies and saboteurs. Natural enemy of Nador. Symbol: A circle with three dots in the middle.
64 Perthor - A semi-humanoid man in ragged clothes and a wide-brimmed hat. 17 feet tall and extremely thin, his body appears to be made of very old wood and he is covered in moss and other plant life. His head is a ball of shadows with two glowing yellow eyes. God of life, death and the natural order, patron to all druids and enemy of all necromancers. He is totally unwavering and infalible, acting as gatekeeper to the underworld and as a symbol of the inevitability and finality of death. He has appeared exactly 3 times, each time rising from the ground, grabbing a mighty necromancer by the throat and dragging them to the underworld. Symbol: A metal gate. “None shall pass.”
65 Yera - A giant white stag, may sometimes take the form of a human. God of change, the seasons, and time. Patron god of farmers and animals. Rarely seen. Symbol: The stag.
66 Pydros - the patron god of oaths and of friendship - Pydros is often thought to be the defining link between the gods and mortals for the basis of worship of any gods. Pydros is prayed to before every legal hearing in the land, and between those who share a close bond friendship and honor.
67 Araknev - scorpion god of darkness, trickery and deceit. Araknev is an ageless alien entity drawn by great shifts in power or promising evil presences in the multiverse. He is charismatic and manipulative, and seeks to shape all reality in his fiendish, twisted image. His followers turn on their former allied overnight, betraying their way to power and wealth.
68 Israfiel - God of Angels. A former Solar, Israfiel generated enough of a following on his own to be revered as a god among angels. While not particularly well-known on the material plane, Israfiel's domains include the upper planes and ascension, making him the patron of those who wish to serve in the heavens when they die. He is a paragon of lawful good to such an extent that he's seen by those that know him as a metaphysical constant that helps define what it means to be 'good'.
69 Jack - God of Deals. 'Jack' goes by many names to many different people but most often introduces himself as 'Jack' to people meeting him for the first time. While he is a devil god of immense power, Jack is bound by only being able to effect what others allow him to. He authors and abides by countless deals and contracts with mortals in order to spread his influence and power and open up more avenues to actually exert his strength. For a devil, he is surprisingly open about his motives and speaks plainly about what he offers to others and why. He appears to mortals as an unassuming-looking human or elven man wearing impeccable clothing and is courteous, often greeting people with the line, "Pleased to meet you," and describing himself as, "A man of wealth and taste." Lawful evil.
70 Myshta - God of X Forest. A lesser god, not even truly considered one by some scholars, Myshta is a god whose domain is local to and entirely contained within a single forest. Within her forest, she is an intellectus (localized omniscience) and can see, hear and understand that state of anything that calls her forest home. She wills her forest to grow and spread and doesn't take issue with creatures living within her forest but can be aggressive and vengeful towards those who threaten the lives of the plants and creatures that make up her domain. True neutral.
71 Sedyne - God of Brawlers. An ascended mortal of ages past, Sedyne was well-known for being a remarkable fighter long before her ascension to godhood. Now she encourages aggression, violence and combativeness among her followers. She is that patron that pit fighters and brawlers will pray to for the stamina to go one more round or the strength to deliver a debilitating blow. Chaotic, impartial to good/evil.
72 Audalma - The Coming Dusk: Goddess of the Setting Sun - Audalma is the third aspect of the Cycle of Night and Day. Garbed in thick cloaks made from the subtle colors of sunset, she embodies the spirit of closure and change; a belief that something's end is what gives it meaning, and that with every end there is a new beginning. As the The Coming Dusk, Auphaela has a silver-gray bun that glimmers with various reds, pinks, and oranges, and a quiet smile perpetually on her elderly face. She is comforting and accepting while also being nostalgic and wistful, always advising due consideration and reflection in nearly all situations, which can make her seem indifferently removed when dealing with other gods or even mortals. Followers of The Coming Dusk are much like the aspect herself in their contemplative attitude and behavior, and often Seek fulfillment through change and repeated meditation. The Coming Dusk is prayed to whenever someone is going through a change or reaching a conclusion to something meaningful, whether it is a way of life, a relationship, or something else that is comparably meaningful. Those who worship this aspect find themselves more tranquil and clear minded when going through tough transitions or experiences, and those that dedicate themselves entirely to it have the possibility of being able to channel her divine powers of finality and change.
