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Jackpot City Casino 25 free spins bonus on Immortal Romance (Exclusive)

Jackpot City Casino 25 free spins bonus on Immortal Romance (Exclusive)

Jackpot City Casino Gratis Spins and Free Bonuses
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Jackpot City Casino Full Review

Jackpot City Casino is an international gaming site which includes nearly 500 online casinos, mobile casino, live dealer games, and lottery-style games. Jackpot City is compatible with desktop or mobile software, so customers can play using an Android phone, iPhone, iPad and Windows PC. Players also can bet in the web browser without a download. Jackpot Casino City is licensed by the Malta Gaming Authority and the Kahnawake Gaming Commission.
Jackpot City Casino provides a $1,600 welcome bonus for new players. This cash is spread over your first 4 deposits, which makes it easy to collect the full bonus. Jackpot City accepts all major credit cards, as well as e-Wallets like Skrill and Neteller. Payouts are fast by industry standards, while every transaction use 128-bit SSL encryption technology.

Jackpot City Casino Review Summary

Jackpot City Casino is a long-established and trusted online casino. The site was launched in 1998, so it has a 20-year history of satisfying customers with cutting-edge games and reliable payouts. Though it’s old by industry standards, in our Jackpot City Casino review we noticed that it provides the trendiest games on the market today: live baccarat, roulette, and blackjack dealers.
Jackpot City Casino uses Microgaming and Evolution Gaming software to present the games, so the casino has nearly 1,000 popular games. Players can play progressive slots with over $6 million in jackpots or choose from over 40 variations of blackjack and over a dozen forms of roulette.
Jackpot City Live Casino has 8 different live dealer games, including two live baccarat games and two live table poker games. Mobile players can play over 150 casino games, including Microgaming’s best online blackjack and roulette. Jackpot City Casino’s mobile slots list includes some of the most popular video slots in the world, including progressive jackpot slots and licensed slots.
Bonus Amount: $1,600
Platforms Supported: Microsoft and Windows.
Type of Casino: Online, Download, Instant Play, Mobile.
Number of games: 1,000+
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Payment and Processing Information

Jackpot City Casino has a tremendous number of deposit and withdrawal methods. If you have a single preferred method of payment, the chances are great that Jackpot City Casino supports it. When it’s time to withdraw your winnings, JackpotCity has a pending time of a day or two. Keep in mind that individual payment methods have their own delays.
Read through the expected delivery times to determine which is the best payment method for you.
WITHDRAWAL
  • Methods: MasterCard, Visa, Visa Delta, Visa Electron, NETELLER, PayPal, Skrill, Moneta.RU, Transferencia Bancaria Local, WebMoney, ecoPayz, eKonto, Postepay, Qiwi Wallet, EntroPay, iDebit, InstaDebit, Yandex, Check/Cheque, eCheck, Courier Check, Bank Wire Transfer, Direct/Local/Fast Bank Transfers, and EFT (Wire Transfer).
  • Limits: $4,000 Euros per week withdrawal limit. VIP players should negotiate withdrawal terms with the cashier.
  • Expected Withdrawal Times:24 to 48-hour pending process.
    • EWallet cashouts: 24 to 48 hours.
    • Credit Card and Debit Cards: 2 to 6 days.
    • Bank Transfers 3 to 7 business days.
    • Cheques arrive in 14 to 21 days.
DEPOSIT
  • Methods: MasterCard, Maestro, Visa, Visa Delta, Visa Electron, NETELLER, PayPal, Skrill, Skrill 1-Tap, iDeal, Paysafecard, Trustly, Citadel Instant Banking, Postepay, Abaqus, Euteller, mpass, Neosurf, Pago en Efectivo, todito Cash, GiroPay, MB Multibanco, MoneySafe Prepaid Card, Qiwi Wallet, Transferencia Bancaria Local, AstroPay Card, Boleto Bancario, Przelewy24, Reverse Withdrawal Request, SEB Bank: Direct Bank Transfer, DineroMail, eps, ecoPayz, Moneta.RU, eKonto, EntroPay, iDebit, InstaDebit, WebMoney, Payforit, Teleingreso, Yandex, Bank Wire Transfer, eCheck, and Direct/Local/Fast Bank Transfers.
  • Limits:No deposit limits are imposed.
  • Expected Deposit Time: Instant. Deposits should appear in your account instantly.
VIP LEVEL WITHDRAWAL LIMITS
Jackpot City Casino offers different withdrawal limits, depending on the VIP level the player attains. Jackpot City Casino’s Loyalty Programme is a 6-tier program based on the collection of loyalty points. From blue level to diamond level, each time you reach a new plateau, you’ll receive benefits, including 5% to 20% tier bonuses, personal account managers, and higher withdrawal rates.
Jackpot City Casino’s Loyalty Programme accumulates points for all the Cityviews Group websites, including Spin Palace, Ruby Fortune, and Mummy’s Gold Casino.
GENERAL INFORMATION
  • Limits Increased: Yes. The default withdrawal limit is €4,000 per week.
  • Customer Support: 1-800-890-3304
  • Email Address: [email protected]enter.com
  • Phone number: +44-800-917-8547
  • Response Time: Inquiries responded to instantly via Live Chat. Withdrawals within 48 hours.
  • Live Chat: Yes.
  • Languages: English, Spanish, French, German, Swedish, Norwegian, Finnish, Polish, English (EU), Latvian, Bulgarian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Greek, Italian, Japanese, Portuguese (Brazilian), and Turkish.
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Jackpot City Live Casino Games

Jackpot City Live Casino is powered by Evolution Gaming Live, the leading live dealer provider in the online casino industry. Jackpot City Casino Live features 8 different table games. The list includes multiple tables of Live Blackjack, Live Baccarat, and Live Roulette, so players can bet at limits appropriate to their bankroll. Players also can play live dealer versions 3-Card Poker, Caribbean Stud, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, Dream Catcher, and Baccarat Squeeze.

Live Dealer Blackjack

In the live dealer blackjack tables, players will be able to find two types of blackjack variants: Classic Blackjack and Party Blackjack.
  • Available Blackjack Tables: Only 2 tables, each with 7 seats, but has the “Bet Behind” feature, meaning you can bet on other players’ hands until you’re seated.
  • Betting Limits: £/€/$25 to £/€/$300

Live Dealer Roulette

Classic European Roulette, French Roulette, Double Ball Roulette, Speed Roulette, Dual Play Roulette, and Mini Roulette. Live dealer tables have multiple camera angles, so you get the action you want in real-time.
  • Available Roulette Tables: 24 in total, but the number of open tables depends on the time of day.
  • Betting Limits in General: £/€/$10 to £/€/$500

Live Dealer Baccarat

Playing live dealer games eliminates the need for random number generators and video simulations. This is the way baccarat is meant to be played, with real card decks. Players will be able to find live dealer Punto Banco and Baccarat Squeeze at Jackpot City Casino.
  • Available Baccarat Tables: 35
  • Betting Limits: £/€/$1 to £/€/$500

Live Dealer Poker

At Jackpot City, players will be able to find three types of live dealer poker, including Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud Poker, Live Ultimate Texas Hold’em Poker. In live dealer, poker gamblers have the easy controls and hand histories, combined with the camaraderie and excitement of real-life poker casino gaming.
  • Available Poker Tables?: 1
  • Betting Limits: £/€/$1 to £/€/$1000

Live Dream Catcher

Dream Catcher is a spinning wheel game. Live hostesses spin a wheel of fortune with various prizes on the wheel. If you play slot machines a lot, then Dream Catcher is similar to the U-Spin bonus games on a Bally Technologies slots or IGT’s Wheel of Fortune bonus game.
  • Available Dream Catcher Tables: 1
  • Betting Limits: $0.10 to $1,000
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Jackpot City Bonuses and Promotions

JackpotCity Casino has a $1,600 deposit bonus, a bitcoin bonus, daily and weekly bonuses, and a loyalty program fit for penny players and high rollers alike. JackpotCity Casino’s bonuses and promotions are competitive with other international online casinos. The first bonus you’ll receive is realistic, while the rollover requirements are better than most online casinos. Players even are allowed to play blackjack and video poker to satisfy the wagering requirements.

$1,600 Deposit Bonus

The main deposit bonus at JackpotCity Casino is $1,600. This welcome bonus offers 100% up to $400 on your first four deposits, making it an attainable offer which many customers should have a realistic chance of maxing out. The playthrough requirement is 50x the bonus.
Games that have wagering requirements:
  • Video Poker
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
Games excluded from the wagering requirement are Craps, Baccarat, Table Poker, Casino War, Red Dog, and Sic Bo.

Deal-a-Day Bonuses

The Deal-a-Day Bonus renews every 24 hours. On your first deposit of the day, no matter what day of the week it is, you’ll receive a special deposit bonus.
These deals change all the time, but there are several important things to remember:
  1. You receive a bonus anytime you make a single deposit in the day.
  2. If you plan to make one deposit in a week, check the current Deal-a-Day bonus list to see which daily bonus you prefer.
  3. If you plan to make multiple bonuses in a day, make sure your first deposit of the day is the biggest, because that’s when you’ll get the biggest advantages.

Special Bonuses

JackpotCity Casino also has country-specific bonuses, birthday bonuses, and special holiday bonuses. Again, these are tailored to fit your country of residence, so it’s impossible in a short space to list all the promotions. Most of these are unannounced giveaways. When you sign up, ask the Jackpot City cashier about special bonuses.

Jackpot City VIP Club

The Jackpot City VIP Club has a number of advantages, including tier bonuses at 5 different levels and the ability to trade loyalty points for cash. You can use loyalty points to buy freerolls into lucrative tournaments. To advance to the next VIP level, you’ll need to accumulate loyalty points. Every 10 credits you receive become 2 to 3 Loyalty Points, depending on the types of games you’re playing. Slots, keno, and scratchcards are worth 3 loyalty points, while most table games and video poker games are worth 2 loyalty points. Players receive auction points alongside loyalty points, which can be used to bid on Jackpot City Casino merchandise.
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Games Offered at Jackpot City Casino

Jackpot City Casino has a comprehensive set of online casinos games. Microgaming designed all the online slots, video poker, and table games, so the list of online blackjack and roulette is huge. Microgaming has one of the largest collections of slots titles, with over 400 video slots. That includes licensed slots with real clips and soundbites from famous pop culture franchises, along with a long list of progressive jackpot slots. The current biggest jackpot on a JackpotCity Casino progressive slot is over $6 million.

Table Games

Players receive can play several dozen table games at Jackpot City Casino, including multiple versions of baccarat, blackjack, and roulette. Fourteen variations of roulette are available, including European Roulette, American Roulette, and French Roulette. Most versions of roulette include gold series titles with enhanced graphics, while several have VIP and high limit versions for those who prefer high stakes roulette.
  • Baccarat
  • Multiplayer Baccarat
  • Craps
  • Mahjong
  • Sic Bo
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • 3-Card Poker
  • Cyberstud Poker
  • Casino War
  • American Roulette
  • European Roulette
  • European Roulette Gold
  • European Roulette Gold High Limit
  • European Roulette Gold VIP
  • French Roulette
  • French Roulette Gold
  • French Roulette Gold VIP
  • Multi-player Roulette
  • Multi Wheel European Roulette Gold
  • Progressive Roulette Royale
  • Bank Buster Roulette
  • Premier Roulette
  • Premier Roulette Diamond Edition

Blackjack Games

I’ve separated JackpotCity Casino’s list of blackjack games, because it’s notable how many variations are available. If you’re a blackjack player, you can play almost any version of blackjack you prefer.
The list includes Atlantic City Blackjack, which has a return-to-player of 99.74%. You can play European Blackjack Gold or High Streak Euro Blackjack, which have RTPs in the 99.60% to 99.65% range.
If you study the basic strategy charts for those blackjack variants in order to receive the optimal house edge, you can stretch your bankroll at Jackpot City Casino blackjack like few other online casinos. Sign up today to try JackpotCity Casino’s blackjack games.
  • Atlantic City Blackjack Gold
  • Bonus Blackjack Gold
  • Double Exposure Blackjack Gold
  • High Streak European Blackjack Gold
  • Big 5 Blackjack Gold
  • Big 5 Blackjack Multi Hand Gold
  • Blackjack Multihand
  • European Blackjack Gold
  • Hi/Lo 13 European Blackjack Gold
  • Premier Hi/Lo 13 Euro Blackjack Gold
  • Spanish 21 Blackjack
  • Multi-Hand Spanish 21 Blackjack Gold
  • Multi-and Vegas Downtown Blackjack Gold
  • High Stakes Blackjack
  • High Stakes Blackjack Gold
  • Multi Hand Atlantic City Blackjack Gold
  • Multi Hand Atlantic City Blackjack Gold VIP
  • Multi Hand European Black Jack Gold Series
  • Multiplayer Blackjack
  • Multiplayer Blackjack Gold
  • Premier Multi Hand European Blackjack Gold
  • Premier High Streak Euro Blackjack Gold

