The History of Skyrim

They call Skyrim the Throat of the World, because it is where the sky exhaled on the land and formed them.
Unknown; Children of the Sky

            Alright, so, what with it being the Holidays and all, I was gearing up to write about some Holiday type things, unsurprisingly. But that just irked me a bit, mostly because doing so would be akin to littering over the internet, since that's just about all anybody feels like writing about this time of year (even FOX news has gotten in on the Christmasy Cheer, in their own special way), that is, unless they're writing about their 'TOP 5 FAVORITE FILMS FROM 2011!' Which all just happen to be the same five films that were advertised most on their site this year (isn't it just a Christmas miracle). And this is why I need to write this essay- this same annoying, little rant has been playing over and over in my head for almost a week now, bumming me out, with me trying to somehow find the motivation to write about Christmas, or Santa, hell, at one point I considered writing about the history of the Coca-cola company, since they invented the whole damn thing themselves. Until it hit me: there's only one thing everybody's really looking forward to this year during the Holidays, and that's getting a whole week to do nothing but play SKYRIM! Probably one of the most epic games ever created, the fifth installment in the Elder Scrolls series has turned more Average Joes into video-game addicted fantasy junkies than just about any other game I can think of, and yes, that's including WoW (bunch of money hocking dorks if you ask me [and Chuck Norris? Really? Ridiculous]). 
I have a new hero now Mr.Norris.
The game has received inconceivable amounts of praise, not just because of the narcotic-like obsession the game seems to inspire in those who play it, but because what Bethesda Game Softworks seems to have created here is, quite literally, an actual WORLD, chock full of depth, layers, oh yea, and FUCKING DRAGONS. But more importantly, books. Books, and books, and even more books, books as far as the eye can see, and more informative to the player than a coughing, obese, foot-stomping knight in clanky armor is to a blind person. I’m talking books about myths, books about romance, books about tragedy, books about freaking books! There are plays, novels, fairy tales, and best of all, books about history, which are so detailed, and actually seriously interesting, that I can use them (and a bit of info collected from the Elder Scrolls Wiki pages) to make an actual essay on the History of the Nordic lands known as Skyrim. So next time your wife, or girlfriend, or family, or friends ask you what’s the big deal about this dumb video-game you’ve been doing nothing but playing for the last two months, you can show them this essay, preferably with a victorious middle finger raised high, or at least a not-too-douchebaggy ‘Screw You,’ before you get back to leveling up your bow wielding Argonian assassin in the GREATEST GAME EVER CREATED. 
That's a dragon tail by the way, not tentacle porn.
            Now while Skyrim, like all of Tamriel, is heavily populated and dominated by humans, it was not always this way. In fact, for most of the First Era, the land belonged predominately to the Mer races, specifically the Snow Elves, or the Falmer, and the Dwermer, whose technological advancements placed them ages ahead of any other race known to exist in Skyrim, possibly even Tamriel as a whole, to the current date (until they all vanished one day or whatever). What changed? Well the ancient human land of Atmora’s what changed hombre, a huge civil war broke out, with the entire society of man basically losing their shit (not for the last time either), making everybody a bit uncomfortable, including one very important man, Ysgramor. Now Ysgramor was a fighter, true, but that didn’t mean he loved fighting so much that he was ready to lose his head with the rest of the idiots who’d started the war in the first place. So when he, along with a number of other people, heard news of a new and unexplored continent far, far away from the all the hulluhbaloo going on in Atmora, he took his chance, grabbed a vessel, some other family and friends to keep him company, and set out to the vast unknown. In a shitty prehistoric-age floating thing (I’m not sure it even deserves to be called a boat it’s so sad). Over a large body of water called the motherfucking SEA OF GHOSTS. 
Watch out, the water's so cold it's... chilling!
Seriously, that war better have been some World War 3 type shit, because I’m having a little trouble looking up to the guy even now, before the whole- oh, almost got ahead of myself there for a second. No, by some miracle they made it to Tamriel (I don’t care if this IS a fantasy universe where you can fight a dragon with lighting spells, that’s a goddamn miracle in my book), and it was Ysgramor who was first to set foot on the strange new land, which would come to be known as Hssarik Head, Skyrim’s northern coastal tip. This however is somewhat of a heated topic, as debated in the informative book, Frontier, Conquest, and Accommodation: A Social History of Cyrodiil, where the author (Unknown) contends that humans had actually been migrating to Tamriel for quite some time before the civil war in Atmora even broke out, and that humans had settled as far and as wide as what would come to be known as Cyrodiil. This would also explain the Breton race, who could be early Nordic humans who had come to such peaceful relations with the Mer races of High Rock, that they began to mate. This is unconfirmed however, and whether out of classic Nordic patriotism, or real historic fact, the story of Ysgramor is generally accepted as the truth to most of Tamriel. At the time however, they named the land Mereth, after all the elves they saw running around the woods, kinda like if we had named America after the Native Americans- wait… Anyway, things were going swimmingly between the two races, the Nords and the Snow Elves, in a ‘I’m just going to ignore you and pretend you don’t exist,’ kind of way, which is the same attitude many people hold in our world today, mostly in work offices, and public schools. 
In my day we didn't need cubicles to blatantly ignore those around us.
