What is handicap betting? Handicap betting explained

Festival Games and Contests

Festivals should be an important part of life in most civilizations. Having a list of contests from the mundane such as Archery Tournaments and Caber Tosses to Bardic storytelling contests, Animal Contests and contests for spellcasters
  1. Archery Contest
  2. Arm Wrestling Tournament
  3. Food Eating Contest
  4. Bull Riding
  5. Caber Toss
  6. Boxing Tournament
  7. Animal Companion/Familiar Show
  8. Greased Goose Grabbing
  9. Scary Face Contest
  10. Dance Contest/Dance Off
  11. Game of Luck: This is a revolving table of covered items (normally food or drinks). You spin the table and choose one item at random. Its normally something that looks or smells horrible (for food) or has the potential to taste horrible (for drink). If you consume the item, the bottom of the plate or glass will list a prize. If you vomit, you forfeit the prize.
  12. Guess what you ate while blindfolded.
  13. ScavengeTreasure Hunt
  14. Race of Race: You have several different animals/people who are obscured from the chest down. People place bets on who will win, but when the race starts, they'll find out each creature has a 'handicap'. A horse who everyone bet on may have only had 3 legs, the man may have had his legs tied together and the sleeping dog may have been a specially trained running dog. Nobody knows until the race begins.
  15. Magician's Duel: A 'Wizard' will challenge the town to perform a trick he cannot explain. If he is bamboozled, then he will hand over some kind of magical prize or gift. Actual arcane tricks as well as sleight of hand are both allowed, so you could attempt to wow him with a sheer force of power or get him to pick a card like our own mundane magic. A fun day out for all.
  16. Kok Boru
  17. Pacu jawi
  18. Calcio Storico
  19. Free-diving competition - enchantments remove water-breathing ability.
  20. Gladiatorial Cooking competitions - your team must defeat, harvest, and prepare various monstrosities and serve them to a panel of expert chefs and a "celebrity" judge.
  21. Obstacle course of doom: sponsored by the continent's greatest security experts and trap-makers, this gruesome competition requires successfully navigating mini-puzzle rooms, while dodging traps, and performing feats of athleticism. Using divination magic, this is the closest most commoners ever get to the dangers of a real dungeon.
  22. Running & Taming of the Aurochs - Orcish tradition involving the release of a large herd of Aurochs. The participants must flee through the city to the central arena where they attempt bareback ride the largest & fiercest beasts.
  23. Stacking - Some sort of challenge involving the party climbing and balancing atop on another. Maybe add in an IRL dice-stacking element.
  24. JesteComedy stage (Plenty of tomatoes available)
  25. Jacob's Ladder Climb
  26. Low-wire artistic juggling competition
  27. The Great Fox Hunt
  28. Dart Throwing
  29. Axe Throwing
  30. Jousting
  31. Singing Contest
  32. Riddle Competition
  33. Largest Vegetable/Fruit Growing Competition
  34. Horse Race
  35. Swine/Animal Catching
  36. Beauty Pageant
  37. Hunting Competition
  38. Pin the Tail on the Dragon
  39. Drinking Contest
  40. Poetry Contest
  41. Paining Contest
  42. Sculpture Contest
  43. Pottery Contest
  44. Sand Castle/Sand Sculpture
  45. Ice Sculpting
  46. Pulled Rickshaw Racing
  47. Race While Impeded: ball & chain attached to one leg / legs tied / 3 leg race / have to pick up & carry a weight at each check point in the race / while carrying another person on your back / while dragging a heavy weight by a rope / while holding & egg on a spoon
  48. Hunted: contestant wears a color marking them as the hunted. Hunted must make their way through a city or other terrain to try an reach the “flag”. Guards are posted all throughout the area and are trying to capture the hunted.
  49. Chess/Checks/Go
  50. Oware
  51. Best Beard/Mustache competition.
  52. Dragonchess boxing. Consisting of 11 alternating rounds of chess and boxing, you can win with either a knockout, a checkmate, or a judge’s decision.
  53. Quidditch
  54. Beer Mile or Pastry 5K. The participants have a drink of beer or tasty treat before they start, and before each subsequent lap of the track, before racing (or staggering) to the finish line
  55. Blindfolded duck grabbing
  56. The floor is larva for the whole town
  57. How long can the town stay silent?
  58. Cheese rolling
  59. Carrying flaming barrels of tar through the town
  60. 3-legged race
  61. egg-and-spoon race throughout the town.
  62. Rugby/Football Game
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The Old Gods Of The Forest (Part 1)

October 2nd
The hospital visits are still difficult. Even before all of this, I hated the sterile environments and the mechanical sounds of the machines. Seeing Matthew in that bed though… bald, emaciated, dying… God…
I’ve seen a lot of death. I’ve seen the worst of people. As a homicide detective, that’s just part of the job. But cancer seems to be a much crueler death than murder. With murder there is motive and purpose. What motive does cancer have? What purpose does it serve? There is no answer. It is just a cruel, apathetic decay that slowly eats away the best parts of a person until they are nothing but a husk. The worst part is that sometimes it leaves its victims with just enough hope to fight on until the bitter end… I’m not sure who suffers worse for that. The condemned or the ones who love them.
Matthew had been my friend for as long as I could remember. He was always by my side, no matter what. I suppose I knew how he felt about me. I’d be lying if I said I never felt the same, but I didn't want to indulge. I didn’t know what a relationship with Matthew would bring. I thought it would have changed the way things were. There would be different expectations. He would need something more from me, something I didn’t know I could give him. I convinced myself that he would have been happier with someone else. Someone who could have loved him the way he deserved to be loved… Someone who wasn’t just using him like I was.

How many times did I show up at his apartment, drunk and looking for an escape? He never once refused me, always welcoming me as I told him about the horrible things I had seen. When I fell into his arms, kissing him and coaxing him into his bedroom, he never once stopped me. He must have known I’d be gone as soon as we were done… I always was. But he never said no. I didn’t deserve him and now at the end, all I could do was try to make up for lost time. And I could barely even do that.

When I saw him last night, he lay half awake in his hospital bed. He looked like a different man. His voice was hoarse. His hair was gone. Cancer had taken everything away from him… but I still loved him. His eyes opened when he saw me. The corners of his mouth raised in a sad smile.
“Hey, Karen…” He said. The sound of his voice nearly broke me. But I sat by his bed and held his hand. “You shouldn’t be here…”
“You’d have been there for me.” I replied. He just smiled softly, and looked out of his window, into the courtyard of the hospice. We talked for a while about anything but the cancer. He could barely form the words and watching him try was one of the hardest things I have ever done. If I could have spent the day there, I would have… but unfortunately, I did not have the luxury of time.
“I’ll come back and see you soon, okay?” I promised him.
“Don’t.” Matthew said. He meant it, “I don’t want to be remembered like this…”
“You won’t be.” I promised him. I stood up from my chair and leaned down to kiss his forehead. “I love you.”
There was something in his eyes when I said that… He smiled at me, ever so slightly.
“I love you too...”
I squeezed his hand before I left him… and I promised myself I would not be away for long.
I don’t know if this is going to work. Logically, it shouldn’t. But I’m at the end of my rope. I only hope that Matthew can hold out a little bit longer, at least until I get back. If this works then it won’t be a problem. But if not… At least I said what I had to.

The drive up to the National Park was long and tedious. I took very few breaks, as I did not want to waste any time. I drove through the night. I’d booked some time away from work. I had no major outstanding cases and unsure of how much time this would take, I’d taken care to request a few weeks away from work. I’d made my preparations accordingly. It was hard to say just how long I’d be alone in the wilderness. I brought enough dried food to last me a few weeks, a water bottle that I could refill. I also brought some metal cookware, basic toiletries, a tent, a sleeping bag, two bottles of whisky and my flask among other things. As a precaution, I made sure to bring a pistol. Not my service weapon. This was one that I owned independent of my work. The woods could be dangerous, and I wanted to take no risks.

The map I’d been provided led me deep into the park, down a dirt road that led to what should have been an empty clearing. I was expecting to be alone. But the sight of other cars took me by surprise. There were three of them, and the occupants had clearly been there for a little while. A glance at them confirmed them to be backpackers, just like I was. Two of them seemed to have a fire going. The third was off by himself. I parked my car away from all of them before I got out. I wasn’t interested in socializing. All I wanted was to make one last check of my supplies to make sure everything was in order. Then I would head out before I wasted too much daylight.
Looking back at the other campers, I noticed that the two by the fire were approaching me. I initially thought they were husband and wife, but the more I looked at them, the less certain I was of that. If they were married, they wouldn't have come in two separate vehicles. I tried not to theorize as to the nature of their relationship. That wasn’t what I was there for. I caught the third camper looking at me. We made eye contact only briefly, but it didn’t linger.
“Well, well, well! Looks like we’ve got another new face!” One of the two approaching campers said. She was a woman in her mid twenties. She had a petite build, pale skin and black hair. Her smile was wide, toothy and clearly practiced. Looking into her green eyes, I immediately picked up on the fact that she was studying me.
“I guess you’re here for the backpacking hike too, huh?”
“I wasn’t aware it was a formal event.” I said. The Woman just kept smiling.
“Yeah, well neither of us were I’m guessing. Still, kinda a good thing we found each other, right? I’m Candice, it’s nice to meet you Miss…?”
“Faraday.” I replied. Candice had offered me a hand to shake and I begrudgingly shook it.
“Just Faraday?” She asked, never once dropping her smile.
“Karen Faraday.”
“Well it's nice to meet you, Karen. I’m guessing you haven’t met my friend Tanner here either.”
The man shook my hand next. He was a tall man with a large upper torso and a bushy beard. His arms seemed almost disproportionately long compared to his body. I’d noticed he had a slight limp as he’d approached me.
“Pleased to meet you.” He said softly. “Tanner Hitchcock.”
I looked him in the eye, studying his face. That name sounded familiar.
“Nice to meet you too.” I said.
Tanner pulled back and stuffed his hands into his pockets as Candice resumed her control over the conversation.
“Anyways when I ran into Tanner here, we got to talking. Since it’s a long hike and arguably not all that safe out there, we should probably travel together, right? Might not be a bad idea!”
“It’s not.” I said, “Although it begs the question of what you’re doing out here alone.”
Candice’s smile faltered for a moment.
“Oh, well. Honestly I just love being out in nature.” She said. Her pale, pasty complexion told me otherwise. “It’s really calming, y’know? I wasn’t planning to go that far, but with Tanner, our other friend over there and you, we could probably make a hell of a trip out of it.”

As a homicide detective, people lied to me every day. But I could tell that it came naturally to Candice. Glancing at Tanner, I suspected that he had no idea of what Candice was up to. Granted, I wasn’t entirely sure either although I had my suspicions. Still, Candice wasn’t wrong. It would be safer to travel as a group for the time being. There were no obvious weapons concealed on her person. But my gun was holstered on my thigh. I was confident that if push came to shove, I could shoot Candice and be on my way without much hassle.
“You’re right.” I said, “I suppose it would be nice to get a little more use out of this backpack. Although we should head out soon if we’re going to do it today. It’s almost noon, so we have about seven more hours of daylight.”
“That’s true.” Tanner said, “Candice, you wanna do one last check, make sure we’re not forgetting anything?”
“Oh, sure thing. You should go and let that man over there know we’re headed out soon then! Don’t worry. I’ll watch your stuff. See you in a bit, Karen.”
Candice waved at me before turning to walk back to her car. Tanner lingered around me for a moment longer.
“I take it you’re not with that guy over there?” He asked, gesturing to the other man.
“No.” I replied as I went back to checking my backpack. “I assume he’s coming with us?”
“Says he is.” Tanner shrugged, “Didn’t catch his name though. Well… plenty of time for that on the trail, right?”
He smiled sheepishly before going to follow Candice back to his car. I watched him go, then looked at the other man in the clearing. He looked to be packed up and ready to head out. I reached for my flask and took a pull on it. Since I was no longer driving, there was no need to hold off on it any longer and if I was going to have to spend time around the likes of Candice, I could use the liquor.
My flask was jammed into my pocket before I shouldered my backpack and locked my car before approaching him. The weight of the pack wasn’t too heavy, but it felt awkward.
“Are you here for the hike too?” I asked. I’m not sure what made me want to talk to him. Perhaps I just wanted to get a read on him, or perhaps it was just the fact that he wasn’t Candice or Tanner and I hadn’t particularly cared for either of them. If we were going to be hiking in a group, I wanted to know who I was dealing with.
The man looked at me. He had a steely expression and a clean shaven face. His black hair was messy and his green eyes had a familiar intensity to them. He wore a loose flannel shirt, but I could see a small silver knife on a chain around his neck. It was hard to tell if it was decorative or not. There was a certain tension in his posture. He recoiled a bit when I’d spoken. I recognized a frightened man when I saw one.
“Yeah.” He said softly, “I’m here for the hike…” He glanced over at Tanner and Candice, “I wasn’t expecting to run into other people here. This spot seemed pretty secluded.”
“Neither was I” I replied. From his tone, I got the impression that he hadn’t been a fan of Candice and Tanner either. “I suppose we can make the most of it though. The company might be nice…”
“I don’t do well with company.” The man said, “Sorry. I should introduce myself… I’m David. David Van De Graff.”
“Karen Faraday.” I replied. I was tempted to ask what brought him out that way, but I already knew the answer. Part of it at least. The part that mattered, and what I didn’t know was his business and his alone.
“Do you hike much, Karen?”
“On occasion but not usually so late in the season. I haven’t been backpacking in a few years. But I thought this would be a nice spot to pick it back up again.”
He scoffed.
“Yeah. Hell of a spot.” He murmured. Candice and Tanner were approaching us again, both looked ready to go.
“Well, looks like no one else is coming!” Tanner said cheerfully. “Think we should head out?”
“Were you expecting other people?” I asked. Tanners smile faltered a little.
“No… Not really.” He said, “Seems like a popular spot today though.”
I nodded in agreement before looking over to the treeline before us.

