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[H] A Ton of Bundle Games (IndieGala, Humble, and Fanatical) [W] Nov. Humble Monthly Games (Not Darksiders III or Yakuza Kiwami)

I already own Darksiders III and Yakuza Kiwami 2, so I figured I'd just skip this month and trade for the other games on here. I haven't updated my list in a long time, so there may be one or two games that I don't have anymore, but I still own most of them. So far, the games I'm looking for are:
Imperator: Rome Deluxe Edition
Crying Suns
Darksburg
Little Misfortune
Smile for Me
Darkwood
Tsioque
Rover Mechanic Simulator
Youropa
Townsmen - A Kingdom Rebuilt

The ones that I have for trade are:

Humble Gift Link -

The Uncertain: Last Quiet Day

Knights of Pen and Paper 1+2 Collection

Road Redemption

This War of Mine

Throne of Lies The Online Game of Deceit

Torchlight

Torchlight II

The First Tree

One Deck Dungeon

Skybolt Zack

Golf With Your Friends - OST

Codex of Victory

Conglomerate 451

Deep Sky Derelicts

Gift of Parthax

Haimrik

Quantum Replica

Re-Legion

Shiny

Through the Woods

The Inner World

Pixel Heroes Byte & Magic

Safety First!

SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell

The Textorcist: The Story of Ray Bibbia + Soundtrack

Vambrace: Cold Soul Soundtrack

Vampyr

AER Memories of Old

Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth

State of Mind

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War II

Warhammer 40,000: Dawn of War III

Warhammer 40,000: Sanctus Reach

Warhammer: End Times - Vermintide

Batman - The Telltale Series

Batman: The Enemy Within - The Telltale Series

Oxenfree

The Walking Dead

The Walking Dead - 400 Days

The Walking Dead: Michonne - A Telltale Miniseries

The Walking Dead: Season Two

Astebreed Definitive Edition

LiEat

Mitsurugi Kamui Hikae

Momodora: Reverie Under The Moonlight

GET EVEN

Carcassonne - Tiles & Tactics

Mysterium: A Psychic Clue Game

Small World 2

Splendor

Twilight Struggle

Gabriel Knight: Sins of the Father

Black The Fall

Children of Zodiarcs

Deadbeat Heroes

Forgotton Anne

Goetia

Tokyo Dark

The Turing Test

Train Valley 2

A Good Snowman is Hard to Build

A Mortician's Tale

Alien Spidy

Broken Age

Brothers: A Tale of Two Sons

Brutal Legend

Darksiders II Deathinitive Edition

Darksiders Warmastered Edition

DUCATI - 90th Anniversary

Europa Universalis IV

Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

GNOG

Hacknet

HIVESWAP: Act 1

Hollow Knight

LEGO Batman 3: Beyond Gotham

Lostwinds

Magicka

Music Maker EDM Edition

PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2

Party Hard

Pikuniku

Psychonauts

Rebuild 3: Gangs of Deadsville

Sniper Elite 3

Speed Brawl

Stealth 2: A Game of Clones

Stick Fight: The Game

Super Hexagon

SUPERHOT

This is the Police

Tilt Brush

Tropico 4

Undertale

VVVVVV

World of Goo

Worms Revolution

Zombotron

Dead Rising 4

Devil May Cry 4: Special Edition

RESIDENT EVIL 2 - All In-game Rewards Unlock

STRIDER

Reigns

Reigns: Her Majesty

Equilinox

MagiCat

Samorost 3

1 Screen Platformer

A Glider's Journey

Adventure Boy Cheapskate DX

Animal Super Squad

Anomaly 2

Anomaly Defenders

Anomaly Korea

Anomaly: Warzone Earth

Anomaly Warzone Earth Mobile Campaign

Artemis: God-Queen of the Hunt

Balancelot

Bastion

Cathedral

Chivalry: Medieval Warfare

Clatter

Dead by Daylight - Of Flesh and Mud

Dead by Daylight - Spark of Madness

Deadlight: Director's Cut

Dino Run DX

Downtown Drift

Draw Your Game

Drink More Glurp Jingle Jam Challenge

Invisible Inc.

Kalaban

Kingdom: New Lands

Motorsport Manager

Must Dash Amigos

Nemo Dungeon

Neverwinter: Vestments of the Wind Pack

Ninja Senki DX

PAC-MAN CHAMPIONSHIP EDITION 2

Potatoman Seeks the Troof

Pumped BMX +

Rapture Rejects

Rebound Dodgeball Evolved

Red Horizon

Rogue Rocks

Scanner Sombre

Songs of Skydale

Stories: The Path of Destinies

Super Chicken Catchers

THE TEAR

YORG.io

Chasm

Fluffy Horde

Regular Human Basketball

Fairy Fencer F: Advent Dark Force Complete Deluxe Set

Megatagmension Blanc + Neptune VS Zombies (Neptunia)

Moero Chronicle

Neptunia Shooter

Superdimension Neptune VS Sega Hard Girls

Trillion: God of Destruction

Beckett

Everything

Rusty Lake Hotel

The Stanley Parable

Thomas Was Alone

Yume Nikki

YUMENIKKI -DREAM DIARY-

Game Character Hub PE: DS Generator Parts

Game Character Hub PE: Second Story

Game Character Hub: Portfolio Edition

RPG Maker MV

RPG Maker MV - GENE

RPG Maker MV - MADO

RPG Maker MV - SAKAN

RPG Maker VX

RPG Maker VX Ace

RPG Maker XP

Visual Novel Maker + Live 2D

Evergarden

Shenmue I & II

SYNTHETIK: Legion Rising

Bridge Constructor Portal

Portal Knights

SEUM: Speedrunners from Hell

Staxel

Tricky Towers

When Ski Lifts Go Wrong

Planet Alpha

Puss!

The Spiral Scouts

Cat Quest

HIVESWAP: Act 1

Immortal Planet

Pillars of Eternity

Tyranny - Standard Edition

Carrier Command: Gaea Mission

Pound of Ground

Take On Helicopters

Take on Mars

Ylands

Distance

God's Trigger

Guacamelee! 2

MOTHERGUNSHIP

DISTRAINT 2

Rusty Lake Paradise

Unexplored

The Adventure Pals

Almost There: The Platformer

Yoku's Island Express

60 Parsecs!

Love is Dead

Road Redemption

Clustertruck

Diaries of a Spaceport Janitor

Party Hard

Punch Club

SpeedRunners

Duskers

Paratopic

Pool Panic

Red Faction Guerilla Re-Mars-tered

Black The Fall

Octahedron

The Turing Test

I'm not a Monster

Wandersong

11-11 Memories Retold

Impact Winter

Little Nightmares

PAC-MAN™ Championship Edition DX+

Project CARS

Genital Jousting

Highway Blossoms

Just Deserts

Purrfect Date

Sunrider Academy

Sunrider: Liberation Day - Captain's Edition

Among the Sleep - Enhanced Edition

Tooth and Tail

Dandara

MINIT

Steel Rats

12 is Better Than 6

BLACKHOLE

Cook, Serve, Delicious! 2!!

Kingsway

kuso

Soft Body

Way of the Passive Fist

Slipstream

Dear Esther: Landmark Edition

GoNNER

Headlander

Ken Follett's The Pillars of the Earth

Shadow Tactics: Blades of the Shogun

Bleed 2

Rapture Rejects

Rock of Ages 2: Bigger and Boulder

Sniper Elite 3

Interplanetary: Enhanced Edition

Worms Clan Wars

Animal Super Squad

Anomaly 2

Anomaly Defenders

Anomaly: Warzone Earth

Blade & Bones

Board Battlefield

Clicker bAdventure

Cloudborn

Convoy

Cube Link

Deep Dungeons of Doom

Detective Case and Clown Bot in: Murder in the Hotel Lisbon

Don't Stand Out

Dungeon Escape

Fahrenheit: Indigo Prophecy Remastered

Flux8

Freaky Awesome

Guns of Icarus Alliance Collector's Edition

Hackyzack

The Haunting of Billy

Hello Pollution!

Hyperdrive Massacre

Indecision.

Kabounce

Lakeview Cabin Collection

Last Encounter

LOVE

Lucius Demake

Marvin's Mittens

Match Point

No Time To Explain Remastered

Race The Sun

R-COIL

Road Doom

Slime-san

Super Steampunk Pinball 2D

Sure Footing

Switchblade Starter Pack

Temple of Xiala

Throne of Lies The Online Game of Deceit

Tower 57

Tross

Unit 4

Wizorb

Zero G Arena

Colt Express

King and Assassins

Kentucky Route Zero

RWBY: Grimm Eclipse

War for the Overworld + Heart of Gold DLC

The Dwarves

Resident Evil Revelations

Gremlins, Inc.

Old Man's Journey

Pathfinder Adventures

Talisman: Digital Edition

Carcassonne - Tiles & Tactics

Talisman: Digital Edition

How to Survive 2

Darksiders II: Deathinitive Edition

12 is Better than 6

Bear With Me - Collector's Edition

Dungeon of the Endless

Jalopy

NBA Playgrounds

Action Henk

JYDGE

Keep Talking and Nobody Explodes

Kingdom: New Lands

Laser League

Holy Potatoes! We're In Space?!

Grand Theft Auto: Episodes from Liberty City

Grand Theft Auto III

Grand Theft Auto: Vice City

Filthy, Stinking, Orcs

Sanctum 2

Grey Goo

Sorcerer King: Rivals


Green Man Gaming -

CRUSADER KINGS II

WARHAMMER END TIMES VERMINTIDE

INJUSTICE GODS AMONG US ULTIMATE

THE FLAME IN THE FLOOD

FROZEN SYNAPSE PRIME

BEAT COP

SUPER CLOUDBUILT

THE LITTLE ACRE

INSURGENCY

FEAR 3

DEAD AGE

MAGICKA

SERIAL CLEANER

CASTLEVANIA LORDS OF SHADOW 2

FAHRENHEIT REMASTERED

OPERATION FLASHPOINT RED RIVER

ROCKET KNIGHT

LEGO BATMAN

BIOZONE

ADR1FT


Fanatical -

Autonauts

Guards

How to Take Off Your Mask

ENIGMA:

Garfield Kart

Stronghold Legends: Steam Edition

Styx: Master of Shadows

Among the Sleep - Enhanced Edition

EARTH'S DAWN

Do Not Feed the Monkeys

Rain World

Shadwen

Syndrome

The Technomancer

Chess Ultra

Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!!

DEAD OR SCHOOL

Shiness: The Lightning Kingdom

XBlaze Code: Embryo

XBlaze Lost: Memories

Duke Nukem Forever

GUILTY GEAR Xrd -REVELATOR-

Party Hard 2

The Walking Dead

This War of Mine

Blood: Fresh Supply

Syberia II

If My Heart Had Wings

LoveKami -Divinity Stage-

LoveKami -Useless Goddess-

The Surge

Dungeons 2

The First Templar - Steam Special Edition

Urban Empire

The Dark Eye: Demonicon

Chronicles of Magic: Divided Kingdoms

Endless Fables 3: Dark Moor

King's Heir: Rise to the Throne

Lost Grimoires 3: The Forgotten Well

My Brother Rabbit

Noir Chronicles: City of Crime

Path of Sin: Greed

Queen's Quest 4: Sacred Truce

Tharsis

Little Big Adventure 2

Return to Mysterious Island 2

Damned

Return to Mysterious Island

Odyssey - The Story of Science

Little Big Adventure - Enhanced Edition

Sanitarium

The Royal Marines Commando

STARBO

Raptor: Call of The Shadows - 2015 Edition

Guns of Icarus Online

Hamsterdam

Gates of Hell

Perfect Heist

Aces of the Luftwaffe

Operation Thunderstorm

Clouds & Sheep 2

Archamon

The Crown of Leaves

HERO DEFENSE

Tales From Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation

Last Dream: World Unknown

The Swindle

Robothorium: Cyberpunk Dungeon Crawler

Equilinox

Rogue Wizards

Codex of Victory

Haimrik

In Fear I Trust

In Fear I Trust - Episode 2

In Fear I Trust - Episode 3

In Fear I Trust - Episode 4

The Watchmaker

The Uncertain - The Last Quiet Day

World's Dawn

Extinction

Infinite Air with Mark McMorris

Super Inefficient Golf

Tales of Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation

Shadwen

Creeping Terror

Fantasy Wars

Ascension to the Throne

Savage Lands

Survivalist

Still Life

Holy Avatar vs. Maidens of the Dead

Syberia

Miasmata

Syberia II

Looterkings

Damned

Lost Civilization

QuestRun

Railroad Pioneer

SkyDrift

Thunder Wolves

Airline Tycoon Deluxe

Overclocked: A History of Violence

Dark Strokes: The Legend of the Snow Kingdom Collector's Edition

Eternal Journey: New Atlantis

Forest Legends: The Call of Love Collector's Edition

House of 1000 Doors: Evil Inside

House of 1000 Doors: Serpent Flame

Joan Jade and the Gates of Xibalba

Love Alchemy: A Heart in Winter

Magic Encyclopedia: Moon Light

Mind's Eye: Secrets of the Forgotten

The Fog: Trap for Moths

Analogue: A Hate Story

Detention

The Coma: Recut

The Coma: Recut - Soundtrack & Art Pack DLC

Revolution Ace

Californium

SkyDrift

Clinically Dead

Out There Somewhere

Fate Tectonics

Plazma Being

One Finger Death Punch

ESport Manager

Dungeons 2

Galaxy Squad

Oriental Empires

Stars in Shadow

TASTEE Lethal Tactics

The Lion's Song: Season Pass

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Shuyan Saga

Steel Vampire

Arcana Heart 3 LOVE MAX!!!!