Sadly, when the Snow Elves did manage to make the time to actually pay attention to their new human counterparts, residing in the first human colony/city known as Saarthal, they began to see that the people were mating and populating like a family of rabbits with Barry Manilow playing, and were starting to expand and eat up all the good grub nature had to offer. Unlike rabbits though, the Snow Elves couldn’t just stab every human that ran across their path, no, that could start some sort of war. See, the Snow Elves didn’t actually have any problem with just up and stabbing a Nord bitch, they actually believed that the humans were as ignorant and unimportant as any rabbit; they just didn’t want to start any unnecessary shit that could get themselves hurt. The irony being that because of their unwillingness to get involved at all with the Nords, they never learned that they were actually, you know, intelligent beings who get a bit more than pissed when you just start massacring them, which is exactly what the Snow Elves did, on a night that is known in history as the Night of Tears, where an army of Snow Elves just showed up in Saarthal one day when everybody was sleeping, minding their own business and shit, and the Snow Elves let loose, killing every single person there except for Ysgramor and his two sons, who managed to escape, but not before swearing eternal vengeance on the Falmer for what they did. Back in Atmora however, things had cooled down, and were actually really chill and peaceful, and were looking pretty good for everybody involved- until Ysgramor shows up again, and starts stirring up some more bullshit about how the Snow Elves must pay, painting them as complete monsters, and tools of the Deadra (a bit understandable, not that it makes what happened any more excusable).
Ysgramor would commonly wear fake ears as part of his racist elf impression. Much like black-face.
After every great warrior in Atmora had heard Ysgramor’s story, it’d have actually taken more just to keep them from going all the way over to Tamriel to kick the human-murdering asses of every single elf in the joint, which Ysgramor used to his advantage, leading an unheard of armada of 500 warriors to battle. These men and women would become known as the 500 companions, and Ysgramor would go on to be known as their leader, or the first Harbinger, and would become legendary for the creation of this guild of fighters, as well as for creating the Ysgramor dynasty, and wielding the great two-handed war axe Wuuthrad. Needless to say, the humans decimated the Snow Elves, and even after their defeat, and humans had resumed their conquest of land, they were still hunted down and killed by the ancient Nords, who eventually forced them underground, and destroyed almost every piece of ancient Falmer culture in existence. This is not the end of the story for the Falmer though, as Ursa Uthrax reveals in her rare text, The Falmer: A Study, wherein Uthrax tells the tragic history of the Snow Elves after their exile underground. Apparently, they were taken in by the feared and revered Dwemer, who had existed below Skyrim for many, many years, by choice, but had created magnificent cities and works of beauty in their time. Because of this, the Snow Elves saw the Dwemer as their saviors, and praised them constantly, though the Dwemer were actually just using the Falmer, and fed the Snow Elves toxic fungi found in the caves, which rendered them, blind, weak, and absolutely helpless. The Dwemers treachery continued, as they soon made forced the sightless elves into slavery, keeping them on the same strict diet of toxic fungi, ensuring that the pathetic state they existed in would pass onto to their future generations, creating an endless and steady supply of menial workers that the Dwemer could use, abuse, and kill as they saw fit.
Say hello to the elves who make Santa's presents each year.
As we know today though, the Dwemer eventually disappeared, all at once, leaving the Falmer to fend for themselves for generations, their subterranean environment and handicapped state morphing them into the twisted, goblin-like monsters that roam the caverns below still. The Nords continued on though, and it was the Thirteenth of Ysgramor’s dynasty, King Harald, who finally proclaimed Skyrim as its own independent nation, separating it from Atmora completely. This would lead to the great expansion, led by Vrage the Gifted, which would in turn aid in the construction of the great Empire of Man, not to say chicks weren’t involved as well. The decision of who would be Skyrim’s leader each time one died, caused a furious war at one time, but it was resolved quickly enough, sadly, not before it damaged the hold that Skyrim once had on the surrounding provinces of High Rock, Cyrodiil, and Morrowind. Just about every human in Tamriel now can surely trace their lineage back to the Nords, who continue to reside in Skyrim, the perilous, cold, tundra it makes up suiting the Nord’s, renowned for their hardy exteriors, and lust for battle and hardships.
Ironically, their guards are too weak to take even a simple arrow to the knee.
Even Tiber Septim, the human who reached Divine status, and conquered all of Tamriel under the Empire, was born from Nordic blood, but more importantly, a special line of blood, a special line of blood that made him an extraordinary person simply from the moment he was born. Septim was a Dragonborn, one of those born with both human and dragon blood, as well as the enchantments that go with it, which also imbued the man with the ability to wield the ancient Nordic power of the Thu’um, and the ability to capture the Souls of any Dragons he defeated(it also allowed him to wear the Amulet of Kings, which was later used to determine who would next hold the throne of the Empire, as only those with Tiber Septim’s blood could possibly wear it [that is until Martin Septim sacrificed himself to end the Oblivion Crisis at the end of the Third Era, effectively ending the Septim dynasty forever, though the Dragonborn bloodline still survived, hidden and unknown]). Now before we go any further, I feel it necessary to explain exactly what the Ancient Nordic power of the Thu’um is- yes, it is magic, but unlike the other forms of magic, which required the user to use their hands, or a scroll, or some other bullshit like that, the Thu’um empowered the wind, or voice of a person. Still not getting it? Okay let me draw it out for you: The Thu’um lets you destroy people by SHOUTING AT THEM. That’s the kind of shit that gives you automatic bad-ass status just by goddamn association, but it gets even better- Different types of Thu’um are cast by shouting different words, spoken in dragon tongue, which as the game makes sure you realize more than once, and for good reason, means that when two dragons are fighting, breathing fire, or ice or whatever at each other, what they’re actually doing is SHOUTING AT EACH OTHER. Admittedly, from a detached point of view, it does sound a bit crazy that what looks like an epic and fantastic battle could actually just be the product of a really shitty 10 year marriage held together by the kids, but then you have to remember the fact that bitches are burning motherfuckers alive by just shouting at them, and just give respect to the fact that that is fucking bone-shatteringly kick-ass. 
These two are gonna have great make up sex.
Tiber Septim used the Thu’um more than once in his time, and the leader of the Stormcloak rebellion, Jarl Ulfrik Stormcloak, actually used it to kill the High King of Skyrim, inciting Skyrim’s current civil war. And here is where I’ll end this essay, as what happens next is different for everyone, everyone who chooses to get their shit together, buy Skyrim, insert it into their gaming platform device, and instantly grow two enormous brass balls for all to admire as you quest the hours away.  

The Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword Review

This is a tale that you humans have passed down through generations...