Video Poker

Blackjack City Casino’s video poker selection includes the essential video poker games, including Jacks or Better, Deuces Wild, and All Aces. All Aces is the version of video poker not included in the wagering requirements, meaning All Aces is considered quite advantageous for the player. Once again, you’ll need to study All Aces video poker strategy charts to optimize your play.
  • All Aces Poker
  • Jacks or Better Video Poker
  • Aces and Faces Poker
  • Deuces Wild Poker
  • Tens or Better Poker
  • Poker Pursuit
  • Double Double Bonus Poker
  • All American

Video Slots

Microgaming online casinos tend to have a huge number of 3-reel, 5-reel, and even 7-reel video slots. Jackpot City Casino is no different. JackpotCity contains the best progressive video slots from Microgaming and licensed slot machines.
JackpotCity Casino also has popular real money online slots like Break da Bank, Lotsaloot, and Rhyming Reels — which all have produced whole series of games, due to their popularity with fans.
Online slots fans can spend a lifetime trying out JackpotCity Casino slots, so get started today.
  • Mega Moolah (Progressive)
  • Major Millions (Progressive)
  • Treasure Nile (Progressive)
  • The Dark Knight (Progressive)
  • The Lord of the Rings (Progressive)
  • Terminator 2
  • Bridesmaids
  • Tomb Raider
  • Jurassic Park
  • Girls with Guns: Jungle Heat
  • Break da Bank
  • Couch Potato
  • Halloweenies
  • Karaoke Party
  • Bridezilla
  • Dino Mite
  • Forbidden Throne
  • Kathmandu
  • Hexaline
  • Lotsaloot
  • Rhyming Reels
  • Wheel of Wealth

Specialty Games

Specialty games is a catch-all category for the games you might not find in a brick-and-mortar casino. The list includes lottery and raffle-style games like real money keno. It also includes arcade games, including what casinos sometimes call “amusement with prizes”.
JackpotCity Casino has examples of lotto games and arcade games. The site also has games based on Ludo, a cross-and-circle game which is similar to Parcheesi (India: Pachisi) or Sorry.
Several are excellent mini-games for bettors who enjoy poker or sports betting.
  • Keno
  • Crown and Anchor
  • Spingo
  • Three-Wheeler
  • Ballistic Bingo
  • 75-Ball Bingo
  • 75-Ball Bingo (Swedish Variant)
  • 90-Ball Bingo
  • Boxing Bet (Ludo)
  • Cash Matrix (Ludo)
  • Cops and Robbers (Amusement with Prizes)
  • Flip Card (Scratch Game)
  • Fruitopia (Bingo Mini Game)
  • Lady Luxor (Amusement with Prizes)
  • Pharaoh’s Gold (Bingo Mini Game)
  • Roulette Stax (Amusement with Prizes)
  • Scratch Card (Scratch Game)
  • Slots-n-Robbers (Bingo Mini Game)
  • Spot Kick (Ludo)
  • Touchdown Glory (Ludo)
  • Vegas Vega (Bingo Mini Game)
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Conclusion

Jackpot City Casino has a huge selection of games, so any online casino bettor should be satisfied. Online slots players have hundreds of options, including some of the biggest progressive jackpot slots on the Internet. Those who like licensed slots can play world famous games, while old school players who like 3-reel classics should be satisfied. Table game players should be thrilled with the selection, especially if they play Roulette or Blackjack. The video poker category leaves a little something to be desired, but all the essential video poker games are available. The specialty games list is full of surprises. The VIP player rewards program provides big cashback bonuses and rewards points with several advantages.
Jackpot City Casino is one of our recommended online casinos, so sign up, deposit, and play at Jackpot City casino to enjoy hundreds of slots and all the top table games. Whether you enjoy online or live dealer casino games, Jackpot City Casino is your choice. And if you’ve never tried Evolution Gaming live dealer games, sign up and test your skill at one of Jackpot City Casino’s great live dealer tables.
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Royal Vegas Casino 120 free spins on Mega Moolah no depoosit bonus

Royal Vegas Casino 120 free spins on Mega Moolah no depoosit bonus

Royal Vegas Casino Free Spins and Welcome Bonus
This is exclusive welcome bonus to Royal Vegas Casino! Claim 120 free spins on Mega Moolah Jackpot via special landing page. No deposit required!
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Royal Vegas Casino Review

When a casino operator decides to launch multiple brands, it is unusual for them to launch them all at once; they are typically staggered over a series of years, and sometimes the original site can get a bit stale as the focus shifts to new brands.
The subject of this review, Royal Vegas Casino, is one of the old guards of online casinos. Since its launch, its parent company has gone on to manage 19 other brands; have they put this site out to pasture, or is it still worth your time and money? That is what I plan to find out with this honest, legit review of this casino.

About Royal Vegas Casino

Royal Vegas was one of the flagship sites of the Fortune Lounge Group when it was launched in 2000. It is now one of the 20 brands under the Digimedia Casino umbrella, alongside sister sites such as Casino Epoca, Spin Palace, and Platinum Play. In fact, while I was performing my initial stages of this review, I did notice a significant number of similarities between this casino and Platinum Play. As a result, much of this review may sound the same to many of you; I apologize, but I am going to look behind every corner to find all the differences between the two.
All of the Digimedia casinos have a license from the Malta Gaming Authority. This regulatory board keeps a watchful eye over all of its approved casinos, ensuring that player funds are safe and that the casino is completely above board when it comes to fairness and security.

Software Suppliers

Royal Vegas uses two software partners for the two sides of their online casino. The Live Dealer games are provided by industry-leader Evolution Gaming. We’ll talk more about these games further down this review; they are only available via the Instant Play format. For the remainder of the casino, Royal Vegas is powered by Microgaming, one of the industry’s longest-standing and top providers of games. In fact, Royal Vegas is one of Microgaming’s oldest clients, so this casino has seen all the improvements they have made over the years.
Microgaming’s casino is available in Instant Play format, but if you want all the games and the full casino experience, you are better served downloading the casino client to your desktop.
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The Good Stuff

Progressive Jackpots

When you hit the casino lobby, your eyes track immediately to the ticker which shows how much money is available in progressive jackpots on the site. The total is currently around 2.5 Million USD; almost half of that can be found in the Mega Moolah game. One spin of those reels could win you just over a million dollars! You should spend a couple minutes playing every time you log in; you never know which spin might be the one that changes your life!

A Clear Opt-Out Option

Wow. You don’t see this very often at a casino. Right there with an overview of the promotions and the rewards is a tab named Unsolicited Communications, where they outline how to opt-out of emails, and their policy to not just spam their players. Well done, Royal Vegas – this is most impressive.

The Bad Stuff

So Much Is the Same

One thing about operating many casinos is that sometimes it is easy to just copy and paste one site into another. From a games standpoint, that is exactly what has happened with Royal Vegas. If you are already a player with Platinum Play, you probably don’t need to play here; the casino lobby is exactly the same.

Quick Points Expiry

You will read a little later on how important a Comp Program is in my eyes; not only do I like to be able to redeem the points for cash, but I also like to try to move up VIP levels as quickly as possible. I noticed that the points at Royal Vegas have an expiry of 60 days; that is significantly faster than the industry standard of 90 days. This is a little disheartening considering you need to accumulate 5,000 to convert them. In my opinion, one of those rules needs to be adjusted.
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Royal Vegas Casino Game Selection

Slots

Even though you can see these games at many of the Digimedia Casinos, it is entirely possible that this is your first time seeing Microgaming in action. If so, you are in for a real treat. The slots catalog is bursting at the seams with titles for you to choose from; at last count, there were well over 300 slot machines in the casino lobby.
What I particularly enjoy are all the games that feature brands I know from other walks of life; you will see many of those along with other in-house content that I have enjoyed playing from the list below:
  • Around The World
  • Avalon
  • Battlestar Galactica
  • BrideZilla
  • Bubble Bonanza
  • Cashanova
  • CashOccino
  • Cash Splash – 3 Reel
  • Cash Splash – 5 Reel
  • Classic 243
  • Cool Buck 5 reel
  • Cool Wolf
  • Cosmic Cat
  • Dance of the Masai
  • Doctor Love 20-Line
  • Dogfather
  • Double Magic MegaSpin
  • Double O Cash
  • Double Wammy
  • Watts Up
  • Eagle’s Wings
  • Electric Diva
  • Elementals
  • Fantastic 7’s
  • Fantastic 7’s MegaSpin
  • Fruit Fiesta – 5 Reel
  • Fruit Salad
  • Fruit Slots
  • Fruit Candy
  • Game of Thrones
  • Game of Thrones 15-Line
  • Girls With Guns – Frozen Dawn
  • Girls With Guns – Jungle Heat
  • Gladiator 50-line
  • Golden Goose Winning Wizards
  • Jurassic Jackpot Big Reel
  • Jurassic Park
  • Lion’s Pride
  • Lions Share
  • Liquid Gold
  • Little Chief Big Cash
  • Living in Luxury
  • Loaded
  • Loose Cannon
  • Lost Vegas
  • Lotsaloot – 3 Reel
  • Lotsaloot – 5 Reel
  • Lucky Leprechaun
  • Lucky Leprechaun’s Loot
  • Lucky News Network
  • Major Millions
  • Major Millions 3 Reel
  • Major Millions MegaSpin
  • Mardi Gras
  • Mardi Gras Fever
  • Mark of Medusa
  • Max Damage
  • Max Damage and the Alien Attack
  • Mayan Princess
  • Mega Money Multiplier
  • Mega Moolah
  • Mega Moolah 5 Reel Drive
  • Mega Moolah Isis
  • Mega Moolah Summertime
  • Mermaids Millions
  • Mermaids Millions Multi-Player
  • Mocha Orange
  • Rhyming Reels – Georgie Porgie
  • Rhyming Reels – Hearts & Tarts
  • Rhyming Reels – Jack & Jill
  • Sahara’s Secret
  • Samurai 7’s
  • Sonic Boom
  • Sugar Mama
  • Sugar Parade
  • Sultans Sevens
  • Summer Holiday
  • Summertime
  • SunQuest
  • Tarzan
  • Terminator 2
  • The Adventures of Galactic Gopher
  • The Argyle Open
  • The Dark Knight
  • The Dark Knight Rises
  • The Finer Reels of Life
  • Tomb Raider
  • Tomb Raider – Secret of the Sword
  • Totem Treasure
  • Treasure Nile
  • Treasure Palace
  • Triangulation
  • Tribal Treasure
  • Wheel of Wealth Special Edition
  • Wheel of Wealth Special Edition Multiplayer
  • White Buffalo

Live Dealer Games

I mentioned earlier how much I love the Live Dealer games from Evolution. Truth be told, I enjoy live casino games form virtually any supplier. The pace of these games is much different than the traditional online casino; I also love watching the dealers on the live stream having to deal those oversized cards!
At Royal Vegas, you can find the Live Casino games in the “Tables” tab of the lobby, and from there you can choose from the following games:
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Dream Catcher
  • Blackjack
  • Roulette
  • Casino Hold’em

Video Poker

I am sure I am one of the craziest video poker nuts I know. Sometimes, I will find myself at the Hard Rock in Las Vegas, playing at one of the machines at the bar while also playing a game on my phone at one of the online casinos I have reviewed. Yes, that may be considered extreme behavior, but I can’t help it – I love these games!
When it comes to the selection at Royal Vegas, you will find a significant number of machines and pay tables. It is important to look at the pay tables before playing a game; you want to make sure the variant you are playing gives you the best return for your betting style. Also, you may find the multi-hand versions of the games exciting; there is nothing better than a Royal Flush except maybe 4 of them on the same hand!
Check out the types of video poker games you can play at this casino:
  • All Aces
  • Jacks or Better
  • All American
  • Aces & Faces
  • Double Bonus
  • Bonus Deuces Wild
  • Tens or Better
  • Aces & Eights
  • Deuces & Joker
  • Double Double Bonus
  • Joker Poker (kings or better)
  • Bonus Poker Deluxe
  • Double Joker
  • Deuces Wild
  • Louisiana Double

Table Games

For this casino review, I decided to do something different when testing the Table Games. I chose to play a game I don’t play very often and give it a full 45 minutes session. This time I decided on 3 Card Poker; this is a game I tend to play only with my friends after way too many drinks in Vegas, so I thought I would try it in the comfort of my own home. The end result? Well, I am still not sure if I like the game as much as I do other Table Games; thankfully there is a full complement of those at Royal Vegas:
  • 3 Card Poker
  • Atlantic City Blackjack
  • Atlantic City Gold Blackjack
  • Bonus Blackjack
  • Classic Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Crown and Anchor
  • Cyberstud Poker
  • Double Exposure
  • European Blackjack Redeal
  • European Gold Blackjack
  • Hi-Lo 13 European Blackjack
  • Keno
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Premier High Streak Blackjack
  • Poker Pursuit
  • Red Dog
  • Roulette
  • Sic Bo
  • Spanish Blackjack
  • Vegas Downtown Blackjack
  • Vegas single deck Blackjack
  • Vegas Strip Blackjack