Guilty Gear X2 #Reload

Lifeless Planet Premier Edition

Snake Pass

BEEP

DRAGON: A Game About a Dragon

Destiny Warriors RPG

Gun Rocket

Labyronia RPG

Labyronia RPG 2

LocoSoccer

Out There Somewhere

Storm of Spears RPG

Subterra

Sun Blast: Star Fighter

The Odyssey: Winds of Athena

Tiny Bridge: Ratventure

Crouching Pony Hidden Dragon

GAUGE

Isbarah

Poöf

Puddle

Replay - VHS is not dead

Wooden Sen'SeY

House of Caravan

Cultures Northland

Splatter Zombie Apocalypse

Squirbs

Learn Japanese to survive Hiragana Battle

Airscape The Fall of Gravity

Revolution Ace

Labyronia RPG

PARTICLE MACE

Cultures 8th Wonder of the World

GIBZ

STAR WARS Jedi Knight - Jedi Academy

STAR WARS Jedi Knight II - Jedi Outcast

Dex

Figment

Hive Jump

Jalopy

PewDiePie: Legend of the Brofist

THE KING OF FIGHTERS XIII STEAM EDITION

Blades of Time Limited Edition

Blood Knights

Demonicon

Drakensang

GemCraft - Chasing Shadows

Heroes of Annihilated Empires

Inquisitor

Knights and Merchants

Lichdom: Battlemage

Numen: Contest of Heroes

Rune Classic

Sudeki

Two Worlds II: Velvet Edition

Wizardry 6&7

Asteroid Bounty Hunter

Charlie's Adventure

Cube Runner

Duke of Alpha Centauri

Fly and Destroy

Hungry Flame

Neon Space

Neon Space 2

ShipLord

Slash It

Slash It 2

Spin Rush

Survive in Space

Upside Down

Distant Worlds: Universe

Heavy Burger

I am not a Monster

Learn Japanese to survive Hiragana Battle

SimplePlanes

Sword Legacy Omen

Moero Chronicle

Moero Chronicle - Deluxe Pack DLC

35MM

Deadlight

Distrust

Killing Room

March of the Living

Savage Lands

Tharsis

Valnir Rok Survival RPG

Dreamscapes: The Sandman - Premium Edition

Dreamscapes: Nightmare's Heir - Premium Edition

Sea Legends: Phantasmal Light Collector's Edition

Witch's Pranks: Frog's Fortune Collector's Edition

Kingdom of Aurelia: Mystery of the Poisoned Dagger

Taken Souls: Blood Ritual Collector's Edition

Silver Tale

A Plot Story

Hexus

Jane Angel: Templar Mystery

Dream Walker

Witch's Tales

Escape Doodland

Mad Dream: Coma

Earthworms

Clinically Dead

Mech Rage

Camper Jumper Simulator

ESport Manager

Darkest Hunters

The Sexy Brutale

Beholder

The Last Door - Collector's Edition

The Last Door: Season 2 - Collector's Edition

Cognition: An Erica Reed Thriller

System Shock: Enhanced Edition

System Shock 2

Metal Fatigue

Spirits of Xanadu

Shadow Man

I Have No Mouth, and I Must Scream

Homeworld Remastered Collection

Tales from Candlekeep: Tomb of Annihilation

PAYDAY 2

Jalopy

Hover

Figment

Subterrain

STARWHAL

Scribblenauts Unmasked: A DC Comics Adventure

Joggernauts

The Long Reach

Mainlining

Coffin Dodgers

The Rivers of Alice - Extended Version

Zombie Kill of the Week - Reborn

The Walking Vegetables

Unbox: Newbie's Adventure

System Shock: Enhanced Edition

UNLOVED

Killing Room

Sir, You Are Being Hunted

Styx: Shards of Darkness

STAR WARS - Knights of the Old Republic

STAR WARS Knights of the Old Republic II - The Sith Lords

Shadowrun: Hong Kong - Extended Edition

SimCity™ 4 Deluxe Edition

STAR WARS™ - The Force Unleashed™ Ultimate Sith Edition

METAL SLUG X

Oxenfree

Galactic Civilizations II: Ultimate Edition

Sins of a Solar Empire: Trinity

Fallen Enchantress: Legendary Heroes

The Political Machine 2016

The Corporate Machine

Sorcerer King: Rivals

Demigod

Go! Go! Nippon! ~My First Trip to Japan~

March of the Living

Four Sided Fantasy

Dungeon Rushers

The Invisible Hours

Dead Secret

The Free Ones

HIVESWAP: Act 1

Castle of no Escape 2

Galactic Lords

W4RR-i/o-RS

Nogibator: Way Of Legs

WN - ShP

Fairy Lands: Rinka and the Fairy Gems

Drill Arena

Walhall

Er-Spectro

Risky Rescue

Frederic: Evil Strikes Back

16bit Trader

Midnight Mysteries

Midnight Mysteries 4: Haunted Houdini

Zombie Bowl-o-Rama

Little Farm

Silver Knight

ANKI

Lift It

3 Coins At School

Deep Eclipse: New Space Odyssey

Green Ranch

The lost joystick

UBERMOSH Vol. 5

Trip to Vinelands

TTV2

SWARMRIDER OMEGA

UBERMOSH

UBERMOSH:BLACK

UBERMOSH Vol.3

Iesabel

Daemonsgate

Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess

Spiritual Warfare & Wisdom Tree Collection

Prophecy I - The Viking Child

Drakkhen

Hostage: Rescue Mission

King's Table - The Legend of Ragnarok

Eternam

Chaos Control

Bubble Ghost

Mystical

Alien Rampage

Frederic: Resurrection of Music

Teddy Floppy Ear - Mountain Adventure

Teddy Floppy Ear - Kayaking

Millie

Sparkle 2 Evo

Story of the Survivor

SharpShooter3D

Goodbye My King

Watch This!

Crazy Oafish Ultra Blocks: Big Sale

Crystal City

Bloody Boobs

AuroraRL

Dispatcher

Casino Noir

Detective Noir

Reptilians Must Die!

The Braves & Bows

Zzzz-Zzzz-Zzzz

The Dweller

Surfingers

Timberman

Sparkle 3 Genesis

Cat on a Diet

Zombillie

Asteroid Bounty Hunter

ShipLord

Neon Prism

Slash It

Slash It 2

Cube Runner

Upside Down

Spin Rush

Neon Space

Neon Space 2

Duke of Alpha Centauri

Hungry Flame

Survive in Space

Fly and Destroy

Charlie's Adventure

Luxor Evolved

Luxor: Amun Rising HD

LUXOR: Mah Jong

Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena

Red Risk

Particula

Overcast - Walden and the Werewolf

OutDrive

Invasion

Cubium Dreams

Iron Impact

Stigmat

Marco Polo

Cybercube

Mr. Dubstep

Monstrum

Wick

Lethe - Episode One

35MM

I Shall Remain

Silence of the Sleep

Rebel Galaxy

Punch Club - Deluxe Edition

Grey Goo Definitive Edition

RiME

Gloom

SharpShooter3D

Goodbye My King

Crystal City

Art of Murder - Cards of Destiny

Art of Murder - Deadly Secrets

Art of Murder - FBI Confidential

Art of Murder - Hunt for the Puppeteer

Art of Murder - The Secret Files

Chronicles of Mystery - Secret of the Lost Kingdom

Chronicles of Mystery - The Legend of the Sacred Treasure

Chronicles of Mystery - The Tree of Life

Chronicles of Mystery: The Scorpio Ritual

Megadimension Neptunia VII

Megadimension Neptunia VII Digital Deluxe Set DLC

Galactic Lords

W4RR-i/o-RS

Nogibator: Way Of Legs

WN - ShP

Fairy Lands: Rinka and the Fairy Gems

Drill Arena

Walhall

Er-Spectro

Daemonsgate

Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess

Spiritual Warfare & Wisdom Tree Collection

Prophecy I - The Viking Child

Drakkhen

Marco Polo

Hostage: Rescue Mission

King's Table - The Legend of Ragnarok

Eternam

Chaos Control

Bubble Ghost

Mystical

Alien Rampage

Ocean Classics Volume 1

200% Mixed Juice

War of the Human Tanks

Worms

Worms Reloaded: Game of the Year Edition

Worms Ultimate Mayhem - Deluxe Edition

Worms Crazy Golf

Worms Blast

Worms Pinball

The Mooseman

Sky Break

Tropico 5

Super Cloudbuilt

Tower 57

Dex

Epistory - Typing Chronicles

Deponia: The Complete Journey

Table Top Racing: World Tour

Riff Racer - Race Your Music!

GT Legends

GTR Evolution

Vangers

Insane 2

Zero Gear

Race.a.bit

Mashed

Race: The WTCC Game + Caterham Expansion

Little Racers STREET

BARRIER X

Super Toy Cars

Mini Motor Racing EVO

Drift Streets Japan

Instant Death

Spirits of Xanadu

Swipe Fruit Smash

Voxel Baller

Breezeblox

BalanCity

VRog

BoomTown! Deluxe

City Siege: Faction Island

Bomb The Monsters!

Crazy Belts

Rush for Glory

Naval Warfare

Insurgency

Blood Knights

Heroes of Annihilated Empires

Wizardry 6 & 7

Drakensang

Rune Classic

Gemcraft - Chasing Shadows

Knights and Merchants

Etherlords I & II

Sudeki

Numen: Contest of Heroes

Inquisitor

Commands & Colors: The Great War

Making History: The Calm and the Storm Gold Edition

Attrition: Tactical Fronts

Imperial Glory

Praetorians

Commandos: Behind Enemy Lines

Commandos: Beyond the Call of Duty

Commandos 2: Men of Courage

Commandos 3: Destination Berlin

Ominous Tales: The Forsaken Isle

Beyond the Invisible: Evening

Tearstone

Entwined: Strings of Deception

Vengeance: Lost Love

The Rosebud Condominium

Where Angels Cry: Tears of the Fallen (Collector's Edition)

Lightning: D-Day

Congo Merc

Hold the Line: The American Revolution

Battles of the Ancient World

Peninsular War Battles

1812: The Invasion of Canada

Russian Front

7 Wonders II

7 Wonders of the Ancient World

7 Wonders: Ancient Alien Makeover

7 Wonders: Magical Mystery Tour

7 Wonders: Treasures of Seven

Discovery! A Seek and Find Adventure

Gardens Inc. 2: The Road to Fame

Glowfish

Little Farm

Luxor 2 HD

Luxor 3

Luxor Evolved

Luxor HD

Luxor: 5th Passage

Luxor: Amun Rising HD

LUXOR: Mah Jong

Luxor: Quest for the Afterlife

Midnight Mysteries

Midnight Mysteries 3: Devil on the Mississippi

Midnight Mysteries 4: Haunted Houdini

Midnight Mysteries: Salem Witch Trials

Midnight Mysteries: Witches of Abraham - Collector's Edition

Pickers

Samantha Swift and the Hidden Roses of Athena

The Dweller

Iesabel

EM: Shader Attack

Invasion

Labyronia RPG

Labyronia RPG 2

Legend of Mysteria RPG

Chosen 2

Balloon Blowout

Bayla Bunny

Block Blowout

Chess Knight 2

Dessert Storm

Fantastic 4 In A Row 2

Fantastic Checkers 2

Ludo Supremo

Mahjong Deluxe 2: Astral Planes

Mahsung Deluxe

Mini Golf Mundo

Pepe Porcupine

Puppy Dog: Jigsaw Puzzles

Puzzles Under The Hill

Ultimate Word Search 2: Letter Boxed

Bubble Blowout

Train Valley

Broken Sword Trilogy

Daemonsgate

Chamber of the Sci-Mutant Priestess

Prophecy I - The Viking Child

Drakkhen

Marco Polo

Hostage: Rescue Mission

King's Table - The Legend of Ragnarok

Bubble Ghost

Mystical

Ocean Classics Volume 1

Pandora: First Contact

35MM

Grand Ages: Rome GOLD

GT Legends

Nether: Resurrected

CAT Interstellar

Circut Breakers

Memoranda

Sins of the Demon RPG

Gladiator Trainer

Dragon Sinker

Neon Chrome

Skullgirls

Mad Games Tycoon

Replica

Patrician IV - Steam Special Edition

Patrician IV: Rise of a Dynasty

Patrician III

The Swindle

Zenith

Hive Jump

ICY: Frostbite Edition

Commandos Collection

Revhead

Car Mechanic Simulator 2015

Demolish & Build 2017

Robot Squad Simulator 2017

Skullgirls & DLC

The Mims Beginning

Dreamstones

Cally's Caves 4

Tank Battle: East Front

Tank Battle: Pacific

Tank Battle: Normandy

Tank Battle: North Africa

Tank Battle: 1944

Tank Battle: Blitzkrieg

Tank Battle: 1945

Civil War: 1861

Civil War: Bull Run 1861

Civil War: 1862

Civil War: 1865

Civil War: Gettysburg

Civil War: 1864

SK8

King of the Eggs

Bouncy Bob

Hotel Dracula

Warfront Defenders: Westerplatte

Pony Island

Who's Your Daddy

SWARMRIDER OMEGA

SWARMRIDER OMEGA OST DLC

SWARMRIDERS: Original Soundtrack DLC

DinoSystem

Super Sports Surgery

Middle-earth: Shadow of Mordor Game of the Year Edition

Startide

Timberman

Kathy Rain

Table Top Racing: World Tour

Z

Dark Years

Exowar

Total Extreme Wrestling

World of Mixed Martial Arts 3

IGT Slots Paradise Garden

Anti-Opoly

Wrestling Spirit 3

Draft Day Sports College Basketball 3

Draft Day Sports Pro Basketball 4

Defend Your Life

Hyperdrive Massacre

The lost joystick

Orbital Racer

RUNRUNRUN

Murder...

UBERMOSH:BLACK

Trip to Vinelands

SWARMRIDER OMEGA

Bad Dream: Coma

Mad Games Tycoon

Perfect Universe

Daddy's Gone A-Hunting

Deep Dungeons of Doom

Worms

PolyRace

The Way


Indiegala -

Persian Nights: Sands of Wonders

The Secret Order 6: Bloodline

Demon Hunter 4: Riddles of Light

Lost Grimoires 2: Shard of Mystery

Animal Lover

Magi Trials Deluxe Edition

Highschool Possession

Topless Hentai Mosaic

Hentai Hexa Mosaic

Borderus

The Myth Seekers: The Legacy of Vulcan

Eventide 2: The Sorcerers Mirror

Nightmares from the Deep 3: Davy Jones

Beach Bounce

Beach Bounce - Soundtrack

Beauty Bounce

Bunny Bounce

Club Life

Club Life - Soundtrack

Divine Slice of Life

Divine Slice of Life - Soundtrack

Echo Tokyo - Wallpapers

Echo Tokyo: Graphic Novel

Echo Tokyo: Intro

Highschool Possession

Highschool Romance

Magi Trials Deluxe Edition

Summer Fling

Summer Fling OST

Sword of Asumi Deluxe Edition

Knock-knock

Systematic Immunity

OddPlanet

The Quest for Achievements Remix

Moot District

Ceville

Mutiny!

Magic Trials Deluxe Edition

Hentai Zodiac Puzzle

PUZZLETIME: Lovely Girls

Girls of Hentai Mosaic

Girls of Hentai Mosaic - HQ Artbook & Wallpapers

Hentai Hexa mosaic

Hentai Hexa Mosaic - Soundtrack

Lady's Hentai Mosaic

Lady's Hentai Mosaic - OST

Lady's Hentai Mosaic - PNG Artbook

Pixel Hentai Mosaic

Pixel Hentai Mosaic - OST

Topless Hentai Mosaic

Topless Hentai Mosaic - OST

Topless Hentai Mosaic - PNG Artbook

Echo Tokyo: An Intro

Echo Tokyo - Wallpapers

Echo Tokyo: Graphic Novel

Last Anime boy: Saving loli

Witch College

Pleasure Airlines

Senpai Teaches Me Japanese: Part 1

Chibi Volleyball

My personal Angel

Riddled Corpses

Nandeyanen!?