There was no visible trail cutting into the forest. The green, red and gold wall of trees waited beckoned to us with no clear path forwards. I could sense the others looking at it too, and I wondered if any of them knew where to start. A deep breath before the plunge… My legs moved me forwards, bringing me to the edge of the forest. I passed through the pale birch trees, and I could hear the other three moving behind me. The hike had begun.

The forest seemed peaceful. There was the occasional chattering of birds of the rustle of a small animal fleeing through the underbrush. Tanner and Candice seemed to end up ahead of me, while I found myself walking beside David. For the first hour, we didn’t speak much. Tanner whistled a happy tune as Candice pushed on ahead as if she was expecting to find something. When one of us finally broke the silence, I was surprised to hear that it was David.
“So. None of us are going to say it, huh?”
“Say what?” Tanner asked, briefly looking back at him.
“Well, it’s a little odd, isn’t it?” David asked. “All of us coming here alone and running into each other. This isn’t a regular trail you know.”
“What can I say? I like the thrill of it.” Tanner said. “What about you, Candice?”
“Hm? Yeah. Great outdoors and all that.” She said. I didn’t bother chiming in. The others were clearly adamant that they deny the obvious and I wasn’t going to dispel the illusion without good reason.
“You two get out a lot, do you?” David asked.
“From time to time.” said Tanner. “What about you?”
“You could say I’m something of an outdoorsman.”
I zoned out from listening to David grill Tanner, and instead focused on the sounds of the forest around us. The trees stood tall as we made our way between them and the terrain beneath our feet was uneven. I thought about reaching for my flask but I didn’t want to drain it too quickly. I only had two bottles, and I didn’t know how long we’d be out there. Going through it all too quickly would be a mistake and I didn’t want my drinking to draw any unnecessary attention. The last thing I needed was an intervention from a bunch of strangers… or worse. For them to see it as some sort of weakness. While David was the only one with a visible weapon, my new companions could have held all sorts of surprises. Candice was clearly a liar, Tanner was either stupid or very good at pretending he was and I had yet to get a read on David.

The day went by quickly, and I noticed the sky slowly getting darker as we continued onwards. There was a familiar exhaustion in my legs, but I didn’t ask for a rest. We’d likely be making camp soon and the more ground we covered before then, the better. The terrain was getting rockier. We’d started up a slight incline some time ago and it wasn’t letting up. I could see Tanner slowing down a little. His limp had gotten more pronounced, but he kept a steady pace. He had adopted a long stick as a hiking pole, and it seemed to cover his handicap.
I looked around, taking in the world around me and paused for a moment when I spotted a shape atop a small rock formation. The Wolf was a good fifty feet away, and it stood stock still as it observed us. I should have expected to see some wildlife, but the sudden sight of a wild wolf put me on edge.
“Noticed him, did you?” David asked me, and I looked back at him. He’d stopped beside me and was staring at the distant wolf. It turned and disappeared behind the rocks.
“He and his friends have been following us for the past hour or so.” He said, “I wouldn’t worry about it. They’re just curious. We’re in their territory. Chances are they’ll keep their distance.”
“You seem sure about that.” I said.
“I’ve had some experience with wolves.” He replied, “They’re not so bad when you get to know them. Trust me.”
He started moving again, closing the distance between Tanner and Candice. They hadn’t bothered stopping for us and I reluctantly followed him.

We stopped beside a small lake and made camp for the night there. I had been planning on a light supper of a dehydrated meal and some nuts, but Tanner seemed to have other plans. He’d brought a pack of hot dogs that he was willing to share, and we cooked them over the open fire. Though he had no buns or toppings, the sight of them and my hunger had made it impossible to say no. Candice chipped in with a bottle of vodka she’d brought. I recognized the brand. The bottle was in the shape of a skull. I thought it was an unnecessarily cumbersome thing to pack… but I didn’t argue when she'd offered to share.
Whatever tension had been felt throughout the day melted away quickly once food and alcohol got involved. Even I let my guard slip a little.
“Hey, anyone know any good campfire stories?” Tanner asked. It was later in the night and there were no immediate replies. But Tanners enthusiasm wasn’t quelled.
“No, huh? Okay, well, I think I’ve got one. Any of you guys ever hear about The Old Gods of the Forest?”
I looked up at him. In the firelight, I could see that Candice and David had done the same. Tanners eyes darted between each of us.
“I don’t think I have.” Candice said softly. Her tone was different than before. More interested.
“Well, it’s not a story that you hear all that often.” Tanner admitted. “But supposedly, back when the British came and settled this place, the Native tribes told them not to enter these woods. They said there was something out here. Something very old and very sacred to them. Now, the British didn’t buy it. They dismissed it as just a bunch of pagan superstition and history ran its course… But those stories still got to a few people who wanted to see for themselves. A lot of those people have gone into the woods over the centuries and a lot of them have never returned. Most of those who came back and said that there was nothing out here. But according to the legends, a few came back and said something else entirely… The stories are a bit divided on exactly what they found. But the consensus is that something very old lives in these woods. Older than the Natives. Older than humanity itself. Gods.” The firelight danced across Tanners face. No one else spoke as he continued his story. “According to those survivors, if you can find your way into the deepest parts of these woods then you may just be granted an audience with the Old Gods of the Forest and if you can impress them, then they will reward you. They will grant you one boon. Anything your heart desires. Wealth, power, love. All you have to do is ask.”
In the light of the fire, I could see Tanners eyes scanning all of us carefully. But none of us said a word. None of us save for David.
“You forgot the part about the full moon.” He said, and Tanner looked over at him.
“Huh?”
“The full moon. The stories said that the Old Gods of the Forest only ever came out during the full moon.”
I caught Candice’s eyes shifting skywards, towards the waxing moon above us. I knew what she was thinking.
“Right. The full moon.” Tanner said sheepishly. He smiled at David, “I guess you have heard the story before.”
“Once or twice.” David replied. He glanced at the night sky as well, looking up at the waxing moon before standing up.
“We should get an early start tomorrow.” He said. “Long day ahead of us.”
He retreated off to his tent, and I could see Candice watching him intently. Her smile returned as soon as he was gone.
I finished my vodka and retired to my own tent soon after.

I can still hear Candice and Tanner outside my tent. Even though they tried to keep quiet, I could hear what they were doing inside of one of their tents as well. I suspect that Candice made the first move and I doubt that she did it out of any real affection for the man. Tanners mention of it confirms what I already suspected. It’s no accident that we are all here together. It’s almost comforting to know that I’m not the only one to buy into the rumors of the Old Gods of the Forest.
But I wonder… Will we all be granted an audience, or just one of us? I’m sure the others are thinking the same thing. I don’t know what it is they’re after. But I know that I have to be the one to find what’s out there. For Matthew.

October 3rd
Last night, I awoke to sniffing outside of my tent. I couldn’t see any trace of the wolves outside, but I lie awake, clutching my pistol in anticipation of some sort of attack. The wolf outside my tent half circled the perimeter. I thought I could hear others moving around the camp. It was likely that they were probably just investigating to see if we had left any food behind. I couldn’t imagine they’d try and get into our tents.
In the distance, I thought I heard a yelp. Then there was the sound of movement followed by silence. Something must have scared them off. I sat awake for a little while longer but aside from the waves beside me and the chirping insects, there was no sound. I don’t remember going back to sleep. I just know that I did.

I woke up to Tanner screaming.
I emerged from my tent as quickly as I could, pistol in hand and expecting signs of an animal attack. At a glance though, everything seemed fine. Candice and David stood around Tanner and David had his hands up, as if trying to calm him.
“YOU!” Tanner snarled the moment he saw me, “Did you do this, huh? This your idea of a fucking joke?!”
He gestured to something, and it took me a moment to make out just what I was looking at. A large birch branch was impaled in the ground by his tent. Several smaller branches were propped up against it. The placement was clearly deliberate, but that was not the most concerning thing about them. On the branch that the display centered around was the head of a wolf. It had been viciously impaled on the wood, and two birch branches had been forced through its skull in a manner that resembled horns. The mouth hung open and the eyes stared vacantly ahead. I could only stare in shock at the sight.
“You think this is funny, huh?” Tanner growled, “Well it’s fucking not, alright! You think you can scare me off with this Blair Witch shit, but I’m fucking onto you!”
“Tanner. Please. Just relax. Why would any of us try to scare you off?” I asked. I kept my voice level. He just glared at me.
“Please. You wanna tell me you didn’t figure it out the second you saw the rest of us? It’s obvious. It’s been obvious right from the fucking start, so let’s just all come out and say it, alright? You’re here to see the Old Gods. Just like I am!”
“So what if we are.” I replied, “But what do any of us have to gain by scaring you off?”
“You think the Old Gods do a group rate?” Tanner snapped, “In all of the stories I’ve heard, it’s always one person alone who gets his audience, and it’s gonna be fucking me, alright? I was here first! I’ve been waiting so long for this, so sorry, but I’m getting my boon!”
“I swear… I never even heard about the Old Gods…” Candice stammered. “I-it had to be one of them.”
Tanner fixed her in a glare, and I would’ve been content to let him go off on her next. But there was still the obvious to point out.
“She couldn’t have done that. I heard the wolves outside last night. David and I noticed them at a distance before we made camp. As far as I can tell, Candice doesn’t even have a weapon and there’s no way she took down a wolf with her bare hands.”
“Well what about you?” Tanner asked, glaring at me, “You’ve got that gun there. You could’ve done it!”
“If I was shooting at the wolves, you all would have heard it.” I replied. Tanners eyes settled on David next.
“I didn’t do it.” He said, “If any of us were out there last night picking a fight with a pack of wolves, the rest of us would’ve heard it. If you want my opinion, I don’t think this was any of us.”
“Well who else is out here?” Tanner snapped.
“Other than the Gods?” David asked, “I can’t say for sure. Awfully suspicious of something to leave us a totem though. Clearly it has meaning.”
“As what, though?” I asked, “A warning?”
“Perhaps. Or a taunt… We should pack up and keep moving. We’re burning daylight, and clearly it’s not safe here.”
Tanner continued to glare at him for a moment before huffing in frustration. He pushed past David without a further word and went to go pack up his tent. David and I exchanged a glance, and I took one final look at that totem before getting ready to do the same.

Tanner walked ahead of the rest of us as we advanced deeper into the woods. Candice had fallen slightly behind us, and I found myself regarding her warily. I knew she was lying about why she was out here but I didn’t understand why. I thought about the way she’d reacted to that totem… Immediate denial. There was no way she could have built it, but I wondered if she knew who had.

Before noon, I ended up making my way towards the front of the group and kept stride with Tanner.
“Are you alright?” I asked. He side eyed me before sighing.
“Yeah. I’m alright.” He said, “Spooked I guess.” A pause before he added: “Sorry about this morning. I kinda went off on everyone.”
“Fear does that to people.” I said, “Especially when something you care about is on the line… Do you mind if I ask what you’re looking for?”
There was a moment of hesitation before Tanner spoke.
“I just want a second chance.” He said after a while. “Y’know a few years back, I used to be a swimmer. I was good, man. I was an Olympian. I was gonna take the gold in Rio. Then one night some asshole in a Jeep decides to run a stop sign… and I’m right in the middle of the crosswalk. He took my career… I’d been training my entire life for Rio. Then in a few seconds, all of it was gone. The Doctor said I’m lucky I didn’t lose a leg. Am I? At least there’s room for a one legged man in the Paralympics. I could’ve gotten something out of it.”
I nodded slowly as I heard his story.
“It must be very hard for you.” I said.
Tanner laughed.
“You’ve got no idea… I just want one more chance. That’s all I ask. One more chance… What about you?”
I hesitated for a moment, but Tanner had been honest with me. I owed him the same.
“Someone I love is very sick.” I said, “It’s lung cancer… Stage 4.”
Tanner didn’t respond. He kept looking straight ahead, and I didn’t blame him. What I’d said was not an easy thing to swallow.
“I see.” He said after a while. He looked over at me, thoughtful for a moment before sighing. “I’m sorry... I’m not going to turn back. But for what it’s worth, maybe we’ll get lucky. There’s no part of the story saying we can’t all get what we want.”
“Maybe.” I replied. “If we’re lucky.”

We camped out by a small rocky outcrop.
Tanner seemed calmer than he had this morning, although I noticed him sitting away from Candice. I suspect he distrusts her as much as I do. She hasn’t done much to alleviate our suspicions. The woods are thicker, and the air feels colder. I don’t know how much farther we need to go… But I feel as if we’re headed in the right direction.