It’s been five years since the last major console Zelda game, Twilight Princess. Twilight Princess is actually my favorite Zelda game, as it was the first one I ever owned. I never really got around to finishing/buying Ocarina of Time, Majora’s Mask, Wind Waker, or any of the handheld spin-offs, so, I may not be truly qualified to review Skyward Sword. All I can give you is an unbiased review from the perspective of an average gamer who is somewhat educated in the Legend of Zelda series. By now, you’ve probably read a bunch of reviews claiming how Skyward Sword is the “true successor” to Ocarina of Time, and how it evolved off of what Ocarina did, instead of just repeating it. Whether Skyward Sword is better than Ocarina of Time is completely your own opinion. But there is no denying that Skyward Sword is a fantastic game, filled with charm, memorable moments, and other great things. One thing you should know about this game, if you’ve never played a Zelda game before, is that this is not some mediocre “family game” for the dimwitted parents who bought a Wii for their children. This is not some game where you play generic mini games and stand up, pretending to be fully energetic, and fling your arms wildly with your family. This game is an experience, it’s an adventure, and it has a story to tell. Trust me; this is a game where you wanna play by yourself.

The first thing I noticed about Skyward Sword, is just how beautiful the game is. I have to give credit to Nintendo for working with the Wii’s graphical limitations. SS goes for a “watercolour painting” art style, and it achieves it flawlessly. 

As you fly towards Skyloft, you will truly be amazed how it fades in without any frame rate issues, the same goes for all the scenery in the background. I don't know how much more I can stress this, but the art style in this game is amazing, I’m not just talking about the background scenery fading in; I'm talking about the scenery up close, Nintendo has done a fantastic job of creating the mood of each environment. As you travel from Skyloft, to Faron Woods, to Laryaun (or however it’s spelled) Desert, the mood and atmosphere is always changing, and never fails to fully immerse you into the world. The same goes for all the dungeons and boss battles. I also have to give credit to the game’s soundtrack. Each area and boss has a certain soundtrack to it that helps to create the mood. Oh, and speaking of boss battles, they’re epic, but you already know that. In true Zelda fashion, the boss battles are always on a huge scale, but in SS, there are a few twists to this formula. The games main antagonist, the Demon Lord Ghirahim, is the first boss battle within the game. Unlike other the bosses, which are usually ten times the size of Link, Ghirahim is around the same size as Link, and during the entire battle he simply walks around, displaying a very calm and gentleman-like manner. The battle against Ghirahim is on a very small scale, but this is a nice little twist to the Zelda formula.  

The other boss battles are on a much bigger scale, and over all they aren’t impossibly difficult, but still offer a challenging experience.

            I almost forgot to talk about the game’s story, as the stories in all of the Zelda games are good and keep the player engaged. In the Legend of Zelda timeline, Skyward Sword comes first, right before Ocarina, so the beginning of the game takes place in Skyloft, an island in the clouds, and just like all Zelda games, you play as Link, or a reincarnation of Link, or something like that. In SS, Link is a student at the Knight Academy along with Zelda, who shares a very close and deep friendship with him. When Link and Zelda are flying together on their Loftwings, a tornado comes out of nowhere and sucks Zelda down to the surface. I don’t want to spoil the story for you, but just so you know, like all the other Zelda games, the first 15-30 minutes are usually pretty boring, as you’ll be running around the starting area, performing tasks for the villagers, learning the basics, etc. I really wasn't bored with the beginning of Skyward Sword, as the characters you’re interacting with have a certain charm to them, that make performing their tasks some-what less boring. Hell, there’s even a “Biff” like character named Groose who envies Link’s and Zelda’s friendship (Back to the Future kids). 

After Zelda’s disappearance, most of the game is about Link searching for her, and that’s all I’m really gonna say, but just to let you know, the story in SS is very good, as you learn about who Link and Zelda are, you will also learn the origins of the Master Sword and Ganondorf. I also have to talk about the major improvements Nintendo has made in animating the cut scenes for this game. The cut scenes in this game are truly amazing in their size/scope and fluid animation of the characters on screen, when performing actions and displaying emotions. Seriously, at times I felt as if I was watching the best Legend of Zelda movie that was never made.

            Another important thing you should know about Skyward Sword, is that it is the first Zelda game built from the ground up for the Wii, which means that they built this game with motion control in mind. The last Zelda game that featured motion control was Twilight Princess, and it didn't fully deliver the level of immersion Nintendo said it would. The flaw in TP’s motion controls was that the player could simply flick their wrist in any direction and Link would swing his sword left to right, the controls weren’t broken or anything like that, it just wasn't as amazing as Nintendo hyped it up. In Skyward Sword, thanks to the Wii motion plus, when you swing the Wii remote in a certain direction, Link will also swing his sword in that direction, you won’t necessarily be standing up and swinging your arms in the air wildly like in the commercials, but you will have to take into consideration the direction in which you flick your wrist when facing certain enemies. This is another thing that Skyward Sword does great, sure, Link will swing his sword the way you swing the remote, big deal, I’ll still just swing my Wii remote in any direction I want to slash away at my enemies. WRONG! You cannot do this, as enemies will react and block your incoming attack, this forces you to wait for your enemy to expose himself and attack at the right angle. 

 This mechanic works great, and fully utilizes the Wii’s motion controls. This will however take some time to get used to, if you’re like me, and played a lot of Twilight Princess on the Wii, and are used to just flicking the Wii remote in any direction. But once you get used to it, you’ll never want to go back to a regular controller for a while.

            The last thing I want to talk about is the inclusion of RPG elements. The Zelda games have mostly been just “Action-Adventure” games with very light RPG mechanics, Skyward Sword however, takes it a step further by adding the ability to upgrade Link’s equipment, such as his shield. I was a bit worried at first, as I thought that Nintendo put this into the game simply to pad it out (make it longer) by forcing the player to go and grind/farm for the materials necessary to upgrade Link’s shield. But that is not the case, as this ability to upgrade Links shield and other equipment is completely optional, in fact, you could actually try and beat the game without a shield! (This of course would be incredibly difficult). If you do choose to try and upgrade Link’s equipment, you will benefit from this, as the upgrades actually are significant, and will make the game significantly easier for you. Some of the benefits include making your shield stronger, so it can take more damage before breaking, or increasing the damage and zoom in of your bow.

