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Saint Mark

Former Delegate
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Everything posted by Saint Mark

  1. I chose typing quickly because I am a very slow typist, but already read pretty fast. 🙂
  2. (This post is a collaboration between @Giovanniland and myself) As Sir Edgar greeted his guests and showed them to the dining room of his city apartment, he looked out of place… a large, graying man with a reddish nose in a rumpled dinner jacket marching through a display of understated elegance. The large dining room was all white and tan marble, modern, and discreetly illuminated. The decor allowed the three walls of windows and the lights of Sanctus Leo far below to be the focus. Indeed, in a way this was not Sir Edgar’s home, but that of his wife, Lady Barcillia. Certainly Sir Edgar was wealthy, but his wealth was earned and new. His construction company had built many of the expressways in this part of Saint Mark. His wife was the one who belonged here. Her position in society had been secured during Imperial times. The sister of the Duke of Austra, glided through the room with grace and confidence. Her beauty and style made her long gold gown look demure. “Welcome to our city apartment,” she smiled. “I’m delighted that we could offer you a little respite on your business trip.” “Thank you for having us,” Aetio replied, representing Tullio, Kamilla and Marko too. “We’re glad once more that you invited us for the dinner as well.” Lady Barcillia touched the hand of each of her guests, smiled and exchanged a few words that demonstrated that she knew something about each of them. Cocktails were passed around and the mood moved from slightly formal to casual and friendly, steered expertly by their hostess. Sir Edgar looked pleased and proud. After the perfect time period, Lady Barcillia motioned to the table. “Won’t you all please be seated? I believe dinner is ready to be served.” “I’ve never tasted Saint Markan food in my life before,” Kamilla commented. “Thanks for this opportunity!” “And I appreciate the friendly atmosphere between all of us,” Tullio and Marko noted. “It’s a lovely evening and a great opportunity to get to know our new partners better,” said Anorson as he took his place. “Indeed,” agreed Valentine. “It’s so kind of you to host us.” Once everyone was seated, the courses were brought, and each was described by their hostess. “The first is an ancient Markan coastal favorite. It’s called Parum Salsa Piscis, a delicately sweet, salty, and tangy taste of tiny fried fish fillets that are marinated in a special preparation made from vinegar, raisins, pine nuts and onions. It is either served alone as a snack or before the other courses as an antipasto. Enjoy!” “I like the taste!”, Tullio uttered, “After all, coming from a coastal city, I’ve always appreciated meals with seafood.” “Giovanniland also has a strong antipasto tradition,” Marko added. “The first course is another traditional favorite of the sea, Nigrum Lolligo Atramento Risotto, tender cuttlefish in a creamy, earthy risotto colored by its dark ink, with saffron and cuttlefish roe.” She smiled at the look on Anorson’s face. “Don’t be put off by the black color. Trust me. It’s delicious!” “More seafood, that’s great!”, Tullio exclaimed. “I see that it’s prized here just as in my home country, after all we’re both in the Darkesian Sea.” “Indeed,” Kamilla agreed. “I’m so pleased you’re enjoying our choices. Saint Mark and Giovanniland do indeed have a lot in common,” answered Lady Barcillia. “Now we move from the sea to the air with duck breast in Pevarada sauce with apple, grape, onion, and mustard. This recipe is special to me as it was first developed by one of my ancestors. Frui!” “Thank you for the excellent dinner so far,” Aetio expressed, the other Giovannilandians nodding in approval. He thinks that this is his favorite from all the dishes tasted by then. “The final course before our sweets is an homage to my husband’s family in the north. It is lamb with artichoke, cocoa, and hazelnuts. Our cook makes the skin so deliciously crispy, while keeping the lamb tender and moist.” “Interesting origin, I hope to be able to visit northern Saint Mark one day as well,” Kamilla thought. “I hear it’s also fairly mountainous just like my native northern Andolia.” “It is!” Sir Edgar smiled, always delighted to talk about the north he missed. “The air is clean and crisp, and sheep cover the green hills below the mountains.” “We end our little repast with another traditional Markan dish, Fructus Crepito. It is orange and star anise crème brulée with rosemary crème fraîche.” “These are five great dishes and I’ve very much enjoyed tasting them,” Tullio applauded. “My favorite is the Nigrum Lolligo Atramento Risotto!” “Of course it’d be,” Marko joked, knowing his boss’ love for seafood. “As for myself, the Parum Salsa Piscis and Fructus Crepito tasted quite well,” he stated. “As I mentioned before, the duck breast in Pevarada sauce is my favorite, although I also liked the dessert,” Aetio remarked. And last but not least, Kamilla mentioned her appreciation of the lamb with artichoke, cocoa, and hazelnuts, although in the end all of the guests agreed that the entire dinner was excellent and thanked the hosts. Their hosts very much appreciated the praise. Everyone was in excellent spirits as they moved to the library for drinks and more conversation. Several hours later, business details had been arranged and friendships begun. The evening was a success on all accounts.