October 4th
Again I woke up to screaming. But this was of a different nature. The sky outside was still dark, but as I emerged from my tent I was blinded by a bright light.
“Put some water on it, now!” I heard David shouting, and I could see him and Tanner emptying their water bottles onto one of the tents. In my hazy, half wakeful state it took me a moment to realize that the tent was on fire. Candice stood wide eyed and useless in the corner, and I rushed to try and help the two men in extinguishing the flames. I could hear Tanner swearing under his breath.
“What the fuck, what the fuck! Jesus fuckin’ Christ, man…”
“What happened?” I asked as the fire died down.
“I don’t fuckin’ know! I just… I woke up and… Fuck, my tent… FUCK!”
Tanner paced around, clearly frustrated and I caught him glancing at David and I. For a moment I thought he might blame us again, but he just shook his head. I caught myself looking at Candice but despite my suspicions of the woman, I couldn’t believe that she was behind this.
David left my side to check on Tanner and I looked down at the smouldering tent. In the low light of dawn, I crouched down beside it and reached into the burnt remains.
“Did you see what caused it?” I called to Tanner.
“No, I didn’t see jack shit!” Tanner yelled back, “I just woke up and… Fuck, fuck FUCK!
From the ashes, I picked up what looked to be a birch stick. It had been burned and was still a little hot to the touch, but the shape of it was interesting.
“Look at this.” I brought my findings over to David and Tanner. David took the stick from me.
“What is this? Where’d you find this?”
“In the tent.” I said, “Look at the ends of it.”
David held the stick into the light as he and Tanner examined it. The tip was sharpened to a point and the other end had what appeared to be fletching…
“This looks like an arrow.” He said.
“A fucking arrow.” Tanner murmured, “Jesus… So what, fucking Robin Hood is out here trying to kill us?”
“Or something else.” I said. I looked up at Candice and furrowed my brow before leaving the men to approach her.
“Did you see anything?” I asked.
“No... I woke up, and there was just fire and screaming… Jesus…” She rubbed at her temples, “I don’t know what happened.”
I stared at her, but I didn’t think she was lying.
“We should pack up.” I said, “Keep moving.”
“What about my tent?” Tanner asked.
“You can share with someone. But I think it’s best we keep moving.”
Tanner stared at me, and I could tell he wanted to argue. But he didn’t.
We packed up quickly and left the ruins of his tent behind.

As day broke, snow began to drift down between the trees.
“Fuckin perfect…” I heard Tanner murmuring, but he didn’t complain much beyond that. Candice had fallen to the rear of the group while David and I stayed near the front.
“It’s a little early in the season for snow.” David said, “This doesn’t feel right…”
“Should we take that as a sign that we’re headed in the right direction then?” I asked. He huffed in approval.
“The legends said that the Old Gods would test us. I wonder if this is what they meant.”
“Perhaps… It’s gotten quieter, did you notice?”
He nodded.
“No birds. No animals. I don’t think we’re alone though. Something ran the wolves off the other night, and it’s been following us ever since.”
“Gods?” I asked. David shook his head.
“No. But I’m not the only one who’s noticed them.”
He glanced back at Candice and I knew what he meant.

It was about an hour later when we found the deer. I saw it up ahead at first, although I couldn’t make out exactly what it was. But when I got close enough to see, I picked up my pace, approaching the thing before me. It was strung up between two birch trees, all four limbs splayed out. The chest had been cut open and hollowed out, but the bones had been left in place. The deer's head lolled to the side, its horns keeping it somewhat propped up.
“What did this…” I approached the carcass slowly, but I didn’t know what to make of it.
“This wasn’t for food.” David said softly, “This was a warning.”
Again I looked at Candice who stared up at the carcass with unease. This didn’t seem like an act, but I approached her anyways.
“Any thoughts?”
“W-what?” She was shaking, and not from the cold.
“Someone left this for us. I’m willing to bet the same person erected that totem outside our camp and burned Tanners tent. David says somethings been following us. I want to know if you know what’s out there.”
“Why would I know?” She asked, “I’m just as lost here as you are!”
“Are you? You’re here despite saying you’d never heard of the Old Gods… But after all we’ve already seen, you haven’t turned back yet. Clearly there’s something you’re looking for out here, just the same as us. I don’t care what it is, but if you know something that we don’t we deserve to be told.”
Candice bit her lip, before looking past me at the deer.
“Fine.” She said softly, “Yes… I’ve heard about the Old Gods. Obviously that’s why I’m here. But I didn’t hear a single fucking thing about wolf heads and gutted deer!”
I stared at her for a moment, thinking it over. Then I reached for my flask and took a long pull. I thought about threatening her. But that seemed like a step too far. I didn’t know for sure that she was lying.
“Alright.” I said after a while. “Let’s move on then.”
I turned and walked away from her, and made my way deeper into the forest. Slowly the other three followed and we did not stop to rest until night had fallen. We agreed to sleep in shifts. Two of us would stay awake to keep a lookout, and two would sleep. David and Tanner took the first shift, and I hoped they'd be alright. Something told me we'd be getting another visit from our hunters.

David woke me up at around 2 in the morning for my shift. Candice was already sitting by the fire, drinking from her water bottle, and she watched as I filled up my flask before joining her.
“Isn’t it a little early to be drinking?” She asked.
“It keeps me focused.” I said before taking a pull. I was down to just a quarter of my bottle now. Candice just scoffed.
“Whatever you say.” She murmured. She stoked the fire quietly and I began to think she wouldn’t talk to me at all. But then she spoke up again.
“So. I heard you’re out here trying to save your boyfriend.”
“Tanner told you?” I asked. She nodded.
“He’s been asking what we’re all after. I think maybe he’s having second thoughts. Far as I can tell, David’s kept his mouth shut on what he’s looking for. Says it’s something personal. Tanner told me all about his Olympic career of course…”
“And what about you?” I asked, “What are you after?”
Candice smiled sadly.
“Well, that’s the million dollar question, right? Let’s just say I’ve hit a run of bad luck. Lost a lot of money on cards, and I’d like to turn things around.”
I raised an eyebrow at her before shaking my head. It sounded like a stupid reason to be out in the woods but telling her as much wouldn’t achieve anything.
“Mind if I have some of that whisky?” She asked. I offered her the flask and watched her take a drink. “Thanks. I’ve got a question. What happens if the Gods will only appear to one of us? Do we pick each other off to decide who gets the honor, or do you think they’re gonna choose whoever gets to see them?”
“I honestly don’t know.” I replied. “I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.”
“Very soon.” Candice said, “The full moon is tomorrow night, y’know. We’re going to have to decide. And frankly between the two of us, I like my chances.”
She grinned and passed my flask back to me. In the firelight, her smile seemed unsettling. The snow slowly drifted around her as she stood up and stretched.
“Hey, can you hold down the fort for a minute? I gotta use the ladies room.”
She trudged off into the darkness and I watched her go for a moment before looking back into the fire. I thought about accompanying her… The woods were dangerous after all. But there was a part of me that didn’t care if anything befell Candice.

Ten minutes later, Candice hadn’t returned, and I heard the first movement in the trees. I looked up, hoping it was just Candice. But I couldn’t see her in the dark. Slowly I reached for my pistol, and stood up.
“Candice?” I called, but there was no answer. I thought I heard wind rustling through the dry branches. In the light of the fire, I could see the pale bark of birch trees around us and I could’ve sworn I saw movement behind them… Then came the sound of the wind again. Dry and scratchy only… It sounded wrong. It went on for too long and seemed to be getting closer. I saw something duck behind a tree, but I didn’t get a good look as to what. Then I heard that noise again, and I felt a sudden stab of panic as I realized that it was not the wind.
It was a voice.
Something hit me on the back of the head. Stars exploded across my vision and I hit the ground. I saw figures emerging from the woods, tall, dark and terrible. I could hear their dry, scratchy voices. I tried to raise my gun but I was struck again and for a moment, I lost consciousness.

I must have been out only a few minutes. But when I came too, I was on my knees. A pale hand rested on my shoulder, and I could feel something sharp against my neck. I watched as Tanner was dragged screaming out of his tent and the shadowy figures worked to do the same to David. There was no sign of Candice, and somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that she’d abandoned us. She’d said she’d liked her odds after all…Somehow she’d known what was coming, and she’d been all too happy to use us as a distraction while she slipped away into the night.
David's tent was cut open, and I watched as the figures dragged him out. He writhed and kicked. The sounds he made seemed pained and at last the figures dropped him.
“Oh fuck me…” I heard Tanner say, and it took me a moment to realize why.
In the firelight, I could see David’s body shifting. Growing. He let out a pained scream that sounded half human and half animal. The figures recoiled from him and my eyes widened as David changed before us. Thick black hair coated his body. His hands curled into wicked claws and his face seemed to slowly elongate into a canine snout.
The thing that had once been David let out an enraged howl, and I could feel the creatures behind me pulling away in fear. David’s green eyes settled on me… but only for a moment. In an instant, he bolted into the woods in pursuit of our attackers. Tanner hurried to his feet, and grabbed me by the shoulder to force me up.
“Shit, shit, shit… Jesus Shit… We need to go!”I couldn’t argue with that. Tanner was already running and I bolted off into the woods too, but not in pursuit of Tanner. I was after David. I’d snatched my gun off of the ground, and I could hear vicious animal snarling up ahead.
“KAREN!” Tanner called behind me, but I didn’t care. Whatever he was, David was clearly on our side. I wasn’t going to let him fight those creatures alone. It was so dark that I could barely see the ground in front of me. But as my eyes adjusted to the light, I spotted a massive black shape ahead of me. Davids eyes gleamed in the light, I could see the silver dagger around his neck and I could smell coppery blood in the air. I froze, wondering if I’d made a mistake… if David would attack me next. But he had other priorities.
In the shadows, I could see the beast seize one of the dark figures by the throat. He let out a vengeful howl before his teeth tore into its skull. I could hear the panicked whispers of our attackers among the trees. But their fear of David was too great. They would not engage him openly. Those whispers grew distant before they faded away entirely.
David panted and fell to his knees before me. His eyes settled on me, and I heard a pained cry escape from him. I took a step back before I heard footsteps rushing up behind me. A flashlight shone upon David, now naked and shivering as his body contorted into its original shape.He looked up at us, clearly afraid and I ran to his side.
“Holy shit…” I heard Tanner say softly.
“Help me get him back to camp!” I said, looking up at him, “He’s going to need some clothes.”

Part 2
Part 3
submitted by HeadOfSpectre to nosleep [link] [comments]

TL;DR Every Gun's Meta Role + Some Modding

Sections: Every Gun's Meta Role, why every other gun is bad, modding and ak-74 recoil reduction/price graph, ammo meta.
Lowest Recoil for 545, 556, and 7.62x39 guns : https://i.imgur.com/E9ruaAJ.png

[Ctrl + F to find stuff]

Edit:
There seems to be some misunderstandings about objective facts about tarkov. Anecdotal experiences you’ve had do not change how the mechanics behave. Not penning lets say, a 6B47 with M61, doesn’t mean m61 won’t pen a 6B47. We know the pen chance of M61 on any given piece of armor, and just because you received an unlikely result does not mean it’s the only result. Similarly rephrasing otherwise damning statements doesn’t change the objective situation. Saying something such as “___ gun shreds armor with ___ ammo” is just a different way of saying “If I take the time to shoot the armor to the point of it no longer behaving as its armor class, then my bullets will go through it”. And I’ll concede you can indeed do that. But shooting an armor several times before your bullets go through doesn’t mean its equivalent to using bullets that go through the armor in the first place.
There also seems to be a misunderstanding on what makes a gun good. Most guns will kill someone if you correctly aim and left click on someone’s face. That’s the bare minimum for a gun to be useable in tarkov. Just because you have used a gun which can do that doesn’t make it good. If one can simply shoot someone in the face with the first bullet, they fire then what’s the point of bringing something other than a Makarov. We bring in better guns to make up for other short comings. Yes, if you shoot someone’s gen 4 6 times with 7.62x39 BP you will go through it. But that guy in the gen 4 can only has to shoot you twice because he brought competitive ammo. Don’t handicap yourself then say I’m spreading misinformation because if you just pretend a handicap isn’t there then then game is different from what I’m saying… also ap slugs suck.