            Just like all the other Zelda games, it’s not so much about that conclusion of the story that makes the game memorable, but the journey to the conclusion that makes the game memorable. Skyward Sword is a fantastic journey from start to finish, the story is great, the characters are charming and memorable (despite there being no voice acting!), and the game is an absolute blast to play. It will most likely last you about 30-40 hours, depending on whether or not you do all the side missions, or explore all of the areas thoroughly. At the end of my play through of Skyward Sword, I had almost no complaints. I couldn't think of a single thing the game did wrong. One minor complaint I do have is that three of the boss battles in the game are a bit repetitive and frustrating, but this pales in comparison to what the game achieves successfully, which is why I give Skyward Sword:

10/10 - Truly an amazing game to experience

You buy now, yes?


Doctor Who Christmas Special


The History of Chingis Khan and the Mongol Empire

"All who surrender will be spared; whoever does not surrender but opposed with struggle and dissension, shall be annihilated."
- Chingis Khan

The great empires of the world, the grand societies whose actions make up our shared human history, have risen and fallen like the sun and the moon, from their very inception, their eventual downfall was inevitable. For this reason, human history has based it’s judgments of these cultures not on how much time they each managed to survive, but on what they did with this time, on what actions and decisions they made, that would come to forge the path to the world we know now. From the Greeks, who gave birth to early civilization, to the Romans, whose armies claimed land all across the globe, and whose gov’t would come to invent politics still used today, how the past civilizations are remembered relies completely on how remarkable their actions were… except in one big case. The Great Mongol Empire began with only several people to its name, but thanks to wise and brave leadership, in less than a lifetime, it became the largest empire in history, with a fair and civil society, that was only outdone by it’s famous military, which was feared and revered in its time for unique battle strategies, and relentless soldiers. Yet when people think of them today, they’re remembered as filthy disgusting barbarians who got trumped by some stupid wall, and now lie in between Russia and China, like one big commie sandwich.
The irony of being stuck between the largest country and the most populated country is not lost on Mongolia.
And their wise and brave leader, Chingis Khan (who dip-shits today call Ghengis)- his most famous cultural reference is in Bill and Ted’s Excellent Adventure, a good movie, but in it he just clowns around in a sporting goods store, and as far as speaking lines go, all he does is make a few incomprehensible grunts now and again, not to mention the fact that in the movie he’s apparently so dumb that all Bill and Ted have to do to get him to walk into their mysterious magic phonebox is wave a fucking twinkie at him, and then lead him back, like he’s some kind of super-huge muscle-ridden labradoodle. But the real story real story behind Khan and his people- well, it’s the true underdog story, romantic, emotional, and a genuine tearjerker for any of those who have ever felt like they kind of just want to rule the whole entire world. With that said, allow me to finally begin our tale of conquest, glory, and the man who would change the face of the world: in 1167, the man who would become Chingis Khan was born in a shitty little tent (called a Yurt) in the steppes of Mongolia, basically the boondocks of Asia, to Chief Yesugei, who lead the rather weak Mongol Kiyad-Sub Clan. 
Step 1) Be Born. Step 2)??? Step 3) World Domination.
 To give you an accurate idea of just how weak a dominion our young Chingis, who was then known only as Temujin, his birth name, was born into, allow me to give you a little early Mongol history lesson to suck on for a bit: in the 12th century, many nomadic tribes roamed the mountainous northern steppes of Mongolia, one of these tribes actually being the Mongols, who gained a short term of power around 1130, when they managed to not only defeat a large number of the opposing tribes, but even rough the Jin Empire of Northern China up enough to make them pay tribute to their tribe. Sadly, their MVP status was destroyed when neighboring Tartar tribes finally managed to knock them down a peg, shattering their entire kingdom, splitting them into even smaller clans that resumed fighting between each other as they had before. And Temujin’s clan- well let’s just say they weren’t exactly the cleanest stall in the bathroom, that is to say, they had been shit on so many times by so many other tribes, that just surviving was a pretty optimistic outlook for them, let alone somehow defeating their enemies. Temujin learned just the kind of people he was up against at the young age of nine years old, when his father was poisoned by Tartar chiefs, killing the man, and leaving the Kiyad-Sub Clan without a proper leader. Temujin was his father’s only possible heir, but that was out of the question since, once again, he was fucking nine years old, he had less battle experience than he had hair on his body, so his clan ended up dipping out on him and his family, who were forced to move to the more deserted areas of the steppes.
Somehow the horse makes him seem even less intimidating.
 Still, even though he was forced to live like some kind of 12th century ghetto motherfucker, eating rats and plants and shit, Temujin managed to grow into a strong, wise, and totally insane force of 100% natural badassitude. Unfortunately, despite the fact that in a fair fight he and his five men could literally destroy any motherfucker who dared to give them a nasty look, the tribal system of the 12th century Mongolian steppes (and correct me if I’m wrong here but actually the tribal system of any time or place in history) wasn’t about playing fair, it was about the same thing our modern High School system is about: getting that ass, and screwing over the weak nerdy guys to do it. So one day, when Temujin was 16, his family was attacked by the Merkid Tribe, who trashed his camp, and then kidnapped his wife for good measure, not realizing that Temujin, who’d been fucked with by tribal dickheads just like the Merkids all his life, had a limit, and when they stole his wife, they didn’t just step over it, they fucking catapulted themselves so far across it that they would pray for death when Temujin got done with them. The first thing he did was call in some old friends of his father’s, the Kereyid Tribe, who in turn called in some help from one of the higher ups, a Mongol coalition leader by the name of Jamugha, who also happened to be a childhood friend of Temujin’s. It was basically like having a High School Reunion, except you and your friends decided to murder everybody.
Class of 1184
Together, they reclaimed Temujin’s wife, and stuck their fists so far up the individual assholes of each and every Merkid that nobody in the tribe could sit down for weeks. Temujin, Jamugha, and to a lesser extent, the Kereyid Tribe, decided to stick together, and continued to rape the minds of each and every other tribe in the steppes, until they had control over most of the Mongol clans, but as far as Temujin was concerned, being known as “lord of all the peoples dwelling in felt tents,” was like getting first prize in a race against a bunch of fat kids, and he wouldn’t be satisfied until he had control over the entire world. This created a separation between Temujin and Jamugha, which came to a head one day when apparently, while the two were leading their Mongols onto their next conquest, Jamugha bitched about wanting to stop and rest, and stopped to pitch tent, while Temujin, who’d apparently had it with putting up with this pussy, just “kept going.” 
NO! We had bathroom breaks an hour ago, now MOVE YOUR ASS!
From that day on, the Mongols were divided into two groups, and started fighting, until eventually, Temujin was defeated in battle, and was forced into exile. He took ten years or so to cool his jets, trained himself to somehow become even more badass, so that when he returned, he quickly got back to doing what he did best: conquering the world, one uppity motherfucker at a time. By 1204, Temujin had defeated and subjugated each and every single tribe in the steppes, and in 1206, he took the title of Chingis Khan, which roughly translates to, ‘Firm, Resolute Leader,’ which, call me immature all you want, I have a hard time not seeing as an obvious dick reference. Proving just how great a leader he truly was, his first actions as the new ruler of the Mongolian Empire were to instate laws and customs meant to not only unite the many tribes he had conquered, but to form them into a military superstructure that would strengthen his armies exponentially, as well as protect his claimed people, and insure that should his invasions fail, the entire empire would not once again be disbanded like their ancestors. He also created an administrative hierarchy (with him and his friends at the tippity top of course), and numerous other laws meant to establish order, and end the nomadic society his people had lived for hundreds of years, essentially forming the most advanced form of gov’t ever seen on the steps up to that point. It was also a very just, and peaceful gov’t, that reflected Chingis Khan himself, for while he did show little remorse when it came to murdering his many enemies, he was always known to be very merciful after his enemies defeat, forbidding his men to rape or pillage without his expressed permission, and was also known to give the spoils of his conquests back to the many poor and needy of his people, instead of just the aristocratic few. 