73 Augelva, The Hidden Pinnacle - Goddess of the Midnight Sun - Augelva is the fourth and final aspect of the Cycle of Night and Day. Garbed in a veils made from the velevet inky darkness of midnight, she embodies the spirit of improvement and drive; a belief that there is always room to improve, no matter the presence or absence of adversity. As the The Hidden Pinnacle, Augelva has brilliant white braids specked with blonde spots resembling stars, and a determined smirk perpetually on her mature face. She is persistent, focused, and motivating, always advocating for improvement and the chance to better oneself in nearly any situation, which can lead to her appearing unrelentingly single minded when dealing with other gods or even mortals. Followers of The Hidden Pinnacle are much like the aspect herself in their ambitious attitude and behavior, and consistently seek to make a name for themselves in whatever they decide to do. The Hidden Pinnacle is prayed to whenever someone is attempting to improve themself or pursue a goal that requires dedication, whether it is a work project, trying to learn a skill, or another form of concentrated pursuit. Those who worship this aspect find themselves improving at a faster rate when dedicating themselves to something, and those that dedicate themselves entirely to it have the possibility of being able to channel her divine powers of growth and improvement.
74 Auphaela, The Breaking Dawn - Goddess of the Rising Sun - Auphaela is the first aspect of the Cycle of Night and Day. Garbed in robes made from the soft golden glow of dawn, she embodies the spirit of renewal and rebirth; a belief that something beautiful will always come, no matter the bleakness of what comes before. As the The Breaking Dawn, Auphaela has pale golden locks that are almost white, and an inspiring grin perpetually on her youthful face. She is gentle, warm, and encouraging, always advocating for forgiveness and the chance to repent in nearly every circumstance, which can lead to her appearing naively optimistic when dealing with other gods or even mortals. Followers of The Breaking Dawn are much like the aspect herself in their welcoming attitude and behavior, and often participate in charity of all sorts in order to help others out of their misfortune. The Breaking Dawn is prayed to whenever someone is about to embark on something new, whether it is an experience, a friendship, or a similarly momentous occasion. Those who worship this aspect find themselves more fortunate when starting something, and those that dedicate themselves entirely to it have the possibility of being able to channel her divine powers of rejuvination.
75 Auchelda, The Brilliant Zenith - Goddess of the Peaking Sun - Auchelda is the second aspect of the Cycle of Night and Day. Garbed in a gown made from the harsh yellow glare of midday, she embodies the spirit of potential, ability and triumph; a belief that through there is no better time than now, and that those who strive harder can always achieve victory. As the The Brilliant Zenith, Auchelda has luscious blonde locks that shine powerfully with a light of their own, and a confident look of amusement and confidence on her mature face. She is proud and stern, yet pleasant, always standing by deserved achievement and making the most of what there is, which inevitably leads to her appearing dominant and proud to an almost overbearing degree when dealing with other gods or even mortals. Followers of The Brilliant Zenith are much like the aspect herself in their motivated attitude and behavior, and often engage in competitions of all kinds to prove their competence when they aren't training for perfection. The Brilliant Zenith is prayed to whenever someone is faced with or completes a challenge of some sort, whether it is a fight, a flash of inspiration, a moment of temporary genius, or a similarly important appearance of success. Those who worship this aspect find themselves with increased prosperity when reaching to go farther, and those that dedicate themselves entirely to it have the possibility of being able to channel her divine powers of strength and superiority.
76 Issha, who stands against the storm - Despite being a storm deity, Issha does not control the storm. The force of weather is a force too massive and too chaotic to be controlled. Rather, it is Issha’s job to fight and hold back the destructive power of the storm, because left unchecked, it would render the world barren and uninhabitable. Issha is a lawful good tempest deity. Followers of Issha understand the power of the storm, and work to ensure that it doesn’t wreck chaos. They can be found rebuilding towns ravaged by tornadoes or hurricanes, or designing storm proof shelters or walls for cities.
77 Callatti - Goddess of rebirth and forgiveness. Prayed to by those who wish to repent their transgressions and seek a path to redemption.
78 Illuri - Goddess of fertility. Infertile couples place the first sprouts of the harvest at her altar.
79 Matala and Nasheth - Maker of the world/God of Decay. Brought from far travelers that came from the south, Matala is the goddess who shaped the world from nothingness and imbued it with life. The barren places of the world are said to be the work of Nasheth who, in his jealousy for what Matala created, seeks to add blight to her creation out of spite. Nasheth is worshiped by necromancers and those who use magic to spread death and decay.
80 Ignotus - God of the unknown. Everything about him is unknown, he has no face and appears with a straw hat.
81 Yehven - Goddess of four petal flowers. She has the ability to control and create four petalled flowers.
82 Salandros - God of debauchery and drunkenness. Worshipped by brewers, brothel workers, and lovers. Salandros is genderless, appearing as male, female, or androgynous at their whim, but always devastatingly beautiful. People pray to them for good wine, a fun night, and pleasurable company. Essentially Tyrion Lannister's God of Tits and Wine.