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Every Gun's Meta Role

Guns with a purpose:
AK-74 / AK-74N: Only has a place in 2 scenarios. Long range medium kit and any range high kit. In high kit the gun will cost 100k but will have the lowest recoil of the automatic ARs. BS and PP isn’t as expensive as 995 and M856A1. For high kit the 74 is 2nd best if money is no problem but if you do even remotely care about money then this is the most reasonable high kit gun. If lvl 6 armor for some reason becomes abundant in the future then this will be the best gun because igolnik. Yes m61 will go through lvl 6 but the FAL nerf means it has too much recoil for mid range and the m1a is semi auto which kinda nips the whole “2 stk > 3 stk” in the bud.
HK-416: 2nd lowest AR recoil. A maxed one of these is cheaper than a maxed m4 but has ~8 more vert reocil.
M4A1: Well my reference m4 did a mega-morphin stat change. The best recoil AR in the game. A maxed M4 is very very expensive and using it suppressed borks the recoil.
Bolt actions: All of the bolt actions are currently just very very bad vepr hunters. However quests are a thing and there’s very clearly one vastly superior bolt action and it issssss a sniper mosin with the non-blue tape obrez stock and the 514mm barrel. Its accurate and its very light. Recoil doesn’t matter, ergo kinda matters but not nearly as much as weight. If you don't like the PU scope then you can use the “arbalet patriot K+W mount” and just use any sight you want without the rendering issues of the tri-rail. Only in tarkov will the objectively cheapest gun in a class be the best. Cough ak-74 cough.
Vepr Hunter: M80 strong so gun strong. It one taps to the chest, is accurate, has no rof cap, can go through lvl 4, the 10 round mags are 1 slot, and you can get it for like 25-35k off the market. Its just stupid good. Is it better than a m1a, rsass or FAL? No. Is it way better than the mosin, saiga-12, mp-153, mr-133, m870, ash-12, sv-98, m-700, DVL, and SVD? Yeah.
MP-7: Best CQC gun for medium kit (anti-lvl 3) because FMJ is very cheap, the bitcoin trade lets you get 40k MP7s, and the recoil is lower than any gun of equivalent price. The only exceptions are the VSS and p-90 which you can use for about the same price (given you can get a 50k p-90 and a 40k VSS) However the VSS mags are either stupid expensive or too small and the p-90 has too much horizontal recoil. Yes the p-90 has less vertical recoil but only your mom is wider than she is tall and she’s not a scav boss yet.
PP-19: One of the three “competitive” budget guns. It's cheap, has maxed ak-74 levels of recoil(with a recoil pad), is automatic, and has no pen whatsoever. Face shots or go home.
Saiga-12: Best “shot” shotgun and one of three “competitive” budget guns. There’s a rof cap now but its vepr 136 levels so for a gun with a 20 round mag max, its not “too much” of a problem. If you’re running factory then maybe flechette could work but holy shit with the lack of limb pen and the 19 damage per dart (152 damage if all land) you’ll be shooting the fuck out of people before they die. I think the best example of how this feels was a raid where I killed one scav and it took 29 hits to kill that one unarmored scav. Honestly just use magnum and go for face shots. 1 pellet to the face can kill so it just a matter of spamming in the general upper torso direction and hoping RNG gives you a head/face shot. That sounds really stupid but throwing those dice is surprisingly dependable.
Vepr-136: One of the three “competitive” budget guns. If you need range and don’t mind giving up recoil and an automatic switch for armor pen then this is your jam. Grab one of these for 15k off the market, slap a butt-pad, m1b, and dynacomp on it, grab a handful of 30s with T45 for the cost of a slightly worn t-shirt, and you’re good to go. The only thing that really holds this gun back is the oversampling cap. I click at ~450 clicks per min and I slam right into that cap and get ~100-150 rpm out of it. Its really awful. That paired with the RoF link to FPS and you can imagine why taking this into cqc could be a bad idea.
AKMS / AKMSN: Only good for budget builds. Because the ammo is cheap you can spend more money on attachments. But the amount of money you would spend on attachments is so much, you might as well buy a better gun. I wouldn’t bother modding beyond a recoil pad, dynacomp, and M1B and pretending its a vepr-136 that can go full auto for CQC.
ADAR: Crazy good right now. 15k for a rec battery gets you a gun that reloads like lighting, who’s accurate, who’s ammo punches through lvl 4 for 191 rubles a pop with good recoil out of the box and has no rof cap (aside from the FPS limiting it of course).
FAL / M1A: Since the FAL was nerfed and the M80 wont go through full condition lvl 5, these don’t have a role in high kit. In medium kit however these are a nice alternative to the ak-74 or vepr hunter. They cost about 40-50k because of trades and they have access to large cheap mags. If you have a M1A then its fine as is, just put on a side mount. If you have an FAL put on a baskak and an extreme duty dust cover(if you did the NIXX trade then dont forget to rebuy the austrian muzzle break).
Makarov: One of two reasonably accurate pistols in game. If you’re going to carry a pistol as backup, carry this for face taps.
Saiga-9: Instead of doing pistol runs, do saiga-9 runs. No one will steal it, you can get it for the same price, you got 30s, and the recoil is only 47-195. For context a Makarov is 510-325 (and yes, that's five hundred and ten vertical recoil)
Kedr / Klin: probably my 2nd most used gun behind the 153 and…. Its pretty good for a 10-15k gun. Its cheap, it shoots cheap ammo, it has 1 slot 20 rounders, it has weird recoil / point of impact , and it sucks. If you wanna to pistol runs, do kedr runs instead.

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Bad Guns (for the price / in comparison to other guns)


AKS-74U: Literally, the only reason to ever use this gun is because its funny or because you want a gun that’s very cheap, functionally accurate, automatic, and has cheap 30 round mags. If you consider using something other than FMJ in it then you would better spend your money buying an AKS-74 or AK-74M for 5k extra(or sometimes the same price). The only reasonable plays you can make are face shot barrel stuffs or tippy taps at range. Even automatic fire at like 15m has so much horizontal recoil that its basically useless. And if you spend the money to get the recoil down you might as well just buy a better gun and get low recoil that way. The only time the 74U can be remotely competitive is using it as a head tap DMR but even then you could use any other AK or adar for about the same price.
AKS-74 / AKS-74N / AK-74M/ AK-105 : These are basically just an AK-74 but slightly worse and occasionally cheaper. Just sell it or lightly mod it and use PP. If you dont have the money for PP then just use a PP-19.
AKM / AKMN: Its the best 7.62x39 gun in game and its just bad. It costs too much, the good ammo costs too much and doesn’t have enough pen for the price, and it has unacceptable recoil. There’s no reason to ever use this unless you can’t stand high recoil and must use a fully modded akm for that shoreline scav kill quest.
AK-103/AK-104: Imagine an AKM that’s worse and costs slightly less. Just dont.
AK-101 / AK-102: These are just meme / rp guns. They’re a better option than the AKM / AK-103 / AK-104 but that’s not saying much. They’re just expensive and have too much recoil. If you cannot stand the semi-auto of the adar these might be the only reasonable non-7.62x51 automatic for anti-lvl 4 because M855A1 is so dirt cheap.
SKS: A bad vepr-136 with the exception of having a higher RoF cap. Mags are stupid expensive, mags take forever to reload, and the recoil is stupid high. If you’re a sperg and can’t wrap your head around mags then do the filter trade, put a DTK-1 on an adapter, fill your pockets with T45 and you’re all ready to feed that sks to the next pmc you meet.
SVD: Its a bad M1A. Its too expensive, the mags cost too much, and it has a rof cap. No reason to use it other than the quest. Honestly, I’d take a vepr hunter over it because at least then I can spam in CQC.
MDR: So you can grab these for 40-50k on the market and after an RK-2 and Bulletec you’ll have the recoil of a maxed AKM with like 45 more horizontal recoil. So 80k for an extra shakey AKM in 556. So basically its useless, juse an ak-74.
TX-15: expensive adar with very slightly better recoil. If you care that much about recoil then just build an HK-416A5
MP-153: The only good slug shotgun and it sucks. People like it because you dont have to fiddle fuck with mags but the rof cap + the giga-longness + the slow reloads means CQC is is awful. Which means its only place in the meta is slugs and then its just a bad vepr hunter. But not like a “90% of the way there” bad, its a “30% of the way there” bad. I’ve probably used a 153 with slugs more than any other weapon in tarkov over these 7 or so wipes I’ve played and the whole time I’ve held the opinion that fucking christ the 153 with slugs sucks but lord is it fun. But with the CMS kits and the mosin and the vepr hunter. The allure of being a little shitling scuttling about has lost its charm. Breaking people’s arms and legs at range isn’t a raid ruiner, the mosin can do 1 shot chest taps now, and so can the vepr hunter. Its just not a vile bog of misery anymore. It’s just an underperforming gun that has been power creeped out of any relevance.
MP-133: bad mp-153. it literally don't even have iron sights
M870: mp-133 but expensive
Toz: is toz
Grach: imagine a saiga-9 but expensive and people can steal it easier
P226R: Imagine a grach but for people who wanna play dress up.
Glock 17: Imagine a P226R but for people who really really wanna play dress up.
Glock 18: Was pretty oppressive back when RIP could 3 shot your legs but now its just a DPS meme like it is in real life.
Shrimp: imagine a 5-7 but cheap and with no 1 tap chest hollow points. This is probably your best bet for the pistol kill quest.
5-7: imagine a shrimp but expensive and with hollow points that can 1 tap a chest. “But can’t all 9mm pistols do that?” ….yes but they’re half the price of RIP.
P-90: surprisingly similar in budget to the mp-7 but with less vertical recoil but more horizontal recoil and 50s instead of 30s…. So basically the p90 sucks.
MPX / MP5: mil-sim scum. In all seriousness they just cost so much for being such limp guns. I know people are SUPER FUCKING HYPED FOR AP 6.3 !?!??! but its just PMM with less damage. It wont ever got through a lvl 3 armor for christ sake.
TT: a makarov but it costs more and can go through lvl 2.
M9A3: sounds cool
APS: russian g18 that can’t use 9mm RIP. sucks
APB: Didn’t get nerfed with the APS so its a giga-cheap suppressed gun. But it handles like a shitty kedr and the kedr already handles like shit so keep that in mind.
RSASS: inflated price because of the quest, prob will never be viable until it gets a better mag or the M1A gets a recoil nerf.
VSS: imagine a AS VAL but you dont get that AR skill recoil reduction…. But its cheap. Its actually stupid cheap when you consider how much recoil it has and that SP-5 is basically 5.45 PP. You can get an AK-74 with a PBS-4 for 40k, and you can get an VSS for 40k, but you cannot get a suppressed AK-74 with VSS recoil for 40k, or 100k. The only thing holding the VSS back is the drop on it is stupid. I could go on a long hot ramble on how it could be fixed and how the way tarkov handles balistics calculations is dumb but that would take way too long. Basically only use it with sights that can zero to 25m and you’ll be fine unless you try to shoot at something beyond 50m.
AS-VAL: a slightly better VSS (because AR skill) but it costs 50-100% more
MP5K: bad kedr
Kedr-B: suppressed kedr that costs 25-30k
RPK: The recoil stats are basically the same as the AK-74 but maxed they both cost the same and the AK-74 gets recoil reduction from the AR skill so there’s just no reason to bother. The RPK is heavier, shoots at the same RPM, will have more ingame recoil, and sounds dumb.
Vepr-209: bad
Ash-12: unbelievably bad. Maybe if it was 20k from a trader and the ammo / mags were cheaper it might have a place in the meta. But that role would be a shitty vepr hunter that’s cheap.

PB: 25k silenced makarov…. Yeah naw
PM (t): fireball machine

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Modding:

I’m only going to cover the guns with a meta purpose that I didn’t mention how to mod in the above section.
M4A1 Max: (if I dont mention a part, its stock)
Pistol Grip: Ergo PSG-1 (only for ergo)
Stock: HK E1 (or BUS if you dont care about ergo)
Buffer Tube: Advanced (red has more accuracy)
Muzzle Break : Bulletek ST-6012 or AAC Blackout and SDN-6 (same recoil)
Backup sightst: Magpul MBUS Gen 2 (only for ergo)
Handguard: SAI QD Rail(long) + Jail Break
Foregrip: RK-2
Charging Handle: Raptor (only for ergo)
Barrel: 370mm
Upper: MUR
If you really care about min maxing you can put a cobra red dot on for an extra -1% recoil
HK 416A5 Max: (if I dont mention a part, its stock)
Pistol Grip: Ergo PSG-1 (only for ergo)
Stock: HK E1 (or BUS if you dont care about ergo)
Muzzle Break : Bulletek ST-6012 or AAC Blackout and SDN-6 (same recoil)
Backup sightst: Magpul MBUS Gen 2 (only for ergo)
Handguard: MRS 14" keymod
Foregrip: RK-2
Charging Handle: Raptor (only for ergo)
Barrel: 20”
If you really care about min maxing you can put a cobra red dot on for an extra -1% recoil
AK-74 Max (AKM is the same except for the lantac muzzle break)
Pistol Grip: US Palm (rk-3 weighs more)
Stock: Zhukov-S
Muzzle Break : CQB or PBS-4 to be suppressed (is 7% worse)
Dust Cover: Fab Defence PDC (highest ergo dust cover rail)
Handguard: CMRD
Foregrip: RK-2
Charging Handle: Extended (only for ergo)
https://i.imgur.com/siZK34s.png
The sweet spot is about the Zhukov-S + CQB + RK-0 + poly 100 has 58-153 recoil (which is about a maxed ak-105 but for 57k)
I used to determine the data points by an increasing budget but now I do it by the price / recoil gain of each next part. So buying a polymer stock costs more / recoil than the zhukov so I just skipped it. Also why I skipped to just using the RK-0.

