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[DarK_RaideR] strolls into the Woods of the Druids


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Don't expect none of that cute hippie/anime stuff. I'm here to make druids metal.

 

So last challenge I was doing well, until my left eye decided to go all red and start itching. My doctor told me it was a combination of chronic eye dryeness (which I was aware of), spending many hours a day in front of a computer (which I was also aware of, but it's not something new that happened after I landed a job back in November) and stress. I've always had a blood pressure, pulse and body heat lower than what's considered "average" and none of them ever spiked up, so I was confused. I didn't have any incidents of stress-related symptoms like hyperventilation or panic attacks previously, but I was undoubtedly getting stressed with something pressing at work at the time, so clearly there was something at work. Furthermore, the doctor told me part of the issue is anatomical, in that my eye has developed an extensive blood vessel network to make up for eye dryness. This means it's something I can't change, but also that when the pressure goes up, it looks worse than it actually is and I have more vessels pressing my eyeball. Cherry on top, the example the doctor used to explain what's going on with my eye was that it's similar to muscles getting the pump after a workout. As such, I took a break from my daily heavy weightlifting plan and also decided to cut myself some slack in terms of strict nutrition parameters and cutting down on the smoking. It was a conscious break, with me well aware that I wasn't gonna let everything go downhill, just take it easy for a while and prepare my eventual comeback.

 

As the challenge begins, this is my comeback.

 

My work situation is more or less non-negotiable, so the idea is to organize the rest of my day in order to balance out all the bad stuff that work inevitably brings upon me. Furthermore, I'm doing away with SMART goals, or goals per se in general, as I do not need the added pressure of sticking to them, or the disappointment of not sticking to them. This is more or less going to be a list of things I'd like to do throughout the day, with me scoring how much of it actually happened by the end of it.

 

Soak in the Sun

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I've made a habit of not checking my phone as soon as I wake up. Deleting my social media has helped immensely with that and I cannot recommend it enough, for way more reasons than just this. As the days get longer and warmer, I'd like to make a habit of taking in a bit of sun in the morning. It's good for one's Circadian Rhythm (fancy name for what we call a "biological clock"), meaning it gets you up and energized fast, keeps you going throughout the day and helps you sleep earlier at night. Also, I spend most of the day inside the office, even if my desk is next to a window or I might go out to grab a coffee, so that's a plus. Now I don't have the time to go out for a morning walk, but at least I can have my breakfast on the balcony, even if I do live right on a busy highway that's clogged with traffic in the morning. Might at least give me a sense of taking some time off for myself in the morning, as opposed to rushing out to go to work.

 

Serpentine Slither

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Ever since the eye situation last challenge, I did a bit of research in regards to what type of workouts are suitable for people with high blood pressure. It seems the general consensus is to avoid high intensity, which sucks because I love high intensity workouts, to the point where I don't feel like I'm actually putting in any effort and really working out unless I'm on the edge of passing out. All of the mid to low intensity workouts are about low and slow, easing into a workout state and then keeping the burn going for as long as possible, but frankly, I don't have the damn time to take a 30+ minute walk or do any of that stuff. So, I'm going back to NF Yoga. It's worked for me several times in the past, to the point where I know all of Steve's jokes by heart. All I need is to get myself a yoga mat and pray the younger of my two cats isn't too disruptive. Once I get back into the groove of things, I might just write down the poses and do them in my own time or something, but for now I just need to take that first step.

 

Inner Peace: Overrated

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This is the meditation part and the title isn't me taking a smartass jab. You just can't always be peaceful inside. Hell, you can strive to be peaceful and that struggle is, by definition, not something peaceful and calm. It's all about balance. Meditation is about being present in the moment, whatever that moment is like. The biggest benefit I've reaped from practicing meditation is learning how to just observe thoughts and feelings, without rushing to judge, process or otherwise interact with them. To paraphrase a rather enlightening Headspace video, the point is to sit by and observe that stuff go by, like watching cars in traffic, but we get this urge to hop in and start directing that traffic. It begins with thoughts and feelings you get during meditation, but in time, you start to apply this approach in your daily life as you acknowledge them outside of meditation as well. Heck, you even start to notice things outside of you that would otherwise affect you, but show the patience and wisdom to not react immediately in a rush of poorly thought-out emotion. I need that vibe back in my life, especially with the aforementioned stress situation. Also, I've noticed my mind's starting to overload, to the point where I make basic mistakes or forget elementary things. Focus is needed.

