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Chronicles of Everfall: Shadow of the Conquerer: Review: Death by Extraneous Subtitles

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Shadow of the conqueror

Expectations are important. For relationships, for instance, making sure that everyone’s expectations are agreeable going is perhaps one of the most important factors for long term success. If the couple has differing expectations regarding children, religion, work / life ratios, or any other such important thing, then they either better rectify that or find new partners.

However, expectations are an important part of entertainment too. While people usually expect to be surprised in a certain way, there are limits to what they’ll accept within those boundaries. If you go into a comedy show, you expect to laugh. If you go to a TED talk, you expect to learn something new and maybe laugh if the presenter does a good job. If you go to online blackjack, you expect to have win and win some dolla dolla bills. However, If you go to a comedy show and get lectured about the horrors of Dachau, it might be informative, but it sure as heck wasn’t what I signed up for.

Movies and novels and all other kinds of storytelling have this give and pull too. When I sit down to read a Brandon Sanderson novel, I expect some kind of epic fantasy featuring heroes and wars and good and evil, with deep themes. When I watch a slasher flick, I expect to be scared and amused and frustrated as to why that stupid girl keeps tripping over nothing every ten feet when- sorry, where was I?

Right. Expectations. If you set up the wrong kind of expectations and don’t deliver, this typically is disastrous. Not always- sometimes we can be pleasantly surprised. But most of the time. The newer Star Trek shows, for instance, are a perfect example. The Original Series, The Next Generation, Deep Space 9, Voyager, Enterprise, and the movies all established what Star Trek is.

It’s a thoughtful, introspective work of science fiction that explores many compelling thought experiments, philosophies, and scientific premises. It’s a series that tackled big questions and gave thought provoking answers. So when I sat down to watch the newer Star Trek: Picard, I was not expecting to watch a fan-favorite character get murdered by eyeball drill. I would say that that falls safely under the category of “disastrous”.

“Chronicles of Everfall: Shadow of the Conqueror” is a novel that did not meet my expectations. This is a self-published novel written by Shad Brooks, who makes educational content about medieval history on his YouTube channel, Shadiversity. As a result, I went in expecting a Brandon Sanderson-Esque epic fantasy but ended up getting something quite different. But was it good? Short answer, yes.

The Premise

Our protagonist is Daylen Namaran, also known as Dayless the Conqueror, the Great Bastard, the Scourge of Nations, and various other equally unkind titles. But well deserved. Daylen was once a mighty emperor who rebelled against the aristocratic houses of old after they murdered his family and rose as a unifying monarch in the name of the oppressed people. To ensure that the evils of old would not happen again, Daylen brought all property under the control of the government and forced people to work to feed the otherwise starving nation.

So yeah, he basically invented fantasy communism. And just like real communism, it was an abysmal failure. As they say, absolute power corrupts absolutely, and Daylen was no exception. He removed people’s freedoms. He became paranoid. He took hundreds of women forcibly (some as young as fourteen). He invented airships powerful enough to annihilate cities. And did, when one dared rebel against his despotic regime.

Eventually, the entire world rose against him. Eventually, they bested his armies, and he was forced into hiding. With everyone presuming him dead, Daylen hid and planned.

And hid. And hid. And hid.

Twenty years later, our story begins. And Daylen, having seen a world no longer under his thumb, despises himself and everything he ever did. Old and feeble at the age of eighty-two, Daylen decides his time his come and decides to throw himself off the continent.

Which, ironically, would be the key to his salvation.

The World

The story is set in the world of Everfall, which consists of a series of massive floating islands. Should one fall off the edge, they eventually loop around to the top of the world, such that if you don’t collide with anything, you’ll fall forever and ever until you starve to death. Unless you’re carrying either Darkstone or Lightstone.

Exactly as the name implies, Lightstone emits light, but Darkstone behaves differently. If it’s not exposed to light, the stone will fix in place and cannot be moved (even in midair). As more and more light touches it, the stone gets easier and easier to move until it’s simply pushed forward. This is how the islands can float and the airships can move.

However, if you carry one of these stones with you as you hit the barrier, you explode.

Daylen, being the massive melodramatic nonce that he is, decides to carry both with him on the way down. Not only does he not explode, but he’s returned to his youthful body and given magical superpowers.