Specialty Games

Now, the honest truth here: I did not test any of these “Casual Games” in reviewing Royal Vegas. While many of you may love to play these games, I consider them nothing more than a time-filler, and a costly one at that. However, should you get the itch to try one of them out, here are all the options you have to choose from:
  • Monkey Keno
  • Six Shooter Looter Gold
  • Pharaoh’s Gems
  • Spingo
  • Keno
  • Hexaline
  • Four By Four
  • Triangulation
  • Germinator
  • Max Damage and the Alien Attack
  • Whack a Jackpot
  • Super Bonus Bingo
  • Pharaoh Bingo
  • Three Wheeler
  • Electro Bingo
  • Samba Bingo
  • Mayan Bingo
  • Bubble Bonanza
  • Pick ‘n Switch
  • Beer Fest
  • Crown and Anchor
  • Ballistic Bingo
  • Bunny Boiler Gold
  • Premier Trotting
  • Kashatoa
  • Bunny Boiler
  • Space Evader Gold
  • Premier Racing
  • Crypt Crusade Gold
  • Space Evader
  • Hand to Hand Combat
  • Crypt Crusade
  • Six Shooter Looter
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Royal Vegas Casino Promotions

While the casino lobby can look the same, where I am hoping to find some differences between this casino and its sister properties is in the promotional area. I am going to have a look at two promotions in detail here in this review:

Welcome Bonus

This offer for first-time depositing players is eerily similar to the one being offered by Platinum Play, but this one is just a little bit sweeter. They are offering you up to $1,200 in bonuses and 120 Free Spins in their Welcome Bonus, along the following lines:
  • On your first deposit: a 100% deposit match up to $/€250 plus unlock 30 Free Spins on Dragon Dance-a minimum deposit of $/€10 is required to receive your Spins
  • On your second deposit: a 25% deposit match up to $/€200 plus unlock 40 Free Spins on Wild Orient
  • On your third deposit: 50% deposit match up to $/€750 plus unlock 50 Free Spins on the SunTide
So, this is definitely different than the other casino; first off, it is more money. Also, it is only spread over three deposits (all of which must be made within 7 days).
I was able to access the Terms and Conditions page and found there that the wagering requirement for this bonus (and all other bonuses) is 40x the bonus amount; that is a competitive rate, so it’s definitely worth giving this bonus a shot.

Wild Wins Wheel

This is a great ongoing promotion that by the sounds of things has been run before at this casino. It is a time-sensitive offer (this one looks to be about three weeks long), and has straightforward rules:
  • Play your favorite games to earn Rewards points
  • Your Rewards points will fill up the progress bar
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Angélica Gorodischer - Three Stories [Translated by Lorraine Elena Roses and Marian Womack]

The Resurrection of the Flesh [Tr by Roses]

These first two tales published in Secret Weavers: Stories of the Fantastic by Women Writers of Argentina and Chile, edited by Marjorie Agosin (White Pine Press, 1992):
She was thirty-two, her name was Aurelia, and she had been married eleven years. One Saturday afternoon, she looked through the kitchen window at the garden and saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse. Men of the world, those four horsemen of the Apocalypse. And good-looking. The first from the left was riding a sorrel horse with a dark mane. He was wearing white breeches, black boots, a crimson jacket, and a yellow fez with black pompoms. The second one had a sleeveless tunic overlaid with gold and violet and was barefoot. He was riding on the back of a plump dolphin. The third one had a respectable, black beard, trimmed at right angles. He had donned a gray Prince of Wales suit, white shirt, blue tie and carried a black leather portfolio. He was seated on a folding chair belted to the back of white-haired dromedary. The fourth one made Aurelia smile and realize that they were smiling at her. He was riding a black and gold Harley-Davidson 1200 and was wearing a white helmet and dark goggles and had long, straight, blond hair flying in the wind behind him. The four were riding in the garden without moving from the spot. They rode and smiled at her and she watched them through the kitchen window.
In that manner, she finished washing the two teacups, took off her apron, arranged her hair and went to the living room.
"I saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden," she told her husband.
"I'll bet," he said without raising his eyes from his paper.
"What are you reading?" Aurelia asked.
"Hmmm?"
"I said they were given a crown and a sword and a balance and power."
"Oh, right," said her husband.
And after that a week went by as all weeks do--very slowly at first and very quickly toward the end--and on Sunday morning, while she made the coffee, she again saw the four horsemen of the Apocalypse in the garden, but when she went back to the bedroom she didn't say anything to her husband.
The third time she saw them, one Wednesday, alone, in the afternoon, she stood looking at them for a half hour and finally, since she had always wanted to fly in a yellow and red dirigible; and since she had dreamed about being an opera singer, an emperor's lover, a co-pilot to Icarus; since she would have liked to scale black cliffs, laugh at cannibals, traverse the jungles on elephants with purple trappings, seize with her hands the diamonds that lay hidden in mines, preside in the nude over a parade of nocturnal monsters, live under water, domesticate spiders, torture the powerful of the earth, rob trains in the tunnels of the Alps, set palaces on fire, lie in the dark with beggars, climb on the bridges of all the ships in the world; finally--since it was sadly sterile to be a rational and healthy adult--finally, that Wednesday afternoon alone, she put on the long dress she had worn at the last New Year's party given by the company where her husband was assistant sales manager and went out to the garden. The four horsemen of the Apocalypse called her, the blond one on the Harley-Davidson gave her his hand and helped her up onto the seat behind him, and there they went, all five, raging into the storm and singing.
Two days later her husband gave in to family pressure and reported the disappearance of his wife.
"Moral: madness is a flower aflame," said the narrator. Or in other words, it's impossible to inflame the dead, cold, viscous, useless, and sinful ashes of common sense.

The Perfect Married Woman

If you meet her on the street, cross quickly to the other side and quicken your pace. She’s a dangerous lady. She’s about forty or forty-five, has one married daughter and a son working in San Nicolas; her husband’s a sheet-metal worker. She rises very early, sweeps the sidewalk, sees her husband off, cleans, does the wash, shops, cooks. After lunch she watches television, sews or knits, irons twice a week, and at night goes to bed late. On Saturdays she does a general cleaning and washes windows and waxes the floors. On Sunday mornings she washes the clothes her son brings home—his name is Nestor Eduardo—she kneads dough for noodles or ravioli, and in the afternoon either her sister-inlaw comes to visit or she goes to her daughter’s house. It’s been a long time since she’s been to the movies, but she reads TV Guide and the police report in the newspaper. Her eyes are dark and her hands are rough and her hair is starting to go gray. She catches cold frequently and keeps a photo album in a dresser drawer along with a black crepe dress with lace collar and cuffs.
Her mother never hit her. But when she was six, she got a spanking for coloring on a door, and she had to wash it off with a wet rag. While she was doing it, she thought about doors, all doors, and decided that they were very dumb because they always led to the same places. And the one she was cleaning was definitely the dumbest of all, the one that led to her parents’ bedroom. She opened the door and then it didn’t go to her parents’ bedroom but to the Gobi desert. She wasn’t surprised that she knew it was the Gobi desert even though they hadn’t even taught her in school where Mongolia was and neither she nor her mother nor her grandmother had ever heard of Nan Shan or Khangai Nuru.
She stepped through the door, bent over to scratch the yellowish grit and saw that there was no one, nothing, and the hot wind tousled her hair, so she went back through the open door, closed it and kept on cleaning. And when she finished, her mother grumbled a little more and told her to wash the rag and take the broom to sweep up that sand and clean her shoes. That day she modified her hasty judgment about doors, though not completely, at least not until she understood what was going on.
What had been going on all her life and up until today was that from time to time doors behaved satisfactorily, though in general they were still acting dumb and leading to dining rooms, kitchens, laundry rooms, bedrooms and offices even in the best of circumstances. But two months after the desert, for example, the door that every day led to the bath opened onto the workshop of a bearded man dressed in a long uniform, pointed shoes, and a cap that tilted on one side of his head. The old man’s back was turned as he took something out of a highboy with many small drawers behind a very strange, large wooden machine with a giant steering wheel and screw, in the midst of cold air and an acrid smell. When he turned around and saw her he began to shout at her in a language she didn’t understand.
She stuck out her tongue, dashed out the door, closed it, opened it again, went into the bathroom and washed her hands for lunch.
Again, after lunch, many years later, she opened the door of her room and walked into a battlefield. She dipped her hands in the blood of the wounded and dead and pulled from the neck of a cadaver a crucifix that she wore for a long time under high-necked blouses or dresses without plunging necklines. She now keeps it in a tin box underneath the nightgowns with a brooch, a pair of earrings and a broken wristwatch that used to belong to her mother-in-law. In the same way, involuntarily and by chance, she visited three monasteries, seven libraries, and the highest mountains in the world, and who knows how many theaters, cathedrals, jungles, refrigeration plants, dens of vice, universities, brothels, forests, stores, submarines, hotels, trenches, islands, factories, palaces, hovels, towers and hell.
She’s lost count and doesn’t care; any door could lead anywhere and that has the same value as the thickness of the ravioli dough, her mother’s death, and the life crises that she sees on TV and reads about in TV Guide.
Not long ago she took her daughter to the doctor, and seeing the closed door of a bathroom in the clinic, she smiled. She wasn’t sure because she can never be sure, but she got up and went to the bathroom. However, it was a bathroom; at least there was a nude man in a bathtub full of water. It was all very large, with a high ceiling, marble floor and decorations hanging from the closed windows. The man seemed to be asleep in his white bathtub, short but deep, and she saw a razor on a wrought iron table with feet decorated with iron flowers and leaves and ending in lion’s paws, a razor, a mirror, a curling iron, towels, a box of talcum powder and an earthen bowl with water. She approached on tiptoe, retrieved the razor, tiptoed over to the sleeping man in the tub and beheaded him. She threw the razor on the floor and rinsed her hands in the lukewarm bathtub water. She turned around when she reached the clinic corridor and spied a girl going into the bathroom through the other door. Her daughter looked at her.
“That was quick.”
“The toilet was broken,” she answered.
A few days afterward, she beheaded another man in a blue tent at night. That man and a woman were sleeping mostly uncovered by the blankets of a low, king-size bed, and the wind beat around the tent and slanted the flames of the oil lamps. Beyond it there would be another camp, soldiers, animals, sweat, manure, orders and weapons. But inside there was a sword by the leather and metal uniforms, and with it she cut off the head of the bearded man. The woman stirred and opened her eyes as she went out the door on her way back to the patio that she had been mopping.
On Monday and Thursday afternoons, when she irons shirt collars, she thinks of the slit necks and the blood, and she waits. If it’s summer she goes out to sweep a little after putting away the clothing and until her husband arrives. If it’s windy she sits in the kitchen and knits. But she doesn’t always find sleeping men or staring cadavers. One rainy morning, when she was twenty, she was at a prison, and she made fun of the chained prisoners; one night when the kids were kids and were all living at home, she saw in a square a disheveled woman looking at a gun but not daring to take it out of her open purse. She walked up to her, put the gun in the woman’s hand and stayed there until a car parked at the corner, until the woman saw a man in gray get out and look for his keys in his pocket, until the woman aimed and fired. And another night while she was doing her sixth grade geography homework, she went to look for crayons in her room and stood next to a man who was crying on a balcony. The balcony was so high, so far above the street, that she had an urge to push him to hear the thud down below, but she remembered the orographic map of South America and was about to leave. Anyhow, since the man hadn’t seen her, she did push him and saw him disappear and ran to color in the map so she didn’t hear the thud, only the scream. And in an empty theater, she made a fire underneath the velvet curtain; in a riot she opened the cover to a basement hatchway; in a house, sitting on top of a desk, she shredded a two-thousand-page manuscript; in a clearing of a forest she buried the weapons of the sleeping men; in a river she opened the floodgates of a dike.
Her daughter’s name is Laura Inés, her son has a fiancée in San Nicolás and he’s promised to bring her over on Sunday so she and her husband can meet her. She has to remind herself to ask her sister-in-law for the recipe for orange cake, and Friday on TV is the first episode of a new soap opera. Again, she runs the iron over the front of the shirt and remembers the other side of the doors that are always carefully closed in her house, that other side where the things that happen are much less abominable than the ones we experience on this side, as you can easily understand.