 

Master of the Pack

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Might be a stretch to say I live for my two cats, though I sure do go to work every day in order to make sure they never run out of food, water and kitty litter. They're my flatmates, my buddies, occasional partners in crime and a responsibility I welcome. These days our interactions mostly involve them expecting food as soon as I wake up, pacing around the kitchen while I prepare my food or falling asleep next to me on the bed. Whether they're cuddling, laying about or performing some sort of feline tomfoolery, they ground me by reminding me to not stress about what's not really important.  I'd like to pay them some more attention, plus the more time I spend with them is less time spent on a screen. They bloody well deserve it.

 

Caustic Cauldron of Cautiousness

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You guessed it, this is the nutrition part. Again, I don't want to put too much pressure on myself on this part, so merely bringing home cooked food to work is enough for now. I've fallen off that habit as of late, which means poorly spent money on meals and snacks of poor nutritional value. Getting back on the cooking habit every evening is easy enough to stick with and it should sort these things out. Won't lie, I'm hoping for a snowball effect here, from upping my grocery shopping game to being more mindful of what I eat, but those are side benefits and ambitions that may or may not come. For now, I'm keeping it simple and easy. Just bring a damn meal I made, everyday, to work for lunch.

 

Sleep

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Pretty self explanatory. I don't exactly struggle to fall asleep, quite the opposite, actually, but I do tend to get caught up on all sorts of stupid things that keep me up till late, instead of straight up going to bed and getting enough rest. It's been a few months since I moved my usual wake-up time of 8am (or later, prior to getting this job) to 6-6:30am and I don't always make it to work the next morning with all the hours of sleep my mind and body need. If I'm to get the full 8 hour experience, I need to be in bed by 10pm.

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Nice! Here for this!

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Welcome one, welcome all. I expect more familiar faces to show up, so might as well put the tea kettle on.

 

Not sure what happened last night, but the older of my cats was so fed up with my bullshit, he had to wake up and physically bully me into putting the phone down at 2:43am. I'm serious, he was this close to slapping the damn thing out of my hands. Not that I'd blame him.

 

Wait, I probably know what happened last night. Or at least I can explain it. So I had a work emergency on Friday, apparently I messed up some procedure during my first days on the job and it came up months later to essentially cost me a case for technicalities. Not that it wasn't doomed in the first place, but I digress. The "colleague" handling it at the court hearing rushed to inform management before they even got in touch with me, whereas instead,  the one I'm more frequently collaborating with 1) came up with some sort of patchy solution on the fly, 2) took the blame for all this due to them not keeping an eye on me during my first weeks at work and 3) got to hear the riot act by management over the phone. Just goes to show you how different people can be in their behaviours. I am, of course, immensly appreciative of the one and planning payback on the other. Not because I'm vengeful or it'll fix anything, but I need to set limits and there have to be consequences for such shitty behaviour.

 

You know that "Inside you there are two wolves" meme? Well, inside me there's two Hindu deities.

lord-ganesha-ganesh-festival-700-1721454 One is Ganesh. Wise, cute, chubby and chill

ba7e3196e8b9e0f00f245083cf8bc3b5.jpg The other is mufuggin Kali

 

That artwork I used for my meditation goal in the opening post? That's supposed to be an artistic interpretation of Kali. I'm pretty sure as Sunday turned into Monday and my mind subconsciously braced for the stress of returning to work under such circumstances, her concept stuck around, from using that image while posting my challenge to staying up late at night looking up all sorts of weird stuff you look when you're tumbling down a youtube rabbit hole at 2am

 

On the bright side, I found this "Bollywood meets Mortal Kombat visual FX" gem

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  • That's Metal 5

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Following to see you be more cat, dude.