  3. Valentine, and his two star drivers, Ari and Celerio, sat on one side of the polished maple table, across from Mario Ingenio, Chief Engineer for Vola Aurum. Ingenio's soft voice and bland countenance might make someone who didn't know better discount him as ordinary. He was anything but. Ingenio had finished his Ph.D. in Mechanical Engineering by the age of 22, had won the Crown Award for Automotive Engineering the year later, and became Vola Aurum's Chief Engineer the year after that ... the youngest in its history by a decade. "Gentlemen," he began. "My design was not selected to be among those available for the Esferos races. I understand why it might not have had a broader appeal. It was designed with your driving talents in mind. The engines that were selected are still excellent, however, and you must now choose which will bring you victory. The Velite 1420 is the one most similar to the one I had designed. It has a lot of power pushing an ultra-light machine. This car will fly like a rocket (Celerio grinned), but most drivers would find it difficult to control. It would be a magic weapon in your hands, though, Ari. You'd be able to tame it." "On the other hand, this might not be the best choice for you, Celerio. I know it's what you want, but you might be too aggressive for this one. I think the Y2J HITC might be more suited to you. It has plenty of power, but its added weight will help to keep you grounded (Celerio's face fell). Your driving style could really pull the best performance out of this one." Valentine looked at his drivers. "We can only choose one engine, boys. Which will it be?" Celerio responded quickly. "Ari will want to choose the Y2J to keep me safe, but no way! The Velite sounds hot! We have to go with that. I'll be fine and we all know what Ari can do with it." Interrupting Ari's objection, Ingenio added, "That may be our best option, and to keep us on the track (looking directly at Celerio) we can choose a stickier tire. If it's going to be the Velite, I suggest the Giovagoma. It may not have the strongest grip, but it is pretty strong, and definitely more reliable. We can't have the wheels popping like they did at Kirchfield last year." "It's agreed then," said Valentine while he pushed away from the table, "we'll go all Gio this year." Summary for UA: Drivers: Ari Dasher, Celerio Dasher Engine: Velite 1420 Tire: Giovagoma
  4. The Saint Mark Vola Aurum Charlotte Hudson (Reporter for Motor Monthly) : While Vola Aurum did decide to include both of you on its Esferos F1 team, there was some initial uncertainty, was there not? Celerio Dasher : Well, Charlotte, they had to keep the pre-race interest up, didn't they? Anyone, such as yourself, with any real knowledge of racing, knew we would be the ones Vola would race all along, right? Charlotte : My sources tell me that this time, the powers-that-be at Vola Aurum seriously considered a driver outside of Saint Mark, one with a more conservative approach. Celerio : Now just a minute, as I said, that was only tossed about to gin up some interest. Ari Dasher : Even if there was a bit more to it than that, both Celerio and I are the final choices of team Vola Aurum. We look forward to racing against some of the best in Esferos and to besting some challenging new courses.
  5. Vola Aurum drivers, Celerio Dasher(left) and Ari Dasher(right) Celerio Dasher entered the living room of the apartment he shared with his twin brother, Ari, and plopped down on the brown leather sofa, toweling his wet blond hair. Ari was seated on the matching recliner, leaning over his laptop. Although they were twins, they were anything but identical. Ari Dasher, age 28, is probably the most technically gifted driver in Aura, and possibly the world. There doesn’t seem to be a turn or grade that he can’t handle. He was born for the Lux Litore, where he has spent most of his time since he began racing at the age of 18. If he has a flaw, it is in his almost gentlemanly approach to his competitors, making him sometimes lose ground on the straightaway. Given his signature style and black hair and blue eyes, he seems to be a negative image of his twin brother, Celerio. Although certainly not reckless, the blond-haired, brown-eyed Celerio Dasher, exhibits little of the technical aptitude of his twin brother, preferring instead to aggressively push his way past his competition. Although quite familiar with the Lux Litore, he has spent much more time than his brother racing around the world. If a course has a long, straight section, chances are he’ll create the space needed to finish first. The brothers are the top two drivers for The Saint Mark Vola Aurum. This F1 racing team is the oldest and most prestigious in Saint Mark, having been founded in 1346 by Vola Automotive to showcase their elite sportscars. They were an early force for organizing F1 racing in Saint Mark and have gone on to win many championships. Their first driver was the legendary Claudio Aragretto, father of Valentine Aragretto, the team's current captain and racing guru. "What's the word, Ari?" questioned Celerio as he tossed the towel on the floor. "Will we be driving Mario's engine?" Ari, his eyes still fixed on his screen, answered, "Celerio, we don't even know if we'll be chosen to race for Vola yet ... but no, it looks like his engine wasn't selected. There are some good choices, though." "Dude, don't be ridiculous, of course Vola will pick us. We're the best they've got. It's too bad we won't be racing Mario's engine. That would've been cool. What've they got?" Celerio asked, raising his head from the sofa's arm and looking toward his brother. "There's a pretty decent variety from which to choose," answered Ari; "a full range of power, reliability, and load. I'm sure Val will want to set up a meeting with Mario to discuss the team's options." "You mean to discuss our options, brother," grinned Celerio. "You know it'll be us!"