83 Gaelin - God of Idiocy and Eccentricity. He's known to wander the Earth making non-sense jokes and preforming acts befitting his title. He has the ability to cause even the stupidest course of action to end successfully.
84 Nais - Goddess of trickery and epic poetry. She is the weaver of stories and the main reason why the mythologies surrounding other gods can be so confusing, as she makes up stories about other deities a lot. She plays pranks on other deities a lot and inspires her clerics to do likewise. She is seen as a patron of chance encounters--which always make for a good story.
85 Palakis - God of magic. Actually a warlock who used a powerful spell to take control of his patron.
86 Lord Tenticonia - One of many insane gods invented by the kuo-toa. Unfortunately, it’s just a mind flayer.
87 The Traveler - Patron diety of wanderers, nomads, and sailors. Depicted as a faceless figure in a hooded traveling cloak with a walking stick. Praying to the Traveler helps guide people to their destination, be it a physical place or a goal. The Traveler's holy symbol is a compass, but instead north, south, east, and west, the cardinal points are the Hearth (for those traveling home), the Throne (for those traveling for a goal/ambition), the Heart (for those traveling for love), and the Unknown (for those traveling for discovery or adventure).
88 Lairon - God of Rest. Worshiped equally by those in leisure and those collapsing after a day of work, people pray to them for the ability to better appreciate their rest. Prayers are long, repetitive, and thought, not spoken.
89 Regaia - goddess of Enchantment. A wizard who destroyed her body and chose to live on in the minds of mortals. As long as someone somewhere knows she exists or believes in her, she'll live. What better way to make people know about you than convincing them you are a god? Able to take control of her high priests to speak with her worshippers.
90 Viel - the god of Trickery and betrayal, represented by a green dragon coiling around a dagger.
91 The Tainted One - Child of unknown parents, supposed to have been born from an 'unholy union', whatever that might entail in the different societies. They are a symbol of fighting and winning against all odds; a disgrace to their family and marked as one who should not be, they still rose to godhood - although they aren't exactly held in high esteem. Patron of bastards, half-bloods and children of criminals or likewise.
92 Remira - the God of Light burns all unworthy to his eye with his magnificent gaze. Those worthy of his regard are heroes of virtue, beings of honour and glory. The worthiest are his Paladins and those giving their life to protect the innocent, the righteous and honorable!
93 Olkath and Althok - the Twins of Life and Death; one wrapped in blooming vines and accompanied by merry laughter, the other always halfway hidden in shadows and killing everything he touches. The brothers are as contrary as fire and water, black and white, light and dark; their clergies split as well, although Life is meaningless without Death and Death is not without Life.
94 Kinfal - Daughter of Smoke, Mistress of Flame, Goddess of Fire. She is chaotic and merciless, gives and takes life in equal measure. She is said to favour smiths even above her own clergy and sailors use her name when cursing enemy ships and crews.
95 Plera - the Black Elk: Goddess of the Forest, gracious to those who respect her domains and creations, patron of hunters, druids and rangers. Might bless one by appearing in the form of a black moose on a forest clearing; one will be granted safe passage through her domain without needing to worry for food and water.
96 Natuno - God of Mistakes. Her goal is to keep everyone just out of reach of their full potential. For every missed note a bard plays, every hunt a ranger loses track of, and every botched experiment a wizard creates, Natuno is there watching and guiding them away from success.
97 Zobober - god of spirits and spirits. An orc who ascended to godhood, the priesthood's practices and philosophies include a lot of communion with nature spirits, self-improvement, and regular intoxication through rigorous alcohol consumption.
98 Bleigusblonde - a vampire god of nurturing. He grants strength and wisdom to vampire children who worship him by carrying a beige string and a small pebble in their pockets
99 Toam'aron - God of tactics and battlefield strategy. He helps his followers see into the tactics of their enemy and place themselves to fight the easier battle. Encourages laziness and letting the enemy overwork themselves to fight you rather than go to fight the enemy, making the fight more unfair.
100 Seva - goddess of the sands. She takes the form of a large serpent, spends her days sleeping under the sand dunes and the nights rearranging her expansive deserts.
Special thanks to u/ParameciaAntic, u/5lender, u/Silverdragon701, u/layoxx, u/Dobbsy95, u/KindlyGiant, u/deathsirwow, u/occultbleed, u/NosiTheBard, u/SunaSoldier, u/ken_NT, u/UrsusKnight, u/Gabrielckc, u/Arragousset, u/Woomy_Goomy, u/bobniborg1, u/AnGabhaDubh, u/Hexastisch, u/RecycledEternity, u/MysticMeow, u/bardicmadness, u/KNHaw, u/Kongo204, u/Brizzel_The_Lizard, u/DapperCuttlefish, u/Patergia, u/CDG-chemboi, u/FTLOG_IAMDAVE, u/OptimumTurner, u/Doct4vius, u/strongbelieves, u/ThePragmaticPimp, u/Jacknerik, u/KatanaKamikaze, u/DirkRight, u/buddychrist627, u/jacketsloth, u/allenme, u/Retiopot, u/cal-n-cas, u/ChemicalExperiment, u/42FireHawk
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My thoughts and review of Persona 5 (and why I loved it so much)