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Ammo Meta:

https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1jjWcIue0_PCsbLQAiL5VrIulPK8SzM5jjiCMx9zUuvE/htmlview?sle=true
Damage thresholds: 35 (1 tap to the head), 40 (2 tap the chest), 60 (break arms in 1 shot), and 80 (1 tap chest).
What we can derive from this is Magnum buckshot can kill with one pellet to the head. Igolnik won’t 2 tap. T45 will break arms in 1 shot so you can flinch people. M80, LPS, and 7N1 will 1 tap to the chest.
You should really derive your own conclusions about the ammo, this is just what I use.
anti-Lvl 3:
T45 for 7.62x39 for 70 rubles (PS isn’t a tracer but ps costs more and won't 1 shot arms)
PP for 5.45x39 for 152 rubles
M855A1 for 5.56 for 191 rubles(yes this is an anti-lvl 4 ammo, but m856a1 costs more than this)
SP-5 for 9x39 for 142 rubles
FMJ for 4.6 for 134 rubles
SS190 for 5.7 for 147 rubles
M80 for 7.62x39 for 237 rubles (also goes through lvl 4, there’s just no lower tier ammo)
LPS for 7.62x54R for 189 rubles (I just use 7n1 tbh)
Anti-lvl 4
M855A1 for 5.56 for 191 rubles
M80 for 7.62x51 for 237 rubles
7n1 for 7.62x54R for 322 rubles
Sp6, 7.62x39 BP, and AP SX cost too much to be considered for such an irrelevant threshold. Though its more relevant than previous patches due to the abundance of lvl 4. Though they’re usually pretty damaged.
Anti-lvl 5
5.45x39 BS for 554 rubles
The meta is just 5.45 BS or pay out the ass for sub-par return on investment.
5.56 995 for 800 rubles
9x39 BP is trade only, usually 1,000 rubles on the market
Not sure how much m61 costs yet, not worth it regardless and m62 is the same story.
submitted by JonseyMcDanes to EscapefromTarkov [link] [comments]

The Old Gods of the Forest (Part 1)

October 2nd
The hospital visits are still difficult. Even before all of this, I hated the sterile environments and the mechanical sounds of the machines. Seeing Matthew in that bed though… bald, emaciated, dying… God…
I’ve seen a lot of death. I’ve seen the worst of people. As a homicide detective, that’s just part of the job. But cancer seems to be a much crueler death than murder. With murder there is motive and purpose. What motive does cancer have? What purpose does it serve? There is no answer. It is just a cruel, apathetic decay that slowly eats away the best parts of a person until they are nothing but a husk. The worst part is that sometimes it leaves its victims with just enough hope to fight on until the bitter end… I’m not sure who suffers worse for that. The condemned or the ones who love them.
Matthew had been my friend for as long as I could remember. He was always by my side, no matter what. I suppose I knew how he felt about me. I’d be lying if I said I never felt the same, but I didn't want to indulge. I didn’t know what a relationship with Matthew would bring. I thought it would have changed the way things were. There would be different expectations. He would need something more from me, something I didn’t know I could give him. I convinced myself that he would have been happier with someone else. Someone who could have loved him the way he deserved to be loved… Someone who wasn’t just using him like I was.

How many times did I show up at his apartment, drunk and looking for an escape? He never once refused me, always welcoming me as I told him about the horrible things I had seen. When I fell into his arms, kissing him and coaxing him into his bedroom, he never once stopped me. He must have known I’d be gone as soon as we were done… I always was. But he never said no. I didn’t deserve him and now at the end, all I could do was try to make up for lost time. And I could barely even do that.

When I saw him last night, he lay half awake in his hospital bed. He looked like a different man. His voice was hoarse. His hair was gone. Cancer had taken everything away from him… but I still loved him. His eyes opened when he saw me. The corners of his mouth raised in a sad smile.
“Hey, Karen…” He said. The sound of his voice nearly broke me. But I sat by his bed and held his hand. “You shouldn’t be here…”
“You’d have been there for me.” I replied. He just smiled softly, and looked out of his window, into the courtyard of the hospice. We talked for a while about anything but the cancer. He could barely form the words and watching him try was one of the hardest things I have ever done. If I could have spent the day there, I would have… but unfortunately, I did not have the luxury of time.
“I’ll come back and see you soon, okay?” I promised him.
“Don’t.” Matthew said. He meant it, “I don’t want to be remembered like this…”
“You won’t be.” I promised him. I stood up from my chair and leaned down to kiss his forehead. “I love you.”
There was something in his eyes when I said that… He smiled at me, ever so slightly.
“I love you too...”
I squeezed his hand before I left him… and I promised myself I would not be away for long.
I don’t know if this is going to work. Logically, it shouldn’t. But I’m at the end of my rope. I only hope that Matthew can hold out a little bit longer, at least until I get back. If this works then it won’t be a problem. But if not… At least I said what I had to.

The drive up to the National Park was long and tedious. I took very few breaks, as I did not want to waste any time. I drove through the night. I’d booked some time away from work. I had no major outstanding cases and unsure of how much time this would take, I’d taken care to request a few weeks away from work. I’d made my preparations accordingly. It was hard to say just how long I’d be alone in the wilderness. I brought enough dried food to last me a few weeks, a water bottle that I could refill. I also brought some metal cookware, basic toiletries, a tent, a sleeping bag, two bottles of whisky and my flask among other things. As a precaution, I made sure to bring a pistol. Not my service weapon. This was one that I owned independent of my work. The woods could be dangerous, and I wanted to take no risks.

The map I’d been provided led me deep into the park, down a dirt road that led to what should have been an empty clearing. I was expecting to be alone. But the sight of other cars took me by surprise. There were three of them, and the occupants had clearly been there for a little while. A glance at them confirmed them to be backpackers, just like I was. Two of them seemed to have a fire going. The third was off by himself. I parked my car away from all of them before I got out. I wasn’t interested in socializing. All I wanted was to make one last check of my supplies to make sure everything was in order. Then I would head out before I wasted too much daylight.
Looking back at the other campers, I noticed that the two by the fire were approaching me. I initially thought they were husband and wife, but the more I looked at them, the less certain I was of that. If they were married, they wouldn't have come in two separate vehicles. I tried not to theorize as to the nature of their relationship. That wasn’t what I was there for. I caught the third camper looking at me. We made eye contact only briefly, but it didn’t linger.
“Well, well, well! Looks like we’ve got another new face!” One of the two approaching campers said. She was a woman in her mid twenties. She had a petite build, pale skin and black hair. Her smile was wide, toothy and clearly practiced. Looking into her green eyes, I immediately picked up on the fact that she was studying me.
“I guess you’re here for the backpacking hike too, huh?”
“I wasn’t aware it was a formal event.” I said. The Woman just kept smiling.
“Yeah, well neither of us were I’m guessing. Still, kinda a good thing we found each other, right? I’m Candice, it’s nice to meet you Miss…?”
“Faraday.” I replied. Candice had offered me a hand to shake and I begrudgingly shook it.
“Just Faraday?” She asked, never once dropping her smile.
“Karen Faraday.”
“Well it's nice to meet you, Karen. I’m guessing you haven’t met my friend Tanner here either.”
The man shook my hand next. He was a tall man with a large upper torso and a bushy beard. His arms seemed almost disproportionately long compared to his body. I’d noticed he had a slight limp as he’d approached me.
“Pleased to meet you.” He said softly. “Tanner Hitchcock.”
I looked him in the eye, studying his face. That name sounded familiar.
“Nice to meet you too.” I said.
Tanner pulled back and stuffed his hands into his pockets as Candice resumed her control over the conversation.
“Anyways when I ran into Tanner here, we got to talking. Since it’s a long hike and arguably not all that safe out there, we should probably travel together, right? Might not be a bad idea!”
“It’s not.” I said, “Although it begs the question of what you’re doing out here alone.”
Candice’s smile faltered for a moment.
“Oh, well. Honestly I just love being out in nature.” She said. Her pale, pasty complexion told me otherwise. “It’s really calming, y’know? I wasn’t planning to go that far, but with Tanner, our other friend over there and you, we could probably make a hell of a trip out of it.”

As a homicide detective, people lied to me every day. But I could tell that it came naturally to Candice. Glancing at Tanner, I suspected that he had no idea of what Candice was up to. Granted, I wasn’t entirely sure either although I had my suspicions. Still, Candice wasn’t wrong. It would be safer to travel as a group for the time being. There were no obvious weapons concealed on her person. But my gun was holstered on my thigh. I was confident that if push came to shove, I could shoot Candice and be on my way without much hassle.
“You’re right.” I said, “I suppose it would be nice to get a little more use out of this backpack. Although we should head out soon if we’re going to do it today. It’s almost noon, so we have about seven more hours of daylight.”
“That’s true.” Tanner said, “Candice, you wanna do one last check, make sure we’re not forgetting anything?”
“Oh, sure thing. You should go and let that man over there know we’re headed out soon then! Don’t worry. I’ll watch your stuff. See you in a bit, Karen.”
Candice waved at me before turning to walk back to her car. Tanner lingered around me for a moment longer.
“I take it you’re not with that guy over there?” He asked, gesturing to the other man.
“No.” I replied as I went back to checking my backpack. “I assume he’s coming with us?”
“Says he is.” Tanner shrugged, “Didn’t catch his name though. Well… plenty of time for that on the trail, right?”
He smiled sheepishly before going to follow Candice back to his car. I watched him go, then looked at the other man in the clearing. He looked to be packed up and ready to head out. I reached for my flask and took a pull on it. Since I was no longer driving, there was no need to hold off on it any longer and if I was going to have to spend time around the likes of Candice, I could use the liquor.
My flask was jammed into my pocket before I shouldered my backpack and locked my car before approaching him. The weight of the pack wasn’t too heavy, but it felt awkward.
“Are you here for the hike too?” I asked. I’m not sure what made me want to talk to him. Perhaps I just wanted to get a read on him, or perhaps it was just the fact that he wasn’t Candice or Tanner and I hadn’t particularly cared for either of them. If we were going to be hiking in a group, I wanted to know who I was dealing with.
The man looked at me. He had a steely expression and a clean shaven face. His black hair was messy and his green eyes had a familiar intensity to them. He wore a loose flannel shirt, but I could see a small silver knife on a chain around his neck. It was hard to tell if it was decorative or not. There was a certain tension in his posture. He recoiled a bit when I’d spoken. I recognized a frightened man when I saw one.
“Yeah.” He said softly, “I’m here for the hike…” He glanced over at Tanner and Candice, “I wasn’t expecting to run into other people here. This spot seemed pretty secluded.”
“Neither was I” I replied. From his tone, I got the impression that he hadn’t been a fan of Candice and Tanner either. “I suppose we can make the most of it though. The company might be nice…”
“I don’t do well with company.” The man said, “Sorry. I should introduce myself… I’m David. David Van De Graff.”
“Karen Faraday.” I replied. I was tempted to ask what brought him out that way, but I already knew the answer. Part of it at least. The part that mattered, and what I didn’t know was his business and his alone.
“Do you hike much, Karen?”
“On occasion but not usually so late in the season. I haven’t been backpacking in a few years. But I thought this would be a nice spot to pick it back up again.”
He scoffed.
“Yeah. Hell of a spot.” He murmured. Candice and Tanner were approaching us again, both looked ready to go.
“Well, looks like no one else is coming!” Tanner said cheerfully. “Think we should head out?”
“Were you expecting other people?” I asked. Tanners smile faltered a little.
“No… Not really.” He said, “Seems like a popular spot today though.”
I nodded in agreement before looking over to the treeline before us.

There was no visible trail cutting into the forest. The green, red and gold wall of trees waited beckoned to us with no clear path forwards. I could sense the others looking at it too, and I wondered if any of them knew where to start. A deep breath before the plunge… My legs moved me forwards, bringing me to the edge of the forest. I passed through the pale birch trees, and I could hear the other three moving behind me. The hike had begun.

The forest seemed peaceful. There was the occasional chattering of birds of the rustle of a small animal fleeing through the underbrush. Tanner and Candice seemed to end up ahead of me, while I found myself walking beside David. For the first hour, we didn’t speak much. Tanner whistled a happy tune as Candice pushed on ahead as if she was expecting to find something. When one of us finally broke the silence, I was surprised to hear that it was David.
“So. None of us are going to say it, huh?”
“Say what?” Tanner asked, briefly looking back at him.
“Well, it’s a little odd, isn’t it?” David asked. “All of us coming here alone and running into each other. This isn’t a regular trail you know.”
“What can I say? I like the thrill of it.” Tanner said. “What about you, Candice?”
“Hm? Yeah. Great outdoors and all that.” She said. I didn’t bother chiming in. The others were clearly adamant that they deny the obvious and I wasn’t going to dispel the illusion without good reason.
“You two get out a lot, do you?” David asked.
“From time to time.” said Tanner. “What about you?”
“You could say I’m something of an outdoorsman.”
I zoned out from listening to David grill Tanner, and instead focused on the sounds of the forest around us. The trees stood tall as we made our way between them and the terrain beneath our feet was uneven. I thought about reaching for my flask but I didn’t want to drain it too quickly. I only had two bottles, and I didn’t know how long we’d be out there. Going through it all too quickly would be a mistake and I didn’t want my drinking to draw any unnecessary attention. The last thing I needed was an intervention from a bunch of strangers… or worse. For them to see it as some sort of weakness. While David was the only one with a visible weapon, my new companions could have held all sorts of surprises. Candice was clearly a liar, Tanner was either stupid or very good at pretending he was and I had yet to get a read on David.

