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These days, doing good is good business, right? Tell that to the venture capitalists. When they hear about a for-profit company driven by a social mission, their refrain is still the same: How are we going to get our 30 percent returns?

Tim Freundlich, a director at the Calvert Foundation, which invests in companies that do community development or poverty alleviation work, first noticed the problem in , when venture firms were all too happy to invest in high-tech start-ups with no profits but do-gooder companies still had to bootstrap growth.

Or they relied heavily on family, friends, and credit cards. When you do that, your chances of failure are higher. What, then, should socially minded entrepreneurs do if they're trying to create planet-saving, world-changing, and yes, moneymaking enterprises? There's a burgeoning market of investors and lenders that actually seek out companies that pursue social goals. Over the past five years, at least 15 social venture funds have launched, with the goal of investing in companies that are interested in more than profits.

Banks are getting into the game as well. Socially minded investors tout their funds as "patient capital. David Berge, managing member of Underdog Ventures, a social venture firm in Island Pond, Vermont, says the firm aims to sell its stake in the companies in its first fund within seven to eight years, with a possible two-year extension. Typical VCs favor a five- to seven-year exit. But make no mistake: Social investors have to deliver to their partners. Berge expects each of the six companies in his first fund to yield returns of about 15 percent a year--market rate for expansion capital.

Good Capital, which plans to close its first deals early this year, will expect double-digit returns from its for-profit investments, though it also lends to nonprofits, which will bring down total returns. And New Resource charges interest rates based on risk, just like a regular bank. There are, however, some major differences between this new crop of funders and their more traditional brethren.

For one, social VCs are willing to consider unusual models. Though traditional VCs are excited about most things green, they're still pursuing the usual high-tech, high-return investments. That's great for solar-energy and biodiesel start-ups, but an entrepreneur who imports fair-trade goods or has a nonprofit arm--and thus has lower margins initially--may be out of luck.

A great way to end a meeting with a traditional investor or banker is to say, "Oh, by the way, I give away 10 percent of my profits to charity. Priya Haji learned that when she sought a line of credit for World of Good, which imports fair-trade products like wood-and-bone spoons from Tanzania and lacquered bowls from Vietnam. Haji puts 10 percent of the company's profits into a nonprofit arm, which helps the families and communities of her suppliers get access to things like clean water and computer labs.

The model won Haji first place in the Global Social Venture Competition, run by several business schools, in But Haji also wanted a line of credit, because it's common practice for fair-trade companies to pay half the cost of each purchase in advance. She tried traditional banks, but they weren't interested because she didn't have a three-year track record.

So Haji courted social lenders, many of which are willing to work with early-stage fair-trade companies. RSF Social Finance, for example, sometimes lends to companies even if 30 percent to 40 percent of receivables come from one customer. Most banks prefer a maximum of 20 percent. In , Haji reached a deal with three lenders: Since then, she says, revenue has more than doubled. Traditional VCs often pressure entrepreneurs to jettison their do-gooder roots, but social investors take the opposite approach.

Berge, Freundlich, and other social investors want to make sure that their portfolio companies maintain their social missions as they grow. Underdog Ventures, for example, required all the companies in its first fund to donate a portion of their equity to a nonprofit.

And if a company wants to change its social mission, it needs Underdog's approval first. That's one reason Charlie Crystle sought out Underdog when he started his second company. His first one, a software firm called Chili!

With his next try, he wanted to do things differently. In , Crystle co-founded Lancaster, Pennsylvania-based Mission Research, which sells fundraising software to nonprofits. Despite Crystle's track record, traditional investors didn't much care for the idea of giving away the product. Nor did they like Crystle's plan to give a 20 percent stake in the company to charity.

They didn't even like the idea of targeting nonprofits in the first place. Crystle says revenue increased 60 percent in , and he expects it to grow another percent this year. Underdog provides more than patient capital. That help is crucial for Crystle. For more about the banks and VC funds that are financing do-gooder companies, listen to a podcast with Inc.


Exalted Exalted / Characters - TV Tropes

While out there, he was attacked by an ice elemental in the form of his dead wife. However, he Exalted at that very moment, melting the elemental in the process. After wandering about feeling rather confused that he no longer felt old, he realized he was chosen for greatness and found his way to a different tribe.

There, he became The Strategist , eventually hoping to unite the icewalkers. Of course, one doesn't do this without attracting the Wyld Hunt , and ten years before the game began, a cadre of them were sent after him.

They never knew what hit them. Now, the Bull of the North — as most people know him — is becoming a legitimate threat to the Realm, particularly given how the Scarlet Empress has vanished. What's more, he's realized that a pure army only gets one so far, and he's beginning to organize it into an actual empire. True, he's still learning the ropes of statesmanship — it's why he hasn't conquered more than he has — but he's picking up the skills quickly, and it's only a matter of time before he starts to make inroads Even before he Exalted.

He is one, and he leads them. Killing civilians to get to him , as a Sidereal discovered the hard — and fatal — way. To the Solars, and to the icewalkers. Sun's Fire, which is made of red jade and handy as a firestarter. It's unusual because jade's normally used by Dragonblooded, like the one he killed to get it, rather than Solars. To the Realm, and people he's conquered. Yurgen is very much like Genghis Khan , just getting his start a little late in life. He's a Dawn Caste, and all that implies.

He's also a very competent tactician. His culture is based on the Mongols, what did you expect? That said, he's quickly turning the icewalkers under his reign into even better examples, to the point where he's begun to worry if they're too militaristic. Once an orphaned trainee shaman from the Blackwater Mammoth tribe of icewalkers , Samea's fierce love for her people attracted a Zenith Caste Exaltation when she was only She spent a year Walking the Earth and seeking out all the ancient lore she could find, eventually becoming one of the first Solar Circle sorcerers of the Second Age.

After returning to the North, she swiftly realized that the Bull's ambitions for the icewalkers matched her own, and became the first Solar to ally with him. She now rivals Yurgen himself as the most dangerous foe in the Bull's circle. Brainwashing for the Greater Good: She truly loves all her followers and sees them as family, and she doesn't deploy her Mind Manipulation powers casually, but she has no scruples about using them when she feels circumstances warrant.

Lady of Black Magic: Her supernatural charisma can make her seem mature, elegant and wise, but at other times she seems like the teenaged girl she was when she Exalted. Jalith A Haltan commando who managed to annoy her superiors enough that she's pretty sure they were sending her off on suicide missions. If so, the fact that she Exalted as a Dawn Caste on one of them means that plan backfired about as badly as humanly possible.

After finding some armor and a book of sorcery from her last life, she left the forest to seek her fortune in Nexus. She has a pet leopard named Achal, a pet mospid predatory dinosaur a little shorter than her named Meros who became her Familiar when she Exalted, and can cast the spell Commanding the Beasts. Has the typical Haltan loathing towards Linowans. She's perfectly willing to accept that some Dynasts or emotion-eating Fair Folk are decent types, but Linowans?

She may be a Dawn Caste, but she's also a sorcerer with a high intelligence score. A driving motivation since she was a mortal commando. Not necessarily negative, since now that she's a Solar it's become a desire to prove that she, and by extension Solars in general, aren't the vile Anathema the Immaculate Faith claims.

Her high-risk, high-reward attitude on her missions ended up getting her team killed. That was the point when she started getting sent strictly on solo missions that may have been intended to kill her. Not Good with People: She prefers to work alone except for Achal and Meros, both before and after Exalting. Four boomerangs , three knives , and a sword. Born to a Dynast family on the Blessed Isle, Lyta disappointingly failed to Exalt as a Terrestrial and was shipped off to the Cloister of Wisdom to train as a mortal Immaculate monk.

She had run afoul of a Dragon-Blooded student when the Second Breath came on her. Exaltation as a Solar unleashed all her long-repressed rage over how mortals more specifically, a single mortal, i. Lyta herself are treated in the Realm, and she is now fanatically devoted to the destruction of the Realm and all it stands for. A Dawn Caste martial artist and warlord, she is currently building up her forces on an island in the West.

Or more specifically, she's a bloodthirsty, arrogant, and ruthless megalomaniac with a psychotic streak a mile wide. Ultimately the only thing she might do is prove exactly why the return of the Solars is a bad thing.

She's a lot like Peleps Deled, except for the part where they're both utterly devoted to the complete destruction of everything the other stands for. One of the many traits she shares with Deled, except that her devotion manifests in praise of and sacrifice of Dragon-Blooded to the Unconquered Sun.

She even claims that those who die in the service of the Unconquered Sun will be reborn as Dragon-Blooded in the new, glorious era. Making comparisons in her hearing to the Immaculate Faith's claims that virtue in mortals is rewarded with reincarnation as Dragon-Blooded would probably be unwise.

He Who Fights Monsters: Having rejected the Immaculate lies that say the Terrestrials are the rightful rulers of Creation and Solars are inherently evil and must be killed, she's decided Solars are the rightful rulers of Creation and the Terrestrials are inherently evil and must be killed.

Lyta embodies every horrible stereotype of Dawn Caste Solars that the Immaculate Philosophy perpetuates. Her basic thought process runs along the lines that, since she's a Solar, she's a Hero. Thus, anything she does is Right. Meet the New Boss: If she succeeded in taking over the Realm, her new order would probably end up pretty similar to the old one, only with the positions of Solars and Terrestrials reversed.