Robin Hood stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Chingis Khan just stole from everybody and gave to the poor.
These noble traits, as well as many others, are present in the laws he created, that forbade theft, the selling of women, and not only gave religious and social freedom to his people, but exempted those too poor to support themselves, as well as the clergy, from taxation, all of which drew many oppressed and segregated minorities to the Mongol Empire, such as Christians, Muslims, and Buddhists. And most importantly, the result of his applied changes to the military system of the time, The Mongol Hordes, Chingis Khan’s army of pure-bred Mongolian badasses, ferocious and strictly organized soldiers, whose balls were so big that their system for taming the horses they rode into battle, was by just walking around the horse a couple times and emasculating them. Now originally, Chingis was going to be cool, and just raid the Jin Empire of Northern China a couple times every now and again, and force them to pay tribute to the Mongols in return for peace, but the Jin Empire, being made up of spineless, foolish little weasels, always quit paying tribute when they heard that the Mongols had gone back home after a raid. Tired of dealing with their bullshit, Chingis organized his entire army of 65,000 men, and marched their asses across the Gobi Desert, the fourth largest desert in he world, to go give the Jins a piece of their minds (and by minds they meant fists).
Remind me again why people thought they could somehow be stopped by a wall?
With the help of the Jin’s neighbors, the Ongguts, The Mongol Hordes easily got past the empire’s defenses, and marched all through the land, pillaging, looting, and destroying anyone or anything in their path, even decimating a force of Jin warriors 150,000 men strong (though more like zero men strong by the time the Mongols were done with them). Chingis used superior tactics and strategy to severely weaken the Jin, until on a siege, he was seriously wounded, and was forced to withdraw back to Mongolia to heal, time that the Jin used to repair their defenses. Which were promptly destroyed once again when the Mongols returned even stronger only one year later, this time with three different army forces attacking at once, one commanded by himself, the other two commanded by his two oldest sons (call it nepotism all you want, Chingis Khan is officially father of the year FOREVER), who helped conquer so much land in only one year, that by 1214 most of the area north of the Yellow River was under Mongolian control, all except for the Jin Empire capital city of Chungdu, which withstood the assault of the Hordes, mostly because the city was very heavily fortified, and gave Chingis’ cavalry forces (which aren’t designed for siege warfare) a huge disadvantage. Still, it was the capital city, it would give the Mongolian Empire an enormous upper-hand in future battles, and would finally end the Jin Empire once and for all- it was like the last level in an old SNES generation videogame, if he gave up now, then all that time and effort was for nothing, and all the butthurt in the world wouldn’t change that.
All we had to do, was conquer the damn city, CK!
 So in a state of almost frenzied madness, Chingis refused to give up, throwing almost everyone of his forces at the city, only to have each one die without making a substantial enough impact. Finally, he was forced to concede, and left one of his generals in charge of the siege, which finally succeeded in 1215, not that it really mattered since by then the Jin capital had changed to Kai-feng. Tired of fucking around with China, Chingis decided to look west, and started sending forces to combat and conquer smaller empires like the Kara Khitai, until Kwarazmian Empire in Persia decided to send a huge middle finger Mongolia’s way by attacking and publicly humiliating the caravan of peace ambassadors Chingis had sent to them. This understandably pissed Chingis off so much, that he assembled almost every available force in his empire, a force of about 90-110,000 men, and lead them to go show the Kwarazm Shah why it would have been in their best interests not to fucking murder their only chance at making him their friend. Now the Kwarazm Shah did posses a military force about two thirds larger than the Mongols, as well as many very well fortified garrisons throughout the empire, but what the Mongols lacked in size, they also lacked in the amount of fucks they gave about the odds, they had discipline and brilliant strategy on their side. The KS learned this firsthand when Chingis lead his branch of troops through the goddamn desert (which they hadn’t exactly expected because it’s considered a bit impractical to march a large group of soldiers through the desert as they’re kind of supposed to fall victim to dehydration, heatstroke, losing their direction, and extreme demoralization. Like regular humans), and completely surprised the city of Bokhara, who just about shit their pants when they woke up one morning to find Chingis and his troops on their doorstep, leaving them too busy trying to change their slacks during the battle to organize, and for such reason, were quickly defeated. 
Many others cities fell on their path to the capital, as the KS kept trying to throw troops at them to slow them down, which instead only seemed to make them more pissed off, so much so that by the time they did reach Samarkand, the capital, it became immediately obvious that shit wasn’t the only thing that was going to go down. With the number of Chingis’ forces, and the unheard of number of fortifications in the city, it was expected to take them at least several months to breach the walls, but the Mongols, their hearts filled with rage, and their fists filled with all kinds of swords and knives and shit, breached the walls in just ten goddamn days, officially redeeming them for their incident at Chungdu, and expanding their empire all the way to the edge of Europe and the Middle East. Sadly, Chingis was approaching the old age of sixty, and he was starting to realize when he looked at the map that if he wanted to conquer the world, he still had a ways to go, and it wasn’t looking like he’d have the time to do it. At first Chingis sought an elixir of immortality he’d heard a legendary monk possessed, but instead, he found out from the monk himself that the elixir did not exist, still, the two became close friends, and Chingis was inspired by the monk’s praise of his wisdom to return to his more administrative priorities as leader, setting up a plan for the future of his empire to insure that it would not only stay strong, but continue to grow stronger, and expand long after he had passed. 
I'm pretty sure this was what he was thinking of, but he probably would've preferred death anyway.
 But even age couldn’t weaken Chingis’ completely badass nature, and so, when nearing the end of his life, he heard that the Tangut Xi Xia Empire, which had been one of the first empires defeated by Chingis on his road to world-domination (though it became a tributary to the Mongols, and was never officially annexed), had stopped paying tribute in defiance of the Mongols, he personally rode out with his army to capture the Xi Xia capital in 1226, a fitting final conquest for the man who’d claimed more land in his lifetime than any that has ever lived (especially considering the fact that it all started with just him and like, five other dudes). He finally passed away in August of 1227, at the age of 60, his son Ogedei succeeding him as Khan. Chingis’ descendants would continue to expand the empire, and like their original Khan, would remember to fight those who opposed them mercilessly, but show restraint, and providence to their people, and those who complied to Mongolian subjugation, a trait that not only aided their generation-spanning conquests, but also united the very different, and separated cultures they covered, which, even after the Mongolian Empire receded, created a lasting bond between the different peoples all across Asia, Europe, and the Middle East. Chingis Khan may not be remembered all too kindly for his accomplishments, for whatever benefits they brought about, came very high costs, like, for example, the death of 11% percent of the world population (though to be fair I believe Chingis did what he could to make up for that), and the destruction of hundreds of precious artifacts, tomes of knowledge, and ancient architectural structures we might have been able to see now, in our modern age. At the same time, if he hadn’t, who knows what we would have lost? In the end, we can’t simply crucify the man, and we most certainly can’t dismiss, or forget all the astounding things he did in his lifetime, which still affect us so much to this day.
I'm just a simple man with dreams of ruling the world.