The day went by quickly, and I noticed the sky slowly getting darker as we continued onwards. There was a familiar exhaustion in my legs, but I didn’t ask for a rest. We’d likely be making camp soon and the more ground we covered before then, the better. The terrain was getting rockier. We’d started up a slight incline some time ago and it wasn’t letting up. I could see Tanner slowing down a little. His limp had gotten more pronounced, but he kept a steady pace. He had adopted a long stick as a hiking pole, and it seemed to cover his handicap.
I looked around, taking in the world around me and paused for a moment when I spotted a shape atop a small rock formation. The Wolf was a good fifty feet away, and it stood stock still as it observed us. I should have expected to see some wildlife, but the sudden sight of a wild wolf put me on edge.
“Noticed him, did you?” David asked me, and I looked back at him. He’d stopped beside me and was staring at the distant wolf. It turned and disappeared behind the rocks.
“He and his friends have been following us for the past hour or so.” He said, “I wouldn’t worry about it. They’re just curious. We’re in their territory. Chances are they’ll keep their distance.”
“You seem sure about that.” I said.
“I’ve had some experience with wolves.” He replied, “They’re not so bad when you get to know them. Trust me.”
He started moving again, closing the distance between Tanner and Candice. They hadn’t bothered stopping for us and I reluctantly followed him.

We stopped beside a small lake and made camp for the night there. I had been planning on a light supper of a dehydrated meal and some nuts, but Tanner seemed to have other plans. He’d brought a pack of hot dogs that he was willing to share, and we cooked them over the open fire. Though he had no buns or toppings, the sight of them and my hunger had made it impossible to say no. Candice chipped in with a bottle of vodka she’d brought. I recognized the brand. The bottle was in the shape of a skull. I thought it was an unnecessarily cumbersome thing to pack… but I didn’t argue when she'd offered to share.
Whatever tension had been felt throughout the day melted away quickly once food and alcohol got involved. Even I let my guard slip a little.
“Hey, anyone know any good campfire stories?” Tanner asked. It was later in the night and there were no immediate replies. But Tanners enthusiasm wasn’t quelled.
“No, huh? Okay, well, I think I’ve got one. Any of you guys ever hear about The Old Gods of the Forest?”
I looked up at him. In the firelight, I could see that Candice and David had done the same. Tanners eyes darted between each of us.
“I don’t think I have.” Candice said softly. Her tone was different than before. More interested.
“Well, it’s not a story that you hear all that often.” Tanner admitted. “But supposedly, back when the British came and settled this place, the Native tribes told them not to enter these woods. They said there was something out here. Something very old and very sacred to them. Now, the British didn’t buy it. They dismissed it as just a bunch of pagan superstition and history ran its course… But those stories still got to a few people who wanted to see for themselves. A lot of those people have gone into the woods over the centuries and a lot of them have never returned. Most of those who came back and said that there was nothing out here. But according to the legends, a few came back and said something else entirely… The stories are a bit divided on exactly what they found. But the consensus is that something very old lives in these woods. Older than the Natives. Older than humanity itself. Gods.” The firelight danced across Tanners face. No one else spoke as he continued his story. “According to those survivors, if you can find your way into the deepest parts of these woods then you may just be granted an audience with the Old Gods of the Forest and if you can impress them, then they will reward you. They will grant you one boon. Anything your heart desires. Wealth, power, love. All you have to do is ask.”
In the light of the fire, I could see Tanners eyes scanning all of us carefully. But none of us said a word. None of us save for David.
“You forgot the part about the full moon.” He said, and Tanner looked over at him.
“Huh?”
“The full moon. The stories said that the Old Gods of the Forest only ever came out during the full moon.”
I caught Candice’s eyes shifting skywards, towards the waxing moon above us. I knew what she was thinking.
“Right. The full moon.” Tanner said sheepishly. He smiled at David, “I guess you have heard the story before.”
“Once or twice.” David replied. He glanced at the night sky as well, looking up at the waxing moon before standing up.
“We should get an early start tomorrow.” He said. “Long day ahead of us.”
He retreated off to his tent, and I could see Candice watching him intently. Her smile returned as soon as he was gone.
I finished my vodka and retired to my own tent soon after.

I can still hear Candice and Tanner outside my tent. Even though they tried to keep quiet, I could hear what they were doing inside of one of their tents as well. I suspect that Candice made the first move and I doubt that she did it out of any real affection for the man. Tanners mention of it confirms what I already suspected. It’s no accident that we are all here together. It’s almost comforting to know that I’m not the only one to buy into the rumors of the Old Gods of the Forest.
But I wonder… Will we all be granted an audience, or just one of us? I’m sure the others are thinking the same thing. I don’t know what it is they’re after. But I know that I have to be the one to find what’s out there. For Matthew.

October 3rd
Last night, I awoke to sniffing outside of my tent. I couldn’t see any trace of the wolves outside, but I lie awake, clutching my pistol in anticipation of some sort of attack. The wolf outside my tent half circled the perimeter. I thought I could hear others moving around the camp. It was likely that they were probably just investigating to see if we had left any food behind. I couldn’t imagine they’d try and get into our tents.
In the distance, I thought I heard a yelp. Then there was the sound of movement followed by silence. Something must have scared them off. I sat awake for a little while longer but aside from the waves beside me and the chirping insects, there was no sound. I don’t remember going back to sleep. I just know that I did.

I woke up to Tanner screaming.
I emerged from my tent as quickly as I could, pistol in hand and expecting signs of an animal attack. At a glance though, everything seemed fine. Candice and David stood around Tanner and David had his hands up, as if trying to calm him.
“YOU!” Tanner snarled the moment he saw me, “Did you do this, huh? This your idea of a fucking joke?!”
He gestured to something, and it took me a moment to make out just what I was looking at. A large birch branch was impaled in the ground by his tent. Several smaller branches were propped up against it. The placement was clearly deliberate, but that was not the most concerning thing about them. On the branch that the display centered around was the head of a wolf. It had been viciously impaled on the wood, and two birch branches had been forced through its skull in a manner that resembled horns. The mouth hung open and the eyes stared vacantly ahead. I could only stare in shock at the sight.
“You think this is funny, huh?” Tanner growled, “Well it’s fucking not, alright! You think you can scare me off with this Blair Witch shit, but I’m fucking onto you!”
“Tanner. Please. Just relax. Why would any of us try to scare you off?” I asked. I kept my voice level. He just glared at me.
“Please. You wanna tell me you didn’t figure it out the second you saw the rest of us? It’s obvious. It’s been obvious right from the fucking start, so let’s just all come out and say it, alright? You’re here to see the Old Gods. Just like I am!”
“So what if we are.” I replied, “But what do any of us have to gain by scaring you off?”
“You think the Old Gods do a group rate?” Tanner snapped, “In all of the stories I’ve heard, it’s always one person alone who gets his audience, and it’s gonna be fucking me, alright? I was here first! I’ve been waiting so long for this, so sorry, but I’m getting my boon!”
“I swear… I never even heard about the Old Gods…” Candice stammered. “I-it had to be one of them.”
Tanner fixed her in a glare, and I would’ve been content to let him go off on her next. But there was still the obvious to point out.
“She couldn’t have done that. I heard the wolves outside last night. David and I noticed them at a distance before we made camp. As far as I can tell, Candice doesn’t even have a weapon and there’s no way she took down a wolf with her bare hands.”
“Well what about you?” Tanner asked, glaring at me, “You’ve got that gun there. You could’ve done it!”
“If I was shooting at the wolves, you all would have heard it.” I replied. Tanners eyes settled on David next.
“I didn’t do it.” He said, “If any of us were out there last night picking a fight with a pack of wolves, the rest of us would’ve heard it. If you want my opinion, I don’t think this was any of us.”
“Well who else is out here?” Tanner snapped.
“Other than the Gods?” David asked, “I can’t say for sure. Awfully suspicious of something to leave us a totem though. Clearly it has meaning.”
“As what, though?” I asked, “A warning?”
“Perhaps. Or a taunt… We should pack up and keep moving. We’re burning daylight, and clearly it’s not safe here.”
Tanner continued to glare at him for a moment before huffing in frustration. He pushed past David without a further word and went to go pack up his tent. David and I exchanged a glance, and I took one final look at that totem before getting ready to do the same.

Tanner walked ahead of the rest of us as we advanced deeper into the woods. Candice had fallen slightly behind us, and I found myself regarding her warily. I knew she was lying about why she was out here but I didn’t understand why. I thought about the way she’d reacted to that totem… Immediate denial. There was no way she could have built it, but I wondered if she knew who had.

Before noon, I ended up making my way towards the front of the group and kept stride with Tanner.
“Are you alright?” I asked. He side eyed me before sighing.
“Yeah. I’m alright.” He said, “Spooked I guess.” A pause before he added: “Sorry about this morning. I kinda went off on everyone.”
“Fear does that to people.” I said, “Especially when something you care about is on the line… Do you mind if I ask what you’re looking for?”
There was a moment of hesitation before Tanner spoke.
“I just want a second chance.” He said after a while. “Y’know a few years back, I used to be a swimmer. I was good, man. I was an Olympian. I was gonna take the gold in Rio. Then one night some asshole in a Jeep decides to run a stop sign… and I’m right in the middle of the crosswalk. He took my career… I’d been training my entire life for Rio. Then in a few seconds, all of it was gone. The Doctor said I’m lucky I didn’t lose a leg. Am I? At least there’s room for a one legged man in the Paralympics. I could’ve gotten something out of it.”
I nodded slowly as I heard his story.
“It must be very hard for you.” I said.
Tanner laughed.
“You’ve got no idea… I just want one more chance. That’s all I ask. One more chance… What about you?”
I hesitated for a moment, but Tanner had been honest with me. I owed him the same.
“Someone I love is very sick.” I said, “It’s lung cancer… Stage 4.”
Tanner didn’t respond. He kept looking straight ahead, and I didn’t blame him. What I’d said was not an easy thing to swallow.
“I see.” He said after a while. He looked over at me, thoughtful for a moment before sighing. “I’m sorry... I’m not going to turn back. But for what it’s worth, maybe we’ll get lucky. There’s no part of the story saying we can’t all get what we want.”
“Maybe.” I replied. “If we’re lucky.”

We camped out by a small rocky outcrop.
Tanner seemed calmer than he had this morning, although I noticed him sitting away from Candice. I suspect he distrusts her as much as I do. She hasn’t done much to alleviate our suspicions. The woods are thicker, and the air feels colder. I don’t know how much farther we need to go… But I feel as if we’re headed in the right direction.

October 4th
Again I woke up to screaming. But this was of a different nature. The sky outside was still dark, but as I emerged from my tent I was blinded by a bright light.
“Put some water on it, now!” I heard David shouting, and I could see him and Tanner emptying their water bottles onto one of the tents. In my hazy, half wakeful state it took me a moment to realize that the tent was on fire. Candice stood wide eyed and useless in the corner, and I rushed to try and help the two men in extinguishing the flames. I could hear Tanner swearing under his breath.
“What the fuck, what the fuck! Jesus fuckin’ Christ, man…”
“What happened?” I asked as the fire died down.
“I don’t fuckin’ know! I just… I woke up and… Fuck, my tent… FUCK!”
Tanner paced around, clearly frustrated and I caught him glancing at David and I. For a moment I thought he might blame us again, but he just shook his head. I caught myself looking at Candice but despite my suspicions of the woman, I couldn’t believe that she was behind this.
David left my side to check on Tanner and I looked down at the smouldering tent. In the low light of dawn, I crouched down beside it and reached into the burnt remains.
“Did you see what caused it?” I called to Tanner.
“No, I didn’t see jack shit!” Tanner yelled back, “I just woke up and… Fuck, fuck FUCK!
From the ashes, I picked up what looked to be a birch stick. It had been burned and was still a little hot to the touch, but the shape of it was interesting.
“Look at this.” I brought my findings over to David and Tanner. David took the stick from me.
“What is this? Where’d you find this?”
“In the tent.” I said, “Look at the ends of it.”
David held the stick into the light as he and Tanner examined it. The tip was sharpened to a point and the other end had what appeared to be fletching…
“This looks like an arrow.” He said.
“A fucking arrow.” Tanner murmured, “Jesus… So what, fucking Robin Hood is out here trying to kill us?”
“Or something else.” I said. I looked up at Candice and furrowed my brow before leaving the men to approach her.
“Did you see anything?” I asked.
“No... I woke up, and there was just fire and screaming… Jesus…” She rubbed at her temples, “I don’t know what happened.”
I stared at her, but I didn’t think she was lying.
“We should pack up.” I said, “Keep moving.”
“What about my tent?” Tanner asked.
“You can share with someone. But I think it’s best we keep moving.”
Tanner stared at me, and I could tell he wanted to argue. But he didn’t.
We packed up quickly and left the ruins of his tent behind.