  6. Even though I'm not at all athletic, I picked the sport one because this would mean I'd be in great shape, and I could still listen to music.
  7. We can leave it as former del. On the Forum, it doesn't really matter.
  8. Gio is doing a terrific job as Speaker!
  9. On the last Thursday of Autism Awareness Month in The West Pacific, we present to you a Word Find, created by our own Darkesia, of remarkable individuals who are either known to have been on the spectrum or suspected to have been so. Anyone who posts their correctly completed Word Finds in this thread will qualify for a participation coin! Have fun! ASD Word Find.pdf
  10. As part of The West Pacific's month-long recognition of Autism Spectrum Disorder, we present three essays from our friends on the spectrum. Wymondham So, I suppose I should start by telling you all about myself. I’m Wymondham, Vizier of CA in Osiris, NSToday PR Director and Court Justice in Lazarus. But, I’m not here to talk about that. I was diagnosed with High Functioning Aspergers at age 13 and that helped explain a lot to me. However, to explain the rest of my story, we need to go back further to when I first started primary school aged 4. I had always found making friends difficult and the same was true at Primary school, I made 2 or 3 friends and was very close to all of them. I quickly found that, although I excelled at the work, I would misinterpret the teachers instructions and was often told off despite not really knowing what I had done wrong. When I got to the older years though I had an excellent teacher who seemed to really understand me and I cannot thank her enough for the ways she helped me. Whether it was from giving me instructions that I could follow and easily understand, to stretching me in terms of work difficulty by moving me up a year, which is an arrangement that I have continued to this day. Moving up to High School was difficult for me. I struggled very much to make friends and was bullied until the summer of last year. Without a diagnosis my teachers refused to make allowances for me. I got into a very heated row with my Head of House when he refused to give me some space to calm down following a fracas with another boy who had been mocking me because of my appearance. I’ve always struggled with expressing my feelings and, as such can often find opening up to people rather difficult. I was diagnosed aged 13 and it helped me understand a lot about myself. Suddenly certain things I didn’t understand why I did suddenly became a lot clearer and it has become a lot easier to develop strategies to control my often explosive anger. Routines are a major part of my day and since getting my diagnosis people have certainly been a lot more accepting off it. For example, when I go on discord, I will always say good morning to servers in a certain order: a friends personal discord server, followed by Osiris, then my two family servers, then Thalassia and finally Karma. Same goes for saying goodnight in PMs, I say goodnight to Rigel first and Altino last. I will have lunch at a certain time every day, go for my walk at precisely 2PM. Therefore, disruptions to my routine such as the Coronavirus can be extremely disorientating, I go to a boarding school which I find extremely useful due to the routine. Going home has required a readjustment to my routine and for the first week I was very very confused until I adjusted to the new normal. The internet and NS have been so useful for me as someone with Aspergers syndrome. It has given me the opportunity to interact with people without having to read facial expressions, which are the bane of my social existence - as a Brit I have grown up around Sarcasm so do not find that as difficult to deal with as other people with Aspergers. It has enabled me to meet people like Altino, Rigel, Halo, Rachael and Sho who have all helped me so much with my other mental health struggles which my tendency to hyperfocus does not exactly aid. So yeah, that’s me and Aspergers. If you’ve got any questions TG me or shoot me a discord PM (Wymondham#3478) Dilber As a kid, I always was a little different. I skipped speaking individual words and went straight to sentences. My teachers told my parents I was far behind on reading, and that I had major learning disorders until all of a sudden, I could read paragraphs and was years ahead of my class. When I was four years old, I was playing with a friend and he teased me mercilessly. Instead of getting angry at the time, I waited a day, and then bit his finger to the bone. My favorite book to read for years was volume A of the encyclopedia. I received my initial diagnosis back when Aspergers was just added to the DSM. My mom had read up about it, and was pretty sure I had it. The psych, however, didn’t believe that it was a real disorder. In the end, I was diagnosed with ADHD, Dysgraphia, and Non-verbal learning disorder. I started therapy at 4 years old. I don’t remember much of my early therapy, but one of the things I do remember was my writing therapist giving up on me. I went to a writing therapist for four years, but by second grade I was using a laptop because the therapist didn’t know how to improve my motor skills. I didn’t have a good experience with therapy until I was 8 years old, and we’d moved to a different city. I got a fresh start with a new therapist that I would end up seeing for the next thirteen years. Through middle school, I went to therapy 2-3 times a week. I lacked very basic social