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Level 21 Wood Elf Ranger

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I can show up for Making Druids Metal Again B) 

 

Diablo-4-Druid-Concept-Art.jpg

 

 

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[Level ??] Rurik, the Thunderer

Class: Stormborn War-Shaman (Path of Giants Barbarian/Conquest Paladin/Elemental Domain Cleric)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment:  Studded leather armor, war club, plus adventurer's pack containing rations, rope, and nature-based potions. 

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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7 hours ago, Jarric said:

Following to see you be more cat, dude.

Frankly, we could all do with being more cat.

 

6 hours ago, Tanktimus the Encourager said:

I hope more of you coworkers treat you in such a way you can respond with Ganesh and fewer deserve Kali.

I mean, which one they get really depends on their behaviour. Also, it seems my algorithm now has been overtaken by Kali. She's got some catchy tunes, I'll give her that.

 

3 hours ago, Rurik Harrgath said:

I can show up for Making Druids Metal Again B) 

I was hoping you'd show up and be excited about this.

 

Challenge Day 1: Monday, March 27

Soak in the Sun

Woke up late because of course I did if my cat had to almost slap the phone out of my hands at 2:43am, D_R you idiot. Still, I bust a chair out and had my breakfast at the balcony, taking in the sunlight. It's weird, might be a bit of a placebo effect, but it kinda felt like something was working. Not so much in the waking up part, but in regards to putting me in a good mood, despite the rough day that lay ahead, and it's not like I live in a place where sunlight's a rare gift. Actually scrap that, because I only had one coffee throughout the day, the one after my lunch. Which means I kept going without having any coffee in the morning. Am I onto something here? Further observation is required.

 

Serpentine Slither

Was short for time when I got back home, to the point where I feel I may have overloaded my post-work part of the day BUT THEN I remembered it's not about doing ALL of the things on every day and I cut myself some slack. I did however take a break from work when I went out to grab my coffee and I also grabbed myself a yoga mat.

 

Inner Peace: Overrated

Actually planning to give this a go after posting this and going to bed. Keep me away from a phone screen, help me relax, give my brain a chance to sort out events of the day and ease into sleep.

 

Master of the Pack

Running out of medicinal cat food, so I ordered some online and grabbed a 2kg bag from a pet shop on my way back from the office to keep me going until the order is delivered. The neighbour's cat dropped by and the lads were pretty busy cat-ting around. Fully expect them to join me for nap time tho.

 

Caustic Cauldron of Cautiousness

Had leftover spaghetti bolognese from the weekend that I took to work. Got back home feeling ravenous, so I whipped up a quick egg&potato omelette to set me straight. Once that had been dealt with, I did do some proper cooking, so tomorrow's lunch is taken care of.

 

Sleep

It is 10:20 as I post this, then I'm straight off to bed.

 

Today's Druid jam

 

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These pics, that go with this post, and these goals.  Are ah-mah-zing!     Screw cute and fluffy.

Metal druid is where it's at!!!

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Level 83 ~*~ Ranger

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"It is difficult.  All things worth keeping are."  Thane Krios - Mass Effect 2

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3 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Running out of medicinal cat food, so I ordered some online and grabbed a 2kg bag from a pet shop on my way back from the office to keep me going until the order is delivered. The neighbour's cat dropped by and the lads were pretty busy cat-ting around. Fully expect them to join me for nap time tho.

 

This sounds magical and perfectly druidy.  I would shapeshift into a cat in a heartbeat, just to catch up on some rest ;) 

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[Level ??] Rurik, the Thunderer

Class: Stormborn War-Shaman (Path of Giants Barbarian/Conquest Paladin/Elemental Domain Cleric)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment:  Studded leather armor, war club, plus adventurer's pack containing rations, rope, and nature-based potions. 