The History of the Salem Witch Trials

"I am no witch. I am innocent. I know nothing of it."
- Bridget Bishop

Now y’all know my stance on humanity, I think that humans, and just about everything they create (no matter how fucked up and evil), are pretty goddamn awe-inspiring. And that’s why shit like the Salem Witch Trials is so much more painful to me, and people like me, due to the fact that it represents the true, despairingly ignorant cruelty of your average collection of human people, and the lengths they will go to actually protect that ignorance that allows them to continue to live their lives as such. The Salem Witch Trials is right up there with shit like the Holocaust and The Bernie Madoff Scandal, in the sheer infamy of how such grand evil can be committed by such ordinary men and women, for simple preservation of self. And as much as we hate it, we have to continue to remember it, so that hopefully we’ll be able to recognize it the next time it happens, as Arthur Miller so accurately portrayed in his Red-Scare criticizing play-script, The Crucible (not that I’m reading it in class or anything, that wouldn’t happen to be what drove me to write the essay at all). 
The greatest story of Commie-Witches ever told.
Of course, we’ll probably try and swipe it under the rug later on in the future when we’re being examined for a spot on the Intergalactic Alliance Council or whatever, but that only goes to prove my point of what an ugly blemish this series of events was to humanity as a whole. And it was all thanks to a bunch of religious nuts living in a shitty little town in colonial Massachusetts.
The whole thing lasted about a year, starting and ending between 1692, and 1693, not exactly the most sophisticated of times, but still a pretty civilized period for the world as a whole, the North American colonies included. People were not expected to be walking around with loincloths covering their nuts, is what I’m saying. Though that is probably because the ones in loincloths with shit stains covering their rear ends, foraging for berries and shit, we’re dead within a week of participating in such activities, unless they had at least a lifetime of experience in surviving in such nut-shrivelingly harsh environments, like the Native Americans (who apparently were pretty fond of the place for some reason).
The Puritans had been in America for a while (they were the first European settlers in fact), but even they hadn’t managed to get used to the mini-ice-age the strange new continent suffered every winter, where you would have felt chilly in the most expensive Under Armor money could buy, and all they had was some cotton dress clothes bullshit, and those silly buckle hats. So people were getting by, but along with the strict religious doctrine, and constant threat of attacks by Native Americans, they weren’t exactly the most chipper group of survivors you were likely to meet, they were essentially a way more God-Worshiping version of the crew from The Walking Dead.