In her justifiable anger over how she was treated by the Dragon-Blooded, she's oblivious to the fact that she was always kind of a jerkass herself and spent much of her childhood tormenting the household slaves for fun.

She's working on it. Dawn has her fantasizing about using one of these to kill captured Dragon-Blooded. Is Realm society profoundly unjust? Do the corrupt oppressors in the Scarlet Dynasty deserve a reckoning? Does that mean committing genocide against the Dragon-Blooded so you can offer it up to the Unconquered Sun as a mass Human Sacrifice is a justifiable Goal in Life?

Hell no, you utter lunatic. One-man proof that Solar Exaltation doesn't mean you won't waste your power on petty and irresponsible goals. Before learning about Havesh, one should understand where he grew up—the Varang city-states are based on Dragon King astrological principles, right down to their caste system.

The children of the province have a horoscope cast that determines what they will have most aptitude at as well as an idea of their general destiny. The problem is that on occasion, the horoscopes will glitch or someone will forget the time a baby was born, resulting in an outcaste, who is literally not a legal citizen of Varang — such as Havesh, whose mother was drunk when the priests came to horoscope him.

For all her faults, she tried to raise him the best she could, but that didn't stop Varang's social system from teaching him he was scum in their eyes, nobody worth mentioning at all except as a random beggar.

He pulled himself out of the gutter though, becoming an expert thief, to the point where someone offered him a high-paying assassination contract. Unfortunately, he screwed it up, but he refused to back down until the job was done, drawing a Night Exaltation.

After handily finishing the job, a thought struck him — if he couldn't be a rich and happy man himself, why not steal the life of someone who was? Now a deadly assassin who has killed twelve men so far and lived their lives until he needed to split, Havesh has earned the title of "the Vanisher" due to his tendency to pack up and leave when those close to his current life begin to catch onto the ruse.

And all of Varang will know his vengeance His modus operandi — he disguises himself as one of his victims and lives his life for a time, up until people get suspicious and he has to bail. Varang is not a nice place to live if you don't have a caste. From Nobody to Nightmare: Began as a random outcaste street rat. Became Paranoia Fuel for the entire Varang region. And if he starts getting ambitious While he can't keep the act going very long, he's still a master actor in his current stolen life, and he's an expert planner.

He is also huge. Again — he killed twelve men to steal their lives. The city of Sijan is known for its funerals, and rightly so. What more can be said of a place that boats its own Mortician's Order? Jiunan was one of their number, and quite content with his lot in life — until one day. To summarize, he fell in love with a young woman who'd been euthanized and reanimated by the city's mortwrights prior to being sent off to the deathlord Walker in Darkness as part of his harem.

When she said she'd rather not go with the scary men, Jiunan jumped the nemisarries sent to collect her, kicked their Abyssal boss in the teeth, took his axe, tackled him off a bridge, and woke up on a riverbank miles downstream the next day.

He's still looking for that woman. An Axe to Grind: Wields a soulsteel grimcleaver. I Love the Dead: Currently in search of a woman who was, for lack of a better word, zombified. She's apparently a very lovely zombie, but still. Faka Kun was pretty lucky as Djala go — sure, she was a slave, but her owner found it most profitable to force her to perform as a circus acrobat and cat burglar, rather than using her as a Sex Slave or laborer.

He even let her save up some of her profits toward eventually buying her freedom, which drove her to ever-more-daring heists. When she tripped an alarm while trying to steal an artifact weapon from an imperial satrap's mansion, her sheer stubborn refusal to give up earned her Exaltation as a Night Caste. When she made it back to the slave quarters and told her friends the news, they were less than overjoyed: At that moment, Faka Kun's Goal in Life became clear.

Instead of turning in the loot and buying her freedom, she left the circus that night with her friends, the artifact, and the circus' cash box. She brought her friends to a free Djala enclave, and since then she's returned periodically, always with a group of Djala ex-slaves in tow. When she's not busy freeing slaves, she splits her time between running her own all-Djala circus and adventuring with Demetheus' circle.

On the basis of being a Djala. Which is weird, since they all have Awakened Essence, and should by all rights be the rulers of Varang by way of Asskicking Equals Authority.

Not quite, since Djala are naturally white with panda spots, but close enough. In the Udon comic , her rather skimpy clothes remain glued to her body, no matter what crazy acrobatics she does.

Her Goal in Life is to free the Djala and help her people build their own nation. Even un-Exalted Djala are deceptively small and slender. Two-fisted wanderer of the south, who grew up moving crates around before moving on to boxing. During the run of said comic, however, he formed a circle with several characters mentioned offhand in his background, only to end up accidentally killing one of his new companions due to a Dragon-Blooded trick.

Finely honed during his time in a child gang, and the reason why he was so broken after the final events of the UDON Comic. Before the unfortunate incident with Kidale, he was a brawler who wandered Creation, willing to lend a helping hand to the common folk. He's still like that In competition with the Nameless Solar q. To the point that the Goddess of Intoxicants decided to sober him up. In a bizarre twist of out of character mechanics, errata to various Dragon-Blooded Charms cut down Safety Among Enemies, the Charm used to make him punch Kidale, down to the point where it's either unbelievable that Kidale bit it in this fashion, or speaks volumes about the caliber of the opponent.

Has fond memories of his days as muscle for a gang of child thieves. Smarter Than You Look: Despite being a simple bruiser to all appearances, he's got above-average intelligence. Dawn relates a story of him identifying a thief by looking into the people who were blaming the group pariah the most. And, in the comics, some places that aren't Creation at all. Jasara Daughter of a Guildsman and his mistress.

Curious beyond curiosity, when she explored the ruins of her native Chiaroscuro, she managed to find a Manse instead of the typical result horrible death at the hands of a hungry ghost.

Was first mentioned off-hand as a rather boyish example of another Solar whom Demetheus met in his wanderings, all the way back in Castebook: By "boyish" we mean she was considering becoming a Dereth someone who's treated as an honorary member of the opposite sex in Chiaroscuro's culture at certain points in her life.

When Demetheus met her, she was dressed as a he. A mortal Immaculate monk whose ambition was once to gain enough enlightenment in his life to earn reincarnation as a Dragon-Blooded in his next life. Instead, he ended up facing down one of the many Eldritch Abominations seeping from under Gethamane when it threatened one of his True Companions , earning himself a talk from the Unconquered Sun.

Later went on to join the Gold Faction-sponsored Cult of the Illuminated. Pre Ass Kicking One Liner: The young protagonist of the UDON comic. Kidale grew up on an olive farm, but left for Chiaroscuro to pursue his dream of becoming an actor. Like so many others before him, he quickly ended up a homeless beggar trying to scrape together enough money to make it back home, and would have died a nameless victim of police brutality if he hadn't Exalted as a Solar and been rescued by Demetheus, who then introduced him to Wind, Jasara, and Faka Kun.

An Eclipse Caste, he rounded out their perfect circle. A textbook example of why starting-level Solars shouldn't underestimate the Dragon-Blooded. For generations throughout the South, they have told tales of a man; a righteous, merciless hero who traveled the land dispensing justice and righting wrongs before leaving on his way to parts unknown. Modern South-dwellers are split as to whether this new red-headed bloke with the sun on his forehead is the same as the one they've been talking about for ages, but he hasn't bothered to comment on it—or, for that matter, tell anyone his name.

For the Man With No Name , naturally. Favors a pair of plasma tongue repeaters as part of his "Righteous Devil" martial arts style. Those who recognize said style have started calling him by that for lack of anything better. He appears in one of the core book's chapter-break comics, confronting a group of Autochthonian invaders in a dark tunnel. They immediately try to shoot him.

What is his name? Where is he from? Where is he going? Why does his stat block list his Motivation as a question mark? There are hints scattered about the books. A chapter comic shows Sulumor finding him in stasis; he may well be THE Righteous Devil, the founder of the Style and one of the few First Age Solars who cottoned onto his fellows' growing madness.

Fair Folk chose her villa's location as a place to invade, and then were rudely reminded of the reemergence of the Solars when she emerged from her burning house after they left her for dead.

Her mother, a taimyo in the Seventh Legion, faces scandal due to her daughter Fire Orchid being one of the Blasphemous, but hopes to clear her name in secret. Assuming she finds it necessary to clear it, rather than avenge it. She had retired prior to her Exaltation. Due to having Dragon-Blooded relatives, looks older than her mother and two brothers by a few decades. Training the Peaceful Villagers: Her primary modus operandi. An actor beyond compare, Mirror Flag sees the world in terms of the drama she loves.

Unfortunately, Creation does not work on the Theory of Narrative Causality A Master of Disguise , she takes on a new identity wherever she goes. Using powerful social charms, she manipulates people and events, weaving them into a satisfying and properly dramatic narrative in which virtue triumphs and the wicked are punished.

So far, so good. Where it gets disturbing, though, is that Mirror Flag has rewritten her own identity and Backstory so well and so often that even she isn't sure who she really is anymore.

And given her questionable sanity, it's not at all clear how many of the "villains" she casts down are genuinely guilty and how many just seemed like the kind of person she thinks should be holding the Villain Ball. Oh, it's not that she's a bad person, exactly And neither can she. Crafted for her personally by the goddess of faces. The woman has no friggin clue who she is and couldn't care less.