As day broke, snow began to drift down between the trees.
“Fuckin perfect…” I heard Tanner murmuring, but he didn’t complain much beyond that. Candice had fallen to the rear of the group while David and I stayed near the front.
“It’s a little early in the season for snow.” David said, “This doesn’t feel right…”
“Should we take that as a sign that we’re headed in the right direction then?” I asked. He huffed in approval.
“The legends said that the Old Gods would test us. I wonder if this is what they meant.”
“Perhaps… It’s gotten quieter, did you notice?”
He nodded.
“No birds. No animals. I don’t think we’re alone though. Something ran the wolves off the other night, and it’s been following us ever since.”
“Gods?” I asked. David shook his head.
“No. But I’m not the only one who’s noticed them.”
He glanced back at Candice and I knew what he meant.

It was about an hour later when we found the deer. I saw it up ahead at first, although I couldn’t make out exactly what it was. But when I got close enough to see, I picked up my pace, approaching the thing before me. It was strung up between two birch trees, all four limbs splayed out. The chest had been cut open and hollowed out, but the bones had been left in place. The deer's head lolled to the side, its horns keeping it somewhat propped up.
“What did this…” I approached the carcass slowly, but I didn’t know what to make of it.
“This wasn’t for food.” David said softly, “This was a warning.”
Again I looked at Candice who stared up at the carcass with unease. This didn’t seem like an act, but I approached her anyways.
“Any thoughts?”
“W-what?” She was shaking, and not from the cold.
“Someone left this for us. I’m willing to bet the same person erected that totem outside our camp and burned Tanners tent. David says somethings been following us. I want to know if you know what’s out there.”
“Why would I know?” She asked, “I’m just as lost here as you are!”
“Are you? You’re here despite saying you’d never heard of the Old Gods… But after all we’ve already seen, you haven’t turned back yet. Clearly there’s something you’re looking for out here, just the same as us. I don’t care what it is, but if you know something that we don’t we deserve to be told.”
Candice bit her lip, before looking past me at the deer.
“Fine.” She said softly, “Yes… I’ve heard about the Old Gods. Obviously that’s why I’m here. But I didn’t hear a single fucking thing about wolf heads and gutted deer!”
I stared at her for a moment, thinking it over. Then I reached for my flask and took a long pull. I thought about threatening her. But that seemed like a step too far. I didn’t know for sure that she was lying.
“Alright.” I said after a while. “Let’s move on then.”
I turned and walked away from her, and made my way deeper into the forest. Slowly the other three followed and we did not stop to rest until night had fallen. We agreed to sleep in shifts. Two of us would stay awake to keep a lookout, and two would sleep. David and Tanner took the first shift, and I hoped they'd be alright. Something told me we'd be getting another visit from our hunters.

David woke me up at around 2 in the morning for my shift. Candice was already sitting by the fire, drinking from her water bottle, and she watched as I filled up my flask before joining her.
“Isn’t it a little early to be drinking?” She asked.
“It keeps me focused.” I said before taking a pull. I was down to just a quarter of my bottle now. Candice just scoffed.
“Whatever you say.” She murmured. She stoked the fire quietly and I began to think she wouldn’t talk to me at all. But then she spoke up again.
“So. I heard you’re out here trying to save your boyfriend.”
“Tanner told you?” I asked. She nodded.
“He’s been asking what we’re all after. I think maybe he’s having second thoughts. Far as I can tell, David’s kept his mouth shut on what he’s looking for. Says it’s something personal. Tanner told me all about his Olympic career of course…”
“And what about you?” I asked, “What are you after?”
Candice smiled sadly.
“Well, that’s the million dollar question, right? Let’s just say I’ve hit a run of bad luck. Lost a lot of money on cards, and I’d like to turn things around.”
I raised an eyebrow at her before shaking my head. It sounded like a stupid reason to be out in the woods but telling her as much wouldn’t achieve anything.
“Mind if I have some of that whisky?” She asked. I offered her the flask and watched her take a drink. “Thanks. I’ve got a question. What happens if the Gods will only appear to one of us? Do we pick each other off to decide who gets the honor, or do you think they’re gonna choose whoever gets to see them?”
“I honestly don’t know.” I replied. “I suppose we’ll find out soon enough.”
“Very soon.” Candice said, “The full moon is tomorrow night, y’know. We’re going to have to decide. And frankly between the two of us, I like my chances.”
She grinned and passed my flask back to me. In the firelight, her smile seemed unsettling. The snow slowly drifted around her as she stood up and stretched.
“Hey, can you hold down the fort for a minute? I gotta use the ladies room.”
She trudged off into the darkness and I watched her go for a moment before looking back into the fire. I thought about accompanying her… The woods were dangerous after all. But there was a part of me that didn’t care if anything befell Candice.

Ten minutes later, Candice hadn’t returned, and I heard the first movement in the trees. I looked up, hoping it was just Candice. But I couldn’t see her in the dark. Slowly I reached for my pistol, and stood up.
“Candice?” I called, but there was no answer. I thought I heard wind rustling through the dry branches. In the light of the fire, I could see the pale bark of birch trees around us and I could’ve sworn I saw movement behind them… Then came the sound of the wind again. Dry and scratchy only… It sounded wrong. It went on for too long and seemed to be getting closer. I saw something duck behind a tree, but I didn’t get a good look as to what. Then I heard that noise again, and I felt a sudden stab of panic as I realized that it was not the wind.
It was a voice.
Something hit me on the back of the head. Stars exploded across my vision and I hit the ground. I saw figures emerging from the woods, tall, dark and terrible. I could hear their dry, scratchy voices. I tried to raise my gun but I was struck again and for a moment, I lost consciousness.

I must have been out only a few minutes. But when I came too, I was on my knees. A pale hand rested on my shoulder, and I could feel something sharp against my neck. I watched as Tanner was dragged screaming out of his tent and the shadowy figures worked to do the same to David. There was no sign of Candice, and somewhere in the back of my mind I realized that she’d abandoned us. She’d said she’d liked her odds after all…Somehow she’d known what was coming, and she’d been all too happy to use us as a distraction while she slipped away into the night.
David's tent was cut open, and I watched as the figures dragged him out. He writhed and kicked. The sounds he made seemed pained and at last the figures dropped him.
“Oh fuck me…” I heard Tanner say, and it took me a moment to realize why.
In the firelight, I could see David’s body shifting. Growing. He let out a pained scream that sounded half human and half animal. The figures recoiled from him and my eyes widened as David changed before us. Thick black hair coated his body. His hands curled into wicked claws and his face seemed to slowly elongate into a canine snout.
The thing that had once been David let out an enraged howl, and I could feel the creatures behind me pulling away in fear. David’s green eyes settled on me… but only for a moment. In an instant, he bolted into the woods in pursuit of our attackers. Tanner hurried to his feet, and grabbed me by the shoulder to force me up.
“Shit, shit, shit… Jesus Shit… We need to go!”I couldn’t argue with that. Tanner was already running and I bolted off into the woods too, but not in pursuit of Tanner. I was after David. I’d snatched my gun off of the ground, and I could hear vicious animal snarling up ahead.
“KAREN!” Tanner called behind me, but I didn’t care. Whatever he was, David was clearly on our side. I wasn’t going to let him fight those creatures alone. It was so dark that I could barely see the ground in front of me. But as my eyes adjusted to the light, I spotted a massive black shape ahead of me. Davids eyes gleamed in the light, I could see the silver dagger around his neck and I could smell coppery blood in the air. I froze, wondering if I’d made a mistake… if David would attack me next. But he had other priorities.
In the shadows, I could see the beast seize one of the dark figures by the throat. He let out a vengeful howl before his teeth tore into its skull. I could hear the panicked whispers of our attackers among the trees. But their fear of David was too great. They would not engage him openly. Those whispers grew distant before they faded away entirely.
David panted and fell to his knees before me. His eyes settled on me, and I heard a pained cry escape from him. I took a step back before I heard footsteps rushing up behind me. A flashlight shone upon David, now naked and shivering as his body contorted into its original shape.He looked up at us, clearly afraid and I ran to his side.
“Holy shit…” I heard Tanner say softly.
“Help me get him back to camp!” I said, looking up at him, “He’s going to need some clothes.”
Part 2
submitted by HeadOfSpectre to HeadOfSpectre [link] [comments]

My friend Riley.