Jesus, Man

Now take all this, their shitty living conditions and such, and add into it all the fact that the time that wasn’t spent working, was essentially time spent with them sitting around sticking their thumbs up their asses. There’s not having social media site, like the kind we have today, and then there’s just having NOTHING, absolutely no entertainment, AT ALL. In fact, Puritanism supported the idea of sparse entertainment, in favor of a lifestyle completely centered around slaving till you died and got to go meet Jesus (unless you didn’t, which was kind of a coin flip situation really).
So people did what they do best- they gossiped. They talked in whispers, small notes passed hand to hand, the whole thing was actually really silly when you consider the fact that they could have just talked out in the open at ANYTIME, but their social culture was just that strict and poorly constructed, that what you ended up with was an entire town of people acting like little kids passing notes in a classroom when the teacher had left half an hour ago. This has been theorized by many historians to be a main contribution to the entire event at Salem, as well as many authors, once again, Arthur Miller being one of the most prominent. 
Now it would be very easy to just accuse the townsfolk involved in the whole mess of pure foolishness at its most dangerous, but admittedly, with such simple-mindedness, also comes a fear of the unnatural, or the unknown. In a way you almost (emphasize the almost) feel sorry for them, as their own fear, and inability to just socialize like rational, level-headed people accumulated a death toll of about 25, a relatively small number to big, fancy, internet using folk like yourself, but in a very small, isolated community, this was a sizeable slice of the population decimated, in the name of lunacy. 
Either they killed each other off or they're just playing hide and seek.
 Now don’t get too excited- the Puritans didn’t just up and go nuts on each other in some town-wide murder rave, to be quite honest, the Salem Witch Trials were just that, trials, held in a court of law. Like an episode of Law and Order except in the colonial era. With witches. I promise you, not as awesome as it sounds, mostly because (and sorry to burst your bubble here creepy kids who wear black and read twilight in the corner of class every day) WITCHES DON’T F-ING EXIST. They could have been hunting Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny and the results would have been the same, except with witches, you didn’t actually even have to prove magic for them to murder your ass and- oh, I’m just getting ahead of myself.
Now where was I before… oh yes! The shitty Puritan town of Salem. Now, being a small community (that acted like the early version of Gossip Girl [I’m assuming, anyway, I mean the title implies some form or another of gossiping]), most everyone knew each other, and so it was pretty important for an outsider to make good first impressions, and not be  a cock, as that could get you a first class one-way ticket to pariah-ville, advice that would have better suited Minister Samuel Parris, who quickly screwed the pooch when, in 1688, he moved to Salem from Barbados (like moving from Miami, Florida, to just about any town in Nebraska), after being invited by the village elder John Putnam. 
Parris brought along with him his wife Elizabeth, his six year old daughter Betty, his niece, Abagail Williams, and his Indian slave Tituba (that’s TITCH-UBA, but have fun correcting yourself every time you read it as Tit-TUBA for the rest of the essay). Now, just because he was elected minister doesn’t mean people liked him, the fact of the matter is that most people hated the guy, on account of the fact that he’s remembered even now as a greedy, scheming little weasel who showed up, hated the whole place, but decided he wanted to own it all anyway. 
Actually, I'm pretty sure that's just a description of the game Monopoly.
 His money-loving ways only further mixed up the community, who were split between the two most prominent mercantile families of the time, the Putnams and the Porters, who were both trying to wrest control of the basic leadership center of the town, the church and its pulpit. 
The years went on, and bitter rivalries continued to get even bitterer, until the live bomb that was the social community was fit to explode, louder and grander than this metaphor is tired and overused. And in the stick-your-nuts-in-a-bucket-of-ice-water cold winter of 1692, explode they did, all thanks to one little girl who just couldn’t keep her shit together.
Betty Parris (aka. Weasel Jr.) fell strangely and instantaneously ill one day, randomly convulsing, running all around the house, complaining, whining, yelling, and basically acting like that one shitty kid you see in the Wal-mart, the one who’s mom is too scared to beat him in public, even though it’s totally what everyone knows needs to be done.
The problem being that this was 1692, not 2011, and Puritan kids of the time caught so many beatings it’s probable that the whole smacking a baby after birth thing was invented just so those kids could get beat even sooner, effectively meaning that the wildest Betty should’ve gotten was a small cough, under the covers, after every-body else had already gone to bed. Her father quickly came to the same conclusion (well, after he noticed how beating her some more wasn’t working), and started claiming that Betty had contracted some strange form of illness (like Brat-itis, or ADSFUD [Attention Deficit SHUT THE FUCK UP Disorder]). 
I'm not sure what these girls are sick with, but I'm pretty sure there's no cure.
Now while it’s easy to say she was faking, many modern doctors have tried hypothesizing what exactly the girl could have been suffering from, assuming she wasn’t just trying to pull a fast one on her friends and family. Nothing has been pinned down yet, but epilepsy is up there, so you know that shit was serious. 
Sadly, people of the time couldn’t even spell epilepsy, let alone tell you what the hell it was, so when a bunch of other girls around Betty’s age started acting strangely as well, people got scared, and a doctor was called to examine them, Dr. William Griggs. Unfortunately, he wasn’t exactly House, and had clearly gotten his PhD in Bullshit, since his only diagnosis was ‘Witchery,’ causing everybody to just about lose it. 
Witches in Christian literature, which was just about all that the Puritans were allowed to read, are described as those who hold council with the Devil, and serve him faithfully, in return being granted the powers to cause strife and evil to the human population. 
It all makes sense now.
Needless to say, Christians loathe witches, and just in case you thought Salem was so infamous because it was the only time people have gone witch hunting, think again- Salem was famous for many reasons, one of them being that it was only the first witch hunt to be held in the Americas, witch hunts in Europe had gone on for centuries, since the Dark Ages in fact, it got to the point where many prisoners who could’ve gotten off scott free, were then charged with witchery just so they could be burned at the stake. Witch hunts actually still occur today in some regions of the world, and even though it’s JK Rowling money-making genius baby, Harry Potter has been banned by many devout Christian communities since it’s a story that makes light of witches and wizards, and actually casts them as the heroes.