The Intro

If you have not played Persona 5, please do so before reading this and it is a fantastic game that is absolutely worth experiencing knowing as little as possible and this post will contain heavy spoilers for Persona 5 in its entirety as well as some very light spoilers for Persona 3 and 4 but really nothing beyond character names and some allusion to events.
Also quick background, I watched a streamed playthrough of Persona 4 Golden last June and July, played Persona 3 FES back in February and March of this year, and then played Persona 5 for the second half of July. I have no experience with Persona 1 or either version of Persona 2 nor do I have any experience with the spin-offs outside of seeing very little gameplay and hearing some music.
And as for Persona 5, I played the entirety of the game on easy mode across about 2 weeks from July 16th to July 31st on a PS3 I borrowed from a friend after buying my own copy of the game. I maxed out my social links with Mishima, Takemi, Makoto, Ann and Futaba though Chihaya’s was at level 9. I also named Joker Ren Amamiya because canon. Anyways, here are my thoughts on Persona 5.
I don't think it's an overstatement to say that Persona 5 is one of my favorite games of all time. I don't quite know where it stands on my list yet, but I absolutely adore this game. I knew I would love it, but I didn't know I'd love it this much. So let's start with the game’s main cast which I honestly think is the series best so far.

The Characters

With P3, I found most of the cast to not be very likable characters, in P4, I was never really a fan of Teddie, but here I just like and feel for each of these characters in some way. And yeah, I know that most hate goes to Morgana but I honestly like his character. I know there's the whole meme of him forcing you to go to sleep, but I still feel like they pulled off the idea of a guide character really well. And while yeah, it doesn't always make the most sense for him to tell you to go right to sleep, doing so after exploring a palace makes sense since the game does demonstrate several times that use of a Persona is exhausting. Otherwise, yeah, talking with your friends and sending out a calling card really shouldn't tire you out. But, I digress. Morgana also comes into some criticism for the whole arc of running away from the Phantom Thieves. And while a lot of that comes from the bouts he had with Ryuji, there was a legit problem with communication with the team and I don't think it really just comes down to Morgana just whining and running off. Another part of it is just his feeling useless and insufficient which is a very real character flaw that did make his character feel more real. I did start to care for the cat.
And that's just one character, I know everyone has their favorites, and I'll get to that, but for now, I'll just go through the cast in the order they join the Phantom Thieves. First off though, I do like that they're all outcasts in some way.
Ryuji Sakamoto starts off as a troublemaker that people don't want to associate with and while his character doesn't evolve all that much, he’s still just a fun guy to be around and the Phantom Thieves just wouldn't feel the same without him. I actually did enjoy the banter between him and Morgana and it's one of those relationships where you can tell that deep down, they really do care about each other despite all the insults. One of my favorite Mementos interactions is the one where Ryuji starts singing and Morgana continues it to the next verse. Also, I did get baited and thought that they had actually killed him off after Shido’s Palace. He was a long standing member of the team and had he died he would've died heroically. I'm fine with it not happening, but it would've been a crazy twist for the end of the game.
Ann Takamaki is a foreigner who doesn't see her parents much and always has rumors spread about her. All she really has is her best friend Shiho who ends up taking her own life due to Kamoshida and gives Ann a reason to fight for justice as she does in the Phantom Thieves. And I actually really like this arc. Also, I totally ship her and Ryuji. Maybe part of it is just because they were two founding members of the Phantom Thieves and as such know each other for the entire game, but they just have really good chemistry and I just see them ending up together. And also she cried the most for him ehen they thought he was dead. And speaking of Ann, Shiho Suzui. She's nice, she's cute, she has a ponytail, and she's voiced by Christine Marie Cabanos. She has everything I look for in a girl. She talks to Joker once and tells him to hang in there and that he's probably a good guy. And then she jumps off a building and you never see her again unless you do Ann’s Level 9 Confidant. It's just sad because while she could've stuck around and been a great supporter to the Phantom Thieves at Shujin, she is ultimately just used as a plot device to get Ann to join the Phantom Thieves and she just deserves to be more than that.
Anyways, Yusuke Kitagawa is a guy. For me, Yusuke was a guy who said a few things throughout the story and otherwise really wasn't there. He was super important for Madarame's Palace, but otherwise, he just seemed to fall back into the background. And a lot of that is because I just didn't care for his character so he wasn't on my team and I didn't hang out with him. His character is fine and he has some fun moments like the undressing scene with Ann or his lobsters or just the fact that he is a broke artist.
Next up, is my Queen, Makoto Niijima. I just really love her character and she was the one I decided to date. And I'm actually going to go ahead and bring up Futaba who seems to be the most popular choice in terms of who to date. And from what I understand, a lot of that is relatability. She holes herself in her room most of the time and cool, I can totally relate to doing that. But I don't blame myself for something and think I should be dead. And I also don't have crippling social anxiety. And that's fine, I don't necessarily have to relate to a character to like them and I understand that a lot of people feel that connection to Futaba because of relatability. And I still really like Futaba’s character, she's a lot of fun, but I just felt a lot more of a connection to Makoto. Her main conflict is that she was so into her studies that she didn't really understand the world. And she just kind of listens to adults and do what they want. And her character growth across her Confidant had a clear focus and just felt real. I don't really want to get to much into my own life, but the sort of things Makoto feels. Sometimes I feel like I'm too into games and honestly don't know much about the world around me. Sometimes I question if I'm doing and pursuing what I want to do or if I'm just doing what adults ask. And while the latter is much more high school-specific, but best girl is always something that is completely subjective and always comes down to personal preference and perspective. And also, I see Futaba much more as a younger sister to Ren than as a potential love interest since both characters have a father figure in Sojiro.
Technically, the final member of the Phantom Thieves is Haru Okumura, who is honestly pretty great and I regret not having the time to get her Confidant to level 10 because I didn't realize just how good she was until Shido’s Palace and at that point, I still didn't have max proficiency so there was really nothing I could do. Haru is just cute, Her style, her voice, the way she yells “PERSONA!”, it just all makes my heart melt. And even though her father is just a complete scumbag, she still cares for him and wants to see him improve. She doesn't turn her head away and genuinely wants to help him. And that's really admirable considering that he wants to get her married to a guy who basically abuses her. And also she's hecking cute. So that helps a lot.
But, the there’s also Goro Akechi. And I'll be honest in that I really don't like this guy. Him being a traitor is something you could pretty easily guess from a mile away. And the whole 1,000,000 coins thing at the Casino Palace was pretty clever, I just never really enjoyed his character. He was pretty much completely against the Phantom Thieves for the entire game and I could just never really trust him. I really don't have much else to say. He literally shoots you to death if you sell out your friends (which didn't seem to be a bad idea sends Sae already knew all of their names and that they were connected to you). Yeah, he has a redemption and saves you by killing himself and then killing himself again. So he saves the Thieves, but we also probably would've been fine anyways. Like it seemed like the Cognitive Goro was more interesting in going after the real Goro and even still, it wouldn't have been a stretch for the Phantom Thieves to take down Cognitive Goro. Anyways, I just never really liked the guy.
So that's it for the characters is what I would be saying if there weren't a ton of other characters who have Confidants. And before I get to the characters, I just want to comment on just how Confidants are just the perfect evolution of Social Links. The benefits they give are actually incredibly helpful and even further incentivizes talking to different characters.
I only got Sojiro to Level 3, but even still he is a great father figure to the protagonist and just a cool dude. Mishima is a guy just trying to have confidence in himself and improve the world and that is something I can relate to. He kind of messes up at times, but I do relate to that and I just can't hate the guy. Hifumi is pretty cute as well and it's admirable how she just loves her sport and wants to improve. I like her arc and she has interesting development. Tae Takemi is a fun one as well. She just wants to help the world, but she was set up and just does what she can now. She just felt real to me. Chihaya also has an interesting arc and I love the concept of a fortune teller with a gift learning how to not just accept fate and instead trying to change it. Yoshida never interested me that much to continue, but his does seem interesting at the very least. Ohya is… very drunk. all the time as far as I can tell. Kawakami was good, but for whatever reason, I just never felt like getting her Confidant past Level 6 and I'm not entirely sure why. I don't really know anything about Iwai, but I do know that a kid on probation smuggling weapons is a really bad idea. And there's also that gamer kid that I never actually started because I never went to the arcade. I guess “Igor” and the Twin Wardens are also Confidants. The twins are fine, I mean I've never really been that big of a fan of the Velvet Room helpers anyways, and they function fine in that role.