skills and was unable to read people at all. I was very young for my grade (made the cutoff for being in that grade by 2 days), and then skipped 4th grade. My peers were 2-3 years older than me, and I just didn’t know how to interact with them. Therapy was a very important part of my life and helped me learn how to function. I was regularly bullied by some of the kids, and therapy helped me learn coping skills, and how to handle people. I was very lucky to have incredibly supportive parents. Therapy also taught me how to connect with my father. We also conflicted when I was young, because he had issues understanding my actions. I had a tendency to use my “logic” which no one else could understand where I came to the conclusion that something needed to be done. The most common therapy that I did as a kid was “play” therapy. The therapist and I would talk and play games, and he’d indulge all the rules changes I would make to the game. This allowed me to open up more, and really helped me learn how to communicate. Over time, I learned how to read body language better, while also getting really good at the made up version of connect 4 that we used to play. I ended up repeating 8th grade, not for academic reasons but because I would have been going into high school as a 12 year old, and that would have made the bullying worse. When I was 14 or 15, my psych admitted that I most likely had Asperger’s, but it wasn’t worth changing my diagnosis because it would mess with all the educational plans I had at school. I would have been forced into special education classes, and taken out of my honors classes, and it would have really been detrimental to my social life that I’d finally managed to start developing. In middle school and ninth grade, I always had a very small circle of friends but I started blossoming in tenth grade when I joined the school jazz band. Music helped me connect with people, and I was able to form close attachments with friends. I still was the “weird” kid, but all of us were a little bit weird and that taught me it was ok. Making friends was the next important step in development for me. Back in middle school, I thought it was “cool” to sit by myself because it would impress the girls. I wasn’t any smoother in high school, but navigating social groups and bonds helped set me up for the learning how to become a functional adult. This was also around the time I got into Nationstates. Nationstates was great because on the internet you could be anyone, and no one had to know your struggles if you didn’t want them to. Nationstates taught me a lot about online communication at the same time I was really learning how to interact with people in-person. The next step for me was in college when I got into Improvisational Comedy. One of my long running-struggles was a massive need for “structure”. Without structure, I was unable to operate and basically shut down. Improv taught me how to play around with-in the rules, before later learning how to break them. This was a big improvement over me as a kid, where I once tattled on my cousin for buying me ice cream when my mom told her not to get it for me because I knew I broke the rule and it wasn’t right. I’m now a “slightly weird” adult. I had a conversation with a former co-worker that told me that when I was hired, they thought I was going to be incredibly annoying. I had a tendency to want to talk while they were doing work and wouldn’t understand their body language that they wanted me to back off. This was a really important learning for me, and I’ve told my co-workers to straight up tell me “hey, I need to do stuff.” Therapy helped me learn how to read people, but when I get excited I still run into issues. I hyper-focus on this, and I get really excited about stupid things and then explain it to my poor wife. I got really into smart home technology, and now I own three smart ceiling fans. It’s interesting to think of what I would have been like without years of work. When people think of the spectrum, they think of what they’ve seen in movies. Not everyone needs to live in a group home, but if they do that’s ok. We all cope and learn to do things different ways. My business partner was diagnosed with Autism as an adult, and it made a lot of things in his life “click”. We have discussions because sometimes it feels like we’re on opposite ends of the spectrum in terms of our preferences to do things, but because our brains are different that “normal” people we can understand each other better. Normal is a relative concept. Most people have no idea that my friend or I are on the spectrum, and many would be surprised to find out. There is a stigma attached to the spectrum that needs to be cleared up. People on the spectrum can be just as unique from each other as they are to neurotypical brains. If you know someone with autism, just talk to them about it. Ask about their preferences or why they said something. Be gentle, be kind, and be understanding. This doesn’t mean be a pushover. Being on the spectrum is not a license to be an asshole, and I thank my parents, friends, and coworkers for giving me boundaries. Awareness of the spectrum is key for the future. There’s a whole gap between the public perception of “group home” or “rain man”. Awareness is really important, and I’m glad that people are starting to learn more. Ithobbit I think a lot has been written by people close to Autism, quite a number of articles, studies, notes and even projects that heralded new insight as