Nice Job Breaking It, Hero! One of the stories she tells about herself would, if accurate, make her the muse who dumped the future Falling Tears Poet on his deathbed and thereby turned him evil. Eclipse basically confirms this in a segment where Falling Tears Poet recognizes her as his former lover.

Admiral Sand A retired merchant prince who built a confederation based on the principles of fair trade and mutual economic benefit, called 'admiral' due to his fleet of merchant sandships.

One day, Sand noticed that, somehow, there was widespread poverty and misery in his own neighborhood, and realized that his virtuous friends from the good old days had left heirs that were utterly selfish, ruining entire societies for their own enrichment. Confronting them, he flew into a rage as they confirmed his fears, laughed at him and scorned his ideals.

He drew his sword and massacred them and their guards easily, for in that moment he Exalted. The survivors surrendered their empire to him, and he set about fixing the world.

Evil Cannot Comprehend Good: They can't wrap their heads around why he does what he does. Does this to Fair-Spoken Rishi in a chapter break comic. He's not paying ransom, he's giving gifts to his new friends, who are releasing men they captured as a token of that friendship. Due to his Clarity, Rishi can't tell the difference. Deep in the South, in the shadow of a cliff, there is a village too small to have a name, and too poor to attract robbers.

One day, at the peak of a terrible drought, the village smith, Sayn, stepped out of his smithy. He was alight with golden fire as he wandered over to the cliff and swung his hammer with all his might. A sparkling stream of clear water sprang forth, saving the village. Sayn has taken this instance to heart, and views his power as a tool to repair that which is broken; first, by teaching people to live morally and uprightly. Oh, and he has Compassion He genuinely wants to help people, but doesn't empathize well at all.

It's uncertain just what his deal is. Compassion 1 is normally an indication that someone is The Sociopath , but he has a good motivation and wants to help make the world a better place. Apparently he's just really bad at empathizing with people. Give him some time and he will probably upgrade. Par for the course in Exalted, really. It's unclear from the comic whether this is a daiklave or just an ordinary sword. Curiously, the end half of the blade has an orange-ish tinge to it, like rust, but it could just as easily be a red-jade alloy or such.

Not strictly, but he does idly play with a yin-yang emblazoned yo-yo for much of the comic and puts it to good use against an assailant. Apparently yo-yos are considered toys in Creation, judging by said assailant's reaction to it. He always refers to himself as "this one" or the like, similar to the Hannar in Mass Effect. Unlike the Hannar, it is not a case of being polite - the way he speaks seems quite casual and normal, suggesting that his culture just doesn't use personal pronouns.

He does refer to himself in the first person at one point, but it's while some of Eternal Nova's personality is bleeding through from his Exaltation as he is fighting. A native of the Southeast, Merela was a mere gladiator until she received one of the very first Solar Exaltations. Unfortunately for her, Merela quickly discovered that ruling Exalts is like herding cats. Within a century, several Solars rebelled against her rule and formed a legislative council called the Solar Deliberative, reducing her to a mere figurehead.

Although stripped of most political power, she officially maintained the position of Queen of Creation until the Usurpation, when she was killed at the Calibration banquet. All There in the Manual: While Dreams of the First Age gives some very basic information about her background and exploits, the reader is told little about her personality or motivations and, interestingly for such an important figure in the First Age, the supplement features no official stats for her.

She's a Dawn Caste warrior, while Zeniths are the ones designed to be leaders. Nevertheless, she was granted the Creation-Ruling Mandate on the strength of her reputation as a war hero. While she was a horrifyingly effective warrior, by most accounts she wasn't really a particularly talented or effective leader and was rapidly forced out of power and reduced to a mostly-ceremonial role as a result.

Awesome Moment of Crowning: As drawn by Mel Uran. Although she wasn't in charge for long, she was still a war hero turned queen. Merela once strangled a Primordial to death with her bare hands. Primordials don't need to breathe. The Crown of Thunders. This is never explained, but Word of God says it's probably a gesture of respect; the Solar Queen's name is simply too holy to be used by anyone except perhaps her fellow Primordial War veterans. Once, Brigid was known as " the Ungifted " and " the Burden of the Sun ," for she had the dubious distinction of being the most incompetent Solar Exalt known to the First Age.

Although she was a pretty skilled crafter, she proved incapable of learning any but the most basic Charms and was useless in combat. When her Lunar mate was killed in the Primordial War, Brigid was consumed with guilt , certain she could have saved him had she been strong enough to stand beside him on the battlefield.

She fled into the wilderness in her grief — where she was surprised to meet a beautiful spirit who bowed to her and told her a great destiny lay before her. Brigid journeyed to the four corners of the world , solving riddles , meeting strange beings, and collecting artifacts , all in accordance with the spirit's prophecy.

At the end of her quest, atop the Imperial Mountain, the Unconquered Sun himself appeared and told her that the last step before her was to make a sacrifice.

Brigid sacrificed her own regrets and insecurities, emerging as the Mother of Sorcery and Root of All Spells.

Okay, it's totally possible none of that is true. But that's the story Solars tell, anyway. To reveal sorcery to the world. Deal with the Devil: A few details in the story hint that the "lovely spirit" was in fact the demon Mara.

As with many tropes in Exalted, this one isn't played straight — the Unconquered Sun was aware of this, and decided Sorcery's benefits outweighed its faults. As a function of knowing Sorcery. There are several alternate tales about the origin of sorcery.

While several locations and objects from the myth have been found and Brigid herself was undeniably a real person the dates of her Exaltation, discovery of Sorcery, and death are all listed in the timeline in Dreams of the First Age , it is uncertain whether things really played out as the myth says they did. Took a Level in Badass: The first Solar Exalt to die of old age, which ended the god-kings' fantasy that they were immortal.

This eventually led to internecine warfare between the Exalted. Dace's First Age incarnation, who is himself the newest incarnation of Aofe "the Golden Blade," the Solars' greatest commander during the Primordial War.

Other incarnations of Aofe used her title as well , since they seem to die a lot. Contentious Sword is young for an Exalt, and is constantly frustrated by his circlemates' lack of respect and by always finding himself compared to previous Blades.

Achilles in His Tent: This is his Limit Break. It's implied to be part of the reason he can't get over his inferiority complex, since it serves to constantly reinforce it, and the aforementioned complex makes him prone to such behavior on a smaller scale anyway. He's a First Age Solar, with all the power and resources that denotes, but the legend of his Exaltation's first incarnation and his circle's own prodigious accomplishments are hard to live up to.

Aofe had a relationship with a Fair Folk named Dreaming Steel, and several of her subsequent incarnations have shown some level of interest in him. Contentious Sword went looking for Aofe's ghost in the Underworld to ask about him, among other things, and the Golden Blade before Contentious Sword died in the Wyld looking for evidence that Fair Folk reincarnate Steel died a ways back, y'see. Well, technically " Daiklave and Magitech Hand Cannon that shoots miniature suns. The previous incarnation of Panther; along with his Second Age Circlemates' previous incarnations, the Hierophant utilized incredibly powerful social charms to basically dominate the Deliberative.

With the exception of Contentious Sword, the entire circle survived several major conflicts, all the way back to the Primordial War; none of them survived the Usurpation. Locked himself away from the world in order to avoid his Heart of Tears limit break Yu-Shan , it's strongly implied that something the Hierophant did, and specifically a mortal he brought to the Carnival of Meeting, was the straw that broke the camel's back with the Unconquered Sun; this incident is cited as the final act that led to the Sun withdrawing into the Games of Divinity and not paying any attention to his Chosen.

Castebook Zenith 1st Edition states that the exact moment the Unconquered Sun turned his face away from Creation was when the then-leader of the Deliberative made a speech falsely claiming that the Sun backed one of his petty political corruption games, taking the name of his god in vain just to score more bribe money. The previous incarnation of Arianna and one of the first Solars. Her name comes from a Primordial she killed during the war.

Already quite brilliant, even by Exalt standards, over time she grew obsessed with acquiring ever greater knowledge by means fair and foul. Had a long-standing interest in Desus, who was happy to reciprocate, er, physically , but not enough to leave Lilith. Big Brother Is Watching: Regularly spied on other researchers or asked Gold-Shadowed Arrow to burglarize them , and her city of Tzatli was described as "one of the loveliest, most well-regulated dominions in Creation.

Her Lunar husband left her after she kept using him as fall-back guy for her repeated trysts with Desus. It's also explicitly stated that she saw it more as her personal playground than as a city-state she was responsible for. Her personal domain, Tzatli, was a floating city of glass and sapphire. Shaped like her anima banner, even. Even more so than her modern incarnation, if that's possible.

She's also a greedy little thief — most of her "innovations" are cribbed from her apprentices to keep up appearances. In addition to chairing three-fifths of the technological research groups of the First Age, she was one of the first Solars to learn sorcery after Brigid, and learned artifact creation from Autochthon himself. Her standard outfit in the official artwork is a pair of artifact wings and a harness made of black dental floss.

The two have a lot in common, not surprisingly; both come from the South, were trained as assassins from a young age, and tend toward the more lethally pragmatic methods of conflict resolution. Combined with his harsh stance on corruption, other Exalts worry about catching his official attention.