The Sound

Honestly, I just never got used to Igor’s new voice. I get that it had to be different for the twist to work and doesn't bother me that much. But, even when real Igor came back at the very end, it just felt like a cheap imitation of Dan Woren’s fantastic Igor voice. I get that they changed his voice actor in Japan because Isamu Tanonaka died before full development on P5 even started and David Lodge is fine as Yaldabaoth Igor, but bringing back Dan Woren for the end of the game as True Igor for the English dub shouldn't have been an issue. And hey, I'm talking about the voice cast now, specifically the English voice cast because that's my personal preference. So I really don't have much to say on the voice cast. I think a majority of the voice acting is really solid. I think they picked a lot of great actors for roles that they fit. I've seen several interviews with the voice cast of this game and a good majority of them indicate that they related to the character in some way and really enjoyed their time working on Persona 5. And it shows. And I know this technically doesn't count as voice acting, but Lyn Inaizumi absolutely nailed the singing in this. She is probably my favorite Persona singer at this point. Almost every single lyrical track impressed me in some way with her voice.
So now we're talking music, I guess. Though before I move on from characters, I want to praise Shigenori Soejima’s character design and artwork. The character designs and outfits for each character look really nice and I also just really love what they did with the metaverse costumes and how they portray each character and their personalities. But, anyways, in terms of music: Shoji Meguro never disappoints. This game has exactly what I would expect of Persona music in that it's all fantastic. But at the same time, I was still just blown away everytime I heard a new track. Especially Rivers in the Desert. Hearing that track for the first time during something as climactic as the Shido battle. I had heard so many good things about the track and it finally playing there was just one of the game’s best moments. And Lyn’s singing also set the tone really well in tandem with the music itself. And Hoshi To Bokura To (the credits music) got me teary eyed. The high notes she held (specifically the “yo” at about 1:17 (that was the one that pushed me to tears)) are just full of emotion and just pulled my emotions out at the end of the game. Last Surprise as an incredible battle theme that I am still am not tired of. Life Will Change is also really incredible and is the perfect music leading up to the Palace fights. And I'll get to the palaces in a second, but for now, since there are just so many fantastic songs, here is a quick runthrough of my other favorite Persona 5 songs: Alleycat (also full of emotion), Ark, Beneath the Mask, Blooming Villain (it’s an excellent boss theme), Butterfly Kiss, Confession, Days of Sisters, The Days When My Mother Was There (perfectly represents the character of Futaba and her struggles), Escape, Keeper of Lust. Layer Cake, Life Goes On (probably the best exam music in the series), Memories of a Summer Day, New Beginning (not much to add, it just puts me in a good mood), Nothingness, Phantom, Price (it’s so so good and a really great palace theme, probably my favorite), Regret (really cool emotional mix of Blooming Villain), Sunset Bridge, Swear to my Bones (more emotion), Sweet (really nice theme for spending romantic time with your favorite girl), Tokyo Daylight, Welcome Home Master (way better than I'd ever expect music in a maid cafe to be), and finally Whims of Fate (also a really good palace theme, the singing is also fantastic here (also I probably should have mentioned how good Benjamin Franklin is at writing lyrics, they're great)). Persona soundtracks are super hard to rank since they have so many songs and have different styles, but Persona 5’s soundtrack is definitely worthy of the name. Shoji Meguro is just such an incredible composer. (Also there's that part of Life Will Change that reuses that part of Wake Up, Get Up, Get Out There and it's just really great) And the sound effects are good, there's that too.