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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Good start to the day so far, fingers crossed. Meditation last night was pretty awesome and it did indeed ease me into a nice slumber, complete with some interesting dreams. Got the full 8 hours of sleep and woke up a few minutes before the 6:30 alarm. Cats seemed to be in a good mood already, up and wrestling on the blanket. Refilled their feeder and had my breakfast at the balcony, which was nice. Daylight savings means I just caught the first light of dawn, sun was barely rising some 2 hours later when I was leaving the house, but it was still nice. Morning chill also means I was able to drink my strawberry tea and actually enjoy it, as opposed to sweating like a maniac. As a person who doesn't mind the cold but suffers against heat, it was refreshing. Had the water heating while I enjoyed my breakfast, so I packed my lunch for the day I'd pre-cooked the night before and decided to get in a bit of yoga since I had time to spare. Easing back into NF Yoga with Water A for now. The new yoga mat is thick and hard enough to not give my knees a hard time, which is nice. What's also nice is doing yoga with a purring kitty circling you, though I had to push him away on more than one occasions where he dug his teeth and/or claws into the mat. It's a new thing for him, it's understandable. He'll learn in time. Once that was in the bag, I took my shower and walked to work, which is a nice 20-30' stroll.

 

So, to recap: it's almost half past nine in the morning, I've had a good night's sleep, my morning sunlight, yoga session and packed some home cooked food for lunch at work.

 

Let's hope things continue just as nice for the rest of the day.

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This might just be the most metal druid thread I've seen and I am here for it! You inspired me to think how I can make my mornings slower. I am typically in a rush, back and forth to grab things I forgot before throwing myself into the car to get to the gym before work. It would be nice to spend even 10 minutes to meditate, or enjoy a cup of tea before I head out. Hmm. Something to ponder, and I thank you for it my friend. 

 

May it constantly rain on that crappy colleague when he least expects it and has no umbrella to hand though. 

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“All You Have To Decide Is What To Do With The Time That Is Given To You.” - Gandalf

 

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1 hour ago, Rhovaniel said:

May it constantly rain on that crappy colleague when he least expects it and has no umbrella to hand though. 

She, actually :P

 

Glad you're thinking about taking a bit of time off in the morning. I'm starting to find it makes you a bit more relaxed and collected throughout the day. Rush straight out of bed and off to work, your chances of being a hot mess for the rest of the day are probably increased.

 

Also glad the whole "make druids metal" thing has had such a reception.

 

And we still haven't gotten into the darker stuff...

Druid+2.jpg

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26 minutes ago, DarK_RaideR said:

She, actually :P

 

Glad you're thinking about taking a bit of time off in the morning. I'm starting to find it makes you a bit more relaxed and collected throughout the day. Rush straight out of bed and off to work, your chances of being a hot mess for the rest of the day are probably increased.

Oops, my bad.

 

 

Yeah, I definitely feel like I'm if not playing catch up then at least starting the day a bit off-kilter. But going to the gym in the morning is annoyingly what also works best for me and my schedule. I struggle to get up some days, but if I get up with the intention to have a self-care moment not 'got to do A, B and C and get to the gym'... hmm. I shall experiment!

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9 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Also glad the whole "make druids metal" thing has had such a reception.

 

And we still haven't gotten into the darker stuff...

 

There was an entire zone in Warcraft two expansions ago that had woods witches/dark druids, and it was so freaking cool.  This theme has me ultra pumped!  haha

 

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[Level ??] Rurik, the Thunderer

Class: Stormborn War-Shaman (Path of Giants Barbarian/Conquest Paladin/Elemental Domain Cleric)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment:  Studded leather armor, war club, plus adventurer's pack containing rations, rope, and nature-based potions. 

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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Your narration of the start to your morning sounded freaking perfect.   I could picture it.  