He doesn't bother with the established procedures for judging Exalted crimes; if he suspects anyone, even a Celestial Exalt, of being akuma, he simply kills them. There is no one in Creation with both the will and the strength to restrain him. One of the incidents that led to the Great Prophecy and thus, the Usurpation was Gold-Shadowed Arrow's whole-sale slaughter of dozens of Celestials, hundreds of Terrestrials, and thousands of mortals, on the suspicion that they might have been Akuma.

Comes with the territory of being a Night Caste, but it bears mention that no-one living claims to have seen Gold-Shadowed Arrow outside of his estate, the Deliberative, or the city of Tzatli for the past one-thousand years. He gains limit when he sees others indulge themselves, and his limit break forces him to avoid "self-centered indulgences.

Started his own to keep track of other criminal groups. It spans very nearly all of the South. The previous incarnation of Swan. As far as anyone in the First Age — including, and perhaps especially, Desus himself — is concerned, he's a well-meaning Loveable Rogue.

In reality, he's a physically, sexually and emotionally abusive Manipulative Bastard with extensive mind-whammying powers. His powers force everyone around him to rationalize away all evidence of the abuse he inflicts. Believing Their Own Lies: He's as brainwashed by his own powers as everyone else is. Eclipse caste with a focus on Socialize. He forces his Lunar wife Lilith to use her Gender Bender powers to spice up their sex life, something she takes absolutely no pleasure in.

Then there's what happens to some of his other partners He indulged in plenty of physical abuse, but the emotional mindfuckery was actually the worst part — Lilith, for instance, could have easily defended herself against him physically if he hadn't bound her to his will so thoroughly that lifting a hand to oppose him was literally unthinkable for her. Fake Ultimate Hero Flanderization: The first mention of him in the 1e core not by name, but as part of Lilith's chapter fiction does acknowledge he was a horrible person, but that was really kind of a par-for-the-course thing as a depiction of the madness of the Solar Exalted.

By the time we get a formal introduction in Dreams of the First Age, his specific, petty evil is under a microscope to the point that he comes across as a uniquely horrible villain. His name is Desus and he's famous for tricking and blinding a giant one-eyed lighthouse behemoth named Oliphem. Never Live It Down: Once his bio was written up and his abuse of Lilith was explored in unique depth, he became the byword for utter villainy among the Exalted Fan Base.

He genuinely doesn't realize that just because you can mind control someone into not being angry that you raped and tortured them, that doesn't make it okay. Were it not for that custom Charm of his see below , it's explicitly stated he wouldn't be that bad of a guy. Unfortunately, since everyone believes he's a nice dude and does the worst things for their own good, he honestly doesn't get that he's doing some pretty horrific things-nobody's told him, after all.

Villain with Good Publicity: He has a custom charm which makes everyone interpret even his worst jerkassery as for their own good , or at worst, a misguided but totally forgivable mistake.

Even he's not immune to it. Further, for all his horrible actions, he periodically engages in the sort of grand adventure that makes him look perfect. One of the nastiest things about him is that his social charms retain their full effect even against his victims. Since you know Desus is a great guy, your mind is forced to find a way to rationalize whatever he does to you as being your own fault.

Devil-may-care Eclipse during the Era of Dreams who began actually courting the help of demons, as he wished to save his I AM node, which had developed its own individual personality, from being erased. Cares little about anything but dancing, which puts him in good company when touring Hell.

Primarily interacts with demons and their creators through song and dance, which is the only thing that Yozis and demons don't seek to make into a horrible torment as a matter of course. This may have skewed his viewpoint as to what he would be in store for, if he decided to defect.

A sorcerous prodigy and anti-authoritarian supreme, which is not an expected quality in a goddess-queen of Creation. Engineered the sorcerous working which allows anyone in Creation to learn Sorcery as long as they're willing to work at it. Notable lack of grimdark for an elder First Age Exalt. Aforementioned Creation-changing sorcerous working was achieved by sneaking it in as a rider on a more popular Deliberative topic.

Also convinced Devon, founder of one of the most widespread philosophical schools of Sorcery, that his approach was flawed.

He followed up on this by incinerating every last copy of his school's teachings. She enjoys having children but leaves them to their own devices or tells them to, "do some good, like fight an invading Raksha or something.

Salina has a semi-regular "thing" with Joyous Youth Juritsu, who is a dragon. They have several children see above , and she made him promise not to possess them. The Calibration Feast was her idea. She does not like hierarchy. Somehow, she reconciles the two.

Strongly believes that all people are basically good. As it turns out, Sorcery is literally a "do anything" button, which means her plan to give it to the random man on the street would be The potential for this was part of what spurred Chejop Kejak to turn on the Solars. Kendrik Arkadi Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: He disdains Siakal as a bloodthirsty brute A Dawn Caste and the first to unleash the true power of a daiklave, discovering Evocations a new mechanic in 3e.

An unparalleled swordsman, even among the Exalted, Eternal Nova's touch could unlock the true potential of any well-made weapon. But his home was soon flocked by patrons desiring his blessings on their weapons and he had to turn them away. They accused him of being vain and materialistic and so he vowed that any who could defeat him in single combat could take his title of Sword Priest and his power over daiklaves.

He was slain during the Usurpation and his title and power were locked away in the Jade Prison along with his Exaltation. He was the First Age incarnation of Visiting Flare, the protagonist of the 3rd Edition comic Tale of the Visiting Flare , who appears to have inherited the Sword Priest's ability and the attention of those who desire such power for themselves.

A high-collared white-and-gold one with a large emblem of a dragon clutching the sun on the back. Is nearly always shown with a daiklave either in each hand or on each hip. Is just as often surrounded by a small one of these. Economically the world should do fine in Everyone is still in the process of pushing the debt down the road.

I do not think there will be a world economic crises in but who really knows? The stock market cannot go up forever and neither will housing. How long will the Trump effect on the economy last? If the democrats take the House or Senate, the expansion could stop before Internal turmoil in the U. In Christianity will see gains in Muslim nations and the Far East and see further declines in the Western world.

Deep Africa will mostly just continue to merge native paganism with Word of Faith presumptions. South and Central America will continue to see more conversions of Catholics to evangelical Pentecostal faiths.

One thing is certain. Persecutions of Christians will continue to increase in the world. Some Bible prophecy teachers will suggest that Gog is coming down in or tell you the Rapture is likely to happen on the Feast of Trumpets in They will continue to be wrong. None of their past claims ever came about but people still think their latest book gives inside knowledge about the future. They have the same Bible as you. They are not getting their stuff from scripture taken in proper context.

Those that learn pagan beliefs or natural cycles and then search the scriptures to find private interpretations find just what they want. I am amazed that so many other Bible prophecy teachers promote such people on their own platforms. Where is their discernment? I am not saying these teachers are not Christians but most of what they are teaching is of little use to Christians.

They build on the house of God with mud. They spew a big splat but then it just falls off after a few years. I suppose Pope Francis will continue to be an oxymoron in Why did the Roman Church elect this moron anyway? He is a false prophet of course, because all claiming what popes claim are false prophets. Even so, this false prophet is not going to convince anyone to worship the Antichrist.

The Catholic Church will probably eventually decide that he was elected illegally because the previous Pope is still alive. There are many Catholics already making the claim that Francis is a false Pope. After they dispose of Francis they may elect someone more worthy to take on the title of False Prophet. I am sure there will be many surprises in Maybe Hillary and many in the Obama administration will go to jail for all the crimes that they committed?

Maybe pigs will learn how to fly? Most people think humans are progressing as a species but we really are progressing toward Armageddon. People are expecting global warming but they will probably get global cooling. People hope for honest politicians but they continually elect people more crooked than themselves. We cannot even figure out if we should buy crypto currencies in You get the picture.

We do not have a clue about our future. The only things we know for sure about the future is what the Bible tells us. Recently, I had some time away in several country towns just to escape the madness one confronts on a daily basis when researching for a site like this. I read no newspapers nor did I watch any mainstream TV stations spewing out brainwashing to the living dead. There was no computer and no internet. My mobile phone lasted almost the whole time I was away without needing a charge.

There were no gender neutral toilets, no same sex couples walking around cuddling each other, no burkas and no protestors. Just ordinary looking people, all happy and getting along together.

I visited several remote beaches and just walked them in awe of their beauty and pristine condition. Another day I climbed a high mountainous lookout and after many stops and near death experiences, I was buoyed by the degree panoramic view at the peak.

Every day was warm and sunny. I would rise to a simple breakfast and then head off to a nearby town to investigate, or to a nearby forested area to walk through narrow picturesque trails to waterfalls and creeks.

Everyone I met had a cheery "Hello" to offer and sometimes we engaged in long friendly conversations. I felt as though I was back in my childhood years where innocence seemed to prevail, and you trusted almost everyone to the point of even leaving houses and cars unlocked.

It struck me that the millennial kingdom ruled over by Yeshua would be something like this, only even better. It also struck me how years of monitoring world events and conditions to provide material for Rapture Notes had taken its toll on my mental well being.

As you can see, I am back at the computer, but my new year resolution is to distance myself a little more from all the bad news that is engulfing this decaying society and look forward more to the soon return of Yeshua Jesus , and His coming kingdom.

Anyway, I just thought some of you may be interested in what I've been up to. America continues to unravel, under the supervision of its shadow government. Other western countries, like Australia and Canada, are fast tracking a similar descent into spiritual and moral oblivion. The people of Australia have just voted to embrace same sex marriage.