The Unmistakable Smell of Wood Violets [Tr by Womack]

Translated for the first time in Ann and Jeff Vandermeer's Big Book of Science Fiction (Vintage, 2016):
The news spread fast. It would be correct to say that the news moved like a flaming trail of gunpowder, if it weren't for the fact that at this point in our civilization gunpowder was archaeology, ashes in time, the stuff of legend, nothingness. However, it was because of the magic of our new civilization that the news was known all over the world, practically instantaneously.
"Oooh!" the tsarina said.
You have to take into account that Her Gracious and Most Illustrious Virgin Majesty Ekaterina V, Empress of Holy Russia, had been carefully educated in the proper decorum befitting the throne, which meant that she would never have even raised an eyebrow or curved the corner of her lip, far less would she have made an interjection of that rude and vulgar kind. But not only did she say "Oooh!," she also got up and walked through the room until she reached the glass doors of the great balcony. She stopped there. Down below, covered by snow, Saint Leninburg was indifferent and unchanged, the city's eyes squinting under the weight of winter. At the palace, ministers and advisers were excited, on edge.
"And where is this place?" the tsarina asked.
And that is what happened in Russia, which is such a distant and atypical country. In the central states of the continent, there was real commotion. In Bolivia, in Paraguay, in Madagascar, in all the great powers, and in the countries that aspired to be great powers, such as High Peru, Iceland, or Morocco, hasty conversations took place at the highest possible level with knitted brows and hired experts. The strongest currencies became unstable: the guarani rose, the Bolivian peso went down half a point, the crown was discreetly removed from the exchange rates for two long hours, long queues formed in front of the exchanges in front of all the great capitals of the world. President Morillo spoke from the Oruro Palace and used the opportunity to make a concealed warning (some would call it a threat) to the two Peruvian republics and the Minas Gerais secessionist area. Morillo had handed over the presidency of Minas to his nephew, Pepe Morillo, who had proved to be a wet blanket whom everybody could manipulate, and now Morillo bitterly regretted his decision. Morocco and Iceland did little more than give their diplomats a gentle nudge in the ribs, anything to shake them into action, as they imagined them all to be sipping grenadine and mango juice in the deep south while servants in shiny black uniforms stood over them with fans.
The picturesque note came from the Independent States of North America. It could not have been otherwise. Nobody knew that all the states were now once again under the control of a single president, but that's how it was: some guy called Jack Jackson-Franklin, who had been a bit-part actor in videos, and who, aged eighty-seven, had discovered his extremely patriotic vocation of statesman. Aided by his singular and inexplicable charisma, and by his suspect family tree, according to which he was the descendent of two presidents who had ruled over the states during their glory days, he had managed to unify, at least for now, the seventy-nine northern states. Anyway, Mr. Jackson-Franklin said to the world that the Independent States would not permit such a thing to take place. No more, just that they would not permit such a thing to take place. The world laughed uproariously at this.
Over there, in the Saint Leninburg palace, ministers cleared their throats, advisers swallowed saliva, trying to find out if, by bobbing their Adam's apples up and down enough, they might be able to loosen their stiff official shirts.
"Ahem. Ahem. It's in the south. A long way to the south. In the west, Your Majesty."
"It is. Humph. Ahem. It is, Your Majesty, a tiny country in a tiny territory."
"It says that it is in Argentina," the tsarina said, still staring through the window but without paying any attention to the night as it fell over the snow-covered roofs and the frozen shores of the Baltic.
"Ah, yes, that's right, that's right, Your Majesty, a pocket republic."
Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov, some kind of councilor and, what is more, an educated and sensible man, broke into the conversation.
"Several, Your Majesty, it is several."
And at last the tsarina turned around. Who cared a fig for the Baltic night, the snow-covered rooftops, the roofs themselves, and the city of which they were a part? Heavy silk crackled, starched petticoats, lace.
"Several of what, Councilor Kustkarov, several of what? Don't come to me with your ambiguities."
"I must say, Your Majesty, I had not the slightest intention--"
"Several of what?"
The tsarina looked directly at him, her lips held tightly together, her hands moving unceasingly, and Kustkarov panicked, as well he might.
"Rep-rep-republics, Your Majesty," he blurted out. "Several of them. Apparently, a long time ago, a very long time, it used to be a single territory, and now it is several, several republics, but their inhabitants, the people who live in all of them, all of the republics, are called, they call themselves, the people, that is, Argentinians."
The tsarina turned her gaze away. Kustkarov felt so relieved that he was encouraged to carry on speaking:
"There are seven of them, Your Majesty: Rosario, Entre dos Rios, Ladocta, Ona, Riachuelo, Yujujuy, and Labodegga."
The tsarina sat down.
"We must do something," she said.
Silence. Outside it was not snowing, but inside it appeared to be. The tsarina looked at the transport minister.
"This enters into your portfolio," she said.
Kustkarov sat down, magnificently. How lucky he was to be a councilor, a councilor with no specific duties. The transport minister, on the other hand, turned pale.
"I think, Your Majesty...," he dared to say.
"Don't think! Do something!"
"Yes, Your Majesty," the minister said, and, bowing, started to make his way to the door.
"Where do you think you're going?" the tsarina said, without moving her mouth or twitching an eyelid.
"I'm just, I'm going, I'm just going to see what can be done, Your Majesty."
There's nothing that can be done, Sergei Vasilievich thought in delight, nothing. He realized that he was not upset, but instead he felt happy. And on top of everything else a woman, he thought. Kustkarov was married to Irina Waldoska-Urtiansk, a real beauty, perhaps the most beautiful woman in all of Holy Russia. Perhaps he was being cuckolded; it would have been all too easy for him to find that out, but he did not want to. His thoughts turned in a circle: and on top of everything else a woman. He looked at the tsarina and was struck, not for the first time, by her beauty. She was not so beautiful as Irina, but she was magnificent.
In Rosario it was not snowing, not because it was summer, although it was, but because it never snowed in Rosario. And there weren't any palm trees: the Moroccans would have been extremely disappointed had they known, but their diplomats said nothing about the Rosario flora in their reports, partly because the flora of Rosario was now practically nonexistent, and partly because diplomats are supposed to be above that kind of thing.
Everyone who was not a diplomat, that is to say, everyone, the population of the entire republic that in the last ten years had multiplied vertiginously and had now reached almost two hundred thousand souls, was euphoric, happy, triumphant. They surrounded her house, watched over her as she slept, left expensive imported fruits outside her door, followed her down the street. Some potentate allowed her the use of a Ford 99, which was one of the five cars in the whole country, and a madman who lived in the Espinillos cemetery hauled water all the way up from the Pará lagoon and grew a flower for her which he then gave her.
"How nice," she said, then went on, dreamily, "Will there be flowers where I'm going?"
They assured her that there would be.
She trained every day. As they did not know exactly what it was she had to do to train herself, she got up at dawn, ran around the Independence crater, skipped, did some gymnastic exercises, ate little, learned how to hold her breath, and spent hours and hours sitting or curled into strange positions. She also danced the waltz. She was almost positive that the waltz was not likely to come in handy, but she enjoyed it very much.
Meanwhile, farther away, the trail of gunpowder had become a barrel of dynamite, although dynamite was also a legendary substance and didn't exist. The infoscreens in every country, whether poor or rich, central or peripheral, developed or not, blazed forth with extremely large headlines suggesting dates, inventing biographical details, trying to hide, without much success, their envy and confusion. No one was fooled:
"We have been wretchedly beaten," the citizens of Bolivia said.
"Who would have thought it," pondered the man on the Reykjavík omnibus.
The former transport minister of Holy Russia was off breaking stones in Siberia. Councilor Sergei Vasilievich Kustkarov was sleeping with the tsarina, but that was only a piece of low, yet spicy, gossip that has nothing to do with this story.
"We will not allow this to happen!" Mr. Jackson-Franklin blustered, tugging nervously at his hairpiece. "It is our own glorious history that has set aside for us this brilliant destiny! It is we, we and not this despicable banana republic, who are marked for this glory!"
Mr. Jackson-Franklin also did not know that there were no palm trees or bananas in Rosario, but this was due not to a lack of reports from his diplomats but rather a lack of diplomats. Diplomats are a luxury that a poor country cannot afford, and so poor countries often go to great pains to take offense and recall all the knights commanders and lawyers and doctors and even eventually the generals working overseas, in order to save money on rent and electricity and gas and salaries, not to mention the cost of the banquets and all the money in brown paper envelopes.
But the headlines kept on appearing on the infoscreens: "Argentinian Astronaut Claims She Will Reach Edge of Universe," "Sources Claim Ship Is Spaceworthy in Spite of or Because of Centuries-Long Interment," "Science or Catastrophe?," "Astronaut Not a Woman but a Transsexual" (this in the Imperialskaya Gazeta, the most puritan of the infoscreens, even more so than the Papal Piccolo Osservatore Lombardo), "Ship Launches," "First Intergalactic Journey in Centuries," "We Will Not Allow This to Happen!" (Portland Times).
She was dancing the waltz. She woke up with her heart thumping, tried out various practical hairstyles, ran, skipped, drank only filtered water, ate only olives, avoided spies and journalists, went to see the ship every day, just to touch it. The mechanics all adored her.
"It'll work, they'll see, it'll work," the chief engineer said defiantly.
Nobody contradicted him. No one dared say that it wouldn't.
It would make it, of course it would make it. Not without going through many incredible adventures on its lengthy journey. Lengthy? No one knew who Langevin was anymore, so no one was shocked to discover that his theory contradicted itself, ended up biting its own tail, and that however long the journey took, the observers would only perceive it as having lasted minutes. Someone called Cervantes, a very famous personage back in the early years of human civilization--it was still debated whether he had been a physicist, a poet, or a musician--had suggested a similar theory in one of his lost works.
One autumn dawn the ship took off from the Independence crater, the most deserted part of the whole desert republic of Rosario, at five forty-five in the morning. The exact time is recorded because the inhabitants of the country had all pitched in together to buy a clock, which they thought the occasion deserved (there was one other clock, in the Enclosed Convent of the Servants of Santa Rita de Casino, but because the convent was home to an enclosed order nothing ever went in or out of it, no news, no requests, no answers, no nothing). Unfortunately, they had not had enough money. But then someone had had the brilliant idea which had brought in the money they needed, and Rosario had hired out its army for parades in friendly countries: there weren't that many of them and the ones there were weren't very rich, but they managed to get the cash together. Anyone who was inspired by patriotism and by the proximity of glory had to see those dashing officers, those disciplined soldiers dressed in gold and crimson, protected by shining breastplates, capped off with plumed helmets, their catapults and pouches of stones at their waists, goose-stepping through the capital of Entre Dos Rios or the Padrone Giol vineyards in Labodegga, at the foot of the majestic Andes.
The ship blasted off. It got lost against the sky. Before the inhabitants of Rosario, their hearts in their throats and their eyes clouded by emotion, had time to catch their breath, a little dot appeared up there, getting bigger and bigger, and it was the ship coming back down. It landed at 06:11 on the same morning of that same autumn day. The clock that recorded this is preserved in the Rosario Historical Museum. It no longer works, but anyone can go and see it in its display cabinet in Room A of the Museum. In Room B, in another display case, is the so-called Carballensis Indentic Axe, the fatal tool that cut down all the vegetation of Rosario and turned the whole country into a featureless plain. Good and evil, side by side, shoulder to shoulder.
Twenty-six minutes on Earth, many years on board the ship. Obviously, she did not have a watch or a calendar with her: the republic of Rosario would not have been able to afford either of them. But it was many years, she knew that much.
Leaving the galaxy was a piece of cake. You can do it in a couple of jumps, everyone knows that, following the instructions that Albert Einsteinstein, the multifaceted violin virtuoso, director of sci-fi movies, and student of space-time, gave us a few hundred years back. But the ship did not set sail to the very center of the universe, as its predecessors had done in the great era of colonization and discovery; no, the ship went right to the edge of the universe.
Everyone also knows that there is nothing in the universe, not even the universe itself, which does not grow weaker as you reach its edge. From pancakes to arteries, via love, rubbers, photographs, revenge, bridal gowns, and power. Everything tends to imperceptible changes at the beginning, rapid change afterward; everything at the edge is softer and more blurred, as the threads start to fray from the center to the outskirts.
In the time it took her to take a couple of breaths, a breath and a half, over the course of many years, she passed through habitable and uninhabitable places, worlds which had once been classified as existent, worlds which did not appear and had never appeared and probably would never appear in any cartographical survey. Planets of exiles, singing sands, minutes and seconds in tatters, whirlpools of nothingness, space junk, and that's without even mentioning those beings and things, all of which stood completely outside any possibility of description, so much so that we tend not to perceive them when we look at them; all of this, and shock, and fear more than anything else, and loneliness. The hair grew gray at her temples, her flesh lost its firmness, wrinkles appeared around her eyes and her mouth, her knees and ankles started to act up, she slept less than before and had to half close her eyes and lean backward in order to make out the numbers on the consoles. And she was so tired that it was almost unbearable. She did not waltz any longer: she put an old tape into an old machine and listened and moved her gray head in time with the orchestra.
She reached the edge of the universe. Here was where everything came to an end, so completely that even her tiredness disappeared and she felt once again as full of enthusiasm as she had when she was younger. There were hints, of course: salt storms, apparitions, little brushstrokes of white against the black of space, large gaps made of sound, echoes of long-dead voices that had died giving sinister orders, ash, drums; but when she reached the edge itself, these indications gave way to space signage: "End," "You Are Reaching the Universe Limits," "The Cosmos General Insurance Company, YOUR Company, Says: GO NO FURTHER," "End of Protected Cosmonaut Space," etc., as well as the scarlet polygon that the OMUU had adopted to use as a sign for that's it, abandon all hope, the end.
All right, so she was here. The next thing to do was go back. But the idea of going back never occurred to her. Women are capricious creatures, just like little boys: as soon as they get what they want, then they want something else. She carried on.
There was a violent judder as she crossed the limit. Then there was silence, peace, calm. All very alarming, to tell the truth. The needles did not move, the lights did not flash, the ventilation system did not hiss, her alveoli did not vibrate, her chair did not swivel, the screens were blank. She got up, went to the portholes, looked out, saw nothing. It was logical enough:
"Of course," she said to herself, "when the universe comes to an end, then there's nothing."
She looked out through the portholes a little more, just in case. She still could see nothing, but she had an idea.
"But I'm here," she said. "Me and the ship."
She put on a space suit and walked out into the nothing.
When the ship landed in the Independence crater in the republic of Rosario, twenty-six minutes after it had taken off, when the hatch opened and she appeared on the ramp, the spirit of Paul Langevin flew over the crater, laughing fit to burst. The only people who heard him were the madman who had grown the flower for her in the Espinillos cemetery and a woman who was to die that day. No one else had ears or fingers or tongue or feet, far less did they have eyes to see him.
It was the same woman who had left, the very same, and this calmed the crowds down at the same time as it disappointed them, all the inhabitants of the country, the diplomats, the spies, and the journalists. It was only when she came down the gangplank and they came closer to her that they saw the network of fine wrinkles around her eyes. All other signs of her old age had vanished, and had she wished, she could have waltzed tirelessly, for days and nights on end, from dusk till dawn till dusk.
The journalists all leaned forward; the diplomats made signals, which they thought were subtle and unseen, to the bearers of their sedan chairs to be ready to take them back to their residences as soon as they had heard what she had to say; the spies took photographs with the little cameras hidden away in their shirt buttons or their wisdom teeth; all the old people put their hands together; the men raised their fists to their heart; the little boys pranced; the young girls smiled.
And then she told them what she had seen:
"I took off my suit and my helmet," she said, "and walked along the invisible avenues that smelled of violets."
She did not know that the whole world was waiting to hear what she said; that Ekaterina V had made Sergei Vasilievich get up at five o'clock in the morning so that he could accompany her to the grand salon and wait there for the news; that one of the seventy-nine Northern States had declared its independence because the president had not stopped anything from happening or obtained any glory, and this had lit the spark of rebellion in the other seventy-eight states, and this had made Mr. Jackson-Franklin leave the White House without his wig, in pajamas, freezing and furious; that Bolivia, Paraguay, and Iceland had allowed the two Peruvian republics to join their new alliance and defense treaty set up against a possible attack from space; that the high command of the Paraguayan aeronautical engineers had promised to build a ship that could travel beyond the limits of the universe, always assuming that they could be granted legal immunity and a higher budget, a declaration that made the guarani fall back the two points that it had recently risen and then another one as well; that Don Schicchino Giol, the new padrone of the Republic of Labodegga at the foot of the majestic Andes had been woken from his most recent drinking bout to be told that he had now to sign a declaration of war against the Republic of Rosario, now that they knew the strength of the enemy's forces.
"Eh? What? Hunh?" Don Schicchino said.
"I saw the nothingness of everything," she said, "and it was all infused with the unmistakable smell of wood violets. The nothingness of the world is like the inside of a stomach throbbing above your head. The nothingness of people is like the back of a painting, black, with glasses and wires that release dreams of order and imperfect destinies. The nothingness of creatures with leathery wings is a crack in the air and the rustle of tiny feet. The nothingness of history is the massacre of the innocents. The nothingness of words, which is a throat and a hand that break whatever they touch on perforated paper; the nothingness of music, which is music. The nothingness of precincts, of crystal glasses, of seams, of hair, of liquids, of lights, of keys, of food."
When she had finished her list, the potentate who owned the Ford 99 said that he would give it to her, and that in the afternoon he would send one of his servants with a liter of naphtha so that she could take the car out for a spin.
"Thank you," she said. "You are very generous."
The madman went away, looking up to the skies; who knows what he was searching for. The woman who was going to die that day asked herself what she should eat on Sunday, when her sons and their wives came to lunch. The president of the Republic of Rosario gave a speech.
And everything in the world carried on the same, apart from the fact that Ekaterina V named Kustkarov her interior minister, which terrified the poor man but which was welcomed with open arms by Irina as an opportunity for her to refresh her wardrobe and her stock of lovers. And Jack Jackson-Franklin sold his memoirs to one of Paraguay's more sophisticated magazines for a stellar amount of money, which allowed him to retire to live in Imerina. And six spaceships from six major world powers set off to the edges of the universe and were never seen again.
She married a good man who had a house with a balcony, a white bicycle, and a radio which, on clear days, could pick up the radio plays that LLL1 Radio Magnum transmitted from Entre Dos Rios, and she waltzed in white satin shoes. The day that her first son was born a very pale green shoot grew out of the ground on the banks of the great lagoon.
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Australia Goes Back to the 1980s With Its Economy Closed to World