The Story

So I guess I should talk about the story now. Oh boy, time to strap on, this will probably be a long one. And now's probably the time to mention that I got spoiled on some things either before or during the game because I use the Internet and I get curious sometimes: Goro Akechi is a traitor (pretty predictable), Igor isn't actually Igor (subtle, but it is a predictable twist), Futaba is the fourth palace (I got this spoiled like a few minutes before it happened and I kinda had a feeling anyways), Haru’s last name is Okumura (I predicted this one, but then I saw Haru’s last name, so I didn't technically get spoiled since I guessed, it but it was still spoiled before it was revealed in game), Shido has a palace (I was pretty positive on this one, but when I mentioned I was on the sixth palace, a friend asked if that one was Shido’s palace), and finally: the final palace is in Mementos (another predictable one I learned pretty soon before I went there in game). Anyways, here are my thoughts on the story.
The Beginning
Starting the game in the middle of the action without any sort of tutorials is really cool. It's just “alright, go, escape the palace" and that's honestly a great opening. And then you get arrested and drugged and interrogated. And then you learn that Ren has a criminal record and then you just become concerned for this guy. I genuinely cared for the protagonist and what happened to him and that was set up really well pretty early on. Also, I really love the idea of a guy like Sojiro taking you in in Tokyo of all places, it’s nice to see the game take place in Tokyo which just really makes the world feel alive. On the first day with full free time, I just explored every nook and cranny I could in Tokyo and it was just a lot of fun. And it slowly expanding throughout the game is great.
Kamoshida’s Castle
Overall, this is a really solid first dungeon. I like that first day and the fact that you ended up being super late for school and setting a really bad first impression and again, built up my concern for Ren. I was also pretty surprised about him just bloodily ripping the mask off his face. This happens less and less when more people join your team, but I did not expect that in the awakening process. Eventually “Vulgar Boy" (yeah, it’s Ryuji, but i love that the game calls him that) also awakens to his Persona and so does Ann and since Morgana also joins your team, that gives you a full team before you really start exploring the first dungeon and that's really cool. And then there's the whole thing of how the plot is intertwined with the school. Through Shiho’s suicide (which did shock me), and Kamoshida’s direct threats to you, as well as seeing Kamoshida just be a complete dick. And also the scene with Ann at the cafe was really well done. The palace itself was pretty standard in terms of music and design, but the plot for the whole thing is just really well executed and I was genuinely glad to see the Phantom Thieves take down Kamoshida, but not kill him.
Madarame’s Museum
This one was fine. The museum didn't stand out to me a ton other than that big laser trap and walking through the pictures. And it was alright story-wise. And interestingly, Yusuke was the party member I knew the least amount. I actually just thought he was just some random creeper that first time he was following Ann. And I do like Madarame seeming very innocent and actually being a complete monster that you see in his shadow. Also there was that funny moment with Ann wearing a ton of clothes. that was funny. And I guess the actual theft of his treasure was pretty cool. That was fun. And for the record, I did notice the pancake thing with Akechi.
Kaneshiro’s Bank
The palace itself was enjoyable, but the story for this one was pretty weak. Price is also a really, really good music theme for this palace and I love to praise it anytime I have the opportunity to do so there it is. Price is great. And the dungeon itself was fun to explore. I got a bit confused at the beginning, but after that it was pretty interesting. Also Kaneshiro is evil, but he's also kind of a goofball. I mean, what even is spending money to relieve stress? Also he becomes a fly. And as for Makoto, yeah she does kind of stalk the Phantom Thieves, but she’s really only listening to adults and that is a very key part to her character development. And also her trying to take down Kaneshiro to help students who are being taken advantage of the mafia makes sense with her character, but at the same time, I feel like the reasoning could've been a bit better. Like a specific student like Makoto or Mishima or something being exploited and then helping them would have been cooler. I also wish we could've seen his confession to his crimes like we do for the others.
Futaba’s Tomb
This one was cool. I figured Futaba was Medjed, just not in the way it ended up happening. And the Egyptian setting in the desert led me to believe that “Rivers in the Desert” would play here because I think literally sometimes. But having a palace for someone who is just struggling was super interesting and the battle with the cognitive Wakaba Isshiki was a good fight. And the week after where you're teaching Futaba things was fun and were my favorite moments with her character. And I did enjoy the Hawaii trip, especially the moment where they just talked while in the hotel room. It was just an enjoyable moment where the characters just talked about life like people do. It was a real good scene
Okumura's Spaceship
This was my least favorite palace in the game. I liked the moments with Haru and the shock of him getting murdered, but the process of exploring the palace itself was just not that enjoyable and it just dragged on way too long. And the music did not help. The clock on the boss fight was a cool concept, but I finished the fight with a spare 12 minutes so it really didn't matter that much. And there is the elephant room of the whole situation of Morgana running away, and while I don't hate it, it really doesn't help. It's fine, but it's still not a great moment.
Sae Niijima’s Casino
Easily the game’s best palace. The best part here ks the incredible mindfuck that is the team’s plan to keep Ren alive. From the lapses in memory to the small other hints, and the bad ending, the whole thing was a fantastically executed plot twist that the entire game built up to with Sae’s interrogation. And I didn't know it was coming unlike some other twists. Admittedly, it’s a little harder to spoil “the team knew who the traitor was and that he was going to kill Ren so they made a crazy cool plan to make him not get killed” than it is to spoil “Igor is fake" (and I'll get to that one in a minute). But yeah, that whole thing is fantastically well done. But you also get the great emotional scene where Sojiro finds Futaba’s calling card. You get more understanding of both Sojiro’s and Futaba's characters and their relationship and you also get to see just how much Sojiro cares for Futaba and Ren. And while I'm not a fan of Goro Akechi as a person, his character here was really well done. His plan at the school festival (which was a fun side event as well), as well as his joining the team was very interesting especially the part where he almost told everyone who the thieves were. I knew he was the traitor and that he would join the team, but it is still pretty cool to see him join here. And also seeing just how powerful he is really sets the stage for his boss fight later in the game). And then you have the actual palace that accompanies all of these great story moments. The moment you arrive in the Metaverse and realize that this is the palace from the intro segment is a really cool feeling. It isn't the end of the game, but you still really get the feeling that “this is it, this is what everything has led up to". And it's just a lot of fun to explore. And the gimmick of having to get coins was way less tedious than I expected (though part of me still wanted a palace where you just play slots for 3 hours). And Whims of Fate is just such a good music track. It was also just so surreal to finally be playing the beginning of the game again after seeing all the things you had to get through to get to that point. I mean, the fight was fine (I was afraid it was about to turn into the Wheel of Fortune fight from P3, but thank goodness it didn't, that fight was awful) but the main enjoyment I got from this one was the palace itself and what came after. My mind is honestly still blown on just how clever the plan for this was and that anime cutscene of each of the Phantom Thieves learning about his death was incredibly well done.