Hence the 'lucky country' has invited in the same chaos and judgement that is occurring in America. Europe is a basket case where Satan is having a ball blinding the eyes of most as to the true intent of Islam and Leftists. Attacks by Islamic terrorists are continuing, although these are not really terrorists. They are simply Muslims following to the letter the teachings of their demonic prophet, Mohammed. Immorality is on steroids, as is censorship of anything true and wholesome.

Sooner or later, particularly in Europe, the people will tire of Islam's insanity and cry out for a leader who will reel it in. And up will step Currently, I have a virus of some sort, and it is making me a tad miserable. But I know it will pass, and soon I will feel back on top of the world again.

Similarly, I know the sickness in this world will soon pass, and I'll not only be back on top of the world Recently, I watched one extremely well known prophecy "expert" interview a gentleman who claimed that two or three times when he had been speaking at different churches, GOLD DUST had begun falling on him from some invisible source, to the point where he could no longer read his bible.

Yes, real physical gold dust. He then quoted some bible verse to explain and validate the miracle and continued relating other experiences he had had.

So where I thought, are the photographs of this event. A church full of people witnessing this "amazing" miracle and not one cell phone to record the event? Perhaps photos were taken but deleted after it was discovered the gold was nothing but coloured plastic glitter. He then claimed that at one church so much gold dust had miraculously fallen that the Pastor there was able to use it to pay the mortgage off their building.

I wonder how he explained to the bank manager the source of their sudden new found wealth, and why couldn't we see a copy of the discharged mortgaged papers? And in the comments section, Christians were saying things like, "Wow, I wish I was a great man of God like this gentleman," and "Oh, to be so anointed as to have flakes of gold fall on me. It's amazing how gullible Christians are.

And shame on the well known prophecy teacher interviewer who sat there lapping all this up like a stray cat that had just wandered into the room and found a saucer of milk. Then I watched another two "prophecy experts" explain on which Jewish feast day the rapture would occur. The trouble was, each believed it would occur on a different feast day.

Of course, to fully understand their deductions, one would need to buy another book, from each of them. Twenty dollars times two, to get the possible day and month of the rapture, but unfortunately, not the year. Following this, I watched a YouTube presentation on how in September, using astrological signs as a guide, one can possibly predict the date of the rapture or how far off the beginning of the tribulation is.

Quite a few have been drawn into this and begun packing their bags Never mind that no-one knows the day or the hour of the return of Jesus, Matthew Next up, we have a very well know eschatology author on a very well known Christian TV site re-arranging the order of events surrounding the rapture and the opening of the seals in revelation. Of course, once again, one must buy the book to really grasp the truths of this new discovery.

It's a simple setup really, the author makes more sales from the publicity and the station promoting the author gets their cut as well. Such "setups" are not all bad, and are indeed necessary to a point, but one gets the impression that a few of these "Christian product promoters" are feeling the pinch and peddling some very suspect material. There is no harm in a little speculation about the meaning of certain unclear Bible prophecies and passages, but we live in an age of false prophets gaining fame and fortune from such speculation, many of whom are VERY well known, and who are turning out more books and DVD's than you can fill your shopping trolley with.

All discounted of course for a truly great deal. All explaining in detail, hitherto unknown secrets and mysteries. A retired gentleman related a life experience of his to me recently. I thought it may be of interest and benefit to some if I repeated it here in my own words As we grow old, there can come a sense of no longer being useful, or of not having anything further to look forward to in terms of worthwhile achievements.

Failed past relationships from decades ago can still pre-occupy the mind. It becomes obvious that there will no more be that wonderful feeling of falling in love, or experience of that divinely gifted mysterious pleasure that occurs during physical intimacy, or the optimism of seeing a youthful and energetic countenance when looking in the mirror.

Then there's the remembering of a wasted youth, spent seeking thrills and spills, only to reap the resulting regrets of what might have been. As a result, a type of depression can set in.

A sense of having hit a brick wall. One can find oneself staring out of a window being blanketed by an overwhelming sadness that the joys and opportunities of the past are just that Just part of the human condition you say? Yes, to a degree that's probably correct. Indeed, it is a part of the fallen human condition, experienced by much if not all of humanity at some time or another, but nevertheless, painful and debilitating when it strikes.

The average person at this time probably seeks the services of a counsellor or psychologist. Tragically, some even end their own life. But this is when a Christian, waiting on the Lord can experience the advantage of having the Holy Spirit as an ever present counsellor and comforter. He whispers into the believer's ear, "Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Such a person is as a result much encouraged to know that their future will be much more fulfilling than their past. Now there is something to look forward to. The Holy Spirit goes on to whisper, "Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal. But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal.

For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. A new lease on life as it were. So to sum up, don't keep looking in the rear view mirror of life.

What awaits is immeasurably better. Occupy and keep busy being productive for God's kingdom in whatever small way presents itself. And be grateful for the Holy Spirit who God sent, to direct and comfort us till Jesus returns. Those self proclaimed prophets who said America was about to enter a new era of greatness and spiritual revival must be moving around mainly after dark these days.

It was obvious from the start they were putting their egos and naive hope before solid Bible teaching. President Trump has failed to restore any noticeable semblance of righteousness to America, and appears to be caving in as most Presidents before him to the goals and ambitions of Satan through the pushers of a new world order.

As soon as he placed his family in high positions in his administration, I sensed he was not going to be the saviour many had been waiting for.

His lack of wisdom became evident in that move, and manifests itself more and more every day. Trump has already reversed his position on many campaign promises as he apparently falls more and more under the control of the 'shadow government'.

He has certainly done some good things economically, and in particular, rebuilt support for Israel, but one wonders how long it will be before that leash is pulled in. Also, on several occasions, he has been blocked by certain judges from instigating other positive changes he sought to implement. He was elected President wasn't he? Just how much power does he actually have? Or is anarchy now officially condoned in the U. The Bible teaches that in these end of the end days, the 'new world order' proponents and islam would morph into rule by the antichrist during a period of time known as the 'tribulation'.

As predicted in the Bible for these times, all clear thinking and commonsense, particularly in Western Countries, seems to have flown out the window, which is why I think we are pushing up hard against the end of this age. The poor old new world order pushers, Soros, Rockefeller, Gaites, the Pope etc etc are having a tough time becoming the rulers of the world, which they had been planning to be for decades. They don't realise that they, together with the proponents of Islam, have been manipulated by Satan himself, who has no intention of allowing them or Islam to rule the world, because HE ALONE intends to rule the world and be worshipped as God.

These poor deluded billionaires and liberals have been set up and used, and they have no idea. One could feel sorry for them if they weren't such God hating, self absorbed downright evil egotists. No wonder God laughs at these globalists, because He sees them being ripened for the picking, and knew of it eons ago.

He knows Satan is using these people to eventually double cross them, and He also knows that Satan in turn, is going to be check mated by God Himself, at the end of this rapidly concluding age. In the meantime, God appears to be allowing many of these globalists and their demonically controlled followers to be exposed as the evil people they are, before he allows Satan to have his turn at trying to rule the world. All of this I find extremely intriguing to watch. What a momentous time to be alive.

It's all so obvious and clear when viewed through Bible Prophecy. Each day, more and more liberals and media outlets can be seen to be putting a noose around their own necks, while smugly mocking all that is good and lying about anything if it furthers the delusional cause of their masters.

This world is on a raft swept along by a rapidly flowing river leading faster and faster to a steep waterfall, at the bottom of which is seven years of hell on earth, known commonly as "the tribulation". Only one person can get you off this raft. For goodness sake, don't be fooled by those others on the raft partying around you, oblivious to the danger ahead. Ignore their mocking and ridicule.

Admit to God that you are a sinner. Believe that Jesus died and rose again to pay the penalty you owe God for that sinfulness. Confess that you believe Jesus to be Lord. If you have done that sincerely, you are now no longer on the raft. You will soon be swept up to be with Jesus Christ forever.

The mockers will be swept down to their doom. I am in the process of reading Terry James' new book "Rapture Ready I don't of course agree with all of Terry's ideas, but certainly do with most of them. Terry, together with Todd Strandberg, founded the website that inspired this one. That site is "raptureready. Terry is one of those diminishing number of writers on bible prophecy who exhibit insight and knowledge, whilst leaving his ego at the door. In the book, he takes umbrage with the many writers today who sell books as a result of pushing fear and anxiety.

He explains the validity of the rapture and why it offers hope, as opposed to the fear that many others exude on any media outlet they can find. He also elaborates on how the plethora of UFO sightings may play into the end times delusion that the scriptures indicate is coming upon the whole world, a position that I have adhered to since a child.

Like Terry, I often get emails from people berating me for believing in the Rapture and featuring articles on it. Their arguments nearly always contain an air of bitterness and anger about them which I find illuminating. I cannot help but think that somewhere along their journey, these people took a wrong turn at Albuquerque.

The Rapture is a source of great hope and encouragement, as it was always intended to be as laid out in the writings of Paul the apostle and evidenced elsewhere in the scriptures. Every now and then I find I must step away from studying end time prophetic events. Even more often, I find I must step away from "prophecy celebrities" peddling their latest book or DVD. As I've said before, the study of "end times" has become, unfortunately, largely an industry in itself and one must tread very carefully through the minefield of mostly self proclaimed experts, to get to the genuine God ordained interpreters.