Australia’s success in curbing Covid-19 infections is allowing it to slowly ease some restrictions even as it remains largely closed off from the rest of the world, taking its economy back to the pre-globalization era.
Mining and agriculture continue to support exports and a government-sponsored group is looking at ways to revive manufacturing. But the flow of foreign tourists, students and immigrants has been frozen, pinning hopes for a rebound on local consumption.
The closed borders and domestic reliance has the economy harking back to the 1980s, before the lifting of tariffs opened up trade and Paul Hogan offered to put another shrimp on the Barbie for international visitors.
Services Driven Nearly two-thirds of economic output from service industries
Australian Bureau of Statistics
Nominal gross value added, 2018-19
The capacity of services to quickly turnaround and the fact Aussies aren’t blowing savings on holidays abroad could help the nation fare better than many developed-world peers. Much will depend on the mood of households as unemployment rises, with a poor construction outlook adding to headwinds.
What Bloomberg’s Economists Say “Close to 1 million Australians per month traveled overseas in 2019. They will now be looking for a change of destination, heading to Noosa instead of Nusa Dua; Port Douglas, not Penang; and catching up with friends at bars in Melbourne Laneways, instead of Hong Kong’s mid levels. Containment measures change the economics of international travel.”
James McIntyre, economist
Household consumption, which makes up around 55% of the economy, has been boosted on the one hand by people stocking up on essentials during the lockdown, but hammered on the other as they couldn’t eat out or go to the movies. Shops and restaurants are gradually reopening but, for consumption to drive any rebound, households must put aside concerns over job security and debt to drive spending. That may be tough.
Wesfarmers Ltd. is seeing shift in consumer behavior across its retail portfolio. Home improvement and office products stores, Bunnings and Officeworks, have seen significant uplift in sales, while general merchandise stores, Target and Kmart, have seen sales slow.
Pessimistic households have consumption outlook seeming bleak Even before Covid-19, Australian households were among the most indebted in the developed world, with debt almost double disposable income. The threat of unemployment to people’s ability to meet their debts is now key, and the Reserve Bank of Australia has long acknowledged it as a major risk facing the economy.
The unemployment rate is currently 6.2%, with the central bank expecting it to peak at around 10%. Banks are offering repayment holidays to help tide homeowners over and have quadrupled provisions for an expected surge in bad debts.
Australia Passes Massive Stimulus Measures as Virus Spreads People wait in line outside a Centrelink office in the Bondi Junction suburb of Sydney, March 2020.Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg The absence of skilled migration due to closed national borders will also hit pause on what had been steady stream of profitable mortgage lending for the banks. That could flow through to housing prices if sustained.
Commonwealth Bank of Australia said its base case is for an 11% fall in home prices, though in a prolonged downturn a cumulative 32% slump is possible. National Australia Bank Ltd. said in a severe downturn, prices could plummet 21% this year.
Uncertainty and job insecurity impacting property market Residential construction typically closely follows house price movements, and the sector was already scaling back activity following the previous flood of new stock still working its way into the market.
The RBA earlier this month said that indications from the initial stages of the development process suggests demand for new housing “has deteriorated significantly.” It expects dwelling investment to plunge 17% in the 12 months through June and remain a drag on growth until 2021.
Property investors have been hit by the six month moratorium on tenancy evictions during coronavirus. Without renewed interest from investors, it’s challenging to get a new apartment development, particularly of any size, into construction.
The same holds for business investment. Unless the project was already underway, or is related to creating a covid-safe environment, capital expenditure plans have been parked until demand returns.
Natural Endowment Things look brighter as you leave the cities. Internationally, Australia is known as a commodity powerhouse. While it accounts for just 10% of output, it is a key source of export income and prosperity in the country.
Iron ore shipments from Port Hedland, a key export hub, hit a record for April, while gold sales from Perth Mint -- the main refiner -- also surged. Fortescue Metals Group Ltd. lifted its projected annual iron ore shipments in a wager on China’s recovery. “We are selling everything we can possibly produce,” Chairman Andrew Forrest says.
Net exports important source of economic growth It’s less rosy for the liquefied natural gas producers. Just as the coronavirus sent the global economy into lockdown, Russia and Saudi Arabia began a standoff that sent oil prices tumbling below zero.
Top producers Woodside Petroleum Ltd. and Santos Ltd. have slashed spending plans and deferred flagship growth projects -- worth over $15 billion -- in line with drastic steps by energy majors worldwide to hunker down during the pandemic.
On The Sheep’s Back Virus Fears Grow In Sydney As Growing GDP Expected To Be Hit Rolls of toilet papers sit in an empty section of a supermarket in Sydney, March 2020..Photographer: Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg As supermarket shelves were stripped bare, a panicked nation was reminded of the sheer mass of food the country’s farmers produce. Domestic food production services more than 90% of fresh produce sold in supermarkets and still is able to more than match that amount in exports.
The industry could also become an unexpected source of employment. Backpackers and workers from Pacific Islands flock to rural areas to pick up work with seasonal tasks, but with borders shut and jobs being lost across the economy, farmers are likely turn to the local community for the extra labor.
Other producers have greater worries. Barley and meat exporters have been caught in China’s crosshairs in retaliation for Australia’s public call for an independent investigation of the coronavirus outbreak, while the wine industry is looking on nervously.
It’s been a tough year for wine, even before the virus. Clonakilla winery in New South Wales, north of Canberra, decided against producing a 2020 vintage after analysis showed unacceptably high levels of smoke taint from wildfires over the summer.
Exploring Our Own Backyard Australia's China Reliance Backfires as Virus Fallout Spreads Students sit on the grass at the University of Sydney, Feb. 2020.Photographer: Brent Lewin/Bloomberg The education industry was one of the first to feel the pinch from coronavirus restrictions. When the government imposed travel bans on flights from China in February, around 100,000 international students were unable to enter Australia to begin the academic year and left universities bracing for a costly fallout.
The University of Sydney, where students from China represented nearly one-quarter of the total student body, projected a A$470 million loss this year. Other institutions, including the University of Melbourne and Monash University, are bracing for similar hits. Even smaller regional institutions that don’t attract nearly the same level of international students have been affected.
With a lot of money at stake, there could be a relaxation of international border restrictions for students to study in Australia, before leisure travelers are allowed. But for businesses catering toward an offshore audience, demand is unlikely to snap back.
Qantas Airways Ltd. is currently operating just 1% of its network and has canceled overseas fights until at least the end of July. Its main competitor, Virgin Australia Holdings Ltd., collapsed into administration in April.
Virgin Australia Collapses After Pandemic Halts Air Travel Virgin Australia check-in kiosks inside a deserted Sydney Airport, April 2020. Photographer Brendon Thorne/Bloomberg Crown Resorts Ltd. and Star Entertainment Group Ltd., which both target big-spending visitors from Asia, were forced to close their casinos in Australia as the country locked down. Crown is just months away from completing a A$2.2 billion luxury gaming resort in Sydney.
The tourism industry was already reeling from the wave of cancellations following the December and January wildfires. The silver lining is that Australians will have no option but to spend holidays on home soil once inter-state travel is allowed again.
https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-05-19/australia-goes-back-to-the-1980s-with-economy-closed-to-world?sref=s0L1qQ1H
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Wrestling Observer Rewind ★ Nov. 26, 2001