AstroViking

?????2 / Seven boys 2

TimeTekker

Girls of Hentai Mosaic

Topless Hentai Mosaic

Hentai Hexa mosaic

Lady's Hentai Mosaic

Pixel Hentai Mosaic

Book Series - Alice in Wonderland

On Earth As It Is In Heaven - A Kinetic Novel

BAD END

Frank & the TimeTwister Machine

Linelight

Hook

Franchise Wars

Rush Bros

Grim Legends: The Forsaken Bride

Abyss: The Wraiths of Eden

Without Within 2

Cursed Sight

Beauty Bounce

Highschool Romance

Beach Bounce

Club Life

Echo Tokyo: Intro

Echo Tokyo: Graphic Novel

This Strange Realm Of Mine

Bot Vice

Eliosi's Hunt

Aspect

Grim Legends 2: Song of the Dark Swan

Crime Secrets: Crimson Lily

Grim Legends 3: The Dark City

Particle Mace

Secret of Magia

Sins of the Demon RPG

Splatter - Zombie Apocalypse

Airscape - The Fall of Gravity

Fate Tectonics

Battle Ranch: Pigs vs Plants

Earth Overclocked

Greyfox RPG

Wish -tale of the sixteenth night of lunar month-

Cursed Sight

A Winter's Daydream

Empty Horizons

Poker Pretty Girls Battle: Texas Hold'em

Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire

Pretty Girls Panic!

Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle

Boneless Zombie

Delicious! Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire

Koi-Koi Japan [Hanafuda playing cards]

Mahjong Pretty Girls Battle: Schools Girls Edition

Wild Romance

Pretty Girls Panic! (Chinese version only)

Pretty Girls Mahjong Solitaire (Chinese version only)

Slash or Die

Slash or Die 2

RepairBot

Stellar Interface

Trench Run

12 Labours of Hercules VII: Fleecing the Fleece (Platinum Edition)

A Dream For Aaron

A Duel Hand Disaster: Trackher

ARENA GODS

Adelantado Trilogy. Book Two

Adelantado Trilogy. Book one

Adventures of Dragon

Aircraft Evolution

Alice in Wonderland - Hidden Objects

Alicia Quatermain 2: The Stone of Fate

Alicia Quatermain: Secrets Of The Lost Treasures

Amelon

BAD END

BELPAESE: Homecoming

Battle High 2 A+

Beat The Game

Bitcoin Miner

Blind Men

BlowOut

Border of her Heart

Bottom of the 9th

Bravium

Brawlout

Broken Minds

Burnin' Rubber 5 HD

Chinese Ink Painting Puzzle & Creator

ClickBit

Coffee Crawl

Crashday Redline Edition

Crazy Pirate

Crisis in the Kremlin

Crystal Catacombs

Crystals of Niberium

Cube Zone

Cubiques

Cubiques 2

Curse: The Eye of Isis

Digital Resistance

Disparity

Drake of the 99 Dragons

E-Startup

Elbub

FreeHolder

Gladiator: Sword of Vengeance

Goldmine

Gothicc Breaker

Hentai Puzzle

Hentai Sokoban

Hide The Body

I.F.O

Inexplicable Geeks: Dawn of Just Us

Insert Paper: Update

Joy Climb

Judge Dredd 95

Krampus Quest

Krautscape

LOOT BOX ACHIEVEMENT SIMULATOR

Legend of the Skyfish

Lunch Truck Tycoon

MIND SHIFT

Maze of Infection

Mines of Mars

Mini Ghost

Mission: Escape from Island 2

Moto Racer 4

Moto Racer 4 - Space Dasher

Moto Racer 4 - The Truth

Navalny 20!8 : The Rise of Evil

Negligee

Neverliria

Next Hero

ORCS

PLATI NALOG: Favorite Russian Game

Panzer Hearts - War Visual Novel

Paper Shakespeare: To Date Or Not To Date?

Paradox Wrench

Penny Arcade's On the Rain-Slick Precipice of Darkness 3

Pixel Hentai Mosaic

Pixelpunk XL

Plant This

Q-YO Blaster

Questr

Ravensword: Shadowlands

River City Super Sports Challenge All Stars Special

Rot Gut

STATUS: INSANE

SUPER BENBO QUEST: TURBO DELUXE

Science Girls

Shadowgrounds

Shield Impact

Shout Of Survival

Spooky Cats

Store Simulator

Suna

SwordBounce

The Adventures of Elena Temple

The Bluecoats: North vs South

The God

The Last Dawn : The first invasion

The Lost Gardens

The Reject Demon: Toko Chapter 0 - Prelude

The Uncertain: Episode 1 - The Last Quiet Day

They Are Hundreds

Toy Odyssey: The Lost and Found

Usual John

Visceral Cubes

WeakWood Throne

Welcome to Princeland

Wings of Vi

World's Dawn

Zombie Desperation

the Line
submitted by MystRChaos to SteamGameSwap [link] [comments]

(Eastern) Mysticism is a fundamental part of the show: some long sunday evening thoughts

TL;DR: The Sopranos was ultimately about suffering and the search for Enlightenment.
So during my current rewatch I have been pondering about the fundmental role of mysticism, mainly Buddhism, in this thing of ours. I should say beforehand: despite the fancy title of this, I have no particular knowledge about buddhism bar the essentials (or any spiritual tradition for that matter) so I hope that people who can contribute more than I can feel encouraged to talk about it in this thread.
Also, I haven't seen season 6, where the most visible connection is, for a long time so I'm sure I have misremembered things. Nevertheless I feel like this perspective on the story and ending isn't nearly talked about enough (if at all) espcially when you consider that some of the main actors were and are buddhists. Also David Chase, altough I'm not sure if he is a buddhist, has talked in interviews about mystics and its relation to the show and the many mystical and paranormal experiences in The Sopranos shows that he is definitely open to it.
I've noticed that Eastern mysticism is a very recurrent theme in this show. There are multiple (Western) spiritual and philosohical traditions clearly visible in the story such as catholicism and existentialism, but I have always found all the references to eastern spirituality somewhat out of place for a late 90s mobster environment. From the top of my head from the first five seasons: Father Phil gives a book to Carmela about buddhism for her to read, Dr. Melfi mentions it regulary and seems quite aware of it, Richie Aprile's new perspective on life and his yoga, obviously Janice a.k.a fucking Parvati, Paulie and Sun Tazoo, Gloria was a buddhist, Tony uses multiple buddhist phrases (wrongly) from Gloria and Melfi, etc.
I think, which becomes especially clear in season 6, that the story of Tony is that of a man looking to get rid of his suffering (which is the inevitable consequence of being human according to the Buddha) by searching for lasting and real hapiness, freedom and peace (the infinte nature of Enlightenment, the 'goal' of buddhism and all mystical traditions). Apart from finding out that enlightenment is everyones true nature, by meditation and living according to its implication, most spiritual traditions usually state it is possible to get a glimpse of the infinite, or to 'see behind the veil' of the finite mind, in the living realm by near-death experiences and by the use of sacred (psychedelic) plants.
I would argue that Tony glimpses the infinite freedom and peace (Enlightenment) in season 6 on two occations, during his coma (near-death experience) and at the end of his peyote trip. In his coma dreams we see another direct reference to eastern spirituality: the buddhist monks and Tony's name, Kevin Finnity. In his dream, his subconcious is looking for Kevin Finnity, or if you remove the -Kev, in Finnity. In this scene, Tony says to the monks that he "came here [to the monks and monastry] to find Kevin Finnity." When he says how he has his wallet and his briefcase, but that he is not Him, the monks start to laugh. He is saying that he is not Infinnity, and that is funny to them, because the buddhist view is that everyones essence is that of the same and only enlightened and infinite Self. 'A man named Kevin Finnity walks into a monastry and says that he can't find Kevin Finnity' sounds like the beginning of a buddhist joke or Zen koan.
It is worth noting that after waking up from his coma, Tony feels very happy and free from his psychological burdens for a short period of time (I forgot exactly how long this was, maybe a few days or an episode?) He doesn't know why, but he seems joyful and aprreciative of the small things in life. However, the hapiness quickly slips out of his hands and the weight of his human life proves to be to much: he 'relapses' as old routines and psychological habits come back in his life and they are worse than before because of the added frustration of his unability to catch and preserve the hapiness and peace he felt in the wake of his coma. As a result, Tony is doing worse than ever.
Now to the peyote trip. Peyote has been a sacred plant since forever in shamanistic socieites and is seen as a way to communicate with God. The connection with the coma dream is established by the light of the lamp in the room where he does peyote, which is the same as the view he had in the hospital room. A bright and clear light represents in many traditions the light of the one Conciousness, or our God or Buddha-nature, or whatever words are used for THAT. Over the course of the season after the coma, we've seen Tony slowly and than quickly move away from the light. By taking Peyote, he enters back again. In the casino it is already established he ponders the nature of the Universe, by comparing the roulette table to the solar system. In the afterglow of the trip, the great scene in the dessert, he has a great insight; he GETS IT. Now we could argue what it is exactly he gets, but if the narrative I'm trying to create here holds any truth at all, it would make sense he has a revelation about the nature of himself and the universe. As you probably know, 'Ego Death' is a very common experience on psychedelics: the dissolution of seperation between subject ('me'; or Ego) and object (the 'outside' world). Everything simply 'is' and there is a true feeling of oneness with everything. Now, this experience is practically impossible to verbalise and conceptionalize to your peers; the best you could come up with is something like: ".....and the sun....... came up....." (OH YEAHH??)
No worries, I'm coming to some sort of end as I'm getting hungry, but in this season we have seen two moments where Tony found what he truly longs for the most: two 'spiritual' experience that lead him to feel happy and at peace, but that quickly deteriorates because he, nor anyone in his environment, understands them and he feels like he has no-one to talk about it. Thus, old habitual ways of thinking, feeling, perceiving and behaving come back- and of course worse than ever before.
We have seen the failed quest for enlightenment from Tony in this series. He longs, searches, finds, grasps and loses it over the course of the seasons. The only way he has been able to find it, is by diying. David Chase said the following when asked about the ending:
After a brief pause, Chase then said that he’d come across a quote from author Carlos Castaneda that came the closest to summing up everything that had been going through his head as he wrote the final sequence: “Warriors don’t venture into the unknown out of greed…to venture into that terifying loneliness of the unknown, one must have something greater than greed: love.” He then mentioned another quote from the finale that he felt was equally appropriate to the ending: Paulie Walnuts’ declaration that “even in the midst of death, we are in life. Or is that vice versa? Either way, you’re halfway up the ass.”
The cut to black is not a visualisation of death, but a representation of that what is written in the buddhist teachings as the essence of Tony, you, me and the entire universe: the Emptiness, Void, or primordal Awareness in which everything exist and ultimately out of which everything is made; including the cycles of life and death. The black screen is neither death or life: it points to that what contains both, our infinite awareness.
I've been yapping worse than six barbers here so I would be impressed if people actually read it, but wha ya gonna do huh
submitted by BasicFunkFormula to thesopranos [link] [comments]

Making Spectre the You Only Live Twice of the Craig era and a better sequel to Quantum of Solace

It’s been said before that the structure of Craig era of James Bond has some parallels with the Connery films, especially in regard to the villains. In Casino Royale/ Dr No – the villain is a mid-ranking member of an otherwise unseen criminal organisation. In Quantum of Solace/ From Russia With Love (and also Thunderball to an extent) – Bond is more directly in conflict with the villainous organisation and it is understood that bad guy defeated at the end is still just a lackey to the real villain. Goldfinge Skyfall are independent of the larger plot with a hitherto unconnected villain (until Spectre tried to retcon Silva). Spectre’s equivalents therefore are You Only Live Twice and Diamonds are Forever in which Bond directly confronts and defeats the big bad villain at the top of the criminal organisation.
While this works in the Connery era since Spectre and Blofeld had been set up since Dr No, in Spectre (due to legal circumstances outside of the film’s control) Blofeld is quite poorly forced in as the big bad behind it all with no setup. The organisation of Quantum meanwhile is retconned from being a illuminati-like society of the world’s most powerful individuals manipulating the strings from behind the scenes to being one part of Blofeld’s masterplan to screw with this one kid his father taught to ski.
So my fix is this – rather than have Quantum being one section of Spectre instead have Blofeld take over Quantum over the course of the film turning it into Spectre.