Shido’s Ship
Honestly, I would have been completely satisfied had this actually been the final palace. I knew it wasn't, partially due to seeing a spoiler and partially because I knew a Persona game kind of has to end with a boss fight with some kind of god, and, as powerful as Shido is in Japan, he's no god. That being said, this was a really great palace and is still one of my favorites. I really liked the idea of a cruise ship palace and it was executed pretty well in terms of design. Setting up 5 bosses at the beginning was cool and I enjoyed seeing each of the Phantom Thieves help get a letter of recommendation. I really enjoyed those scenes and it was cool seeing everyone have a purpose. Even Yusuke (kinda). And it was intriguing how everyone who had a palace all related to Shido (except Kamoshida, apparently he was just a pedophile). And the climax and battle with Akechi was incredibly well done and learning about his connection to Shido as well as his motivations and power just really solidifies Akechi as a great character (but I still hate his guts). The fight with Akechi was just really hype and pretty hard as well especially since it starts pretty much right after the fight with the Cleaner. And then it all comes down to Shido’s Calling Card and battle. Futaba’s calling card was really really cool and the fight against Shido was just amazing. It really has the feel a final boss fight. Rivers in the Desert just feels like a final boss theme. The credits even specifically call it the “Last Boss Battle Theme". And the fight is challenging and while Shido’s transformations and the Beast of Human Sacrifice are really well designed. The fight with Shido might be my favorite moment in the entire game (even though it lasts like 40 minutes). This fight is just near perfection in my eyes (It may be crazy difficult on higher difficulty settings, but on easy I had a lot of fun with it). And there's also that bit with Ryuji dying that could've been a really interesting plot point that really affected the Phantom Thieves on a similar level to something from a certain other Persona game, but I get why they didn't and this is so close to the end of the game anyways. And speaking of which….
I've honestly thought a lot about this while writing this, but I honestly think Persona 5 should've just ended after the destruction of Shido’s Palace. Have something in his cognition that won't let you fight him until election day and then have Sae tell you that she needs you to testify against Shido, timeskip to February, timeskip to March, Roll Credits. But P-studio had one more twist planned that is admittedly pretty good, but I am just not a fan of some of what leads up to it.
Yaldabaoth’s Depths of Mementos
Alright, so to start December 24th, 2016 might be the most loaded day in all of Persona. You go to school, finish up exploration of Mementos, get through an entire Palace, fight a cup, watch the world get transformed, get deleted from existence, max out your Confidant with “Igor” by learning he’s actually an evil god. almost get executed in the Velvet Room, fuse Lavenza back together, talk to real Igor rally every single one of your party members, climb the stairway to Yaldabaoth while fighting 3 additional bosses while also watching cutscenes of people disappearing, fight the cup again, fight Yaldabaoth, get the Phantom Thieves approval rating to 100%, awakening your OP Persona, defeat Yaldabaoth, watch the world transform back to normal, talk to Yaldabaoth about how wrong he is, talk to Sae about testifying against Shido, and finally spend Christmas Eve with your girl of choice. That's an absolutely ridiculous amount of stuff to do all in one day. And all of that except for going to school and spending time with your girl are all considered “after-school". The whole ordeal takes like 7-8 hours IIRC. It just messes with the flow of time as the game has set it up up to this point in the game. In the same amount of time you did that insane list if things, you also could've talked to Ryuji about literally nothing. Like, it’s kind of a nitpick, but it still really bothers me. And yeah, I know that you can also spend a ton of time in the Palaces, but doing that also eats up your evening and forces you to sleep right away. For some bizarre reason, you still get an evening after all of that. But let's talk the actual story of this segment. So earlier in the story, the Phantom Thieves were suspected of killing Okumura and people immediately turned against them. Goro Akechi even admitted that they probably weren't the one who killed him and their popularity still plummeted. Yet, Shido flat out admitted to his crimes and everyone continues to believe in him. It's also mentioned that the public will just grab onto whatever is popular and leave that belief when it seizes to be popular. So for the public to just ignore the flaw of someone that they believe in for the exact same reason they believed in the Phantom Thieves. So they should've just moved on from believing in Shido. And that was bad enough, but then you also have the moment when they just disappear and the game just feels like a bad ending. Which is fine, I liked the Akechi shooting you in the head thing they pulled with that twist. But the Phantom Thieves disappearing just doesn't make sense. And I can kinda get why they would disappear (if I go along with the logic that people still love Shido) since no one believes in the Phantom Thieves so they don't exist in the new cognitive world. But Ryuji, Ann, Yusuke, Makoto, etc. should still be in people’s cognition since no one knows they're Phantom Thieves. They should still be in people’s cognition even if the Phantom Thieves aren't. The Igor twist was immediately pretty great as was the reveal of Morgana being the embodiment of human hope. And the fight with Yaldabaoth was fine, but it just doesn't quite compare to the Shido battle. And the palace design for the depths of Mementos was OK, but that's about it. And idk, I just couldn't quite believe the idea of people believing that having no freedom is a good thing. That just doesn't make much sense to me and I'm just not a fan of that plot point. And that's about as much negativity on this game I can take. I love this game and it does annoy me that I didn't love that part of the game too much. But a lot of that has come with my reflection of the game. When I was playing through the game I wasn't actively angry at every plot point. And the way the game actually ends was way better than this anyways and makes up for my anger in these parts.
Christmas Day
So after the Phantom Thieves agree to meet up at Leblanc for a Christmas party, Ren essentially gets arrested for being a Phantom Thief and once they hear about it, they work as hard as they can to get him out (in the name of Morgana who’s “dead” at this point). And I love this message. Even if you're not a Phantom Thief anymore, you can still make a difference if you set your mind to it and work hard.
2017
So I did enjoy the scene where Sae visits you and her character arc ends with her pursuing a career as a defense attorney which will essentially end in a lost case most of the time. It's a really cool way to show her character growth and was a satisfying end to her arc. And then you finally get to come home to see your friends and there's not much I can say other than that it was a great moment. And then Ren spent Valentine’s Day with Makoto and again, it just kind of ties up the loose ends of her Confidant and solidified her plans for her life. And then the day where Ren must leave finally comes and you say goodbye to everyone and I always love these scenes at the end of Persona games. There's always something distinctly bittersweet about them. You've made all of these great friends along the way, but now it's over. And the game ends with a wonderful scene of the Phantom Thieves riding in a van with each other savoring their last moments. And then the credits roll and cue me crying. I loved this game’s story overall and it was so bittersweet at the end.