Trigger Warning
Riley moved to our backwoods town in the middle of sophomore year. He was a skittish kid, small for our age, so he very quickly became the target of some good-natured teasing. He jumped every time someone got too close or raised their voice too loud near him, scampering away like a rabbit after a car backfired.
I was a loner myself, much more into video games than social interaction, but I took pity when I saw Riley sitting alone in the cafeteria for the third day in a row and decided to share his empty table. He winced when I let my tray loudly clatter onto the plastic surface but regained his composure quickly and introduced himself. “Yeah, I know who you are,” I hand-waved, telling him my name in return. I started talking to him about the video game I was currently engrossed in and he responded with a similar level of enthusiasm. We got along easily, our conversation straying into me explaining the different social groups and weird quirks of our school.
“Hey, tell me something, man,” he asked once I’d finished explaining our ridiculous mascot, leaning across the table and lowering his voice under the din of the cafeteria’s background noise. “Do they, like, beat up the new kid here?” His blue eyes were wide, his expression gravely serious.
I snorted and chugged the last of my chocolate milk, crumpling the carton in my fist. “Nah, dude. They’ll leave you alone by the end of the week. ‘Sides, the jocks care more about hazing new recruits, so unless you go out for a team, you’re safe.” My eyes gave his skinny form a once-over. His clothes looked about three sizes too big, sleeves that looked as though they could serve as neckholes swallowing his small wrists. I meant it to be subtle, but my teenage self hadn’t yet mastered that art.
Riley shook his head. “Nah, I’m not exactly athletic,” he answered, a small grin on his face. “More of a toothpick.” I laughed at that, and from then on, Riley and I were buddies. We shared a table at lunch every day, and sometimes he would come over and we would co-op on games or just order pizza and watch bad tv. Those were good times; our friendship was easy and effortless, and I found myself enjoying not spending all of my time staring at a screen by myself.
But good things never last, and the trouble came in the spring when swimming classes began.
Riley had always been shy about changing in the locker rooms. He had gotten mercilessly teased for always doing it in a stall, but eventually the novelty of that taunt wore off and he was left alone. But on swimming day when he showed up with notes from his doctor and his mom, no one could ignore the way the coach’s eyebrows crinkled as he examined the paperwork. He nodded, seemingly accepting the excuses, and Riley trudged over to a bench by the pool, plopping down his bag and leaning tiredly against the tile behind him.
“Hey Riley, you allergic to water or some shit? That why you stink so bad?” Josh, one of the douchier athletes, splashed water on Riley’s sneakers.
“Fuck off,” Riley muttered back, earning him 10 push-ups from the coach for foul language. He did them silently before resuming his spot on the bench, closing his eyes and ignoring the teasing.
--
“Dude, what was up with gym today? Are you sick or something?” I asked as we sat down for lunch, my hair still dripping from last period’s lesson.
Riley poked at his spaghetti but didn’t make an effort to actually get any onto his fork. “I can’t do swimming.” I kept staring pointedly at him until he looked up and dropped his plastic utensil. He sighed and gave me a resigned response, eyes cast down at his sauce-covered tray. “Look, it’s a gross skin thing I don’t want to talk about. It’s why I moved schools.”
I took a bite of meatball and chewed as I thought about how I had never seen Riley change--how no one had, not even a peek--and reasoned that a nasty skin problem would be a good reason to keep so private. Riley was staring at me now, waiting for a response. I swallowed. “Fair enough, dude. Sucks though.” He nodded and changed the topic to making weekend plans to see a movie, and I let the conversation veer into that direction instead. I didn’t want to pry--and to be honest, I didn’t really want to hear the gory details about whatever was going on underneath those baggy clothes.
Gym class was three times a week: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. Wednesday’s class passed without any more incident than the same jeers Riley had gotten on Monday, and he ignored them entirely. But on Friday, shit hit the fan.
The class was normal enough, but it was obvious that the four jocks who had continued to make fun of Riley weren’t enjoying his ability to tune out their taunts. As of Friday, the coach had decided to drag an old-school non-electric exercise bike into the pool area, not wanting to give Riley a free pass on not doing any physical activity. This meant that Riley had to change out of his gym clothes in the locker room after class was over, and it was this fact that ruined everything.
Riley was holding his regular clothes as he walked over to the stalls, only to be stopped by Josh stepping directly in front of him. Josh was easily a foot taller and solidly built from his rigorous workout regimen, a fact that was all too apparent in his swim trunks. “Why you going to the stall again, Riley?” He managed to make Riley’s name sound like an insult. Riley tried to sidestep him, but Josh just blocked him again.
“What, you some kinda fag?” Josh got closer to Riley, pushing his face in close. “I bet you need the stall cause you get a fucking hard-on from watching us change. Isn’t that right, boys?” he asked, and his three backup cronies nodded, closing in the ranks around Riley. “We got ourselves a fucking pervert!”
“I’m not gay,” Riley replied, standing as tall as he was able. He tried to push past Josh, but Josh was too quick and too strong--one small extension of his muscular arms and Riley was on the floor on his back. I stepped forward and extended my hand to help him up. I wasn’t strong like them, but I was a big guy, and I hoped that would be enough to make them step off.
“Just let him change, guys,” I said, trying to restore any semblance of peace. This, however, backfired as Mark, one of Josh’s friends, shoved me from behind.
“His fucking boyfriend to the rescue,” he jeered. I stumbled, but I was too big to be toppled that easily, so I kept my footing. “Hey guys, you wanna play a game? Ever heard of smear the queer?” Mark asked, and I saw Riley’s eyes widen with panic.
Surprisingly, Josh stepped forward, hands out in a placating gesture. “Now Mark, let’s just let the lovebirds have their alone time in the stall, okay?” He moved aside and gestured grandly towards the bathroom. My eyes narrowed in suspicion, but before I could say anything, Riley had started to scramble past him.
The second Riley was next to him, Josh’s plan became clear as he grabbed the waistband of Riley’s pants and pulled down hard, taking down his boxers too. He had started a line about an erection, but that died when it became very clear to everyone that Riley didn’t have a penis.
“Holy shit,” Josh whispered, letting go of the clothing as he stumbled back in shock. Riley hastily pulled up his boxers and shorts and used everyone’s stunned inaction as an escape opportunity, darting out of the locker room before another word was spoken. After I had processed what had just happened, I took off after him.
I found Riley in the bathroom I knew he preferred the most, the one that was meant for handicapped students and was a little room of its own. He had always claimed to like the privacy, but now I understood the real reason why he wouldn’t go into the multi-stall bathrooms. I could hear him crying through the locked door and I sat with my back against it, sighing. I didn’t know what to say, so after letting him know it was me and not one of those dicks, I didn’t say anything.
Probably five minutes passed before his crying subsided a little and he spoke, his voice muffled by the door. “This is why I left my last school,” I heard him mutter. “I wanted to be treated like a boy, and the people that knew me as a girl weren’t very understanding.” There was a pause where he blew his nose loudly. “I thought it would be different if I was just a boy from the start, you know? But it’s not.” I heard a slam, like his hand hitting the floor. “Nothing changed.”
I still didn’t know how to respond, but I knew I had to try something, so I opted to change the subject. “Do you still want to go to the movies tomorrow?”
I heard a snort of laughter. “Please tell me that’s not you asking me on a date.”
I shook my head before realizing he couldn’t see it. “Nah,” I replied. “I don’t date boys.”
There was more silence on the other side of the door before I heard some shuffling and the lock clicked. I stood up as Riley opened the door, his face blotchy from crying, but smiling all the same.
We went to lunch as usual and ignored the whispers and stares. The rest of the day was a blur; I was trying so hard to block out everyone’s bullshit that I don’t remember a damn thing. I had wanted to tell a teacher, the principal, anyone, but Riley begged me not to. He said it would just cause more problems and it would make his mom worry too much. He looked at me with pleading eyes and I promised to obey his request. I can’t begin to express how much I have regretted that decision every day since. We agreed to meet at the movies at noon the next day before heading home on our separate buses. That was the last time I ever saw Riley.
Someone had overheard us confirming our plans, and because we lived in a town with less than 1,000 people, Josh and his gang got word. Everyone knew where everyone lived, so it was simple for them to intercept Riley as he walked to the movie theater, the four of them easily able to overpower my friend. They drove him out to the woods and they fucking brutalized him. The papers just listed assault, but as his mother later cried on my shoulder, both of us lost in our grief, she told me the full extent of what they had done to him.
They had burned him with cigarettes and carved slurs into his skin; they cut off his breasts and raped him so badly that he had internal injuries that would have left him unable to even use the bathroom--that is, if they hadn’t lynched him and left him to die, naked and bleeding, bruises covering his face so entirely that it had to be a closed-casket funeral. I let his mother grieve to me--her husband had died several years ago and Riley was her only child, so she had no one else. It was weird, seeing pictures of Riley as a young kid with long hair, wearing dresses and holding baby dolls, in pictures around their house. His mom blamed herself for not being able to afford the hormones that he begged for and wondered if he would have passed, if he would be alive if he had been able to have access to them. I tried to tell her that it wouldn’t have made a difference, but the words were hollow, since I was also blaming myself. If I had just told someone, if I had asked him to sleep over at my house and we had gone together instead, if, if, if…
The “if”s consumed me day and night. I stopped eating, stopped playing video games--basically, I just laid in my bed and stared at the ceiling, continually replaying that last day in my head, wondering what I could have done differently and beating myself up over every mistaken choice.
It only made matters worse when the police ruled that Riley’s death, while a homicide, had no suspect leads. It didn’t matter to the cops that everyone knew who had done it--there was no evidence, no witnesses, and they all alibied each other flawlessly. The case was as cold as Riley’s corpse and covered up in much the same way.
My parents only let me take two weeks off of school for grieving before they insisted I went back. They had given up on my grades at that point, but they told me that I couldn’t stay in the house forever, and so, back I went. But the school was empty without Riley, emptier still with everyone gawking at me. I sat down alone at our table and examined the ingredients on my milk carton closely, trying not to cry. Someone sat down across from me, and I looked up to see Josh leering across the table. My vision went red as he smirked. “Where’s your girlfriend?” he asked smugly.
“Riley was a boy and you killed him,” I whispered, a tear falling down my face despite my best efforts. That just made Josh laugh.
“You need a dick to be a man, faggot,” he responded breezily. I lunged across the table, screaming incoherently, unable to see anything but white-hot rage as my fists pummeled his face, the onslaught too sudden for him to defend himself. It took three teachers to pry me off of him and I got sent home immediately. Luckily, I didn’t get in more trouble--I managed to break his nose--but the school opted to give me online coursework for the rest of the year and gave my parents recommendations for counsellors. I wondered if not expelling me was some sad attempt at atonement for not preventing Riley’s murder, but I never asked.
That night, I sobbed as I stared at my ceiling, my bloody knuckles stinging as I wiped away salty tears. “Riley, I’m gonna fucking kill them,” I vowed, and I plotted how to get away with their murders just like they had gotten away with his until I fell asleep. I dreamed of Riley, whole and at peace, telling me not to do anything and that he would take care of it. “How can you?” I remember asking him in the dream, screaming through snot and tears. “You’re fucking dead.” He had smirked and told me not to worry about it, and I woke up with tears still lingering on my cheeks. “Fuck you too, subconscious,” I mumbled, furiously wiping my face.
I groggily swiped at my phone, doing my usual social media sweep before getting out of bed, hoping to distract myself from the dream. I didn’t have to look further than the first article to find a suitable one. Josh, Mark, and the two other boys that were assumed responsible for Riley’s death had been attacked the previous night. They were all alive and in stable condition except for Josh--he was critical. He stabilized as the day went on, though, and slowly more details were leaked.
Each boy’s genitalia had been completely removed, the pieces unrecovered, so there was no hope for reattachment. Josh had additionally had his Achilles tendons cut, causing him to lose a significant amount of blood and ruining any chance that he would play football professionally, as had been his goal. I was briefly a suspect, but my parents backed up that I had been asleep at home all night. The police were suspicious and I can’t say that I blamed them, but one piece of evidence seemed to convince them that I wasn’t involved: all four boys had been mutilated at the exact same time. The cops took this to mean that four people were involved, and since I didn’t have any other friends, it became apparent that I wouldn’t have been able to orchestrate such a mauling even if I had tried. The case went cold, just as Riley’s had.
But Josh’s words replayed over and over in my head--that you needed a dick to be a man. I wondered if they had said that to Riley, too, as they tortured him. I felt like I knew the answer.
And when the boys returned to school and opened their lockers, only to find their penises hanging inside like festering mistletoe, my suspicions were confirmed. Riley had always had a good sense of humor, and apparently it never went away.
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Where you can place a bet against Asian handicap in football

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Best-in-class considerations: colored magical infantry

(Update: added Spring!Lucina.)

Best-in-class considerations: colored magical infantry

Hi again! We've done armors, cavalry and fliers, we've done (colored) physical infantry, time to tackle colored magical infantry. I'll handle cleawhite/grey/whatever-you-wanna-call-them units later because this file is already way too big as-is.
Usual disclaimers apply: we don't care about base kits - only base stat spreads, movement types, attack types and unique weapons matter. We aren't looking for efficiency, but for optimality.
Also, this isn't a tier list.
Stats used are for neutral units, without accounting for weaponry or skills. Keep in mind units you didn't summon (i.e. starter trio and reward units) don't get stat variance.
Oh, and one more thing: faceless mook cavalier archers exist. In case you were still in doubt about cavalier archers summonable units eventually being a thing.

About range and firepower

We're going to look at a lot of ranged attackers in this post. One thing to keep in mind about them is ranged weapons are usually weaker than their melee counterparts.
Specifically, legendary ranged weapons will usually have 14 might (instead of the 16 legendary melee weapons get), and Brave Bow gets 7 might instead of the usual 8 (Dire Thunder, being a legendary brave weapon (blue tome), sports 9 might but isn't transferrable).
Also, there is no legendary dagger yet Jaffar's Deathly Dagger is the only legendary dagger. No legendary staff currently exists, to no one's surprise.
Mages get a few weapons that don't have equivalents - the Blade, Raven and Wolf tomes.
Blade tomes are especially important because they have the potential to be the strongest weapons in the game, by a landslide (13+16+4, 13+24+6 in Horse Emblem). They'll only reach that kind of power level with good support though.

Red mages

Units considered
Notable things
Recommendations
Overall comments
Skills to consider

Blue mages

What a crowded class! Three units (at time of writing), one of them excellent, the second average, the third one of the worst units of the game. Let's dig in!
Units considered
Notable things
Recommendations
Overall comments
Skills to consider

Green mages

Units considered
Notable things
Recommendations
Overall comments
Skills to consider

Mages wrap-up

Sooo writing these sections has proven both instructive and depressing. Red mages do have decent variety (with good units both for offense - Tharja, Sanaki - and defense - Henry), but blue and green mages are overwhelmingly underwhelming (both have excellent offense - Linde, Julia and Nino - but no serious defense).
RobinF and especially RobinM have been hurt hugely by Skill Inheritance, becoming... well, average, for lack of a better word. The only thing they have going for them is the lack of better alternatives, which will definitely change as more units get released.
From a general point of view, attacking from the magical side of the spectrum allows your attacks to be handled by res instead of def. This is great when fighting armors not named Sheena, among other things. Also, Blade tome users have the potential to be the most stupidly powerful glass canons in the game (especially cavalier mages since Horse Emblem provides greater buffs - cavalier mages were treated in the first best-in-class post).

Dragons

A quick reminder: just like mages, dragons are handled by res, not def. Since they're melee attackers, they don't get the ranged weapon might penalty.
Units considered
Notable things
Recommendations
Overall comments
Skills to consider

Armors, Cavalry, Fliers

Done already.

Colored physical infantry

Done already.

Healers, archers, dagger users

(Coming soon.)

That's it for now!

We're slowly reaching the end of obvious categories to take a look at. I'm not sure where to go once I'm done with global overview and wrap-up (which is probably either next post, or the one after that), so if you have suggestions, please ask away!
Cheers!
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PDC Betting Analysis  17 Stephen Bunting vs 100 Mike de Decker  May 27, 2020 HighRollerRadioTV - YouTube Rod Harrington goes through his betting tips for this evening darting action on Sky Sports How does Two-way Handicap or Asian Handicap work? Spread betting on Darts

Handicap 2 way. In darts some players are much better than others, so bookies will have them priced odds on. Not leaving much value for us to bet with. So the bookie will handicap the better player, and give the weaker player a head start in the betting. A good example of this would be Player A – 2.5 and Player B +2.5. Darts handicap betting strategy works very much in the same way that other sports handicap betting strategies work. This is an ideal way to bet on a match favourite and increasing the odds while you do – by betting on the player with an imaginary handicap – made up by the bookies. Darts Betting Strategy . Darts betting could be considered one of the simpler gambling pastimes. Just 2 players contest an individual match and the world darts downright betting markets usually are always headed by familiar names. Proven Advantages For newcomers, staying with the confirmed top-12 or perhaps 16 pros is a sensible choice when it Darts Handicap Betting Darts has increased in popularity in recent years and so have the betting markets involved. As Sky are keen advocates of Darts I would suggest using SkyBet for your wagers – they also televise all of the major events so their market coverage is pretty unrivalled. Krzysztof Ratajski v Michael Smith - Most 180s Handicap. Get the best available World Matchplay odds from all online bookmakers with Oddschecker, the home of betting value.

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PDC Betting Analysis 17 Stephen Bunting vs 100 Mike de Decker May 27, 2020

Rod Harrington goes through his betting tips for this evening darting action on Sky Sports. Here is his tips for tonight: Wright v Chisnall Over 24.5 Legs Norris v Webster Over 23.5 Legs Taylor v ... NFL Week 17 Best Bets & World Darts Championships Betting Tips Sports Bet Daily - Duration: 36:07. Odds Market 464 views. 36:07. We love POKER & DARTS! Gambling, sports betting & UFC too. High Roller Radio provides dynamite interviews, informative story lines & excellent event recaps. ... This video is unavailable. Watch Queue Queue. Watch Queue Queue Asian handicap betting explained and how to use spread betting tips - Duration: 4:32. SmartCapper 20,010 views. 4:32. Sunday Service 6-14-20 - Duration: 49:28. St.