The Magic

Taking obvious inspiration from novels like Brandon Sanderson’s “The Stormlight Archive”, Shadow of the Conqueror goes for a Hard Magic system. If you’re interested in learning the differences between Hard magic and Soft Magic systems in fantasy novels, I highly recommend watching the video by “Hello Future Me” on YouTube about the subject. But for the purposes of this article, I’ll be brief. Basically, a Hard Magic system is one where there are explicit rules about what the magic can’t do (Like in Avatar the Last Airbender, or anything by Brandon Sanderson), whereas a Soft Magic system is one where the only rules are what the magic system has been shown it can do (like Harry Potter, Star Wars, and The Lord of the Rings).

Shadow of the Conqueror goes for the former, with lots and lots of explicit rules for how everything works, that will all be explained to you in great detail if you can be bothered to read through it. Like, there is actual math and physics involved. Math.

Actually, it’s pretty cool overall- although a lot of the explanations get frontloaded into the novel in the form of infodumps while Daylen is experimenting.

The Moral Dilemma

The whole plot is built around a single question: Is Daylen redeemable? Is it even possible for him to be redeemed? Is the world ready or willing to forgive him?

Considering the scale of Day lens crimes (as one Goodreads reviewer put it, Daylen was basically pedophile-Stalin), almost everyone seems to agree that Dayless the Conqueror deserves to die. Including Daylen himself- although he’s convinced that “The Light” (Read: G-d) is determined to let him live so that he can continue suffering from his guilt. He believes that is why he was turned young and believes that that is why he was given his powers- so that he can fulfill some sort of purpose, find some small redemption, and suffer with himself all the while.

Like two of my other favorite authors (Brandon Sanderson and Orson Scott Card), Shadow of the Conquerer is written by a devout member of the Church of Latter-Day Saints- more commonly known as Mormonism. It’s clear that Shad M. Brooks’ views on redemption have intermixed with the story- that everyone deserves a second chance and can be deemed through repentance. It’s not a bad thing. Every artist adds their own philosophies into the works they create and lets people step into their worldview, even for a little while.

It’s just that on this particular issue, I disagree with the conclusion. I won’t spoil how it ends, but I do think Daylen gets off easy. I don’t particularly care how much guilt Daylen himself feels over his crimes. There are lines of no return, which, in my opinion, must be punished. Even if that person can be redeemed, it’s the crime itself that has to be punished.

I’m not Christian. I do believe in the concept of “an eye for an eye”- which isn’t literal, as most people seem to forget. In the old testament, this means that a man that breaks another man’s hand must pay the victim however much a court deems that man’s hand to be worth (basically, his livelihood). If you steal a goat, you must pay back two goats, etc.

Daylen Namaran is responsible for nearly thirty million deaths. The novel basically gives Daylen a slap on the wrist for it but delivers death penalties to men who have committed far less enormous (but still horrible) crimes. Daylen is at least self aware enough to recognize the hypocrisy, but the narrative itself doesn’t if that makes any sense. Sure, Daylen bemoans having to live another day with his immense guilt, but… he’s still alive? Returned to his youth, given magical superpowers, and reunited with once mortal enemies and even one of the girls he repeatedly raped?

I’m sorry, but that doesn’t fit my worldview of justice.

Overall

Now let me be clear: Does the fact that I heavily disagree with the implied moral compass of the novel make it a bad book? No. It’s very enjoyable. It’s very well written, with solid characters and an intriguing moral dilemma. The fact that I’m here, ranting about how much I disagree with it, means that in one sense, it accomplished its goal of getting me to think. I didn’t agree with every outcome of Star Trek. The writers of that show ended up at conclusions I would not have come to, and neither did Mr. Brooks. Which is fine! If everyone thought exactly the same as I did, that would suck.

I went into Shadow of the Conqueror expecting an Epic Fantasy, set on a world-shattering scale. Instead, I got a smaller scale but far more thought-provoking novel than I had ever initially expected to get. Many fantasy novels avoid the non-PC issues (like ham-fisted racism is bad metaphors) to keep a wider audience, and I appreciate that Shadow of the Conqueror doesn’t compromise to tell the story it wants to tell.

Plus, any story, fantasy or no, that dunks on communism gains my respect.

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Mastering Slot Online: Discovering the World of Slot Gacor

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Discovering the World of Slot Gacor

Slot online games have taken the gaming world by storm. With their easy accessibility and exciting gameplay, they offer endless entertainment and the chance to win big. In this article, we’ll explore the fascinating world of slot online and delve into the concept of slot gacor, a term used by experienced players to describe slots that frequently pay out.

What is Slot Online?

Slot online refers to digital versions of traditional slot machines found in casinos. These games are available on various online platforms, allowing players to enjoy them from the comfort of their homes. The objective is simple: spin the reels and hope for winning combinations of symbols.