to what Autism (and the spectrum) is. Not so much (or at least published in great numbers or popular in nature) has been written by the autistic to tell their part. The new found use for Social media and Social networking has shifted the balance here, everyone can get a platform to shed light on the things close to their hearts and to be able to express themselves somewhat. We know what the DSM says about Autism: "Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD), as defined by the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual Fifth Edition of the American Psychiatric Association (DSM 5)*, is a complex developmental disorder associated with symptoms that include "persistent deficits in social communication and social interaction across multiple contexts" and "restricted, repetitive patterns of behavior, interests, or activities." But, from the point of view of someone in the spectrum, what does that really mean? To me, being on what used to be called Asperger’s and now is just a part of the ASD, it means that certain things are FAR more important or worthy of attention than others. That I’ll settle in and be comfortable with certain tasks and situations, while being absolutely unable to cope with others, and for each one of us, these are different. My son, also on the spectrum will tirelessly research, learn and go on to teach if allowed anything and everything he can about video editing, cinema and movies. He’s dedicated dozens of hours to analyzing the differences in DVD (or BluRay) menu options between different versions of a movie, and will gladly share everything he knows about it if you just sit down “for a minute”. Some of us are very prone to bouts of “self isolation”, alone playtime, going into closets, under beds, or dark places. Others are hyper and love moving about and doing all sorts of physical activity, but one major thing we have in common is that social “awkwardness” that prevails over most of our interactions; be it that we miss social cues, we take things at face value, or simply, miss absolutely anything relating to sarcasm or innuendo because we only really register the words, not the nuances. Overall it makes daily things hard. People may take advantage of it (we trust a lot) or be afraid of our aloofness or possibly even they fear that we may become irate “over nothing”; quick hint here, very rarely it’s over nothing. We on the spectrum obsess easily, that’s a great gift for learning, but we also don’t let things go as fast as others. Someone making fun of you stays, sometimes even for years, which lends itself for some really hard times when forgiving a slight. Eating is another “fun” time. Some of us have issues with textures, some foods that are absolutely enjoyable by most, are actually retch producing and we need to work around that daily. It all is variable, and some people seem very far removed from “neurotypical” while others are far more functional, but sometimes none of us get a chance to show how or why. I’ve taken my son out of more schools than I care to admit, we’ve tried different systems, education patterns, teachers and methods, and only some work, and not all the time. We’ve had parents force our kid out of the classroom because they are afraid that their children may miss classes, have a hard time, or, in the worst cases “catch something”. It’s been 11 years of schooling, Jr has moved to seventh grade now, he’s moved out of the city and into a more rural environment, people are somehow more open there, teachers try to explore different ways, and the fact that there is more space and nature, has brought anxiety levels down on all of us. Not everyone is this lucky, we had a choice, we were able to move him to a place where people were willing to not just shy away, but reach out; in times like this, don’t we need a bit more of reaching out, albeit metaphorically if not actually?
  11. There are so many people I could thank here. TWP is filled to overflowing with good people. I really am blessed to have been "born" in this region. So one person .... hmmm ... I think I would like to thank @Big Bad Badger. When I was a noob, he was the TWPAF Commander and tried to teach me raiding. I stunk at that, but he saw potential in me in other ways and stuck with me, mentoring me when he became delegate and including me in his plans. In addition to helping me personally in NS, he has been a huge asset to the region. His reforms began our TWP renaissance. Even after his delegacy, he has continued to be active and supportive. Thanks, Badger!
  12. I can't vote on this one. I enjoy both of them equally.
  13. Definitely dogs ... no question. Dogs love you. Cars are in it for the food.
  14. Welcome to the West (Best) Pacific!
  15. Please allow all those masked as Peers to be able to post in The Hall of Peers. Thanks!
  16. It was supposed to have allowed Peers to post there. I'll make a request. Thanks for pointing this out, West. As for activity in The Hall of Peers, Bran asked us to think of a project we would like to consider and my idea involves the Peers!
  17. Your application is accepted. Please ping me on Discord and I will mask you there so you can familiarize yourself with our Guide.
  18. Your application is accepted. Welcome! I will orient you and assign you a region sometime this week. In the meantime, please read the helpful guide pinned in the Discord FA channel.
  19. Season's Greetings to our friends in Wintreath!
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