It does well to remember that prophecy is mainly intended to prove the veracity of God's word and the truthfulness of his revelation to us in the bible AFTER it has proven to be true, NOT to simply tell the future. Just this week I have read three or four completely different assertions of what and who Ezekiel 38 and 39 refer to, and the timing of events contained therein, all by very well known "experts" who appear ad nauseum on programmes designed to sell their latest promulgations.

A large number of these "oracles" appear on TV and Radio Shows hosted by previously proven "shysters" and "heresy pushers. In their minds, the end justifies the means, the end being to get their products sold and also procure a further round of guest appearances. If the truths these modern day "enlightened ones" have discovered is so sound and God given, then why do they charge for it and promote it through questionable channels?

One can't help but be sceptical of this peculiarly American phenomenon. Yes, I have my own opinion as to what certain prophecies might mean, but I am more than prepared to probably be proven wrong, and I certainly don't appear on national programmes to push my revelations and make a buck.

I just don't think a correct interpretation of an "obscure" prophecy is critically important. When and if a prophecy does become desperately salient to His children, God will raise up another Daniel to do the analysis, not some motor mouthed, cash register toting snake oil salesman. Fortunately, there are still a handful of Christian authors and expositors who combine a LARGE amount of biblical teaching with a MINIMAL portion of current events and imagination to produce sound analysis of prophecy whilst adopting a humble and teachable attitude.

Humility becomes far more discernable in the midst of boiling egos. Sadly, the egoists currently outnumber the humble. There is the ultimate purpose of prophecy. To prove God is faithful to his word and thereby encourage us to believe what he says about ALL things. I am not against conjecture as to how a rather difficult passage of scripture might be interpreted, but I take offence at "experts" asserting their revelations as the truth while lining their coffers as well.

The benefits are even now noticeable. This month, my much loved Aunt died. She had no children of her own, and thus she treated her nieces and nephews, myself included, as her own offspring. That is why she was so embraced by us. She was a Christian who loved the Lord and the Bible, and enjoyed talking about Bible prophecy to anyone who shared a similar interest.

The funeral was, as many truly Christian funerals are, a joyous occasion as the majority of people there were in fact Christians just like my Aunt, and knew beyond any shadow of a doubt that we would see her soon, a fact to us, and not just a fanciful hope. During her life, my Aunt had tried to share her faith with one particular nephew, who was consistent in his rejection of the Gospel message.

Her mentioning anything spiritual irritated him, but every now and then, she would try and provoke him to think about such matters and eternity, but right up until her death, her efforts met with an abrupt dismissal of such 'nonsense' from this nephew. I was one of the few who knew of her frustration at trying to get him to consider his spiritual state, and of his hostility to the Gospel. The funeral service, was conducted by my brother who is a Pastor.

He of course mentioned my Aunt's Christian faith and expounded upon it at some length. I myself gave a eulogy, and highlighted the fact that her Christian values paralleled my own, and were the basis of a special bond between us.

The nephew in question, was intended to be a pallbearer at the conclusion of the service. However, though being present up till then, he was now nowhere to be found. We were all somewhat disappointed and saddened at his sudden departure. He had always loved his Aunt, but hated her mentioning the Gospel, or questioning him about his eternal destiny.

He would dismiss her and then change the subject. Ironically, as a result of her passing, he had just had to sit through about an hour of the Gospel.

It must have quite distressed him I think, to have had to face the death of his Aunt, be reminded of her devotion to Jesus Christ, witnessed the Christian faith of those around him, and to again have indirectly had the question of his own eternal destination put to him. It's uncomfortable to be around willing and joyful submission to the Lordship of Jesus Christ, when you are harbouring rebellion towards that same Person.

Well, in some respects, things haven't changed much. But the pace at which small events within larger events are happening is astonishing. The 'Cosmic Chess Match' as others have coined it, goes on as usual with Satan trying to thwart God's plans at every opportunity, but the pieces on the board are flying around everywhere at ever increasing speed as the players near the check mate move.

God of course wins, which takes a lot of stress out of watching the game for true believers in Christ. But for the non believers and scoffers, the tension is beginning to take its toll I believe. Ever since I was a young boy, I have followed a certain football team, prompted by my elder brother's promise to relieve me of my teeth if I didn't.

I find listening to their games or watching them on television somewhat nerve jangling. My feet fly out at imaginary kicks, my neck swings involuntarily to avoid high tackles, I twitch, jump and lean, and frequently visit the bathroom. When my team wins, there is of course a great sense of relief in being able to put the sedatives away from prying eyes and open the amenities to the rest of the family.

When we lose, a period of mourning is initiated as I try to convince myself that it doesn't really matter. It's got to the point where if it is a really important game or a final, I simply won't watch it or listen to it, but only check the result when it's over. I am indeed made of stern stuff. I do of course record important games in case we win, and if by chance we do, what pleasure there is in sitting down to watch it, enjoying the highlights, applauding my favourite players and joining in the celebrations at the end.

All without the stress of wondering if we lose or not, and all whilst calmly consuming copious amounts of munchies and coffee. The GREAT thing about being a Christian, is that we can watch all the ghastly and terrible and unfair things in the world increasing day by day, and whilst being concerned about them, not stress and fear as the world does.

Because we know our team wins, led by our magnificent Captain, Jesus Christ. It's so much easier on the nerves being a believer and having a knowledge of the Bible and Prophecy. Yes, the world lurches from one level of madness to a higher one, almost hourly, but our peace remains rock solid. We await the end of the game, when we will surely join in the greatest victory celebrations ever.

Throw out the sedatives, open the bathroom to one and all. For all true Christians everywhere The other day, I opened Google to search for a particular subject and was greeted by a large Google sponsored colourful banner promoting and pushing the gay and lesbian and anything goes sexually agenda.

Besides being offended by their ignorant brainwashing of their mainly younger users, who are ripe for social engineering, I thought to myself I recently watched an episode of a TV series where a couple of detectives investigate murders, and track down the perpetrators. In this episode, Christianity was clearly ridiculed, and homosexuality was presented as normal and those who practice it as downtrodden and misunderstood.

The programme was clearly being used to push agendas as well as entertain. I thought to my self Watching the news, I noticed another mass shooting by a muslim described simply as the act of a deranged individual who was possibly under the influence of prescription drugs of some sort.

One deluded, overpaid, senseless and unfortunately increasingly typical commentator, even blamed Christians for the attack. Never mind that the attacker shouted, "Allah Akbar! I thought to myself I saw American officials admit that they had misled the public over the Iran nuclear deal.

Iran's leaders continue to predict their annihilation of Israel. The UN maintains its anti Semitic stance. I see Europe becoming a quagmire of multicultural mayhem. Countries like Sweden are under siege from political correctness, as laws were passed criminalising anyone criticising immigration.

Hence the mayhem caused by the influx of muslims. During this year of political campaigns, I saw politicians being openly rude and crude in public. I saw then lying with straight unflinching faces. I saw them unabashedly saying anything at anytime that might deceive the gullible listeners and win them over, just to maintain or get power. I saw truth being torn apart by agendas. I saw the British people vote to exit the European Union. It was interesting that the majority in mainly Muslim areas of England voted to remain, while the more traditionally English regions voted to leave.

I believe the decision by the majority to abandon the EU was more based on a fear of being overrun by fanatical islam than for economic concerns. I saw a video clip of an American air force veteran being physically removed from a flag-folding ceremony because he was going to mention the word "God.

As the saying goes in the rest of the world with regards to 'over the top' and nonsensical occurrences, "It could only happen in America. American President, Barack Obama, has just implied that because Jesus Christ said, "Love your neighbour as yourself", then God would condone men going into women's toilets and change rooms, and vice versa.

Look no further than the White House to see the proof of this truth. Then there are those who are praying and saying, that America will become great again.

I'm sorry, but I don't see that scenario playing out. America is, I perceive, half way down the road to oblivion already. I can't see any nation becoming great again this side of the Lord's return.

Geopolitically and morally, planet Earth has never been more aligned than now with Bible prophecies concerning the judgement of God and the return of Jesus Christ. If America were to become great again, it would put the return of Christ back many decades. The USA is not even mentioned in end time prophecy. At best it is only alluded to in a few insignificant passages. It would only have to begin the process of decline all over again. The window of opportunity for America to repent and delay the return of Jesus Christ has passed.

The world's current geopolitical and moral status cannot last forever and the chances of that status dissolving or reversing, then occurring again decades into the future, are miniscule to none.

Significantly also, Israel is being pummelled from all sides like never before, to give up land or do whatever is necessary to achieve peace with its Arab neighbours, even if that involves actions detrimental to its very survival. A covenant or treaty must occur soon, fulfilling Daniel 9: It's time to cease being proud of ones country or ones self, of ones country's achievements or of ones own possessions. Now is the hour to lay up treasures in Heaven.

Treasures that don't decay or deteriorate over time. Treasures that aren't stolen by individuals or governments. By serving God in whatever capacity He puts before you, even if it's just praying for someone, and by loving God more than the pleasures offered by this world. When I first started this site, many years ago now, it was fairly clear that we were approaching the end of this age.

Slowly but surely, culture and politics were progressing in a direction that seemingly aligned itself with bible prophecy. Every few weeks, sometimes only every few months, events would occur that would fortify my belief that, rather than making moral progress, this world was slipping into self delusion and a position where in fact, it was inviting God's anger to reach a tipping point.