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Level 83 ~*~ Ranger

Deviant Art Gallery   ||  YouTube Channel

Current Challenge

"It is difficult.  All things worth keeping are."  Thane Krios - Mass Effect 2

"Maybe it's not as simple as you imagined, Seeker."  Varric Tethras Dragon Age 2

"Staying within your limits is no fun, Ryder."  Vetra Nyx - ME: Andromeda

Spoiler

 

::PAST CHALLENGES::

1 | 2 | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8 | 9 | 10 | 11 | 12 | 13 | 14 | 15 | 16 | 17 | 18 | 19 20 | 21 | 22

23 | 24 | 25 | 26 | 27 | 28 | 29 | 30 | 31 | 32 | 33 | 34 | 35 | 36 | 37 | 38 | 39 | 40 | 41 | 42

43 | 44 | NEIN | 45 | 46 | 47 | 48| 49 | 50 | 51 | 52 | 53 | 54 | 55 | 56 | 57 | 58 | 59 | 60 | 61

62 | 63 | 64 | 65 | 66 | 67 | 68 | 69 | 70 | 71 | 72 | 73 | 74 | 75 | 76 | 77 | 77.5 | 78 | 79 | 80 | 81

82 | 83 | 84 | 85 | 86 | 87 | 88 | 89 | 90 | 91 | 92 | 93 | 94 | 95 | 96 | 97 | 98 | 99 | 100

 

 

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12 hours ago, Rurik Harrgath said:

There was an entire zone in Warcraft two expansions ago that had woods witches/dark druids, and it was so freaking cool.

Haven't bothered with WoW since the first expansion, but from the style of the image you posted, I'm guessing that's when they introduced the Worgen as a playable race. Wasn't that WotLK, with Death Knights and all?

 

Challenge Day 2: Tuesday, March 28

Soak in the Sun

23 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

had my breakfast at the balcony, which was nice. Daylight savings means I just caught the first light of dawn, sun was barely rising some 2 hours later when I was leaving the house, but it was still nice. Morning chill also means I was able to drink my strawberry tea and actually enjoy it, as opposed to sweating like a maniac. As a person who doesn't mind the cold but suffers against heat, it was refreshing.

 

Serpentine Slither

23 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Had the water heating while I enjoyed my breakfast, so I packed my lunch for the day I'd pre-cooked the night before and decided to get in a bit of yoga since I had time to spare. Easing back into NF Yoga with Water A for now. The new yoga mat is thick and hard enough to not give my knees a hard time, which is nice. What's also nice is doing yoga with a purring kitty circling you, though I had to push him away on more than one occasions where he dug his teeth and/or claws into the mat. It's a new thing for him, it's understandable. He'll learn in time.

 

Inner Peace: Overrated

Practiced meditation in bed before naptime again. It was a great way to wind down and check in with my body. Purring kitten curled between my legs was a nice bonus.

 

Master of the Pack

Cats seem to be enjoying the morning balcony ritual and they joined me again while doing their thing. When I got back they seemed a bit agitated, which is probably because I have set my robotic vacuum to do a sweep of the house on workdays right before I normally come back from the office, so that I'll walk into a clean home. Neighbours' cat dropped by again and the young 'uns had their fun while the older one was watching over.

 

Caustic Cauldron of Cautiousness

Had my home-cooked okra with me at work. I usually cook that with chicken, but decided to do a bit of meat detox for a day, just for a change. Dropped by the butcher shop on my way back from work and grabbed some supplies for the next few days. Boiled up a bit of rice and made chicken with peppers and ginger sauce, so that took care of dinner and lunch for the next day.

 

Sleep

Listened to my favourite weekly radio show 21:00-23:00 while cooking and doing stuff around the house. Tuesdays are fun but a bit rough on the "sleep early" front, because besides this radio, there's a pretty good satirical comedian I follow that drops his own videos while this show's on and I tend to watch them straight after. With elections announced earlier in the day, he had a fair bit to say and the video was some fourty minutes long, meaning it was near midnight when I went to sleep.

 

Today's Druid jam

 

Bonus Druid aesthetics

2019.02.26-092-Druid-999x1200.jpg

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Dark Druids In Love Hearts GIF by The Valentines and your morning routine sounds fabulous 

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On 3/26/2023 at 3:42 PM, DarK_RaideR said:

Might at least give me a sense of taking some time off for myself in the morning, as opposed to rushing out to go to work.