The new plot

We have a similar opening to one we got with Bond (in this version Bond will be responding to an intelligence tip MI6 received) in Mexico city walking through the Dead of the Dead paraded and up to a hotel room with an masked woman. However, when they reach the hotel room, they find a very sickly Mr White holding a gun on them. Bond tells the Masked Woman to go wait outside and Mr White talks about how Quantum has changed, becoming more divided and filled with infighting since the events of QoS and that new more ruthless players are cannibalising Quantum’s old guard, with Mr White himself being poisoned after he challenged their rise to power. He tells Bond he will give him the names of Quantum’s leadership if MI6 promises to protect someone for him. Before Bond can ask him who a shot blasts through the wall killing White. Bond exits the room and spots the Masked Woman running away from the hotel carrying a gun. He pursues and we get the same chase through the parade and helicopter action scene we got in the original with Bond killing the Masked Woman at the end rather than Sciarra leading us into the title sequence.
Cut to MI6, which is still located in the London Undergound/ World War 2 bunker from Skyfall but its undergoing extensive renovations in order to expand it for full time use. We get the scene from the film of M reprimanding Bond about his actions in Mexico City. I would remove Bond being suspended because I’m quite tired for the rogue agent trope. M exposits that the Masked Women was a Russian SVR agent although Moscow is claiming she defected earlier that year. We can also meet Max Denby aka C, and get the exposition about the possible changes to MI6 although in this version rather than it being a merger between MI5 and MI6 it’s a new EU wide organisation which will merge Europe’s various intelligence communities together (Spectre came out a year before the UK’s Brexit referendum so it wouldn’t hurt to reference British-European tensions). The British Parliament will shortly be voting on whether MI6 will be joining this new European Security Service. We then get a classic Q branch scene which includes Bond being giving a piece of jewellery disguised as a tracker along with the explosive watch from the original film.
Bond goes to Austria to investigate Mr White’s last known residence. As he approaches, we cut to group of Russian-speaking men watching Bond’s progress, with a particular focus on one man I’m are going to call ‘Russian Felix Leiter’. Bond’s investigations reveal that Mr White has a daughter but before he can investigate further the Russians begin to enter the house intent on capturing Bond. A shootout ensues and Bond is able to escape leading to a car chase action sequence as Bond phones up Moneypenny to check the records about Mr White’s family.
After Bond evades the Russians he travels to the facility where Mr White’s daughter, Dr Madeline Swann, works in hiding as a psychiatrist. We get the same psychiatric evaluation scene we did in the actual film only we regularly cut to Mr Hinx’s slow approach into the facility to capture Dr Swann. As this is his introduction, we can take time to build up his character with him forcing his stone thumbnails through one of the facility’s staff member’s eyes similar to the actual film. Following this we get the same chase down the mountain slope we got in the actual film, only without Q , as Bond races to free Madeline from Mr Hinx. After some convincing she agrees to trust Bond and take him to Rome where she knows that Quantum’s leadership will be meeting and explains that she, as Mr White’s next of kin, is entitled to seat at the table.
The journey from Austria to Rome can include the train sequence from the original film where Bond and Madeline get to know each other and include the fight scene with Hinx.
They arrive in Rome and Bond gives Madeline the jewellery/tracker gadget as she is to be taken blindfolded to Quantum’s meeting place. Bond is able to track Madeline’s location and infiltrates the meeting. This scene plays out similar to how it did in the original film only with a round table as the individuals seated are supposed to be equals to one another. Madeline of course is seated at the table but another of the seats is conspicuously empty much to the chagrin of the other members. As in the original we get some references to the various crimes the organisation has perpetrated around the globe along with references to something called the SPECTRE initiative. Eventually the door to the meeting room opens and like in the original film the final seat is filled by a man whose face is obscured in shadows. One of the members subtlety reprimands the shadowy man’s tardiness but gets nothing but silence in return. The other members bicker about the SPECTRE initiative before holding a vote on whether or not to halt the Initiative. The vote goes against SPECTRE and man shadows begins to laugh, before saying something ominous, such as “I afraid this organisation will not tolerate insubordination”. The walls to the meeting room suddenly slide open to revel dozens of armed goons who immediately open fire on the rest of Quantum’s leadership. Bond leaps out of his hiding place to protect Madeline but is unable to prevent her from being captured. During the confusion there is a brief moment in which Bond and the man in shadows stare at each other. However, before Bond himself can be captured he throws his explosive watch at the man in the shadows blinding him and causing a distraction so he can escape.
Bond does successfully escape from the carnage and is able to hide from the pursuing goons. However just when he thinks he’s safe a passer-by sprays him with knockout gas and white van pulls up for Bond to bundled into. He awakes in a small room surrounded by Russians led by Russian Felix Leiter who explains that they’re Russian intelligence agents who’ve been tracking Quantum’s activities since the defection of their own agent (the Masked Woman in Mexico) several months prior and that they think Quantum is behind a string of recent terror attacks. Bond explains his side of the story and its revealed that the trackejewellery Madeline is wearing is still functional and is transmitting from a crater in the Sahara desert.
Bond and the Russian’s travel to the Sahara and Russian Felix Leiter explains that Bond has six hours to free Madeline before the Russians go in and kill everything that moves. Bond successfully infiltrates the facility in the crater but when he enters the room where he believes Madeline is being held it is revealed to be a trap and Bond is promptly disarmed. He is then met by the man in the shadows, now scarred from the explosion in Rome, who reveals himself as Ernst Stavro Blofeld. Blofeld tells Bond about how he has been causing terror attacks across Europe to convince the nations of Europe to join the European Security Service which is of course feeding intelligence directly to Blofeld and that the UK, the only holdout, will be the next target. When Bond asks why Blofeld is revealing this to him Blofeld will turn on multiple screens of camera’s watching the entrance to MI6, proclaiming that MI6 will be the site of the London terror attack, forcing the British government to join the European Security Service, and how he has had double agents working to ensure that during new construction work the entire headquarters was deliberately rigged to explode. He will state that he wants Bond to watch the destruction of MI6 in revenge for Bond scarring him in Rome.
Bond escapes and is able to free Madeline. Together they recover the plans for the MI6 bomb and make their way to the facility’s communications tower, setting off an alarm in process. Madeline is forced to defend the two of them as Blofeld’s goon converge on the tower while Bond contacts Q and Moneypenny to tell them about the bomb and how to disarm it. Since Bond and Madeline are occupying the communications tower they can prevent Blofeld from setting off the bomb remotely however they can’t be sure that any of Blofeld’s double agents in MI6 won’t set off the bomb early so Q and Moneypenny have to keep a low profile. Q and Moneypenny are able to disarm the bomb in nick of time just as Russian special operations soldiers begin to enter the crater.
A big, Lewis Gilbert-style shootout occurs between Blofeld’s men and the Russians with Bond and Madeline trapped between them. Inevitably the facility will start to explode and Blofeld will attempt to escape. The final action sequence will see Bond chase down Blofeld in order to prevent him from escaping. Bond can either succeed or fail depending on where we want Blofeld for the next film.
We then get our debriefing scene with M and end the film with Bond and Madeline driving away in the DB5.
submitted by ProbablyTheWurst to fixingmovies [link] [comments]