Benefits of Playing Slot Online

Convenience: Play anytime, anywhere, without the need to visit a physical casino.

Variety: Access to a wide range of games with different themes, features, and payout structures.

Bonuses: Online casinos offer various bonuses and promotions, enhancing your gaming experience and increasing your chances of winning.

Understanding Slot Gacor

What is Slot Gacor?

Slot gacor is a term used by players to describe slot machines that are “hot” or have a high payout frequency. The word “gacor” is derived from Indonesian slang, meaning noisy or active, indicating that the slot is frequently hitting winning combinations.

Identifying Slot Gacor

While there is no guaranteed way to identify slot gacor, experienced players often look for certain indicators:

  • Recent Payouts: Slots that have recently paid out significant amounts might continue to do so for a period.
  • High RTP (Return to Player): Slots with higher RTP percentages tend to pay out more over the long term.
  • Player Reviews: Reading reviews and forums can provide insights into which slots are currently performing well.

Tips for Playing Slot Online

1. Choose the Right Casino

Select a reputable online casino with a good track record. Look for licenses, security measures, and positive player reviews to ensure a safe gaming environment.

2. Understand the Game Mechanics

Before you start playing, familiarize yourself with the game’s rules, paytable, and special features. This knowledge will help you make informed decisions during gameplay.

3. Manage Your Bankroll

Set a budget for your gaming sessions and stick to it. Avoid chasing losses and know when to stop. Responsible bankroll management is key to a sustainable gaming experience.

4. Take Advantage of Bonuses

Make the most of the bonuses and promotions offered by online casinos. These can boost your bankroll and provide more opportunities to win.

5. Play Progressive Slots with Caution

Progressive slots offer huge jackpots, but they come with higher risks. Play these games when your budget allows and always bet the maximum amount to be eligible for the jackpot.

Popular Slot Online Games

1. Starburst

A classic slot game with vibrant visuals and simple gameplay. Starburst is known for its frequent payouts and expanding wilds feature.

2. Gonzo Quest

Join Gonzo on his quest for gold in this adventure-themed slot. The game features cascading reels and multipliers, providing exciting winning opportunities.

3. Mega Moolah

A progressive jackpot slot known for its massive payouts. Mega Moolah has made many players millionaires overnight.

Conclusion

Slot online gaming offers a thrilling and convenient way to enjoy your favorite casino games. By understanding the concept of slot gacor and implementing smart playing strategies, you can enhance your gaming experience and increase your chances of hitting those big wins. Remember to play responsibly and have fun as you explore the exciting world of slot online.

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Play Rummy and Win Real Cash: A Winning Combination

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Rummy Game Online

Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes has become a popular pastime for gaming enthusiasts seeking excitement, entertainment, and the chance to earn some extra income. With its blend of skill, strategy, and luck, Rummy offers a dynamic gaming experience that captivates players worldwide. Let’s explore the thrill and rewards of playing Rummy and winning real cash.

Introduction to Playing Rummy and Winning Real Cash

Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes adds an extra layer of excitement to the classic card game. It allows players to test their skills against opponents from around the world and compete for lucrative cash prizes based on their performance in the game. With the convenience of online platforms, players can enjoy the thrill of Rummy anytime, anywhere, with the added incentive of real cash winnings.

How to Play Rummy and Win Real Cash

Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes follows the same rules and gameplay as traditional Rummy. Players are dealt a hand of cards and must form valid combinations, such as sequences and sets, to declare and win the game. The key difference is that online Rummy platforms offer cash games and tournaments where players can compete for real cash prizes based on their performance in the game.

Benefits of Playing Rummy and Winning Real Cash

1. Excitement and Entertainment: Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes provides an exhilarating gaming experience that combines excitement and entertainment. Whether you’re a casual player looking for fun or a competitive enthusiast aiming for cash prizes, the thrill of playing for real money adds an extra dimension to the gaming experience.
2. Skill Enhancement: Rummy is a game of skill that requires strategic thinking, decision-making, and observation skills. Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes allows players to hone their skills, refine their strategies, and improve their gameplay through practice and experience.
3. Financial Rewards: One of the most appealing aspects of playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes is the opportunity to earn money while doing something you enjoy. With skill and strategy, players can turn their passion for Rummy into a lucrative source of supplementary income or even a full-time profession.

Top Platforms for Playing Rummy and Winning Real Cash

Several online gaming platforms specialize in Rummy and offer cash games and tournaments for players to compete for real cash prizes. Some of the top platforms include RummyCircle, Junglee Rummy, Ace2Three, and KhelPlay Rummy. These platforms provide a secure and reliable gaming environment, a variety of game variations, and lucrative opportunities for players to win real cash.