 

I like this a lot. I learned a lot about this with Dr. Andrew Huberman on how to "perfect the morning routine" and a lot of this involves getting some sunlight early and often (and on a walk if you can swing it). But, I like that you're attempting to get sunshine in some shape or fashion :)

 

On 3/26/2023 at 3:42 PM, DarK_RaideR said:

The biggest benefit I've reaped from practicing meditation is learning how to just observe thoughts and feelings, without rushing to judge, process or otherwise interact with them.

 

Many reasons why I SHOULD be meditating....

 

On 3/26/2023 at 3:42 PM, DarK_RaideR said:

but I do tend to get caught up on all sorts of stupid things that keep me up till late, instead of straight up going to bed and getting enough rest.

 

I know the feeling. Sort of. Kids are always up when I get home and so I'm thankful I get to see them. But, after I get them settled in bed I should be right behind them, but YouTube calls my name a lot when I'm trying to wind down. 

 

Following along my friend! Let's make Druids METAL!!

 

Exiled Druids of Lornwood by Huussii on DeviantArt

 

Wolf

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Last Challenge(s): 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16

Epic Challenges: Welcome to the Fireteam & Wolfpool 

Gotham Project: 1

 

Know, O prince, that once the sun burns out and the earth's core becomes solid and cold, there will come a man to provide the endless energy needed to sustain life and for the planets to keep moving. He is the source of light and the warmth of hope back into the hearts of humanity...." - Dark_Raider

 

A wolf rises in my heart; against my darkness; against my demons; against my despair. I DECLARE WAR!

 

Romans 8:28 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

 

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11 hours ago, DarK_RaideR said:

Today's Druid jam

 

So sooooo glad you posted Primordial.  They're an oldtime fav too!

 

 

It's so apropos that your cats are factoring into the mental health side of this druidy challenge.  My youngest has been crawling under the sheets in the early morning (or all night, once or twice), and that's been such a nice little boost lately!

  • Like 1

[Level ??] Rurik, the Thunderer

Class: Stormborn War-Shaman (Path of Giants Barbarian/Conquest Paladin/Elemental Domain Cleric)

BRUTALITY 11 | FINESSE 10 | VIGOR 11 | INSIGHT 14 | WILL 13

Equipment:  Studded leather armor, war club, plus adventurer's pack containing rations, rope, and nature-based potions. 

 

"Rangers have to at least give up on pants. It's a special rule we enacted after Rurik became a Guild Leader.” – DarK_RaideR

"Did I just get my ass kicked by a member of Metallica meets History Channel's Vikings?" - Wild Wolf

"By the Well-Oiled-and-Meticulously-Groomed Beard of Rurik!" - Tanktimus the Encourager

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Also this...just cuz I kept surfing down the METAL Druid rabbit hole:

 

Govy on Twitter: "Elf Druid #dnd #dnd5e #characterdesign  https://t.co/3uftELclnl" / Twitter

 

Wolf

  • Like 1
  • That's Metal 3

Wild Wolf

Class: Peerless Scarred/ Height: 6'2 / Weight: 188#

Instagram: @ryanwolfbell / Facebook: Ryan Wolf Bell / Bible App (YouVersion) Ryan Wolf Bell

Current Challenge: Intro to Wolflean

Spoiler

Last Challenge(s): 1/2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/10/11/12/13/14/15/16

Epic Challenges: Welcome to the Fireteam & Wolfpool 

Gotham Project: 1

 

Know, O prince, that once the sun burns out and the earth's core becomes solid and cold, there will come a man to provide the endless energy needed to sustain life and for the planets to keep moving. He is the source of light and the warmth of hope back into the hearts of humanity...." - Dark_Raider

 

A wolf rises in my heart; against my darkness; against my demons; against my despair. I DECLARE WAR!

 

Romans 8:28 (CSB) We know that all things work together for the good of those who love God, who are called according to His purpose.

 

Link to comment

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