OBLIGATORY FILLER MATERIAL – Just take a hard left at Daeseong-dong…6

Continuing.
After the third pony keg of beer was delivered, it was decided that the next few days would be spent in the conference room discussing what we thought was the best way forward.
We wanted dry-erase boards so we could start taking detailed notes, even though I was well ahead of the curve in that regard. We instead ended up with some mobile elementary-school blackboards and a pile of grainy, sooty chalk.
Leave it to Dr. Cliff to go into a discourse on the genesis of chalk and its economic importance.
Bloody carbonate geologists.
Bloody White Cliffs.
We geologists need to punctuate their conversations with pictures, so these would suffice quite well.
At 1700 hours, the official end to the workday was called; we’d meet here again tomorrow. I’m not certain by whom, but it was readily agreed upon. We were more or less on our own until 1000 the next day. I needed to spend some time in my room with my notes and update a number of dossiers, field notebooks, and other items I was using as a running chronicle.
Several folks decided to invade one of the hotel’s restaurants for dinner. Some wanted to head to the casino, a couple wanted to get a massage, and others wanted to do what tourists are normally wont to do on the second day of being a foreigner in a foreign land.
I declined invitations to dinner and other activities, as I had a long writing session in front of me. I wanted to get this all in its proper place while the memories and notes were still fresh.
30 minutes later, in my room after a 25-minute wait for the elevator; I’m updating dossiers, creating several new ones, and updating my field notebooks. Suddenly, after an hour’s work, I notice something is amiss.
“I don’t have a drink or a cigar,” I said to the four walls. “This. Will. Not. Do.”
I was used to Happy Hour in Russia. Happy hour is slightly different; there are no ice cubes or orange-peel twists in the vodka. Also, it lasts all day.
I remedy that situation by finding and clipping a nice, oily oscuro cigar and digging the bourbon out from under my boxer-briefs in my dresser drawer. I heft the bottle and feel that it’s significantly lighter than when I left it last night. I happen to look in the trash can and spy the wrapper for a box of my festively colored Sobranie cigarettes I obtained back in Dubai.
“Hmmm”, I think, “It would appear that we have some light-fingered Cho Louies or No Louises around here. I’d best guard my supplies a little more securely.”
I move all my smokeables into one of my now emptied aluminum travel cases. They lock with the stoutest of combinations and it will be readily apparent if anyone is fucking with them.
I move some of my best booze into the pretty much worthless in-room safe. With a deft application of duct tape, I seal the safe. It may not be the most secure spot on the planet, but if anyone tries anything troublesome, they’ll leave an immediately recognizable record of what they were up to. It’s just too obvious; they’d have to be crazy to go in after anything inside there.
My money, keys, and passports are in the safe deposit box down in the lobby that the hotel supplies for visiting dignitaries. Even so, they let me keep my shit in one of them anyway.
That handled, I spend another hour writing like a madman. I suddenly realize I’m tired of all this and need a diversion as well as some food and, of course, drink.
30 minutes later, I’m down in the byzantine basement tunnels of the hotel. It’s crowded with hordes of Chinse tourists, and the casino is ground zero for the incredibly loud chatter.
I look in on the bowling alleys all three of them, and they’re full. The massage parlor is hopping, although I leave my name and they promise they will call over the PA when a suitable masseuse is available. Evidently, I ‘intimidate’ some of the more demure ones.
I wander over to the bar, now there’s a surprise, and see it’s packed to the rafters as well. I decide to wait for a seat to open up on Mahogany Ridge when there’s some gargling over the PA and a pair of Chinese nationals leave the bar in great haste.
I grab one of the two newly open seats, much to the chagrin of a couple of Oriental Unidentifiables (OU) who had their eye on them as well.
“Sorry, mate”, I said, “First come, first served. It’s the capitalist way.”
One of the pair grabs a seat and the other just stands there, looking annoyed unspent bullets in my direction. Forget that I’ve literally twice their size and could be an aberration as an angry American. They just order a couple of drinks, and content themselves in giving me dirty looks and probably say nasty things in their own indecipherable language about my national origin and familial heritage.
As if I gave the tiniest of rodental shits.
I fire up a cigar, as literally everyone else in the joint was smoking something more or less tobacco. However, there was a definite barnyard aroma, a regular Dairy Air, in the room. I think some of what was being smoked there was more bovine or equine in origin than botanical in nature.
With numerous hilarious attempts at Korean, pointing at a garishly photographed drinks menu, I was finally served a cold draft house steam porter and 100 milliliters of probably ersatz ‘Russian’ vodka, vintage late last Thursday. This bartender that could at least form some of the phonemes found in American English. A few. A definite few.
Since it all cost the equivalent of US$0.50, I really didn’t care.
Apparently vodka helps flowers last longer when they're dying. But you can put vodka in anything and it'll make it better.
Being a trained observer, I rather enjoy just sitting in any old bar, smoking my cigar, drinking my Yorshch, and watching people. I try and not be intrusive and I never eavesdrop, but I like to try and think of what strange set of circumstances brought us all here together in this place at this time. It gives me writing ideas, some of which I jot down in a notebook I always carry. It also gives me a good shot of nostalgia when I look back at something I wrote some 40 or so years ago.
Yeah, old habits do die hard.
I take a drag off my cigar and set it in the ashtray in front of me on the bar as I go to correct another egregious misspelling in my notebook. I have to immediately proofread what I wrote, or I’d never recall later what the fuck I was trying to convey; especially if it’s in a noisy, smoky, or murky milieu.
Quicker than a bunny fucks, Unidentifiable Oriental #1 (UO #1) deftly reaches over, snags my cigar, and helps himself to a few mouthy puffs.
I look at him, the empty ashtray directly in front of me, him again, and then UO #2.
Since I speak no real Oriental, much less Korean, language, and my Mandarin at this point is worse than laughable; I just point to the cigar, turn out my hands and shrug my shoulders in the international “What the actual fuck, dude?” gesture.
He just smiles a gappy, toothy, and snaggle-toothed at that, grin at me and makes a point of ensuring that I see him enjoying a few more drags on my own damned cigar.
Not able to contain myself any further, I venture a “What the fuck, chuckles? That’s not your fucking cigar.”
Like gasoline being tossed on a fire-ring full of embers, they both go unconditionally incoherently insane.
Yammering, chattering, jumping up and down, and getting right into my face. They wanted me to unquestionably understand that my few words of English insulted them far more than their filching of my $20 cigar.
OK, I’m pretty well trained in Hapkido; an oddly, given the present situation, hybrid Korean martial art. I’m at least 6 or 7 inches taller and who knows how many stone/kilos/pounds/Solar masses heavier than these two clowns. I could easily go all Gojira on their hapless asses and mop significant expanses of the floorboards with them.
Instead, I look around for the bartender. I figured since I was keeping him well supplied with Korean won via tips, and he spoke some English as well as perhaps whatever the fuck these characters were chattering; maybe he could get to the bottom of what was happening.
The bartender walks over and I ask him to ask the two unidentifiable twins why they stole my cigar.
He nods in agreement and goes on in whatever the fuck dialect was being used today by the pair.
“They say they wanted it. So they took it.” They ask, “What are you going to do about it?” the bartender relates.
I deftly reach inside my field vest, as everyone concerned ducks and covers.
I extract two fresh cigars; not a .454 Casull Magnum.
I give one cigar to the bartender and one to OU#2.
“With my compliments.” I pleasantly say.
I was well apprised of the fact that in certain places like this, the local authorities often approach foreigners with, for the lack of a better term, ‘Agents Provocateur’.
Like the Westboro Baptist “Church”, they try to get a rise out of you so you’ll lose your cool and either create a scene or take a poke at the miscreant. Then they have all the pretext they require to drag you to the local hoosegow, shake you down for every penny on your person, as well as any phones, notebooks, wallets, passports, cigars, cigarettes, etc.
Basically, they goad you into a fight, then drop the thousand-pound shit-hammer when you retaliate.
It’s all so parochial. So obviously clear as vodka; this elementary charade only raised a single eyebrow.
I’m not going to even raise my voice over a couple of cheap cigars that neither of them noticed I slipped them instead of the premium ones I was smoking.
Thus defeated, I asked the bartender to ask them if they liked the cigar.
“What do you think?” I asked in cordial English, “Too tightly rolled? Not caged enough? Too green?”
UO #2 slipped and said “It smells very good…” where he realizes he’s blown his cover.
“Yeah, I like it too.”, I replied, “So much so, I buy my own. What are your badge numbers, boys? I will be reporting this incident to Inspector P'aeng Yeong-Hwan, the head of security for the IUPGS conference to which I was invited as special scientific consultant.”
Of course, they immediately dummy up and feign illiteracy.
I say loudly and very clearly, “You bastards aren’t gonna get away with this. I mean, what is going on in this country when scumsuckers like you can get away with trying to sandbag a Doctor of Geological Sciences?”
I ask the bartender to translate, but alas, it was too late. They vamoosed when I turned to talk with the bartender.
They left so fast, they didn’t notice me snapping their pictures with my ancient but trusty Nokia 3310, revised edition, during our little chat. Even with a mere 2-megapixel picture, I have enough to show the North Korean leaders of the project to get an identification and make known my displeasure of being treated like some commoner or buffoon.
They left both my cigar and the one I gave them. The bartender tucked the cigar I gave him into his pocket and stared lustily at the two remaining on the bar.
“Take’em”, I said. I sure as fuck don’t want them. “Just a clean ashtray and a refill, if you would be so kind,” I say, as pleasantly as possible, considering the situation.
Both the unsmoked and my smoldering, as well as well-traveled, cigar disappear as quickly as minks rut. A clean, new ashtray, double beer and ‘vodka’ suddenly appear.
“No charge, Dr. Rock”, the bartender grins, as he shoves my erstwhile high-mileage cigar between his teeth.
“OK, fair enough.”, I say, “Spaseebah.”, and deposit a raft of won on the bar. The pile won’t be touched until after I leave in a few hours’ time.
“Stranger in a strange land.” I muse over a couple of further beers.
The call from the massage parlor never came, or it did and I couldn’t hear it over the clamor of the casino. I went up to the hotel’s Korean restaurant; had some salty soup, a sad, sad salad, and some form of funky fish, I think, for dinner. I retired that night in a slightly foul mood.
I called Es then the next morning and caught her before she retired. With a 14 hour difference between us, I was getting up at 0700 and she was getting ready to hit the hay at 2100.
I told her of the events of the day previous, and she was glad she wasn’t tagging along. She would have never accused the Korean geologists of being behind the times and would have probably bent the guy’s nose that swiped my cigar.
Agreed, that she’d probably be unimpressed with this place. I promised her that we’d go on a holiday when I returned from all this. It would be up to her to find out ‘where,’ and I’d supply the ‘when’ when I could.
Everything else was going along smoothly, more or less, on the home front, and I didn’t want to give the local listening-in federales too much to say grace over, so we said our parting admirations and rang off.
Shower, shower sunriser of real vodka and citrus, a quick brush and comb, and spiff of cargo shorts and new ghastly Hawaiian shirt; 30 minutes later, back down in the restaurant for the inevitable breakfast buffet.
After what some would consider breakfast and others would consider a vague attempt at nourishment, we reconvened in the conference room precisely at 1012.
Nothing like precision with this group.
We spend the next two days going over, in various groups, what we think would be required to set forth proper the quest for oil and gas in North Korea on track. Everyone got in on the act, and we advocated for that. We needed everyone’s input to make this happen. Or to even map a way forward to present to country officials. Those from the West on what was needed and those from the East to tell us what was available, and the combined wetware to make what needed to be done happen with what existed.
It took no small amount of doing, but we secured a set of maps that covered the entire country. We were watched very closely by the shiny suit squad that we did not copy, photograph or otherwise take any extraneous information from these sheets of infamy. All other maps in the country were intentionally skewed, with errors deliberately added in to confuse “interlopers, spies, or other personas non grata”.
I made a massive stink and told them that if we didn’t receive the unfuckered maps, aerial photographs and satellite imagery pronto, we’re packing up and leaving that afternoon.
“We don’t have time for monks resisting the carnival. We didn’t come here to try and guess if the maps are correct or if our remedies will actually work on maps that say one thing and reality says something else entirely.”
They hemmed and hawed, but as I made the announcement to all before lunch that if the real maps didn’t appear by the time we returned from tiffin, we’re gone.
And we take tiffin purty durn early round these parts, buckaroo.
No one was surprised as I when we returned and there were folio after folio of government-uncensored maps, photos, and imagery for our program. I guess they finally reasoned it would be a relatively good idea to begin to take us seriously.
We spent one whole day just going over our field geological apparatus. They had a good idea of how to use a direction-finder compass and Jacob’s staff to measure sections. However, they were totally flummoxed by our Brunton Compasses, GPS systems, curiously referred to as ‘position finders’, notebook mapping applications, and electronic data storage and retrieval systems.
Gad. It was like being back in the 1970s before PCs were a glimmer in IBM's corporate orbs.
We spent the next week working to bring our less fortunate colleagues up to, well, not date, but at least up to the brink of the 21st century. We explained that plate tectonics, continental drift, and the precession of the continents was accepted geoscientific principles, not some arcane Capitalist or Socialist plot to undermine the quality of science in the east.
Yep. It was that mindset we had to first conquer. I think we’ve made great headway in that direction today.
The next Chautauqua session had us split up into two separate groups. We decided in a fit of Cesarean inquiry to ‘divide and conquer’. There are two distinct milieus which are able to contain economic deposits of hydrocarbons: onshore and offshore.
Instead of attacking both head-on, we’d focus initially on the offshore domain. Once we had a good handle on what was going on under the East Korean Sea, the Huangai (Yellow) Sea and surreptitiously, the South Sea; we’d collaborate our findings and work to tie them in and extend them onshore.
The singular Phyongnam Basin is the one large depositional, sedimentological, and structural basin in North Korea. It is filled by the Joeson and Pyeongan Supergroups of sediments, which are Cambro-Ordovician and Permocarboniferous, respectively. These are good hunting grounds for oil and gas. Could be elephant–hunting country.
But before we could undertake that, we had to get ‘back to basics’. That is, we had to understand and delineate the ‘frame’ of the Korean Peninsula. In other words, we needed to figure out how and when the peninsula came into existence.
South Korea’s geology is much more complex, fortunately than that found in the North. There were nasty side comments that were due to the relative development not of the geology, but of the geologists who studied each country’s geology.
It was, perhaps, a mean way of characterizing the situation. But, unfortunately, it was also probably fairly accurate.
The Korean Peninsula is characterized by huge massifs, which are sections of a crust that are demarcated by faults or flexures. In the movement of the crust, a massif tends to retain its internal structure while being displaced as a whole. The term also refers to a group of mountains formed by such a structure. It’s basically one huge, semi-resilient rock.
The basement rocks of the Korean Peninsula consist of high-grade gneiss and schist, Paleoproterozoic Precambrian massifs, which formed in the early stage of Earth’s history. These rocks are unconformably overlain by metasedimentary rocks; schist, quartzite, marble, calcsilicate, and amphibolite, of the Middle to Late Proterozoic. The Korean Peninsula is floored by a collation of about five of these huge Precambrian massifs that acted like ‘microplates’ during the aggregation of the peninsula. These massifs consist of thick dolostone, metavolcanics, and schist, which were intruded by Paleoproterozoic granites.
These Paleoproterozoic metasedimentary and granitic rocks underwent repeated intracrustal differentiation, followed by the events of cratonization, i.e., regional metamorphism and igneous activity, at 1.9-1.8 Ga. Sediments deposited in the peripheral basins during the Mesoproterozoic and Neoproterozoic lead to stabilization as the basement of the peninsula.
These early depositional basins formed the locus of deposition that continued on from the Proterozoic through the Phanerozoic. There are at least three, perhaps four, depositional basins in the south which are delimited by structural zones, such as the South Korean Tectonic Line (SKTL), a huge zone of continental transform faults and forms the basis of boundary demarcation between the Okcheon and Taebaeksan basins.
The boundary between the Seochangri Formation of the Okcheon Basin and the Joseon Supergroup of the Taebaeksan Basin in the Bonghwajae area is a thrust (or reverse‐slip shear zone). This thrust is presumably a relay structure (i.e. a restraining bend) between two segments of a continental transform fault (the South Korean Tectonic Line or SKTL), along which the Okcheon Basin of the South China Craton was juxtaposed against the Taebaeksan Basin of the North China Craton during the Permian–Triassic suturing of the two cratons.