Tips for Success in Playing Rummy and Winning Real Cash

1. Practice Regularly: Consistent practice is key to mastering Rummy and improving your skills. Dedicate time to playing regularly, experimenting with different strategies, and learning from your experiences.
2. Understand the Rules: Familiarize yourself with the rules of Rummy and the variations specific to online cash games. Understanding the nuances of the game will give you a competitive edge and increase your chances of winning.
3. Manage Your Bankroll: Exercise caution when it comes to managing your bankroll in Rummy online cash games. Set realistic limits on your spending, avoid chasing losses, and prioritize responsible gaming practices to ensure a positive and enjoyable experience.

Conclusion

Playing Rummy and winning real cash prizes offers a thrilling and rewarding gaming experience for enthusiasts worldwide. With its blend of skill, strategy, and luck, Rummy captivates players of all skill levels and provides opportunities for entertainment, skill enhancement, and financial rewards. Whether you’re a casual player looking for fun or a competitive enthusiast aiming for cash prizes, the world of online Rummy awaits with excitement and opportunity.

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The 2024 NFL Draft – A Preview of What to Expect

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The 2024 NFL Draf

The Chicago Bears are up first in the 2024 NFL Draft.

The 2024 NFL Draft is getting closer as April draws to a close. The first overall pick in this draft is all but certain. Online sportsbooks all favor the Chicago bears to select Caleb Williams overwhelmingly.

And for us, all indications were that Chicago was leaning toward USC standout Caleb Williams after the Bears traded quarterback Justin Fields to the Pittsburgh Steelers in the middle of March.

However, the possible what happens after that is not so simple.

Here’s everything you need to know about the 2024 NFL Draft, including dates and top prospects.

When is the NFL Draft in 2024?

The anticipated start timings for each draft day are as follows:

  • First round: April 25, Thursday, at 8 p.m. ET.
  • Rounds 2 and 3: 7:00 p.m. ET on Friday, April 26.
  • Rounds 4 through 7: 12 p.m. ET on Saturday, April 27.
  • Where is the NFL Draft in 2024?
  • In 2024, the draft will be held in Detroit.

Who will draft first overall in the NFL in 2024?

In 2024, the Bears will have the first overall pick. Last season, Chicago also owned the first overall pick, but the Carolina Panthers acquired it by trading up to draft quarterback Bryce Young. As part of the trade, Chicago received a first-round pick in 2024, which they ultimately selected with the first overall pick (the Panthers finished with a 2-15 record).

What order will the NFL Draft be in 2024?

The current top-10 choices for 2024 are shown below, and they may change:

Chicago Bears (from) Carolina team
Washington Commanders
New England Patriots
Arizona Cardinals
LA Chargers
NY Giants
Tennessee Titans
ATL Falcons
Bears (again)
Jets in New York

In the NFL Draft of 2024, who are the best prospects?

There are plenty of players that could alter the game in the 2024 draft. While Williams is the star, other quarterbacks Jayden Daniels of LSU and Drake Maye of UNC have received a lot of attention.

Some excellent pass catchers are Brock Bowers of Georgia, Rome Odunze of Washington, Malik Nabers of LSU, and Marvin Harrison Jr. of Ohio State. In terms of defense, early picks should go to Iowa defensive back Cooper DeJean, Texas interior linebacker Byron Murphy II, and NC State linebacker Payton Wilson.

The Atlanta Falcons Will be Interesting to Watch

As the draft season draws to an end, it’s time to begin organizing all of our notes and information from various rumors and sources to have a better idea of the Atlanta Falcons’ options. The last week, the Falcons added depth players to their edge rusher and cornerback positions, but I don’t think those moves will affect the team’s plans in any way.

Before I get into my more prescient mocks, I wanted to do a mock in which Atlanta didn’t select an edge rusher with their first choice. This is to see how the team can handle other needs and how the remainder of the draft could proceed.

What if Atlanta selected a cornerback instead of an edge rusher at the top of the 2024 NFL Draft? That is the talk around the Falcons. I’ll walk you through the Falcons’ entire seven-round mock draft and show you how things alter when a cornerback is selected first overall.

Round 1, Pick 8

Round 2, Pick 43

Round 3, Pick 74

Round 3, Pick 79 from Jaguars, Calvin Ridley trade

Round 4, Pick 109

Round 5, Pick 142

Round 6, Pick 187

Round 6, Pick 197 from Browns

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