But enough talking about how foolish we are today, let’s get back to talking about how foolish we were back in Salem, huh? John Hathorne and Jonathan Corwin, local magistrates, were called into to help with the case, though if their list of suspects during the trials says anything about them, they were less like professional witch hunters, and more like those ghost-hunter clowns you see on TV. 
As more and more young girls fell prey to similar ‘afflictions,’ the town became even more obsessed with the whole case, and prominent members of the community began pleading with the girls to reveal who was pulling this bewitching shit on them, so they could send those sons of witches (see what I did there?) straight back to hell where they could get screwed over by their boy the devil for all eternity. The girls were quiet at first, but then the accusations started flying like cool rap stars at the airport, with three different women being accused: Sarah Good, a homeless beggar, Sarah Osborne, another dirt poor old woman, and Tituba, who was like the token black person in the village. 
It's just the way she could clean those floors so fast- it's magic!
 Outside of the obvious racism though, Tituba did make some sense, since she liked to play with the girls of the village by saying she could do spells for them that she had learned in Barbados, the other two though, Good and Osborne, made a little less sense- for one thing, if they actually could perform magic, why the fuck would they be poor? The only evidence the town had against them was they didn’t own land, and Osborne hadn’t been to church in like a year, though honestly, church in Salem was like the world’s most boring pep rally, and the fact that she managed to pick her old-ass up and go EVERY WEEK FOR ALMOST 50 YEARS, is a miracle in itself. 
The three were quickly arrested, the official (and totally Christian) judges of Salem were called to the town, and the accused were scheduled to be examined on March 1st, 1692, in Ingersoll’s tavern, though that changed pretty quickly when the day arrived, and the entire town showed up, like it was some kind of party, forcing them to move the whole thing to the court, where it was still treated like a party, only people had more room to scream and yell and pump their fists like lunatics.
Salem Witch Trials- BYOB.
 Now the system to determine if they were witches was set up like this: if they plead innocent, they would be hanged. If they plead guilty, they would stay get to stay in jail for a while, until the day came when they were hanged. So allow me to retract me earlier statement, IT WAS NOTHING LIKE LAW & ORDER. 
You’d think people might have caught on to how stupid these rules were, except they were too busy being pumped up about getting to hunt witches instead of derping around in a field all day, not to mention that whenever one of the accused plead innocent, the group of ‘afflicted’ girls present would start screaming and cussing and yelling about how they were being attacked by invisible monsters and such, which was all the evidence needed apparently. 
Who says court is silly?
 After that, people started getting accused almost monthly, over the most trivial of things, like cheese gone bad, or farm animals gone wild (coming soon, to an internet porn site near you!), none of which was being helped by fucking Tituba, who when accused, immediately plead guilty, and told the judges about how she’d been approached by a tall man from Boston who could turn into a dog, or a hog, which apparently was a huge turn-on for Tituba, as she says that when propositioned by the man to sign his black book and work for him, she said yes, and became a witch. 
During the trial, she also admitted that she, Good, and Osborne, were all witches who flew on poles together at night, causing Good and Osborne to probably give her the biggest WTF looks in history, but Tituba just said that when she tried to run to Reverend Parris to be forgiven, the Devil blocked her path, with his magical pig-transformation powers or some shit, a story that got Tituba not pardoned, but life in jail, which does suck less than being burned alive (though not by much). 
Because of her, nobody was afraid to believe anymore, and people began pointing fingers at others left and right, from that mean woman two houses over, to the that nice old dude who compliments you everyday. Faced with death, the accused began to take the Tituba route, confessing to their witchery, so they could get some more jail-time, but the court began to catch on however, and instead implemented the infamous ‘Witch Test,’ where the accused would be strapped to a chair and hung by a crane or tree over a large body of water. He/She would then by dumped in, and if (s)he survived, (s)he was a witch, if (s)he died, well, accidents happen. Hah, those silly witches, our Puritan ancestors sure outsmarted them, by golly (some variations of the test existed, like hanging the witch from a noose, or chopping off her head)!
Okay, well maybe 'outsmarted' isn't the right word...
Skeptics were also not tolerated, such a John Proctor, a tavern owner who got pissed at the court when they accused his wife, causing him to try and speak out against these ridiculous cases they’d actually been holding, an act that sadly, cost the man his life. On the upside, since his wife was pregnant, she got to live, which is like a horrible twisted version of the Gift of the Magi.
But finally, after a nightmarish year of lies, deceit, murder, and more hangings than a Christmas tree, people finally started to get a hold of themselves, with the more educated of the townsfolk coming together to speak out against the witch hunts, writing books about it, as well as contacting officials and friends in Boston, telling them what was going on and asking for help.
By May of 1693, the witch hunts ended, with about 30 trials ending with the accused being acquitted, and all those accused of witchcraft being released from prison. Today, you can find numerous books about the Witch Trials, as well as many stories with plots and morals similar to the Trials. Many Sci-Fi books and TV shows also love to cover the Witch Trials trope, as a sign of persistent human ignorance, shows like Firefly, and Doctor Who, among others. 
Still, I would plead with you not to let stuff like this get you too down, remember, while I’m writing these essays to help prove just how fucking cool humanity totally is, I have to write essays like this one more as admittance that just because we built the Pyramids of Giza in only 20 years, doesn’t mean we have all our shit together. But hey, you have to fall down a lot before you properly learn to walk, and maybe after the huge pratfall we took in a shitty little Puritan town more than 300 years ago, we came a lot closer to learning how to run.  
Witches perform tricks. He performs ILLUSIONS.