In the late Proterozoic, sedimentation was initiated in basins of the Korean Peninsula, accompanied by deposition of siliciclastic and volcaniclastic sediments as well as carbonates. The massifs were submerged in the Early Paleozoic during a greenhouse period, forming a shallow marine platform and associated environments.
The Cambrian-Ordovician succession unconformably overlies Precambrian granite gneiss. It consists of mixed carbonate-siliciclastic rocks of sandstone, shale, and shallow-marine carbonates. Sedimentation was initiated in the Early Cambrian with a global rise in sea level on the stable craton of the Sino-Korean Block.
There was a major break in sedimentation during the Silurian and Devonian periods in the entire platform. During the Carboniferous to early Triassic, sedimentation was resumed in coastal plain and swamp environments with progradation of deltas.
Major tectonic events were initiated in the Triassic when the South China Block collided with the Sino-Korean Block. The eastern part of the Sino-Korean Block rotated clockwise and moved southward relative to the South China Block along the SKTL.
In the Middle-Late Jurassic, orthogonal subduction of the paleo-Pacific plate under the Asian continent caused compression and thrust deformation. A number of piggyback basins formed along the thrust faults in the east of the SKTL. At the same time, the entire peninsula was prevailed by granite batholiths, especially along the northeast-southwest-trending tectonic belt.
In the Cretaceous Period, the paleo-Pacific Plate subducted northward under the Asian continent, forming numerous extensional (left-lateral strike-slip) basins in the southern part of the peninsula and the Yellow Sea. A large back-arc basin was initiated in the southeastern part.
In the Paleogene, both the volcanic arc and the back-arc basin ceased to develop, as volcanic activities shifted eastward, accompanied by a rollback of the subduction of the Pacific plate. In the Miocene, pull-apart (right-lateral) basins formed in the eastern continental margin.
The Korea Plateau experienced continental rifting accompanied by extensive volcanism during the extensional opening of the southern offshore basin. It subsided more than 1000 m below sea level.
So, as South Korea was mix- mastered by a half-a-billion years’ worth of structural tectonism, which created several depositional basins quite capable of generating and storing economic quantities of oil and gas, the scene to the north was much more quiescent.
The North was composed, from south to north, of the relict Imjingang Belt, which was an old back-arc basin between the Gyeonggi Massif to the south and the Nagrim Massif to the north. It is a paleo-subduction zone, full of volcanics, volcaniclastics and other non-hydrocarbon bearing rocks. It was mashed and metamorphosed, and basically forms a convenient boundary between the complex geology of the South and the more relaxed geology of the North.
Heading north, we come across the Pyeongnam Basin, the only North Korean basin thus far defined that could contain hydrocarbons. Further north is the huge Nangrim Massif. It’s a huge block of igneous and metamorphic rocks that weather very nicely and form some spectacular scenery, but from an oil and gas economic outlook are worthless.
Offshore North Korea, there are two possible petroliferous basins. The offshore West Korea Bay Basin and East Sea Basin, along with five onshore basins could be offering exploration potential. At least ten exploration wells have been drilled in the West Sea, with some showing “good oil shows” along with the identification of a number of potential reservoirs.
The West Sea potentially has oil and has reportedly flowed oil at reasonable rates from at least two exploration wells when they were drilled and tested in the 1980s. Meanwhile, the East Sea has seen Russian exploration efforts previously including the drilling of two wells, both of which reportedly encountered encouraging shows of oil and gas.
Onshore, there has been little exploration to date, apart from efforts by the Korean Oil Exploration Corporation and also recently by Mongolia’s HBOil JSC (HBO). Among five main onshore sedimentary sub-basins, the largest is south of the capital; while unconfirmed reports point to a 1-trillion-cubic-foot (tcf) discovery in 2002.
Historically DPRK was thought to consist of five under-explored geological basins, the
• Pyongyang,
• Zaeryong,
• Anju-Onchon,
• Gilju-Myongchon and
• Sinuiju, Basins.
These basins are all located more or less along the coast, rather than inland. This also points to a certain degree of geological aptitude; as it’s much easier to explore along the more populated coast than it is to venture inland. There may be more hiding in the interior of the country, it’s just that no one’s looked as of yet. That’s difficult. Exploring along the coast is much easier.
With 3 basins supposedly proven to have working petroleum systems; 22 wells have been drilled and the majority are said to have encountered hydrocarbons with some wells testing production at 75 barrels of oil per day of light sweet crude oil. This has yet to be documented or confirmed by the Korea Oil Exploration Corp (KOEC), North Korea’s state-run oil company.
Yeah, our work was definitely cut out for us.
It was decided that a series of excursions offshore in one of the few remaining seaworthy, which was a real judgment call, KOEC seismic boats would be appropriate. The one we received use of was an old, decommissioned Chamsuri-class patrol boat, one Chamsuri-215(참수리-215), PKMR-215 in particular.
It had been basically stripped to the gunwales and completely retrofitted as a seismic acquisition and recording vessel. It had been renamed: “조선 민주주의 인민 공화국 영광” or “Glory of Democratic People's Republic of Korea Science”.
In reality, it was an aging rust-bucket piece of shit that might have possibly seen better days but wasn’t letting on. All the military nonsense, except the powder magazine, had been removed and a new superstructure consisting of slap-dash hunks of poorly-welded low-carbon, cold-rolled steel were erected to form a pilothouse in the area where the bridge once existed. They also built, extra haphazardly, a shooter’s room, galley, cold and wet storage areas, recording room, and storage of tapes and the extra bits and pieces needed for a none-too-extended stay on the sea. It was, being charitable, almost utilitarian.
They could not make their own water, so trip times were limited to about three days in length. Besides, they didn’t really have a hot galley, so it was cold, canned Chinese chow for the next 72 hours. They had a couple of fairly sturdy yardarms with heavy winches to handle the towed seismic arrays of geophones, which were of ancient heritage and showed it. These were probably appropriated back in the 80s or perhaps earlier when they first thought about opening their waters for seismic exploration.
They ‘borrowed’ most of the sensing and recording equipment back then from oilfield service companies and simply forgot to return it once finished. Since they burned that bridge so glowingly, they couldn’t get parts nor service when things failed. Being delicate seismic sensing and recording equipment, fail they did.
So, we had to use what was leftover, or what DPRK industries could cobble together, or what could be salvaged from salt-water drenched recording equipment that hadn’t been too heavily cared for over the span of the last 50 years.
We weren’t terribly optimistic.
So, we load the good ship ‘Rorrypop’, as Viv christened the thing, and head out to the wilds of the Yellow Sea. It was an abbreviated foreign crew, as there was really nothing other than upchuck and curse me soundly for insisting the non-geophysical scientists came along.
Aboard were the two geophysicists, naturally; Volna and Activ. I was there stick-handling the logistics and hoping to help out with the geophysical signal source explosives.
Morse and Cliff, the two other geologists accompanied us on the trip, and Dax decided to go with me as he figured I’d have access to the best booze no matter where we went.
The remainder of the team, the geochemists, Erlan and Ivan, the geomechanic, Iskren, the PT, Joon, and the two REs, Viv and Grako, remained behind onshore at the hotel. They set forth cataloging what data was available; from what sources, it’s vintage, veracity, and usefulness.
Augean tasks, both. Not as fecaliferous as Hercules’ jobs, but still, they held their own rations of shit for each sub-team.
Heading seaward, the Yellow Sea extends by about 960 km (600 mi) from north to south and about 700 km (430 mi) from east to west; it has an area of approximately 380,000 km2 (150,000 mi2) and a volume of about 17,000 km3 (4,100 mi3).[4] Its depth is only 44 m (144 ft) on average, with a maximum of 152 m (499 ft). The sea is a flooded section of the continental shelf that formed during the Late Pleistocene (some 10,000 years ago) as sea levels rose 120 m (390 ft) to their current levels. The depth gradually increases from north to south. The sea bottom and shores are dominated by sand and silt brought by the rivers through the Bohai Sea and the Yalu River. These deposits, together with sand storms are responsible for the yellowish color of the water referenced in the sea's name.
Being shallow, the Yellow Sea is more perturbed by the frequent seasonal storms of the region. The area has cold, dry winters with strong northerly monsoons blowing from late November to April. I was told that the summers are wet and warm with frequent typhoons between June and October; but now all we had to contend with were swelling seas, spraying saltwater, waggling waves, and a shivering, shimmying ship.
All the navigation, communications and other shiply duties were being handled by both members of the DPRK Coast Guard Auxiliary, mostly older guys who were of great and high humorous jest; and an actual pleasure to be around. They were like their scientific cadre on this cruise, basically a political ‘give a shit’ attitude, and a desire to get the job done, smoke the American’s cigars and drink as much as we could get away with.
The scientific portion of the cruise was being undertaken by students of the various universities and members of the North Korean national oil company. The demeanors of these characters ranged from extremely earnest and stringently North Korean politically correct in the students and academicians, to a more relaxed ‘yeah, let’s just get the fucking job done so we can have a lot of drinks’ sort of view of the older members of the DPRK scientific team.
It was a fun admixture of cultures, ages, professions, and behaviors.
Oh, forgive me for forgetting to mention our ‘guides’, or handlers. They were also chosen, nay, ordered to come along. Landlubbers all, they were less than thrilled with the assignment and inevitable seasickness; which seemed endemic to those of Oriental extraction on the cruise. However, our guides did enjoy drinking. As we learned that alcohol is a central part of Korean culture, and they encouraged us to socialize with them when the time was appropriate.
Or, not appropriate, as I was being denounced by one of the geophysical students after only a few hours into our very first day. Hell, we weren’t even in the Yellow Sea proper. We started here at Pyongyang, down the Taedong River, over the Giva Dam, through Pushover, across Shmoeland, to the stronghold of Shmoe; into the very belly of the frothing Yellow Sea.
Most everyone, other than the foreign elements on board, were either making the trip in the bowels of the ship; nursing and cursing seasickness; or by rail, doing exactly the same thing.
“Chum it over the side, ya’ blinkered mucker!”, I admonished one bottle-greenish national. “This ain’t the Captain‘s mess, Chuckles. You have to clean up your own spew!”
I was reveling in getting back out on the water and regaining my sea legs. I never get seasick.
Never.
Ever.
Be it a seismic vessel in the heaving Arctic Ocean, a pirogue in the swamps of Louisiana, my cousin’s fishin’ johnboat back in northern Baja Canada, a US nuclear submarine under the permanent pack ice of the North Pole, or VLCC in the Straits of Somaliland; I just don’t get seasick.
Airsick? Nah. Carsick? Nope. Ready to puke in a Hind-20 over the Caspian Sea during a strong local thunderstorm? Close, but no cigar.
So, I’m doing a Titanic scene recreation. Up in the very bow of the craft, standing in stark defiance of the gusting winds and blowing salt spray, smoking a huge cigar, and totting out of one of my emergency flasks while trying to hang on to my Stetson. I am also endeavoring to remain upright, field vest and really, really ghastly Hawaiian shirt billowing in the breeze.
I’m not certain if it was the cigar smoke, the wind-whipped beard, and hair, the give a fuck attitude, or the flapping of the Hawaiian shirt to which the little local geophysicist objected. But he was pissed. Olive-green with seasickness, rubber-kneed but still standing a good social-distance away, reading me the riot act in high-pitched Korean.
As I usually do in such delicate situations, I just smile and wave. Show them I’m mostly harmless and they either cool down or get pissed off even more and stomp off in disgust.
Either one was a winning situation for me in my book.
So, I return to doing my ship’s figurehead imitation and revel in the wind, spray, and feeling of really being booming. Sure, some might complain of the cold, but not me, the sting of the salt-spray or the windburn; but I eschew what most people enjoy as ‘normal weather’. I live for pushing the boundaries. I love rough weather and situations that thrust the edge of the envelope further past normalcy.
Besides, we were still in sight of land. Hell, if everything went south at this very minute, one could practically walk back to shore. I can hardly wait to see what these wigglers will do if a night storm comes up when were 100 or more kilometers from land.
The boat’s thrumming heavily from both the thrust of the Soviet-era diesel engines and the craft’s bludgeoning its way through the waves. Most hull designs are so the ship will ‘cut’ through the surface waters. This craft’s flattened trihedral hull design didn’t so much ‘cut’, as ‘slam’ it’s way through. The boat would then crash up one side and smash down the other of each large wave we encountered. The boat would shudder whole, adding a new note of resonance along with the monotonous one-note song of the aged Russian diesels.
The spray would fly, the boat would convulse, time would seem to freeze until we bashed into the next wave. The captain of the vessel took his orders very seriously. “Get to coordinates XXX and YYY by the most expedient means possible.” If that meant charging, full-throttle into the teeth of the oncoming monsoon-force wind while we were traversing the worst kelp jungle I’ve seen this side of the Sargasso Sea; well, piss on it, full steam ahead.
“Fuck it”, I thought, “Not my pony, not my show. Let’s see how this plays out.” While I light a new cigar and search for Emergency Flask #2.
After I’d been upbraided by the geophysical student for transgressions still unknown, Cliff and Dax wander out to ask me what the hell I was up to.
“Have you gone completely barmy?”, Cliff asked. “It’s a full gale out here and you’re standing in the teeth of it like it was a warm, sunny Sunday in Piccadilly.”
“Nope, not at all”, I replied, “Just reveling in the delights of an angry atmosphere.”
“He’s nuts, I told you”, Dax smirked, “He’d go anywhere and do anything to have a cigar.”
“Not just a cigar, me old mucker”, I smiled and waved my second emergency flack under his nose.
“Figures”, they both respond in unison.
Dax departs and returns mere seconds later with paper Dixie-style cups he liberated from the ship’s one head. We are going to do our very best to extend the lifetime of the onboard water supply for our scientific and military friends. I pour them each a cup full.
“Whoa, Doc”, that’s gotta be 100 milliliters!” Cliff objects.
“As the Siberian saying goes: One hundred versts, roughly a hundred miles, is no distance. A hundred rubles isn't worthwhile money. And a hundred grams of vodka just makes you thirsty. Prosit!” I say in reply.
We retire to the overhang on the fantail of the boat. It’s a sunshade and keeps the worst of the weather out for the lightweights on the cruise. I decided we’d withdraw there to keep these Dominionites out of the worst of the wind and sea spray.
“Rock”, Cliff notes, “You are a complete throwback. You do not belong here in the 21st century. You need to find a way back to the Calabrian and ride herd on the continental Neanderthals. Give them the gift of distilling and tobacco agriculture, and you’d reframe the world.”
Dax agrees, but notes if I do find a way back, he and Cliff would be selected against.
“Good point”, Cliff agrees. “Rock, stay here. We need your expertise now more than ever. Plus your ready supply of strong drink and cigars.”
“Glad to know that I’m truly appreciated around these parts.” I chuckled slightly acridly.
“Ah, Rock. Buck up. You know we’re only takin’ a piss.” Cliff says.
“Aim it starboard. Don’t want it blowin’ all over the seismic gear”, I reply, laughingly.
The trip continued, and I found a not-bolted-to-the-deck chair and moved it outside under the shade back by the boat’s fantail. I refreshed my emergency flasks and replenished my cigar supply. I’m not about to sit inside and listen to the wails and gnashing of teeth of the landlubber crowd, the patter and timor of the geophysical throng as they titter and argue about array design, nor the military hut-hutting all over the fucking boat.
A couple of times, one or more of our ‘handlers’ would venture out as I had the only supply of readily available smokeables and drinkables. Oh, we had food, lots of beer, soju, some knock-off vodka, and some of that faux homebrew bourbon for later once the workday was declared over; but for now, I was the one and only dispensary.
We’d have some random chats while they screwed up their courage to ask me for a smoke or a tot of drink. I brought several bundles of really cheap-ass cigars for just such occasions; besides, I figured one of my Camacho triple-maduros would have them chumming for the remainder of the trip. I had also many, many cartons of Sobranie pastel-colored cigarettes, and many more cartons of knock-off Marlboros I bought at the duty-free when we hit town.
It was chucklingly funny to see these harsh, military, no-nonsense characters walking their duty beats smoking pastel green, lavender, and mauve cigarettes.
We got bogged down a couple of times when one or more of the ship’s twin screws fouled with kelp as we tried to put some distance between us and the shore. Each time, one really dejected low-ranking young Coast Guard character would go over the side with a rope around his waist and a knife in his hand to free the props. I was going to object as this was moronically dangerous; but, again, not my pony, not my show. This called for full proper tethering and SCUBA gear.
They had neither aboard.
Welcome to the wonders of a centrally planned economy.
To be continued.
submitted by Rocknocker to Rocknocker [link] [comments]