It's quite remarkable how instead of this 'slipping further' into the time of God's judgement slowing down, or even stopping, or reversing as some predicted, this slide towards the period described in the Bible as "Jacob's trouble", commonly known as the "seven year tribulation", has exponentially sped up to the point where already, long before I had anticipated, it appears we are right at the doorway to that time period.

The rebirth of Russia as a world influence with greedy eyes on the middle east, and in particular the recent oil and gas discoveries by Israel. The tampering with the DNA of animals and humans, not to mention the mixing of the two.

The completely insane and evil indoctrination of children with the nonsense that they are neither male or female, or they can choose their gender for themselves. Meanwhile the average narcissistic westerner nonchalantly lines up for his or her new iPhone. To any fair minded and reasonable intellect, there can simply be no doubt as to the veracity of end times Bible prophecy and how that it is quickly coming to pass in this generation.

Satan and his earthly and non-earthly accomplices have finalised their plans for the ultimate takeover of planet earth, and believe it or not, their hoped for defeat of God Himself. We sometimes think of Jesus very thinly. As a sad figure unjustly murdered and nailed to a cross.

A divine man full of love, but who was unfortunately betrayed and killed. Every knee will eventually shakingly bow before Him. His enemies will be thrown, not gently asked to go there, but thrown into hell to be punished, not for a time till parole is granted, but FOREVER. His plans are never thwarted. He is coming back just as HE said HE would. He will not rule by consensus, but with a Rod of Iron.

Nations will pay Him His dues and toe the line, or suffer the consequences. Judgement against evil will be swift and final. If you have never taken Jesus Christ and His claims seriously, it's time to do so. We should all quake in our boots, both Christians and non Christians, at the prospect of a soon returning Jesus Christ. It's time to clean house, push back at sin in our lives, meditate on the Word of God and look up Australia has for a long time now followed the perverse and idiotic cultural trends of America.

The Americanisation of 'the land down under' has been tragic to say the least, and the subservience of Australian politicians to American leadership has long been sickening. Australia, the "lucky country", finally ran out of luck and corrupted itself when we became disillusioned with Mother England during World War Two and got into bed with Uncle Sam.

America of course, is not solely to blame for Australia's decline. Aussies have abandoned God in favour of pleasure and perverseness of their own accord, but usually at the leading of big brother America, a type of modern Babylon. Here's why I say this. The Australian Christian Lobby has condemned a move by a Sydney high school to allow male students to wear female uniforms, and to let students freely express what gender they identify with.

Students at Newtown Performing Arts High School have been told anyone can wear a skirt to school, and refer to themselves as either male or female. They have also been told that anyone identifying as a girl can use the female toilets. But while parents have welcomed the change to the school's uniform rules , the Australian Christian Lobby claims it is a step too far and that it effectively encourages children to make radical choices with their lives The school, in Sydney's inner-west, prides itself on its progressive values.

In recent years the school has approved special requests, allowing students transitioning from one gender to the other to wear the uniform of their choosing, and to use alternate toilets. The difference now is that these students do not have to seek formal permission. Maya Saric who is a parent with two children at the school enrolled in grades eight and 10 said If children are really struggling with that issue, then they shouldn't be forced into pigeonholes by the school.

They're facing enough turmoil and change and crisis of their own. It's not really relevant what colour trousers they're wearing and whether they're wearing a skirt or shorts", she said. Tony Ryan, another parent with two children at the school, enrolled in grades eight and 10 says And they've been told that the school has dropped gender-typing. The child can decide for themselves how they perceive their gender.

No-one should be bullied for any reason at all. But these gender theory ideas go way beyond anti-bullying to almost proselytising and trying to encourage and instruct young people in radical practices. A lot of parents are starting to ask questions about where on earth this rainbow ideology is taking us. Recently, I decided to visit my three granddaughters. They live some distance away, so I don't get to see them as often as I'd like to.

I fuelled up the car, grabbed a rare can of cola to keep me alert, a few treats for the girls and headed off. When I arrived quite some time later, the girls were waiting for me on their front doorstep.

I was excitedly informed that this was the last day of their two week swimming course, and soon Mum my daughter , the Flowers my granddaughters as I call them and myself were headed off to the Aquatic centre.

Before long I was seated in a cloud of steam and chlorine, peering through a maze of thrashing little bodies trying to spot the girls. It seemed like mayhem, but somewhere out there the Flowers were receiving their final lesson and being assessed. After what seemed like an eternity, my daughter suggested I go get a coffee from the cafe. What she didn't tell me was that I'd find a queue of babbling mothers a mile long all with the same idea, so I returned coffee-less to my seat.

And by Sooba, here. Krunch Krunch is more of a Genius Bruiser. Richard, on the other hand, is the world's most unexpectedly non-squishy Squishy Wizard. He is that much of a badass that he has been dubbed "Commander Kickass" by the fans. Also a Four-Star Badass. It would appear he is no longer the Enemy Commander. Balance Between Good and Evil: Cale, according to Pella. Beware the Nice Ones: Even after he Took a Level in Badass , Cale is a very nice, idealistic elf. But if he has to, he will now send his Token Evil Teammate to blow up a mountain.

Also, he was trained to fight large groups of warriors while unarmed and blindfolded. Aelloon is certainly building himself up to be one. Tavor is a close second.

Aellon considers himself an agent of the King of Legara, who hasn't been seen in decades. Confirmed when we learn that the King is very much active and it's Tavor. Then it turns out that Aellon wins the civil war following Tavor's death and succeeds him as King of Legara. As of strip , the real Big Bad is, and apparently always has been, the Archmage. Everything bad that's happened so far was a result of the Archmage's plans to make Cale into the king the Archmage wanted him to be.

Subverted as the main characters arrive with reinforcements too late to save the Northern Army. Played straight with Krunch's entrance. This strip of Richard breaking into song, along with several other character, and Cale noting In-Universe that it had absolutely nothing to do with their quest.

Cale does this when he sees his wife kissing a rival. Can we all agree he ran away like a little girl? The series also adheres to the tradition that smithing is to be expected from dwarves.

Cale has dedicated himself to ridding the world of evil. It is not going too well. He gets to be a king though, so no sweat, the plot's getting somewhere. A nice bit of coincidence is that the greatest evil he ever met is the guy whom he spends all his time with. She cuts people's hands off to break the ice Who knows what would happen if she tried that on a living thing like Cale Born in the Wrong Century: Cale believes he is this after traveling back in time to a kingdom of elves that shared his ideals.

It says something when Pella, who is actually in the wrong century , fits in and knows what things are like better. Bread, Eggs, Breaded Eggs: Hospital for old age people, with pets, who have no parents who love them. Good lord, has Cale been thoroughly broken. His master makes him think his wife, Shora, left him for another man and then, apparently, kills her to ensure that Cale has nothing to come back to and essentially force him to become a force for good.

Then he has to kill an innocent child to return to his own time and ensure the survival of Kethenica. And this is only the tip of the iceberg.

Richard introduces himself by his numerous titles, and at the way end he mentions he's "mayor of a little town up the coast. Could also be Chekhov's Gun , as seen below. While making a series of jokes about how many people seem to know the group in such a big world, a strange man rides up on an improbable steed and says he has a letter for Cale.

It's relevant much later. The Sword of Truth and the Fork of Truth. And my bear arms. Fast-forward to and the story of how Tavor became king This happens very early, but rather than a hero using Mooks, the Token Evil Team Mate -to-be Richard smugly drags an innocent peasant into the path of several of Cale's arrows even though he wouldn't be killed by them anyway, being undead , and enjoys the expression on his face when he realises he's killed an innocent.

He even suggests going after the son and wife to make the complete set. Much later in the series Cale does this himself using Maikos. It gets hilariously lampshaded. Just because he's undead doesn't mean he can't feel pain Maikos: You had time to grab me and put me in front of you? Why would you not use that time to dodge?

Even more hilarious in that Cale doesn't do it once, but twice. Benny decides that she's had enough of Richard's seemingly spontaneous violent outbursts and is going to make him stop. She is quickly dissuaded of this notion. Cale before he Took a Level in Badass. The gnomes, often with fatal results. Richard at times, but at least he can survive pretty much everything that literally gets thrown at him.

Richard, though the citizens of his town are pretty used to it and are thus incredibly jaded towards dangerous situations. This is, of course, because they are already dead. It's somewhat implied that they enjoy it by now. You have Richard the mayor, "Chicken! Early in the comic, Richard has his special "pillaging shovel" gem-encrusted trowel.

He later gives it to Cale. Much later, a vision of Richard as a child shows him planting flowers with a trowel. Remember when Richard blew up one of the moons? Turns out you can still see its remains at night. A villainous example here. In one of the early strips, Ben'joon warns that this could happen to Cale when resurrecting him from being incinerated, and if she had cast Revive on his ashes with the centipede Richard had slipped in there still Ned and Maude Flanders in strip Most recently, Pinocchio makes for good firewood.

He will be missed Frodo and Samwise's Crolo and Wil's unexplained yet curious love could only end in tragedy. Not even Mary Poppins is safe from Richard. Jamie Hyneman from Mythbusters seems to be paying a visit here. Abu appears on a rooftop here. The Mistress of Magma Very scenic during springtime. You should visit sometime. Cale eventually works out that whenever he gets bored, Richard uses the village to commit acts of unspeakable evil.