The Gameplay

So, only thing that's really left is the gameplay. And this game is a lot of fun to play. And I will be doing some comparison to Persona 3 since I haven't played Persona 4, but I do know that it did fix a lot of my P3 complaints before P5 (controllable party members, better Persona fusion, etc.). But there are still a lot of othee gameplay improvements. The replacement of shuffle with hold up is a really great mechanic to replace it. It essentially makes fights with Shadows you already know the weaknesses of way faster and also makes getting specific Personas you need a lot easier and less random. And if you want extra exp. you can always just do the all out attack, or you can ask for extra money directly. It takes out the randomness and makes knocking down all of the enemies way more rewarding and fun. And I'm not sure if this is a P5 change or just something from easy mode, but having enemies stay down when attacked a second and having everyone get up and be able to attack on the same turn just makes the battles lag on way less and again, makes the combat more enjoyable. And I don't think Technical hits were in Persona 4, but they're a great feature here and open up the possibilities of combat. And guns are great too. Apparently they were in Persona 1 and 2, but they work really well here and make it so some enemies have a weakness everyone can hit, but balance it by having limited uses per day and that was just a really clever way to do it. There's also the streamlining of battle by how it’s controlled. Assigning each action to a button instead of having a menu also increase the pace of battle and I think is just a really great improvement to the flow. The battle system is probably the main reason this game felt shorter than Persona 3 despite taking me 50 hours longer. Battles were way faster paced and way more fun. The inability to control all party members and the length of battles just made the game feel so much slower. But Persona 5 just felt way better.
Dungeons got a huge upgrade. 3 was kind of a trainwreck in that regard and from what I've seen from 4, the dungeons were 5. But like 3, Persona 5 has two forms of dungeons. The main ones that have a relation to the story and the “optional” procedurally generated one. Mementos was a huge upgrade from Tartarus mostly because it's way shorter. Mementos has like 60 floors where Tartarus has… way more than are necessary. Yhere's no fatigue this time and you can switch out your team at anytime which also results in way better exploration. This is balanced by SP recovery items being much rarer and I think a much better system than Stamina since you can actually strategize SP use to make certain party members last longer whereas stamina just felt super random as to when they got tired. Mementos is less strenuous to do since I was able to catch up to the next gate in just one visit unlike Tartarus which could easily take three to five visits to catch up. And you also occasionally get conversations between the characters which make things a lot less tedious.
And then there's the actual palaces that are just amazing since they're hand made as opposed to procedurally generated and the objective isn't just “find the stairs". You have to find the treasure, but that's essentially just an endpoint for all the different things you have to do along the way. They also feel so distinct from each other with different mechanics and puzzles and they feel like real places you'd go which goes along with the ideas of cognition since this is just how these people see the real world. And that's another cool aspect of them: just finding out what they were and seeing all of the things that would be in them. And also learning more about each character and how they see the world and why they are like they are.

The Miscellaneous Stuff

And I guess that's about it, but I do have a couple of things to say about the game that don't really fit into any other categories or they're things that I just forget until now and want to say. Shujin Academy might be my least favorite school in the series. There's really nothing to do there outside of class and the library. It's kind of easy to forget that the Thieves are High School students sometimes because of how unimportant the school is. And a lot of that is the story, but also the fact that there aren't really any Confidants there. No clubs or sports or anything of the sort. And while fast travel is super convenient and kind of necessary for a game with so many places, it makes the school even less relevant since you don't need to manually leave it every day like in past games. And it's really not that big of a deal since exploring Tokyo is great and a lot of fun on its own so it’s more of a nitpick than anything else, but I still wish it was more relevant past the first palace.
I also just liked the simple fact that this just felt like a Persona game made in the present day which honestly makes sense. But you have the use of your phone and the Internet intertwined into the story as well as something I can't quite put my finger on, but there's just something about this game that just feels way more modern than 3 and 4. And maybe that's just the fact that it's in HD. I mean the game is super pretty at certain points and is just super detailed at a lot of others. It's really pretty and made me remember just how big the jump from 480p to HD really was. And also I love how whenever you get a group message in class, you can also see Ann pull out her phone. It's a small detail that I just love seeing it every time. And honestly I really the Phantom Thieves group chat as well. It's a fun idea that couldn't have worked until P5 and it's just so enjoyable to see everyone texting and saying different thing, especially in the late game when the group is at its largest. And I also like that in order to streamline having such a large place like Tokyo, they made it easier to check current Confidants with messages and the map. And the map was just cool in that as you kept learning about more and more places throughout the game, it just kept filling up until you could basically go anywhere in Tokyo.
I also love the UI. And the fact that Last Surprise never gets old. And that Ryuji won't say fuck. And that the game is also on PS3, making it that much more accessible. And also Haru having a grenade launcher is great. And also that you can just not reply to an in-advance invitation immediately and just decide later. And all of the movies you can watch in the movie theaters. And that there's 3 of them. And that you can wash random clothes you find in the Metaverse to get cool stuff. Or you can just make Kawakami do it while you do something else. Or how you can get a deeper bond with someone through fortune telling so that you can skip a wasted visit. And that there's a crossword puzzle you can do at the table of Leblanc sometimes. And that you can customize your room. And Haru’s floofy hair. And Makoto has red eyes for some reason. And that Futaba has orange hair (still doesn't make sense to me, but whatever). And the fact that Morgana can somehow be a car because that's somehow human cognition. And that new game plus exists. And how shopkeepers have different voice lines while you decide what to buy. And how Igor having a different voice actually has a reason in the story. And I could probably ramble off a few other things as well.There's just so many things to love about Persona 5 and that's why it's one of my favorite games of all time and why I'm still thinking about it this long after finishing the game.

The Closing

Overall I just love Persona 5 and wanted to talk about it and that ended up being this 11 page essay. And I'm OK with that. But if you disagree, feel free to reply because I do really like to hear different perspectives on things. And I also just like talking about this game.
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Veteran's Day: Deals and Steals

If there is something you're aware of, that isn't on this list, mention it below. Make sure you call ahead to make sure the location in your area is participating in these offers.
It's not my fault if you go into a restaurant that isn't offering this deal, and you don't have enough money to pay your tab. Don't forget to tip your server.
The second half of this list is retail offers. There are even things to involve the families.
Food
Retail
submitted by LrankLcean to AirForce [link] [comments]

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