D100 Incidents a charlatan PC is making amends for

100 things a charlatan PC would be trying to make amends for. This is an idea brought up by a player at my table who wants a sort of "My Name is Earl" redemption story where she finds the person she wronged and tries to make up for it.

d100 Incidents a charlatan PC is making amends for

  1. Leaving an acquaintance to blame for selling fake drugs to a noble [Sleepy_Bandit]
  2. Tampering with a competitor's equipment to cause them to lose a competition so you can win a bet [Sleepy_Bandit]
  3. Stealing candy from a child who has now grown up to become a rage-filled barbarian [Sleepy_Bandit]
  4. Selling fake love potions to a desperate noble who ended up being embarrassed in public [Sleepy_Bandit]
  5. Using a friend's identity for an illegal deal and getting them arrested / questioned by the authorities [Sleepy_Bandit]
  6. Seducing away a minor noble’s daughter while posing as a noble, leaving them both destitute. [Marksman157 ]
  7. bank fraud, resulting in the economic collapse of a village; a few deaths by despair, starvation or incidental robbery involved [LordsOfJoop ]
  8. planting fake evidence of involvement with a string of robberies, resulting in a local noble being exiled for life [LordsOfJoop ]
  9. popularizing a song that portrays a church in a strongly negative light, resulting in a purge from the region [LordsOfJoop ]
  10. selling a crate of shoddy weapons and armor to a local militia, resulting in a humiliating defeat [LordsOfJoop ]
  11. Playing both sides of a minor dispute between nobles that resulted in closed borders between the 2 regions (cold war situation). [always_gamer_hair]
  12. Farting at a very inopportune moment in front of a noble's child. [always_gamer_hair]
  13. Keeping a memento from a battle that should have gone back to the soldier's significant other or child. [always_gamer_hair]
  14. Climbing up a wall with clearly posted "no climbing" signs, causing part of the wall to collapse [always_gamer_hair]
  15. Accidentally melting the ice sculptures at a local ice festival. [always_gamer_hair]
  16. Reselling stolen goods to the wrong merchant. [always_gamer_hair]
  17. Informing the local captain of the guard that their wife is having an affair when, in fact, she is most certainly not. [always_gamer_hair]
  18. Joined a convent for 9 months to hide from debt collectors, then burned the place down in a botched attempt at faking their death. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  19. Let a refugee family use their name to get into a safe city, having forgotten that they are a wanted criminal there. The family was detained, brutally interrogated as potential accomplices, and then thrown out. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  20. Used a set of vestments stolen from a cleric's wardrobe following a one night stand to sell fake indulgences and de-cursings. Many people were injured, and the cleric has been banished from their temple. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  21. Made up a really impressive sounding fake name off the cuff while being arrested which turned out to be a real, very important person. Interpreting the announcement of their arrest as some sort of provocation, a series of insults and slights escalated into an actual border war... in which the character was an active profiteer. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  22. Deflowered one of the participants in a critical political marriage the night before the ceremony, derailing a critical peace settlement and destabilizing the entire region for years [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  23. Participated in a rebellion against an evil overlord, and named names when captured by the guards. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  24. Hocked a critical spare part from an irrigation system for beer money, causing a massive crop failure when that part was needed and couldn't be found in time. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  25. Engaged in some petty abuse of the local populace while wearing a guard uniform (stolen as part of another petty crime), which provoked a clash between the local peasants and the local law, resulting in many injuries and some deaths. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  26. Took a large sum of money to act as a surveyor and just copied a previous surveyor's work, resulting in multiple recently founded villages being destroyed when a dam was built down-river from them. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  27. Accidentally started a race war by spouting off about how much better elves are than dwarves...in a dwarf bar [WSHIII]
  28. Accidentally started a three way religious war by claiming Torm was better than Ilmater...in Tyrian temple. [WSHIII]
  29. Accidentally started the Blood War by pissing through a portal into Graz’zt’s throne room...while dressed as a devil for Halloween [WSHIII]
  30. Betting (and losing) a party member on a gamble after already having lost all their money. The winner has ties to the slave trade and is not happy. [Zekaito]
  31. Sold a man a bridge who was subsequently eaten by a very persistent troll. [Wolfenight]
  32. The significant other of a person killed in a fireball mistake turned out to be a renowned and feared bounty hunter. [supersteve320]
  33. Tricking a family member or friend into buying pointless insurance. [Umkynareth]
  34. Tricking a family or friend into investing in a company that never existed. [Umkynareth]
  35. Convincing a friend not to marry by using a loaded die / coin. [Umkynareth]
  36. Upcharging significantly for beewine/mead at a close friend’s wedding. [Umkynareth]
  37. Taking and completing a contract to kill or bankrupt a close relation’s parent, friend or lover. [Umkynareth]
  38. Betting and losing a deed that wasn’t theirs to bet. [Umkynareth]
  39. Stealing a horse. [Umkynareth]
  40. Rewriting their parents’/grandparents’ will to their benefit. [Umkynareth]
  41. Laundering money for a gang / beholder / trading company that then ruined the charlatan’s ancestral lands or city. [Umkynareth]
  42. Convincing a former ally to make a pact with a shady entity at great personal cost in the name of wealth. [Umkynareth]
  43. Extorting, blackmailing or embezzling from an orphanage. [Umkynareth]
  44. Running an orphanage as a front. [Umkynareth]
  45. Skimming/stealing tithes. [Umkynareth]
  46. Hanging on to a memento from a cursed forest / temple, which must be returned lest extremely bad luck continue to befall them. [Umkynareth]
  47. Selling a cursed memento to an acquaintance that granted them exceptionally bad luck. [Umkynareth]
  48. Working with a troll/ogre to collect bridge tolls at great cost to life and limb for others. [Umkynareth]
  49. Contributing to the extinction of a local beast / bird after selling snake oil made from its bits. [Umkynareth]
  50. Conning a respected warrior into buying a weapon the charlatan enchanted to return to his/her position when the command word was spoken. [Umkynareth]
  51. Secretly working with a nothic to learn too much at great cost. [Umkynareth]
  52. Destroying a family’s crops and livelihood with shoddy agricultural remedies to cause their business and lands’ value to decline. [Umkynareth]
  53. Eating that last slice of pie... it was not a good idea... [dermitdog]
  54. Instigating a gang war between two shady (yet wealthy) casinos by cheating and pretending to be from the other casino. [dermitdog]
  55. Sinking the prize ship of a navy while pretending to be a nautical carpenter [dermitdog]
  56. Crashing the lord's masquerade by spilling all of the swindled gold lining your clothes while on the stage, then escaping and therefore discrediting the lord for allowing a vagabond to steal so much money and get away with it leaving the (generous and generally beloved) noble house destitute. [dermitdog]
  57. Selling 'magical' 'snake' oil that, caused a child to die of blood poisoning instead of their terminal (yet curable) illness. [dermitdog]
  58. Reading from the wrong scripture while posing as a preacher, causing a devout acolyte to be executed for heresy after reciting your teachings. [dermitdog]
  59. Lying about your identity to someone while becoming their lover for a scheme. The love was eventually genuine from your side, but the scheme wasn't exactly for the other's benefit. The revelation of your lie has left them heartbroken and angry at you. [dermitdog]
  60. Laundering money so well that it got into wider circulation and put multiple people into prison as they tried to use the money in more rigorous markets. [dermitdog]
  61. Telling someone that you could make them fly, leading to their suicide. [dermitdog]
  62. Selling family heirlooms while posing as a moving company worker, scattering the heritage of a dwindling noble family. [dermitdog]
  63. Leaving your home city abruptly, cutting all ties and never looking back on the people you knew. [dermitdog]
  64. Not stopping a clear case of marital abuse because doing so would blow your cover. [dermitdog]
  65. Stealing the bricks from a historic building and selling them at extortionate prices while replacing them with weaker materials, causing the building to collapse during a busy day. [dermitdog]
  66. Misquoting a holy passage, causing a schism in the church. [dermitdog]
  67. Pressured an accomplice to not seek medical aid for a serious injury, fearing it would result in the detection of a criminal plot, only to wreck the plot themselves by running their mouth in a tavern while drunk. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  68. Not wanting to be outdone telling tawdry tales at the inn, the character made up an atrociously lurid fib about their activities with a young princess they had never actually met. A bard heard it, made it into song, and completely ruined her marriage prospects. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  69. Sold a map of the city catacombs to what they thought were drug smugglers for 50 gold and a cask of nice wine. The "drug smugglers" were an engineering crew from a rival city, and in a siege 6 months later used the plans to great effect by setting explosives under critical defense structures. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  70. Convinced a young accomplice to take the fall for a crime they committed, on the logic that the character would be able to break them out later. Character instead got arrested for partying too hard in the next town over, and jumped a ship out of the country instead of trying to go back for their fall guy. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  71. Persuaded several friends to bankroll them for a surefire gambling scheme, based on a plan to use advanced math to calculate the "true" odds of any particular play. Lost everything when they got too drunk to properly carry the "1". [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  72. While rummaging through a church for things to steal, they found an old bottle of wine, drank it, and put the empty bottle back in it's nook. The bottle was one of the earthly possessions of a man who ascended to a higher plane, and it's consumption was seen as a sign of his return. Several pretenders appeared, triggering a violent schism in the religion. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  73. When travelling, they met the last survivor of a pilgrimage, clutching a golden chest in his hands. They were attempting to return a holy relic to a temple, in accordance with an oath sworn by the founder of their order over 150 years ago. With their last breath, they begged the character to deliver the relic in the chest to their destination. The character, headed the other direction, chose to throw the relic in a creek and hock the chest for 10 gold. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  74. In a moment of cocky bravado, the character gloated over the fallen body of a dangerous litch, telling them that they were an idiot for not hiding their phylactery better, rattling off several examples. The lich then used a contingency spell to transport themselves and their phylactery away. The phylactery hasn't been seen since, but the lich has been a plague on the land for years... [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  75. Accidentally fell in with a group of highway robbers and cutthroats, who told the character they were freedom fighters against a corrupt regime. The character found out after a week, but stuck around for a whole month because the "rebel leader" was just too hot. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  76. Attempting to get a lover to leave them so as to not feel the guilt of initiating a breakup, the character went too far, gaslighting their SO to the point of actual madness. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  77. Sold samples of their own blood to a group they knew to be demon summoning cultists as "virgin blood" (lol, no). They successfully summoned the demon, but completely failed at containing or dismissing it. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  78. Got drunk and took a piss in a holy fountain, deconsecrating it. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  79. Fiddled around with an elaborate sundial because they were bored, not knowing that it served an important role in timing the local planting cycle and triggering massive crop failure. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  80. Agreed to act as a fraudulent guardian for a group of orphans who needed parental consent to join the Army. The "military recruiter" was actually an agent for a slave trader. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  81. Hid the body of a dead man in a well, contaminating the only ready source of clean water within 5 miles of a small town. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  82. Received a key to the city for services rendered, and then got drunk and lost it. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  83. Sold a large pile of colored flour to a church, telling them it was rare medicinal powder. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  84. Stole a statue from a town square and sold it for cheap to an art collector. The statue was actually the petrified body of a legendary hero, prophecied to return to life in the time of greatest need, and the "art collector" her ancient nemesis. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  85. Yelled "do a flip" at a despondent man standing on a ledge. They did the flip. It was horrible. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  86. Spent years convincing an old, half-blind noblewoman that they were their adult grandchild. When the real grandchild came to visit, the guards shot them as an impostor. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  87. Knowingly gave a group of pirates a map of the harbor defenses of a city that had banished them for multiple crimes. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  88. Blamed a rash of robberies they had committed on an in-city goblin community, giving their enemies a pretense to persecute and exile them, uprooting families that had been living there for generations and turning "Goblintown" from a thriving community to an urban blight. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  89. Knowingly sold defective spell components to a group of student wizards, causing them to fail their final exams when the spells misfired. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  90. While drunk and in a fighty mood, played "devil's advocate" in an argument with a paladin, turning them Oathbreaker. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  91. After being saved from a shipwreck by a merperson, told a group of pirates where to find them in exchange for a fixed fee per fin they cut off. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  92. Participated in a scheme to breed and train mimics to act as guard animals and security devices. It worked great for about 72 hours, and then people started getting beaten to death by their own nightstands. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  93. Blamed a friendly old healer woman for cursing them, so they wouldn't need to explain certain symptoms of a STI to their significant other. The healer was a druid who was single-handedly responsible for keeping the Fair Folk at bay and placated, and after she was driven away as a witch they moved in on the town. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  94. Sold swords with defective heat treating to a local militia, many of which shattered in their hands when they were attempting to defend their town from bandits. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  95. Having come down ill before the night of a major party, the character paid a spellcaster to glamor them to hide the symptoms so they could go, carouse and steal. The party was in turn the epicenter of a massive disease outbreak, as many attendees were travelers from afar. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  96. Deliberately triggered a trap on the way out of a dungeon to reduce the number of people with whom they would have to share the treasure. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  97. Built a fake dungeon, and then spread about it at inns and taverns, so they could ambush the adventurers who came to "save the townsfolk" and take their stuff. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  98. Bought a group of slaves on the intention of freeing them... and then changed their mind once they found out how good they were at keeping house and cooking meals. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  99. Tuned out during a conversation with a significant other, giving them the "yeah, sure honey, sounds good" treatment when the SO was a young artificer asking for guidance on what ingredients to use, causing a large explosion. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
  100. Gave someone's name to the Inquisition because they figured it would be easier to rob their house when they were too busy being stabbed with hot irons in a dungeon to do anything about it. [Vote_for_Knife_Party]
submitted by Sleepy_Bandit to d100 [link] [comments]