Going through old issues of the Wrestling Observer Newsletter and posting highlights in my own words. For anyone interested, I highly recommend signing up for the actual site at f4wonline and checking out the full archives.
PREVIOUS YEARS ARCHIVE:
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1-29-2001 2-5-2001 2-12-2001 2-19-2001
2-26-2001 3-5-2001 3-12-2001 3-19-2001
3-26-2001 4-2-2001 4-9-2001 4-16-2001
4-23-2001 4-30-2001 5-7-2001 5-14-2001
5-21-2001 5-28-2001 6-4-2001 6-11-2001
6-18-2001 6-25-2001 7-2-2001 7-9-2001
7-16-2001 7-23-2001 7-30-2001 8-6-2001
8-13-2001 8-20-2001 8-27-2001 9-3-2001
9-10-2001 9-17-2001 9-25-2001 10-1-2001
10-8-2001 10-15-2001 10-22-2001 10-29-2001
11-5-2001 11-12-2001 11-19-2001
  • With the defeat of the Alliance at Survivor Series (more on that in a bit), the WWF basically reset the whole promotion and also brought back Ric Flair and Jerry Lawler, all of which led to the first positive ratings boost Raw has had in quite awhile. The Invasion angle, after being arguably the biggest flop of an angle in wrestling history, came to an end where WWF won in a confusing mess of a main event. With the exception of the one successful Invasion PPV, all the potential money in doing a WWF vs. WCW feud was completely squandered due to an incredible string of dumb booking and bad business decisions. But that's allegedly in the past now and Raw this week felt like one of those old WCW/Vince Russo company reboots, with the old storylines being dropped and everything starting fresh. Dave hopes this goes better than the 3 times Russo tried to reset WCW.
  • So anyway, let's start with Ric Flair. He had verbally agreed to a deal with WWF on the night of Survivor Series to accept a buyout from WWF on the remainder of his Time Warner contract. The deal wasn't officially signed until about 3 hours before the Raw where he debuted, at which point Flair officially signed with WWF and Time Warner released him from his remaining WCW deal. It was a photo finish because WWF didn't know if Flair would get the release in time and they didn't really have a backup plan if he didn't. With WCW no longer in business and no more WCW office staff, the Time Warner people are left handling all the old WCW contracts and because of that, things were moving more slowly than normal. As seen on Raw, the plan is for Flair to play an adversary to Vince McMahon, with each of them owning 50% of WWF, which will ultimately lead to the long-talked about brand split, with Vince in charge of one side and Flair the other since they can't get along as co-owners. Flair has had on-and-off again talks with WWF ever since WCW folded back in March but the hold up was always Flair not wanting to walk away from his WCW contract, which guaranteed him big money until Feb. of 2003. In recent weeks, the XWF had also spoken with Flair about buying out his contract so there was some pressure there and ultimately, WWF apparently made a good enough offer for Flair to accept it. He will turn 54 years old in a few months and signed a 3-year contract. He's expected to work some matches, but only on big shows and his first match won't be for a few more months because he wants to get back in the shape he wants to be in, since he hasn't really wrestled in a long time. Flair's return, in Charlotte NC no less, got the huge pop you would expect and Flair later told Dave it was one of the top 3 or 4 biggest highlights of his career.
WATCH: Ric Flair returns to WWF in 2001
  • Then there's Jerry Lawler, who had actually agreed to a deal with XWF and even worked their television taping last week. When the decision was made to blow off the Invasion angle, it meant Paul Heyman would be taken off television. They would need a new announcer for Raw and the natural choice was Lawler. He has been close to coming back several times over the last few months, but there was always opposition within the company from some people due to the way Lawler kinda nuked his bridges behind him when he left. If you don't recall, Lawler was extremely vocal with his displeasure over how WWF fired his now ex-wife Stacy Carter and the heat got so bad that WWF pulled their developmental deal away from Power Pro Wrestling in Memphis because of their Lawler connections. After Stacy Carter left Lawler (for former WWF developmental wrestler Mike Howell), he began mending fences with the company. They actually asked Lawler to come in a couple of weeks ago, but by that point, he had already agreed to do the first round of XWF tapings as well as appear on WWA's tour of England. Lawler actually signed a contract with XWF which has a non-compete, but his longtime friend Jimmy Hart asked Lawler to work the tapings and then if he still wanted to go to WWF, they wouldn't try to stand in his way. Lawler said the decision wasn't easy because he had committed to XWF and enjoyed working for them, but he also recognized that at this stage in his life, he needed to accept the job that was most stable for his future and XWF is anything but a sure bet. Much like Flair, there was some last-second contract wrangling and he didn't actually sign his new 3-year WWF contract until just before Raw went on the air. He's making roughly the same $250,000 per year he was making before he quit the company last time. Lawler went out on the air having not seen Survivor Series or really without having watched much WWF television at all this year and had zero knowledge of any of the current storylines so that was mostly left to Jim Ross to get over for most of the show while Lawler cracked jokes. Lawler's new deal still allows him to take independent bookings and coincidentally enough, Lawler will still be working with Jimmy Hart to promote local shows in Memphis, which will act as something of a developmental territory for XWF.
WATCH: Jerry Lawler returns to WWF in 2001
  • Raw also saw the departure of Mick Foley. As noted in the past, Foley hasn't been happy with the direction of the company for awhile and a couple of weeks ago on Raw, he cut a promo alluding to all his issues with how the company has been dropping the ball, which was more shoot than scripted. Even though Foley seemingly left the company in kayfabe 2 weeks ago, Vince legitimately wanted to give Foley a real proper send-off, since he's literally never had the chance to do that with any of his top stars (most top guys who leave the WWF usually do so on bad terms behind the scenes). So they had a pre-taped segment on Vince's private jet, with Foley and Vince talking about everything Foley has given to the business and then when the plane landed and Foley walked off, in a sitcom-like goodbye, Vince smiled and said, "Have a nice day." Dave feels like it was a pretty clumsy goodbye and paled in comparison to how, say, NJPW for instance treats its retiring legends. But better than nothing, he supposes. It was long expected that after Foley retired from in-ring competition that he would stay with the company in an ambassador role, but turns out that is still pretty restricting. Foley wanted more control over his ability to do non-wrestling projects and the WWF contract meant they largely owned and controlled whatever he wanted to do. So Foley is off to go do....whatever he wants now. Dave says he can write more books, but without the WWF machine to help promote them, it's going to be a tougher hill to climb.
  • During the WWF quarterly investor call, Linda McMahon surprisingly made very few excuses for WWF's current business struggles and basically admitted that they just haven't been producing good television. Dave runs down all of WWF's business declines over the recent quarter, the company projections for the first quarter of 2002, profit and revenue numbers, comparing quarters from this year to last year, merchandising and licensing, and all that fun business/stock shit. If numbers are your thing, this story is for you. One interesting thing to note is that, due to the decline in PPV buys and the increase in TV rights fees, that means that television is now the top priority and the company's leading source of revenue (it remains that way to this day). Because of that, WWF has to be careful not to alienate sponsors anymore, which is why things aren't nearly as risque now as they were in, say, 1999. Because TV is now the top priority and they can't afford to take too many risks. During the call, Linda first talked about the business being cyclical and made some other excuses for low attendance (9/11), the failing WWF Times Square restaurant (9/11) and things like that. The usual excuses. But then she admitted that the WCW Invasion angle had been a failure and blamed that for much of the company's recent issues. Which, well...yeah. However, when talking about why the angle failed, she first blamed it on a skill level difference in the performers (basically saying that the WCW wrestlers weren't as good as WWF stars) and poor audience response to the WCW stars (specifically the night of the infamous Buff Bagwell/Booker T match on Raw). She also blamed "creative confusion" behind the scenes (in other words, the fact that plans were changing on a daily basis, which is something that falls squarely on her husband). Linda used a football analogy explaining why they dropped the angle, basically saying it failed and they had to back up and punt. With the exception of RVD and Stacy Keibler, all the other members of the WCW/ECW group have been temporarily written off television. Many of them are understandably nervous about their futures. Some will be fine but Dave thinks some are right to be worried. Aside from Booker T, almost none of them would be that terribly missed if they were released. But with the plan still being to do a brand split and running 2 touring groups simultaneously, they are going to need a lot of wrestlers. Most of them are still working house shows, despite being "fired" on TV after the Survivor Series loss.
  • Oh yeah...Survivor Series is in the books. It was pretty much a one-match show with the WWF vs. The Alliance main event being the only reason anyone cared and the storyline is that everyone's jobs were on the line. For the undercard Alliance wrestlers, many of them really did feel that way. With all the big stars in one match, the rest of the show wasn't great. But the main event delivered and then some. Edge beat Test to unify the Intercontinental and U.S. titles, thus ending the history of the U.S. title, which was dropped. Dave talks briefly about the history of that title (it comes back about 2 years later). The Dudleyz beat the Hardyz to unify the WWF and WCW tag titles, which is also the end of those belts and their history dating back to 1975. Matt Hardy was legit injured in the match when his face slammed into the cage and nearly knocked out his front teeth and he ended up needing a brace put in to keep his teeth in place at the dentist the next day. There's also a chance he suffered nerve damage from a deep cut to the gums. Trish Stratus won the WWF women's title that has been vacant ever since Chyna left the company months ago. Chyna was never acknowledged on commentary and it was never really explained why the title was vacant. Former ECW women's wrestler Jazz debuted in the match and Heyman put her over huge on commentary. And the main event was a 4.5 star show-stealer that was wild, out of control, and just crazy enough to be riveting. Now, 10 months after ECW really died and 8 months after WCW really died, their names were "officially taken off life support and allowed to die with no dignity after a branding manslaughter," as Dave so eloquently puts it. And with that, WCW and ECW are finally, truly dead.
  • Speaking of truly dead, the XWF television tapings are complete and it's uncertain what their future is. They filmed 10 episodes of TV and the situation with Hogan is still confusing. After initially pulling out of the XWF, Hogan showed up as a surprise and wrestled Curt Hennig at the tapings, which was Hogan's first match in over a year (since he left WCW). The match was said to be about what you'd expect from those 2 at this stage in their career wrestling in front of a few hundred fans in a free theme park studio. Hennig was managed by Bobby Heenan, who even took a bump for the first time in years. Hogan did a promo after saying he's planning to win the XWF title but it's unknown if any of this will ever air even if they do get a TV deal. Hogan reportedly did the match as a favor to longtime friend Jimmy Hart, who is hoping to use the Hogan footage to dangle in front of TV execs to secure a TV deal. Hogan is said to be torn because he wants to be back in the spotlight and wrestling again, but he also doesn't want to be associated with another failure and XWF is by no means a sure thing. XWF is planning to film more TV shows in January and are claiming they want to run a full 145-date house show schedule in 2002. Attempting to do that without viable TV is suicide though. They're also hoping to get guys like Sting, Scott Hall, and Kevin Nash when they're available, but that's not a sure bet either. They're also filming segments with celebrities like Gene Simmons, Alice Cooper, and Willie Nelson who will appear on the show. So that's basically where we're at with XWF (amazingly, I can't find footage of this Hogan/Hennig match anywhere. Looks like it may have never aired).
  • Martha Hart threatened a lawsuit this week against Diana Hart over Diana's new book "Under The Mat." Martha's lawyers demanded a public retraction, apology, and for the book to be removed from print and taken off bookstore shelves no later than Nov. 28th or else a lawsuit would be filed. Her lawyers also demanded that Diana Hart and her co-author Kirstie McLennan and the companies that published and distributed the book negotiate an out-of-court settlement. Martha is alleging the book is "filled with distortions, misstatements, and unjustified slurs that attempt to destroy the reputation of my family and me, and undermine the memory of Owen. I have no choice but to deliver a formal libel notice." Dave notes that Diana Hart has pretty much alienated herself from the entire rest of the Hart family, including members of the family who have usually been on her side. Diana responded to the lawsuit threat calling Martha a rich bully who is trying to silence her. "Martha has the money to fight me on it and I don't," she responded in an interview. "Maybe she thinks that's how she'll win this but I know what I've written is true." Dave says the book negatively portrays Martha throughout the whole thing and also painted a negative portrayal of Owen's marriage to her. As mentioned last week, Diana recently appeared on a late night talk show to promote the book in Canada and seemed totally out of it, which drew comparisons to the infamous Farrah Fawcett/David Letterman interview a couple of years ago. This week, Chyna was on that same talk show and the host mentioned Diana's recent appearance and joked that he didn't think Diana could have even read her own book, much less written it. Anyway, Dave wouldn't be surprised to see Diana get hit with more lawsuits because the book is just outrageous and full of obviously libelous material and he's shocked any publisher dared put it out to begin with.
  • Dave wants to take a moment to thank all the people involved with helping to promote his new "Tributes" book. He spent the last week in Toronto doing promotion on all the news stations, radio appearances, several TV shows, Off The Record, some afternoon talk shows, book signings, Q&As, and more. He thanks all those people, the publishers, the readers, etc. The book is available at most major bookstores throughout North America now as well as Amazon. In its first week, the book outsold both Diana Hart's book and Kurt Angle's book in Canada. To be fair, Dave admits that Angle's book has been out for a couple of months already, but it was still on the bestseller list until just a week or two ago. But still, Dave's pretty proud of how this all turned out and is eternally grateful to everyone who helped and yada yada.
  • The voting is open for the 22nd annual year-end Observer Awards. Needless to say, 2001 was an interesting year. The wrestling bubble burst, ECW and WCW went extinct, and WWF went from being the most successful company in the world to...well, still the most successful company in the world, but they had the greatest angle of all time handed to them and fumbled it and as a result, business collapsed. Anyway, Dave breaks down all the categories and what they mean and all that fun shit. Cast your votes now!
  • Carlos Colon's younger brother Noel Colon was shot and killed in San Juan, Pureto Rico last week in his office. Noel worked as the president of a transportation company and had just fired an employee. That employee left and then returned with a gun and shot Colon 4 times in the head and chest. Colon was rushed to the hospital but died there (no word if Carlos helped cover this one up too).
  • Hayabusa is still hospitalized. He was expected to be moved to a rehab facility but got sick with pneumonia in the hospital, which apparently isn't uncommon for people who basically can't move for long periods of time.
  • Lots of drama coming out of the King of the Indies tournament a few weeks ago that was held by APW in California. For starters, APW lost more than $10,000 on the show so that's bad news. And then there was a lot of arguments over who should win. APW owner Roland Alexander at first wanted Low-Ki to win the tournament but then Christopher Daniels pushed for Donovan Morgan to win because he's the local guy who has to help carry APW. So Morgan was going to win. But then, the owner changed his mind again and decided American Dragon should win (which he ultimately did). This, along with some bickering over who would run APW's training school, led to Morgan and Michael Modest apparently quitting and planning to open up their own wrestling school and promotion.
  • Chyna was scheduled to play the starring role in a stage production called My Darling Judith, but the play was cancelled just before its opening. No reason given, but Dave suspects poor ticket sales.
  • Hey, the XWF has its own section now! Anyway, a bunch more notes from the recent tapings: Nasty Boys became the first tag team champions. Rena Mero is the commissioner and with Roddy Piper running the show and they teased friction between them, which is supposed to lead to a Piper heel turn eventually. Piper also hosted a Piper's Pit segment, which they called "In Your Face with Rowdy Roddy Piper" because they can't legally call it Piper's Pit. Low-Ki worked the tapings, using the name Quick Kick. Juventud Guerrera won the cruiserweight title. They also set up a mixed tag storyline with Jerry Lawler and a new valet named Kitten against Simon Diamond and Dawn Marie, but with Lawler now back in WWF, who knows what will become of that. Former WCW women Leia Meow, Gorgeous George, and Nitro Girl Chiquita are doing a Charlie's Angels gimmick. Buff Bagwell was supposed to come in as one of the top babyfaces, but the crowd brutally booed him and chanted "Bagwell sucks" and "You got fired!" so on the taping for the next episode, they had no choice but to turn him heel. And then they did a promo thing referencing his being fired from WWF and the rumors of his mom calling in sick for him and all that shit. Dave says that's fine for the internet crowd, but this is a company that is allegedly trying to land a national TV deal and compete with WWF, and Dave doesn't like that they're referencing obscure stuff like that which most wrestling fans know nothing about (much less a crowd of tourists that were mostly just looking for somewhere to sit down for a little while and got begged into being part of a wrestling audience). Booking for the minority of internet hardcore fans is Russo-type shit and Dave hopes they don't make a habit of it (XWF isn't around long enough to form any habits). Vampiro appears to be getting pushed hard as one of the top stars. And a couple of matches sucked so bad that they re-taped them the next day.
  • As for the XWF in general, the reports have been mixed. Everyone involved had nothing but great things to say about how well-run and organized things were and everyone was treated well. The matches were said to be pretty bad considering most of the roster are either green bodybuilders or washed up 80s stars. Jerry Lawler was said to be fantastic on commentary while Tony Schiavone was, well, Tony Schiavone (people these days tend to forget how much 2001 Tony didn't give a single iota of a fuck about wrestling anymore). Of all the wrestlers, AJ Styles and Christopher Daniels reportedly impressed people the most, which doesn't surprise Dave at all. Roddy Piper was more coherent than he ever was in WCW, while Rena Mero got shockingly little reaction, to the point that even people backstage were surprised at how not over she was.
  • Notes from Raw: as mentioned, Heyman was "fired" from commentary and replaced by Lawler. It was a way to totally write Heyman off as an on-screen character, and he will continue to work backstage as a writer. Dave says they should bring him back eventually as a heel manager because good lord, can that guy cut a promo (they do indeed bring him back about 6 months after this, as Brock Lesnar's manager). Trish vs. Lita was arguably the worst 2:44 of wrestling in a major promotion that Dave has seen all year. Then a Dudleyz vs. RVD handicap tables match went sideways when the table didn't break as originally planned and they had to improvise some spots to finish the match. Then they had a segment with Vince firing Shane and Stephanie. First Shane came out, said he lost to a better man, and walked out. The original plan was for Shane to be humiliated and dragged out kicking and screaming, much like Heyman and Stephanie were, but Shane didn't want to do that and Vince ultimately agreed. Also, among the wrestlers privately (because no one dares say it publicly), there was some heat on Shane because he took everyone's finishers the night before and was carried out of the arena, but showed up on Raw not selling anything. Then they did do the kicking and screaming and crying gimmick with Stephanie being dragged out. Shane will be strictly behind the scenes for now, but Dave expects Stephanie back on-screen sooner than later since Triple H is returning soon. Then, Vince McMahon made William Regal literally kiss his ass (the debut of the Kiss My Ass Club) with Vince actually showing some of his bare ass and Regal kissing it. Dave found this whole thing pretty awful and he apparently wasn't alone, as viewers tuned out of this segment in massive numbers according to the ratings. And then the Flair debut to end it.
  • Notes from Smackdown: they hyped up the December PPV with Michael Cole reading lines that were clearly edited into the show during post production where he teased that they would have a unification match and crown the first ever undisputed champion in the 100-year history of professional wrestling. For starters, that's obviously not true. But even if it was, Dave is just amazed that WWF actually acknowledged that pro wrestling existed prior to 1984. Sharmell Sullivan debuted on the main roster after shockingly little time in developmental as a backstage interviewer. Undertaker vs. Kurt Angle was a really good match and for once, Undertaker actually went out of his way to sell for Angle and treated him like someone who is on his level.
  • Dave also reviews Smackdown from the previous week since I guess he didn't get a chance before because he was out of town doing book publicity tour shit. Anyway, he says the much-talked about Paul Heyman promo was indeed one of the best promos he's seen in a long time. In regards to the entire Invasion storyline, Dave also says, "Got a feeling this angle will historically be looked at as the single greatest botched angle in wrestling history." (18 years later and....yup. I don't think there's even a close 2nd place) Dave thinks it's sad to imagine how great this angle could have been if they had Heyman delivering these kinds of promos the whole time and really building the Alliance up as equals to WWF, but alas. Dave also seems to think the "What?" chants are getting annoying and notes that people were even doing it at the XWF tapings.
  • Remember how company president and COO Stuart Snyder was fired a few weeks ago? Dave has more details. Snyder was actually brought in to help WWF expand into other forms of entertainment, such as WWF-produced movies and the failed WWF casino idea in Vegas. Snyder actually didn't have much knowledge of the wrestling business, but Vince wants the WWF to be an overall entertainment conglomerate, not just wrestling. But with business plummeting right now, they decided it might not be the right time for that kind of expansion and Snyder was let go. Also, Snyder was said to be pushing hard for WWF to settle their conflict with DirecTV, but Vince refuses to budge on that issue and refuses to settle and that was a touchy issue with them. Vince has never been good about backing down from a fight publicly, even when it's the smart or right thing to do.
  • Torrie Wilson appeared on the Howard Stern show this week. She mentioned that she recently got engaged to Billy Kidman. Dave says that's gotta be rough on Kidman, because the WWF sees Torrie as a potential megastar while they clearly don't have any plans for him. That sort of thing can put a lot of pressure on a relationship. Anyway, that's all Dave seems to know. He didn't actually see or hear it. But DDP was also on the show with Torrie. Here's the full interview and it's basically what you'd expect when Howard Stern has a hot chick in front of him:
WATCH: Torrie Wilson & DDP on Howard Stern (2001)
  • In OVW, Rico Constantino lost a Loser Leaves Town match to Prototype, which means Constantino is finally going to be moving up to the main roster. He got a standing ovation from the crowd afterwards and thanked them for their support. Dave thinks it's going to be interesting to see how his run in WWF goes. Constantino is already 40 years old and that's a tough age to be starting out in the WWF, but he's also really good and well-rounded at all aspects of the business, so who knows.
  • Mike Awesome suffered a torn ACL and it couldn't have come at a worse time. Awesome says he's trying to avoid needing surgery and is getting a second opinion but with all the rumors of Alliance guys being let go soon due to all the company layoffs, it's a pretty bad time to be sidelined with an injury. Wrestlers in the past have continued working with torn ACLs so it's not unheard of, but it's definitely not the best idea.
  • The first major review of the upcoming Scorpion King movie starring the Rock is in and it's very negative. Ain't It Cool News reviewed the film calling it a "sad, cliched, poorly acted, horribly written and sadly directed piece of garbage." So.....not great. The movie comes out next year.
  • Lita was on the cover of TV Guide in Canada and was interviewed. She said her worst injury in wrestling was a dislocated collarbone and shoulder blade from being power bombed by Eddie Guerrero outside the ring.
  • On his website, Kurt Angle made a post saying that his wife's recent comments about RVD (that he was too dangerous and keeps hurting her husband) were just her opinions as a fan and not his. However, for what it's worth, Kurt Angle was on ESPN a few weeks ago and mentioned a wrestler who had broken his nose in a match recently and then said he would refuse to dignify the guy by even saying his name on the show. But he was clearly talking about RVD. Definitely seems to be some heat between him and Angle.
  • You may have noticed that William Regal has been suffering bloody noses pretty much every time he wrestles lately. His nose is smashed and infected and bleeds with pretty much any physical exertion and he now needs surgery on it to fix it. But he can't get the surgery until they treat the infection.
  • DDP was on a radio show doing an interview and admitted that he ended up missing out on about $500,000 by taking a buyout and signing with WWF rather than sitting home and collecting the rest of his WCW contract. Given how his WWF run has gone, probably not the wisest decision in retrospect.
WEDNESDAY: Yuji Nagata to face Mirko Cro Cop, more on WWF essentially resetting the company, Chyna on Howard Stern, and more...