Turns out Richard HAS to be this, as committing atrocities is the only thing that keeps him from reverting to human form and losing his powers. Dorel practices his sarcasm In the first volume's intro, Sohmer tells that the first episode of the comic was written and drawn as a World of Warcraft parody, but the makers realized the potential of their own fantasy world, so from the second strip on the story starts going in its own direction. Nowadays Richard serves as the main source of comedy, with the other characters only occasionally delivering a punchline.

Cale and Richard getting most of it. Which it is depends on your point of view. Richard did like to kill things, and we all saw what happened with that little boy and his village. And Richard's rabbit, though who knows if that was real compassion or just manipulation. But then again, he did heal Cale's neck when it was slashed. In-Universe, done deliberately to Cale's wife so that he would leave her behind and begin wandering.

Think it's just an Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking joke? The Sword of Truth appears to have been an early aborted story line once the writer found a more worthy plot for his webcomic A later strip has The Phares come back as the only guards on a direct road into the city. And then there is Richard's trial.

Needless to say, when supernatural beings hold court, make sure you listen to every single word, especially during your sentence. Indeed, think about those poor helpless soldiers who've been "taken care of" read: The Archmage of Kethenicia is a rare good guy example.

Invoked by a small boy who prays with Richard. Then the innocent child Cale kills turns out to be the Archmage in disguise. The innocence that had to be killed was Cale's, to badass him up. The lost and frightened little girl in the middle of the battle in Richard's little town up the coast that a compassionate soldier picks up. And quickly regrets; see Enfant Terrible below. Cale, at least in the beginning. City of Plot Advancement: It always comes back to Kethenecia, doesn't it?

Collector of the Strange: Richard's bear arms, shovel of pillaging, kidney hat Richard Comically Invincible Hero: Well, okay, he's not a hero, but he is on their team, views fatal injuries as flesh wounds Usually , is incredibly powerful, and kills off enemies with ease.

And he's not only undead but 'survived' several attempts to seal that deal, also hilariously. Completely Missing the Point: Richard thinks he's killing her, and offers to help bury the body. Probably justified by Richard's Lack of Empathy. Richard, being an undead cloaked in robes has no trouble at all fighting a Magma Elemental and even decapitates it. Then again, he's a warlock, so he probably has some trick up his sleeve.

Even with the Black Humor comedy sense, that world is a mess: Villagers eat their children, a kid lures adults to kill them, backstabbers of backstabbers and torturers that escape justice.

It's so bad that the group made of a Omnicidal Maniac warlock, a mercenary type priest with a ruthlessly pragmatic Tauren father with anger issues, a dwarf who kills for fun and a Token Good Teammate elf who still plans genocide on the enemy, are the good guys. And not in a Designated Hero way, they are this world's best hope for a better future because they don't always want to hurt people. Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: Maikos and the entire town he's from. This seems to happen with frighteningly regular occurrence.

The NPC story, The Liveliest of Convexes, reveals that the incident in which Richard's headless body made a bunch of people happy and celebrate was actually just the Dying Dream of an orphan boy who, along with his entire village, perished bloodily at the hands of bandits. As revealed in the th comic, The Sisters' religion appears to be based on the Abrahmic faiths Dark and Troubled Past: Later strips are dragging these out. We see Richard as a Cheerful Child in a flashback, and it turns out Cale had a wife who he presumably caught cheating on him.

As much as they snark at each other, Krunch would never let anything happen to Benny if he could help it, and Benny is willing to support Cale's possibly hopeless cause because he refused to acknowledge that her father was probably dead. Day in the Limelight: The spin-off comic NPC serves this purpose for various secondary characters. Benny and Tavor, usually with Cale on the receiving end he's just such an easy target for sarcasm.

Cale's starting to become one too. Did you know Aelloon is my son? You must be so proud. When the comic is trying to be funny, bringing someone back to life is pretty easy. When the comic is trying to be dramatic, bringing someone back to life is impossible. She brings him back to life so she can kill him again. Averted with Krunch's apparently irreversible death, despite it being perhaps the least destructive death in the series.

He was 'just' stabbed. But his soul had been out of his body for too long. It was too late to bring him back. While there are other moons, Richard seems to have done this for no reason. Cale is horrified; Richard wants a high five. Richard is occasionally sidelined so the rest of the cast has to get along without his Story-Breaker Power.

Didn't See That Coming: The Archmage notes that the destruction of the Bloodrage Stronghold was not supposed to happen. This is coming from a guy who could be called a Magnificent Bastard. This was after he was revealed to be Richard's bunny in disguise. Richard is apparently destroyed by the Archmage in their fight, but he turns out to be fine albeit with physical damage.

Distracted by the Shiny: Does This Remind You of Anything? That ship full of slaves which are revealed to be "bankers found guilty of causing the economic collapse of their kingdom. The Guardians of Eight, an ancient order of dragon people connected to the origins of Kethenecia, the sword of truth, and the Archmage. Their appearances in the comic are pretty scarce, as they seem to be more active behind the scenes nudging the heroes in the direction of a brighter future.

Maikos is apparently Richard's. Parodied, if Krunch's story is to be believed. Early, smaller and smarter dragons apparently tamed humans in an attempt to achieve flight.

This part of the story may have actually been told by Richard, as we find out after a few minutes that he has woken up partway through Krunch's tale. Krunch then says to Richard, "Don't interrupt me. The Kethenecian forces are now doing this as well in order to break through the Legaran forces and attack their portal, but riding on sand dragons.

Dropped a Bridge on Him: Krunch dies off panel. Apparently he was stabbed. Dude Looks Like a Lady: Many people in universe make cracks about Cale looking effeminate.

It's not all that apparent to the reader, though. The New sword of Truth, a couple of swords which have power over fire and ice. Also the Phares Elite Mook: Tah'vraay and Benny and Benny are captured by a quirky group of empire soldiers, Pella swoops down to save them with a bunch of gnomes, and challenges their leader She comments that the soldiers are stronger than their used to, and then one asks her to fill out a performance survey.

Cale dubs Richard " Dick ". Though considering how they're all relocating to Kethenecia and Cale is supposedly king of that city they might end up becoming a rather cosmopolitan kingdom Entitled Bastard: In books 31 and 32, the group has to deal with an entire village of these.

They trick a gullible giant into slavery. Despite this, and having access to relatively prosperous mines, the villagers go to great lengths to complain about being starving poor. Despite earlier unpleasantness, they expect Cale's party to protect them when their village is attacked. And when the village is saved, they ungratefully act entitled to Cale's help rebuilding. The Ending Changes Everything: The last page of "What Lies Beneath the Underneath" shows that one of the dwarves had been working with the imps all along to lure other diggers to their doom.

His apparent tears of sadness were out of frustration at being kill-stealed rather than grief for his father who is never actually seen in the comic. A toddler in Richard's village tears out a soldier's heart and holds it up so he can watch it beat as he dies.

Richard says this when Cale shoots an arrow through his body in order to give the rabbit trapped in a magical bubble an air hole to breath through while Richard is causing havoc with the blue elves. Richard is actually taken down momentarily, probably from the slight shock of Cale going that far to keep the peace.

Played for both laughs and drama. One comic hinted that this is true for Richard, though she might have been a motherly servant. One could argue that Tavor or Richard is this to Cale. It tasted like chocolate. This is a very literal interpretation: She can see dead people with it. Failed a Spot Check: The only possible reason this could lead into this.

Then again, new sights aren't always what they're cracked up to be. The nd strip has a bit of manservice going on. Also, most of Benny's outfits look like they could have been painted on. And then there's the last panel of And there any doubt about this page ? And , where Cale charges into battle wearing nothing but a jockstrap.

Page is probably the only one so far for Richard fans, though a beach scene drawn during a Ustream session may count. Page hints at new relationships. Page appears to confirm it given all the small hints that have been dropped along the way. Quite a bit here and there, like the time our heroes get sent to the past and learn firsthand about how minotaurs were treated, but plays it for laughs.

And again in with the same character. Richard The Smart Guy: Krunch The Big Guy: You think you know me? Krunch comments that it is never a good omen when Gid calls him "father". That is the last time they see one another, as Krunch dies in battle shortly after.

Richard is easily tracked by a trail of "littered corpses" Forgettable Character: Upon his reappearance, the main cast literally spends two entire pages trying to remember who he was. Subverted in that the group was screwing with him to say why they remember him: This is the only reason Richard travels with the group.

Not out of goodwill, or some vague desire to improve the world. He's along for the ample opportunities for mayhem, murder, manslaughter, general cruelty, and evil. But mainly because he's bored.

Krunch's father and Commander Kickass refer to each other as old friends and the latter goes into Antagonist in Mourning mode upon defeating the former.

Richard remains immortal by killing innocents. He is based off the Warlock class from World of Warcraft , who gains power by stealing the souls of their victims.

Project Gutenberg Australia a treasure-trove of literature treasure found hidden with no evidence of ownership. Not being an American, it is with some trepidation that I briefly comment on the U.S. elections. I do follow them closely because Australia, sadly, has a long history of naively and unthinkingly following the whims and directions/requests emanating from the Whitehouse. Latest environmental news, features and updates. Pictures, video and more.