[RF] Pale in Comparison

Winter had sucked all the color out of the world.
The prairie in the glory of midsummer had been a surge of green, summer winds sending pulses through the tall grass, causing it to wave like an underwater kelp forest in a strong current. Now, however, it had relinquished its blooming majesty, its former radiance dulled to straw the color of a deerhide. The flowerheads were stripped of their colorful identities, appearing like sepia photographs of themselves; the ghosts of summer past. The sweetclover, which had extended from one horizon to the other back in June, covering the prairie in a blanket of gold, was now skeletonized, its broken-off stems rolling like tumbleweeds in the winter gales.
Trevor was over it. Another South Dakota winter, another four months until the snows would cease and the ice would melt in the creek. In March and April, the spring blizzards would bury the world and on the subsequent sunny days, the combination of blue sky and white land would be startling, like finding oneself living in the center of a bicolored flag.
But for now, a capricious midwinter thaw had left snowdrifts only in the prairie draws, on the north-facing ridges, in the shadows of the ponderosas that speckled the hills. And around the trailer, mud. In a few nights, a deep freeze would turn the sides of the tire ruts into knife edges, testing the suspension of any vehicle that took the approach too fast. Still, that was better than the loamy mud, which could imprison even a 4x4 until freezing cold or drying winds finally freed it.
The view from the front porch could be gorgeous. Back in July, when the church group from Virginia had constructed a wheelchair ramp for the trailer, the evening sun had set the prairie on fire, its light reflected by a thunderstorm hanging in the sky as if by a puppeteer’s strings. “God almighty,” the youth pastor had exclaimed. But now, grays and browns mingled in a decidedly drab palette. Over at the little bird feeder, the goldfinches were no longer yellow-and-black exclamation points, but had acquiesced to dullness, dressed for a time of year when vibrant color seemed to be outlawed by some unseen authority.
Trevor stared at the expanse of mud that spooled out from in front of the trailer and unwound into a ribbon that led over the hill toward the old sundance ground and, eventually, the paved road. He wondered if he would get out today. Always a calculation this time of year. Driving on the muddy channel that was his approach was out of the question; he would set a course across the grass, which would provide enough barrier to keep his tires from sinking in again. Two-tracks radiating out onto the prairie showed how many times he and his family had taken this course of action since the last snow.
It felt ironic that their approach took them by far the long way around – heading north to go south; harder than it needed to be, like so much of life around here. But the way south was blocked by Roanhorse Creek. This wasn’t all bad; the creek provided nice wading in the summer and water for the horses for most of the year. It also gave rise to the only trees on the property, although the cottonwoods whose leaves whispered in the summer breezes now stood dumb and impassive, and resembled skeletal wraiths at nighttime.
A horse would make it, of course. He could saddle up the buckskin, ride cross-country and be in town in twenty minutes. But that would be silly…he snorted at the ludicrousness of this thought. First of all, he had to go way beyond town today. And even if he were just going to his old job at the tribal building, was he supposed to just hitch it up outside for the day? Tie its reins to one of the smokers’ benches by the entrance? What was this, 1895? No, better not to risk TȟatéZi getting stolen or having some gang sign spraypainted on it or some shit. Besides, he needed to pull into his job interview looking halfway decent, not spattered with mud and smelling like horse sweat.
Trevor regarded his truck, sitting smack in the middle of the sloppy mess. Fuck, he thought.
Still, he didn’t really have a choice today. No job interview, no job. No job, no funds. Another calculation, but this one was straightforward. He went back into the trailer and made his way to his bedroom in the back, passing his brothers in the living room. One was sleeping on the couch and the other was crashed out in the recliner, oblivious to the flickering hearth of the muted TV. Let ‘em sleep today, Trevor thought.
In the bedroom, he stepped across piles of clothes – some clean, some dirty – and over the miscellany of his life; a pile of old DVDs, a defunct gaming console, a canister of Bugler and squares of broadcloth for the tobacco ties he was supposed to make for ceremony, a scattering of empty Mountain Dew cans, a 24-pack of ramen, a basketball.
He hunted around in his closet for the dressy clothes that he knew were there. He had worn them once, on the day of his high school graduation, three years before. And there they were; a purple button-down shirt, a solid black tie, and black chinos. Further rummaging found him a pair of brown loafers and a tan braided belt. He would look sharp for this interview – couldn’t hurt.
Trevor took a quick shower. The hot water always took forever to come and once it did, didn’t last long. He got dressed hurriedly, glad the tie that had come as a set with the shirt was a clip-on, and ran a comb through his hair. It wasn’t long enough to do much with other than backcomb it a little with some hair gel, but he figured that looked better than not. He considered putting in big stud earrings to look extra fly, but decided again it; might not be the right look for the occasion.
Now fully dressed and ready, Trevor took stock of his appearance. His summer tan was long gone and his skin was as pale as the white kids he had met during his one semester of college. The same change of season that had desaturated the prairie and garbed the birds in dull colors had undone all those days spent out in the badlands sun – working with the horses, swimming at the dam, helping keep fire at sundance. Too many French fur traders in his lineage. He recalled the book that his eighth grade teacher had assigned them – Part-time Indian or something – and thought, Yup, that’s me. Indian in the summer and wašiču in the winter, like changing plumage.
Trevor envied his brothers their melanin. He had learned that word in one of his college classes and now thought of it nearly every day. Travis was a rich brown complexion even in the dark days of midwinter. Trenton was in between the two but had jet-black Lakota hair and definitely looked “ethnic,” enough to be followed around stores in the border towns. Trevor knew it was his privilege to be exempt from such treatment, but it bugged him nonetheless. He hadn’t asked to be light-skinned. His brothers called him žiží – a reference to his tawny hair. They had gotten into scraps over this, and Trevor even bloodied Travis’ nose in one such altercation. Once one of them had even called Trevor a “half-breed” but Trevor retorted with “Fuck you, boy, you got the same blood as me. Fuckin’ dumbass.” This seemed to put the issue to rest.
Trevor’s brief stint at college had been at an out-of-state school, which now struck him as an ill-advised decision. At least South Dakotans had some experience with Natives. Even the East River kids had at least crossed paths with one at some point, and didn’t think of Indians as something from the pages of a dime novel. Trevor was the first Native in many years – maybe ever – to attend the small-town liberal arts college in a neighboring state. He thought the fact that the college was reasonably selective would mean that the students were smart enough not to ask dumb questions. He was wrong.
The queries were predictable enough, clichéd even; Are you really Indian? (Yes) Do you speak your language? (No) Did you get in because you’re Indian? (Who knows? I’m pretty smart and got good grades.) Does the college have admissions quotas for Indians? (If it did, you’d think more would go here.) What’s it like on the reservation? (I don’t know; different.) Do you prefer “Native American”? (I find the question annoying, to be honest.) Do you like Leslie Marmon Silko? (Who?) Have you seen Dances with Wolves? (Some of it.) Do you know a guy from Pine Ridge named Verdell? He used to work with my dad. (Maybe) His last name was something Horse. Running Horse? (No)
Fielding these questions was exhausting and added another layer of weariness and alienation to his college experience.
He found himself having to answer such inquiries from his roommate, classmates, professors, his R.A…Sometimes they were cloaked in well-meaning concern (I bet you get tired of all these questions, huh?) but they were always there. Most evenings, Trevor would retreat to his room and call his mom. His roommate, Skyler, a cross-country runner who was handsome in an unspectacular way and who monitored his water intake religiously, was hardly ever around. He seemed to have no trouble making friends in college and reveled in the social opportunities around him.
In his phone calls back home, Trevor found himself experiencing a homesickness that inhabited the pit of his stomach like a hunger pang. He had never been gone from home for that long. Really, his only trip away had been the summer before his senior year, to a weeklong STEM camp for Native kids that one of the state colleges had put on. But that had been with a half dozen other students from his high school. Here he was alone.
The subjects of their conversations would leave Trevor feeling a gravitational pull toward home: Trenton got into a fight at school and got suspended. Travis is drinking again. We had sweat for your auntie because they have to amputate her leg after all. Those dogs were back again. Everett hit $200 at the casino on Tuesday night but of course he put it all back in. They’re having a basketball tournament for that boy who got paralyzed in that wreck. Our hot water heater went out but uncle came and fixed it. They still haven’t found that Two Arrows girl that went missing. Travis wants to go up on the hill this spring – maybe that will get him to quit drinking.
Good news, bad news, mundane news…The latter tugged at him the most. Like many who grew up on Pine Ridge, he had a love-hate relationship with the reservation. It was the home of his people after all, and could be so beautiful (“God’s country,” as it was called by even those who had no time for the white man’s God). But the hardships, the tragedies, the death…it all wore away at your spirit, hardened you. Still, the news of day-to-day life going on in his absence; a school powwow, a bingo tournament, tribal council drama, rumors of a Dairy Queen opening. It made him miss home in an ineffable way.
The last vestige of his indecision evaporated after a particular conversation in the lounge of his dorm. He had been sitting on a beanbag chair, discussing random topics with two friends (at least, he considered them friends, in some ill-defined adolescent way). They had all left a dull party that hadn’t livened up even after a couple of drinks, but still felt heady and obligated to prolong the night a little longer. So, they were shooting the shit, in a garishly-lit common space that smelled of burnt popcorn, and Trevor was feeling rather collegiate. An off-campus party, late-night conversation; weren’t these the trappings of university life that he had seen in teen movies, if a much more prosaic version?
Kayleigh, tipsy off Jäger bombs, started the chain of events that would unravel his college experience with a simple, but pointed question: “How Indian are you, anyway?”
Colton snorted at this comment. “Kay, you can’t just ask that!” But he was clearly more amused than disapproving.
“You mean like my blood quantum or what?” Trevor asked.
“Is that what you guys call it?” said Kay, now playing the innocent party. “I just mean, like, you say you’re Indian, I mean like I know you are, like, I know you are on paper…” The alcohol was causing her to trip over her words but she plowed on. “I mean like, okay, if I were to like, run into you on the street…” Kay was now gesturing expansively, as if the meaning of what she was saying wasn’t explicit from words alone. “Like, I wouldn’t be like, ‘Damn, look at that Indian,’ right? I’d just assume you were a white guy. I mean you know what I mean? Ugh, I’m not making sense.”
She was making perfect sense. Colton looked embarrassed, and for a second, Trevor thought he might shut Kay down. But instead, his inhibition similarly worn down by a few shots of German 70-proof, he followed suit. “I think what Kay’s drunk ass is trying to say is, like, your ancestors are Indians, right, like in the history books. Like Geronimo or whatever. But do you consider yourself one of them? Or are you, like, their descendant?”
Trevor could feel the ball of rage growing within him, a sea urchin radiating spikes in his gut. Stop talking, he thought. Just stop talking.
Colton continued, heedlessly. “Okay, so like I’m Irish but I’m not like Irish Irish, like a leprechaun or some shit. Like my ancestors…”
Trevor stood up, his fists balled. He was now stone-cold sober but his anger was its own intoxicant. “It’s none of your fucking business. It’s none of your business what the fuck I am!” He was shouting; he couldn’t help it. He picked up a half-empty can of PBR and threw it at the wall, slamming the door to the lounge on his way out. The sudsy contents of the can leaked onto the ugly orange dorm carpet, as Kayleigh and Colton sat in stunned silence.
“Jesus,” said Colton finally. “Just trying to ask an honest question.”
After that, Trevor had holed up in his room for a few days, skipping classes and avoiding other students. When he told his mom he was dropping out, she hardly sounded surprised. He knew she would be glad to have him back home; the prodigal son returning. Trevor, the one who had his shit together, who had gone to a STEM camp and was almost salutatorian. He knew she thought that once he got back, he could do what she couldn’t; get Travis on a better path, bring another income to the household, fix what needed to be fixed around the trailer, shoot at the stray dogs when they came around. It would all fall to him. His failure was their blessing; they would lean on him as long as he could stand.
So here we fucking go, he now thought, patting his gel-stiffened hair and giving himself one last hazel-eyed glance in the mirror. Gotta get that bread. His brief stint at the tribal building hadn’t panned out. He was a good worker but wet weather made his road too sloppy to get out easily. Too many latenesses had translated into a pink slip. “Shit man we all got bad roads. Gotta leave earlier,” his boss had said.
So, lesson learned, he was giving himself extra time getting ready for this interview. Really, the lady had just told him to come by “around mid-morning,” so he’d probably be okay. The job was off-rez, down at the county livestock auction and sale barn in one of the closest border towns, “white towns,” as Ridgers called it. It was mostly going to be paperwork – inventory and itemizing and that kind of shit – but it was decent pay and Trevor hoped that he could transition over to working with the animals before long. On most days, he preferred their company to dumbass people.
Grabbing his bag, Trevor stuck the loafers inside with his other miscellany. He would need to wear his cowboy boots across the muddy expanse between the bottom step of the porch and the door to his Blazer so he jammed his feet into them. Outside, he walked gingerly so as not to stain his black slacks with muck. Once in the driver’s seat, he figured he would leave the boots on for the drive, since they were already smearing mud on the floor liner, and in case he got stuck and needed to get out. Trevor knew that the people who worked at the sale barn were as countrified as he was and wouldn’t judge muddy boots under most circumstances, but he also knew that being from Pine Ridge meant he had to put his best foot forward, literally in this case.
Trevor fired up the Blazer, put it in four low, and gunned it. His tires found grip and he jerked along, slimy divots of earth spattering his windows and roof like hail. His windshield wipers left a pasty smear that obscured much of his view, but he practically knew the way by feel. As soon as he could, he bumped up onto the grass, gopher holes and clumps of prairie bluestem jolting his ride, testing what was left of his suspension. When he finally hit the pavement, the smoothness was startling as it always was, like a TV being suddenly muted, like silence after a door slamming.
He cruised through town, passing the gas station, the other gas station, the commod building, the quonset hut, the old BIA headquarters…and turned south into Nebraska. He tried to ignore the persistent squeal under the hood that had gotten worse lately. The overcast sky reflected the dullness of the land – as below, so above – and Trevor alternated between zoning out and counting hawks on telephone poles. A handful of miles south of the border, the vehicle gave a jolt and Trevor felt a temporary loss of control. He hit the brakes and steered toward the shoulder, but the Blazer was suddenly steering like an army tank. Fuck, he whispered.
Once he wrestled Blazer off the road, Trevor got out and popped the hood. He already knew what he would find under the rising steam. “Fucking serpentine belt,” he hissed to the universe. Trevor was good with cars but he didn’t have the tools for this fix. Luckily, he thought, out here in the country, somebody who did would be by soon. Lots of Natives on this road, maybe even a cousin would happen by who could at least give him a ride to town. Trevor thought of calling his dad’s brother Everett on his cell, but figured he’d give it a bit. He hated the thought of owing Uncle Ev anything.
Sure enough, in a few minutes, a gunmetal gray truck passed by slowly, hit a u-turn, and pulled up behind him. Trevor felt a twinge of envy over this late-model Dodge Ram MegaCab with duallies. It had county plates on it, so the cowboy-hatted driver was a local guy, and as he got out, his Carhartt overalls and mud-caked boots identified him as a rancher.
“Trouble?” MegaCab asked, giving Trevor an easy smile.
“Serpentine belt busted,” said Trevor, unconsciously smoothing out his rez accent in favor of a more neutral affectation. Code-switching – another term he had learned at college (by the professor who asked him if he prefers “Native American”).
“No shit, huh?” MegaCab considered this information. “I got nothing for that but I could give you a ride somewhere. You call anyone? Someone coming after you?”
“No,” said Trevor. “I’m trying to get down to the sale barn for a job interview.”
MegaCab looked at Trevor as if for the first time. “Oh ok so that’s why you’re all fancied up. Well, hop in if you don’t mind leaving it here.”
Trevor considered this. He was off the rez so there was less of a chance that the Blazer would end up with busted windows or slashed tires. And he was eager to get his interview over and done with.
Before he could answer, MegaCab added “I have to stop in Whiteclay first but then I’ll take you down.”
This was only a few miles out of the way so Trevor assented and climbed into the rancher’s idling behemoth. It still retained some new-truck smell, mixed with a tinge of manure and rich earth. Really, it was almost luxurious.
MegaCab flipped a u-ey again and headed back north toward Whiteclay. Formerly notorious for copious alcohol sales to people from the dry reservation whose border it sat on, Whiteclay’s package stores had been shuttered after the state had revoked their liquor licenses following years of protests over their depredatory business model. Now, it was just a town of a couple small stores and fewer than a dozen permanent residents, its streets empty of vagrants, its ghosts banished.
“So, you from Hot Springs?”
Trevor momentarily wondered where this question had come from, and then remembered that he had 27-plates on the Blazer – Fall River County, a relic of when he bought the car from a white lady over there. He had kept the off-county registration because the plates were far less likely to get you pulled over off-rez than the infamous 65s of Oglala Lakota County.
MegaCab continued without waiting for an answer. “I used to go up to Hot Springs a lot when my dad was in the V.A. hospital up there. Nice town.”
“Yup, it’s pretty nice,” said Trevor, wondering if he would have to sustain this small talk the whole way.
Luckily, MegaCab took it from there, reminiscing about his high school football team dealing Hot Springs a particularly lopsided loss, and then they were at Whiteclay. Trevor played around on his phone while his driver of the moment went into the little grocery store. He looked up his old roommate Skyler on Facebook (why, he didn’t know; certainly not to friend him) and then Googled “Pine Ridge South Dakota Dairy Queen” just to see if there was any truth to that rumor.
MegaCab returned with some mail – Trevor had forgotten that there was a little post office in there – and they turned south toward Rushville.
Two miles and five hawks-on-telephone-poles into their trip, MegaCab got chatty again:
“I still can’t believe that the state revoked the liquor licenses. They had no legal right to do that of course, but just like everyone else these days, they bowed to the pressure from liberal special interest groups. Those store owners – my brother was one of them – followed the damn law to a T but still got their rights taken away. They’re the real victims in all of this.”
Trevor, whose father was found dead in Whiteclay when Trevor was ten years old, didn’t answer.
“You know it’s just going to push the problem down the road. These Indians are gonna get their liquor one way or another. You guys must see that all the time up in Hot Springs.”
These Indians. You guys. Trevor suddenly recognized MegaCab’s presumption, and wondered when if he should correct it.
“If they wanted to buy millions of cans of beer in Whiteclay every year and drink themselves to death, shit, I say let ‘em. It’s a free country, right? Those AIM types are always going on about Native rights and shit, y’know? Well shit, you have the right to drink and die if you want. Not saying that I want that for those people or anything, but the nanny state can’t be protecting everyone from problems of their own making.”
Trevor, whose brother had first gotten jailed for drunk and disorderly at age 14, two years after their father died, said nothing.
MegaCab continued to rhapsodize about “the Indians” and their problems, adopting the tone of an expert, one who knew all about them. Trevor felt the blood rise to his face. Some coloration at least, he thought darkly. In the pit of his stomach, the sea urchin had returned to stab at his insides. What must it be like, he wondered, to live a life in which people aren’t constantly telling you who you are, naming your characteristics like symptoms, trying to trap you like a spirit in a photograph?
The Blazer came in sight on the shoulder ahead. “Can you let me out at my ride?” Trevor asked, his voice hardly recognizable to his own ear, like hearing himself talk underwater.
“Sure, you need to grab something out of it?” said MegaCab, reluctantly pausing his diatribe.
“No it’s okay,” replied Trevor, “I’m gonna call someone to come help me fix this after all.” He fiddled with his phone as if to underscore this intention.
“Well, if you’re sure,” said MegaCab. “And hey,” he added as Trevor stepped down onto the running board. “You be careful around here. One of these rezzers might see you here all by yourself and try to mess you or your car up. And watch out for drunk drivers. You just never know with these Indians.” MegaCab gave a serious nod to accentuate this show of concern. Then he wished Trevor luck and drove off.
Trevor watched the truck recede into the distance until it was merely a gray speck between the monochrome earth and the steely sky. He sat down in the cold front seat of the Blazer and looked into the rearview mirror. Hazel eyes stared back at him under a pale forehead. Fuck it, he thought; people are dumbasses. Let ‘em believe what they want; that he was from Hot Springs, that could be was related to that Apache, Geronimo, that he was only Indian on paper. Trevor saw what they didn’t; the hidden depths beneath the surface, and in their faces, in the spaces between their words, their ignorance displayed like a tattoo.
In another minute or two, he would call Uncle Ev for a ride. In another hour or two, he would be offered a job at the sale barn that would bring another income into his household (and buy him a new serpentine belt). In another day or two, he would finally finish the tobacco ties for ceremony, at which he would pray for Travis’ sobriety and his auntie’s diabetes. In another month or two, the lengthening of the days would be unmistakable.
Spring would come as it always had, first heralded by a single meadowlark piercing the predawn silence with his song. This would be followed by a green sprig on the prairie, pushing up, perhaps, through snow. Then a cluster of pasqueflowers appearing suddenly on a hillside, a skein of geese overhead, sheet lightning on the horizon. Small miracles, one after another. Finally, color would surge back into the world like paint scintillating on a canvas, causing goldfinches to glow like stars and evening thunderheads to stand like towering fires.
The brilliant Dakota sunlight would stoke the melanin in Trevor’s skin, and nobody would mistake who he was. He would go up on the hill for two days and nights with Travis that spring, and Trenton would keep fire for them. He would pray for the coming year, for the survival of his people, for enough blessings to outweigh the hardships. And there, among a sea of undulating green, facing the crimson blaze of sunrise, he would again know himself and find the strength to carry on, in the face of all the peculiar indignities of this world.
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