► Observer Rewinds remaining: 5

submitted by daprice82 to SquaredCircle [link] [comments]

120 Urban Hooks

I see this post so often, and I'm amazed that people have trouble of thinking of things to do in an urban environment, so I thought I'd lend a hand.
Thanks as always to The Gollicking members, Mimir-ion, Zweefer, RexiconJesse, u/arc_onyx, InfinityCircuit and DeathMcGunz.
I've built a lot of cities. I find that its best to categorize.
Here's my personal city encounters lists, slightly altered with worldbuilding details to be more generic and useful. They are yours to take, amend, and discard, with my thanks.
There are 6 categories, with 20 entries for each category, giving us 120 encounters. (160 with the comment, below)
A d6 and a d20 can dice up a full roster of stuff to do quite quickly. Enjoy!

ARTS (01)

  1. Free outdoor art gallery with paintings, sculpture, food vendors and musicians. A note is passed to the party from a stranger.
  2. A new play from a famous playwright is debuting at the local theater. The party receives an invitation from an anonymous source via a messenger.
  3. A street band is playing raucous tunes outside the party's lodgings and a crowd prevents them from entering. If they persist, they accidentally start a brawl.
  4. A festival is being held in the city and all citizens and visitors are required to attend and pay fealty to the city's ruler. During the parade an explosion destroys some buildings and kills nearly 100 people. The party is very close to the blast and sees a hooded figure fleeing via rooftop.
  5. A local busker who always recites bad elven poetry is found one morning turned to stone.
  6. A band of mimes have come to the city to perform a series of comedy shows. One of the mimes is a Doppleganger and is here to assassinate one of the party's allies.
  7. A dance troupe, known for their public and surprise appearances (a "flashmob"), starts a performance in and around the party in the street. During the performance one of the dancers lunges at one of the party members and whispers, "Help me" in their ear, before carrying on with the spectacle.
  8. A mysterious sculpture garden has "sprouted" in a main city street, seemingly grown from the very ground itself. All of the figures are depictions of body horror and some spectators have been driven mad or died after looking at them for too long.
  9. Artist paints caricature portraits of passers-by which come to life at night to cause havoc.
  10. There is a sand castle contest at the local beach. While digging a pit one contestant finds a wooden chest. It is sealed with arcane sigils and very dangerous. Inside is a lifeform.
  11. The party is asked to investigate a local art gallery as the last known location of a model that has disappeared. The party finds extremely life like statues of various people, missing model included, and discovers the sculptor is a Maedar, with a pet Basilisk, trying to replicate his dead mate (a Medusa).
  12. The party is invited to a studio for free painting lessons. The paint fumes trigger a spell that sends the party into a collective Dream. They must find their way out and defeat the Artist-Wizard and his pet Nothic before they are bled dry (to fuel a hideous ritual).
  13. An audience-participation theater-event is occurring in one of the parks, and the party is encouraged to join, and are asked to put on some simple costumes. Upon doing so, they are swapped with hidden Clones, who continue the performance, while the party is teleported to an underground prison full of holding cells. There are dozens of other trapped citizens there.
  14. A new popular song is all the rage and being sung by drunken bravos and university students alike. The song has a 10% to transfer an audio-parasite, that will drive the singer mad and ultimately into a catatonic state over the course of 7 days. During this time they will be compelled to sing the “hook” over and over, in the hopes of infecting any nearby listeners.
  15. A master tattooist has set up a temporary shop on the fringes of the city. For a hefty fee, the customer will receive an exquisite piece of personal art, and on full moons, the tattoo will be able to sense the presence of magic, poisons, disease, or creature types (DMs choice). The master will leave after 24 hours, never to be seen again and the tattoo will fade completely after 30 days.
  16. An artist is painting landscapes on the street. She says she’ll paint any place the customer desires. For a fee, she can make the painting a one-time portal to that place. The portals always go to the wrong location (this is discovered after travel has occurred).
  17. A local homeless man, who mimes for money along the Promenade and in the Park, suddenly finds his invisible walls and pretend ropes are real. Passersby run into invisible walls of force left behind by him, people are dragged to him by his invisible rope, and he now hides in a corner of the park, afraid he will hurt others with this newfound power. The local Telekinesis Guild (bunch of filthy impostors and con artists, mostly) are furious that he has what they secretly do not, and has put a bounty on him, paid upon live delivery to their guild house.
  18. A local street band is performing the show of their life and the music has become magical. Any Bards present will be able to “draw” 1-3 new spells from the performance. All others will be Blessed for the next 48 hours.
  19. An artist has set up a crude telescope, pointing at the ground. For a small fee, you can look through the telescope and see a miniature world, full of tiny blue humanoids in a stone-age environment. The telescope is enchanted with a very detailed Major Illusion spell that allows the humanoids to be seen, and is also Cursed to drive the viewer mad by causing them to see the tiny blue humanoids everywhere they go. The curse will begin 24 hours after using the telescope and will persist for 30 days or until the victim goes mad, or dies. The Curse will manifest the humanoids as watching, then menacing, then threatening, then murderous.
  20. Some Elven sculptors have set up a “Century Garden” - plinths of stone overhung by apparatus with funnels in different angles and locations that drip acids onto the stone - slowly forming the final form of the artists vision. The artist is selling tickets (valid in 100 years) to attend the ceremony.

NIGHTLIFE (02)

  1. A local tavern is showcasing a new lager and a spruiker is on the streets handing out "1/2 off" coupons to passersby. The party is given "2 free drinks" coupons on purpose by the NPC. A stranger is waiting inside that wants to talk to the party.
  2. A dance club, on a typical night, has been infiltrated by an Avatar of Bacchus and has caused the party to spill into the streets where it has been pulling in passersby. The party is caught up in the crowd.
  3. An exclusive nightclub has opened, membership only. One of the party’s allies goes missing and was last seen there. The club is a coven of Sorcerers and every night they sacrifice a kidnapped customer to try to summon an Eldritch Horror.
  4. A hot club in town is secretly run by vampires. Cover charge is 1 pint of blood. Thralls being thralls, one of them talks, and a Hunter has gotten wind of the nest. The party will see him interrogating a thrall and escalating to torture.
  5. A drunken brawl spills out of a tavern near the party. The fight is brutal, involving makeshift weapons and ends up overtaking the party. If they do not flee, during the fracas the party notices that one of the brawlers is biting his opponents and swallowing the flesh. If they do flee, they hear the next day that a pile of half-eaten bodies was discovered in the aftermath. A new zombie-master has come to town.
  6. While out drinking, the party sees a Silver Elf enter the tavern, and time slows to 50% of its current speed for all but the party and Elf, who remain at 100%. The Elf asks the party if they would like to play a game of chess. If they say no, the Elf vanishes, and time returns to normal. If they agree they must wager a precious/strong/important memory against the answer to any question. The Elf has an INT modifier of +4 and a +4 proficiency in gaming. Upon the conclusion of the game, the Elf vanishes and time returns to normal. The bar patrons never see the Elf.
  7. While in a tavern, a game of darts among some locals concludes in violence and 2 end up dead. On one of the deceased bodies is a treasure map that leads to a guarded vault in the wilderness.
  8. A particularly virulent STD is going around the brothels. Over the course of 72 hours it turns the afflicted into a receptor for mental dominance from a powerful psion. The “Mind Taker” uses these puppets to rob the afflicted and deliver their valuables to a guarded location. Then the psion drains the puppet of its final mental faculties and stores it as an energy source for later. The bodies are then destroyed using a Rod of Disintegration. One of the party’s allies (or a party member themselves) has come down with a case of “The Threads” (so named for the red lines of infection radiating from the genitalia into the legs and torso.
  9. A dance club has been cursed by a witch to afflict some (30%) of the customers with “Otiluke’s Irresistible Dance”. Some patrons have been dropping dead from it and the club owners are covering it up by secretly burying the bodies in the basement and drugging the witnesses. The party is present for this or one of their allies goes missing.
  10. A man attempting to throw a party so massive he will officially become “the God of Partying” wants the players to help him throw an absolute rager. If they help, he will remember them fondly when he reaches godhood. The party could overrun the region/city.
  11. The party finds a club throwing a rager in the party’s honor. All night, people toast the party members, dance with them, and celebrate. No one in the party has to pay for drinks. The next day, the party gets the bill for everyone's drinks. The tavern was told the event was for the party and would be paid for by them as well.
  12. A new fad in the high-end taverns of the city, catering to young noblemen with too much money and not enough sense, is a drink called The Kiss. One part grain alcohol, one part pufferfish venom - a shot of this causes hallucinations and numbness, in addition to more than the usual drunkenness. Two young men, heirs to fortunes and titles in the court, have died in the last two nights. Word is they drank too many of these. The noble families want blood, and put bounties on all known bartenders serving This Kiss. The guard don’t want a riot on their hands if they interfere with the Mixologist’s Guild, the most powerful multinational trade guild in the world. A representative from the Crown has summoned the party, to discreetly investigate the explosive situation.
  13. A group of drunks stumble towards the party and push through/past them. During this, the party will each be subject to a Pickpocket attempt (+8 Sleight of Hand). If discovered, the “drunks” are a pack of rogues who “own” this territory. If challenged, they will flee and return with a number of Thugs equal to the number of party members.
  14. A grifter comes up to the party and bets that they can guess “where you got your boots/shoes”. The answer is “on your feet” (where the footwear currently is). The grifter will demand a small amount of cash after this, and will become hostile if denied or hassled.
  15. An avatar of Bacchus/Dionysus appears in the area and begins a Revel. Those who hear the music or see the dancing/drinking must save vs Wisdom (DC 20) or join in. The Revel will last for 72-96 hours and leave partygoers with 3 levels of Exhaustion (and be many miles from where it started).
  16. A Dwarven “thrashgnome” band is throwing an impromptu concert on the roof of a local tavern. The noise is deafening and a large brawl will erupt after awhile - during the fracas an object will find itself at the feet of one of the party members. It is a powerful Fetish that was stolen from a Witch (who has been seeking it, and is nearby).
  17. The party enters a tavern to discover their money is “no good” and they are suddenly crowned “Lager Kings/Queens” for the night, and feted and welcomed by each individual tavern patron. The party will, as the sun rises, be poisoned by the insinuative poison that was in each successive drink, and if they fail a Con check vs a high DC, they will be magically Sleep’ed and find themselves strapped to a basement altar for a hatchling Gold Dragon to feed upon. If they succeed on the check, they are very ill and considered Incapacitated for the next 24 hours.
  18. A new tavern has appeared in the area, and will vanish after the night’s festivities to appear in a random location in the world the next night. The tavern patrons are all Fey, and this is the “Wandering Druid Pub”.
  19. A dealer is handing out “free tokes” of a new narcotic. The narcotic is powerful and hallucinatory, but harmless otherwise, except for the addiction rate, which is near 100%. A Con check vs a high DC is required. If failed, the user must take the drug again in the next 24 hours or suffer 2 levels of Fatigue. Every day without the drug thereafter confers another level of Fatigue. If the check is passed, they will become violently nauseous every time they take the drug again.
  20. A group of Gnomish Brewmasters have set up a tasting booth on the street and are giving out free samples of “Old Brown Mare” - a powerful stout that has a tiny side effect - 10% of the imbibers are shrunk to Gnomish height for 24 hours.
  21. (OPTIONAL) - A cadre of bound Incubi and Succubi have escaped from a brothel and are desperately seeking an escape from the area. They will make any deal possible to make this happen.

SHOPPING (03)

  1. While looking for weapons, a party member "accidentally" activates a sentient weapon, who declares the party member as "master" and demands to know what has happened since it was "put to sleep".
  2. While shopping, one or more of the party members is pickpocketed by a young kid who is part of an "urchin gang". This gang is an arm of one of the more powerful rogue guilds in the city.
  3. A street vendor is selling “gag gifts”, guaranteed to ensure the perfect prank. All the objects are cursed, and the vendor reveals this as if they were joking, as part of the shtick.
  4. Upon purchasing a normal mundane item, it is found to be hollow, with an unknown substance hidden inside of it. If left undiscovered, the person who sold it will try to get the item back, by negotiation or violence, it depends on the party’s willingness to part with it.
  5. A certain type of plush toy is all the rage in this city, and the party will acquire one upon their next purchase - all the merchants were paid to distribute these as “customer incentives.” The toys act as scrying focus for the local thieves guild. The party’s lodgings will be robbed within 24 hours obtaining the toy.
  6. An extraordinary amount of the richer folk of the town have gathered on the plaza. Gregory’s Golden Garments has arrived back in town from one of his far-off trading junkets. He brings the most exclusive textiles and materials to town, and the auction has started (dragon-skins, silk, etc.). During the auction, someone purchases a rare bolt of material and the party finds it in their room later, with instructions to hide it. If they don’t, a group of Assassins come looking for it. If they do, they will be contacted by a mysterious agent who asks them to transport it far away for a hefty fee.
  7. An Annual Food Festival kicks off with much fanfare. However, someone has poisoned the foodstuffs and half the city is sick with nausea and other vile emissions. The organisers, afraid to lose their heads, have set a hefty bounty for finding the culprit(s), and one of these pamphlets is pushed on the party.
  8. While shopping for weapons, a woman approaches the party and asks them to sell a weapon for her, as she cannot. She explains that the weapon is Cursed and will not allow itself to be sold by the owner. If the party agrees, she looks visible relieved and hands the item over. Now the weapon belongs to the party member who took it (and it cannot be sold). The item is a -1 weapon.
  9. A small purse keeps whispering at a player for them to buy it. It remains silent when others are observing it and refuses to talk if it thinks anyone else can hear it. It says it can help them (count money, hide it from pickpockets, and offer insight) if they give it something in return (it wants costly gemstones).
  10. Every store and restaurant the party enters seems to be run by the same person. If confronted, they laugh and say they “get that all the time”, but will profess ignorance otherwise. The merchants are all Dopplegangers and today is their “Day of Pranks”. If two merchants are forced together, they will become violent and the others will run out to join them.
  11. The party finds a flyer shoved under their lodging’s door that promises “75% off all Adventuring Gear” at a local merchant. The merchant is very chatty and inquisitive and will press the party for information about where they are going next. The merchant then sells this information to a gang of rogues who will follow the party and attempt to rob them as they exit the dungeon.
  12. While shopping for clothes, a party member hears a weeping noise. No one around seems to be crying, so if this is investigated, the member finds a top hat that seems to be the source. If the hat is put on, the party member is Cursed with a particularly nasty form of melancholia.
  13. The next time an item of clothing is purchased, the party member discovers that it has a large “Pocket Dimension” concealed within its folds. There is an object already inside the pocket.
  14. A beautiful man/woman approaches the lowest CHA party member and offers to make their “dreams come true” if they will sell their soul. The man/woman will cast a real Wish on behalf of the party member (which works without the usual DM fuckery, but will expire in 1 year, and a group of Devils will appear to collect the player’s soul). If refused, the man/woman will leave, but if confronted, they will flee. The man/woman is a mortal humanoid who simply shills for a Crossroads Devil.
  15. While shopping for arrows/projectiles, the merchant offers the party a “one-time deal” of some special projectiles that are “guaranteed to strike their target every time” and will demonstrate this quality in a shooting lane set up in the back of the shop. The projectile will work as promised within the shop itself, without limit, but outside the shop, the first 3 only will work as promised and the rest will automatically fail-to-hit. If confronted later, the shopkeeper will claim ignorance and claim the party member is lying (even going so far as to call the Watch for harassment).
  16. The city is having a 50% sale, city-wide, for the next 24 hours. Rogues know this too, and are everywhere, preying on the crowds, or following them home to be robbed later.
  17. While shopping for provisions, the merchant says they are looking for “exotic meat hunters”, and will pay top prices for “anything unusual” without limit, provided the meat is delivered dressed.
  18. A new confectionery store has opened and is giving away free samples in the streets. The sweets are mildly intoxicating, and have the added side-effect of making those who eat them very amorous for the next 8 hours. The owners are clerics of the Deity of Love.
  19. An arsonist is burning down merchant shops, by “category”. The perpetrator is a failed businessperson themselves, and is merely seeking revenge. The first things burned are the weapon and armor shops.
  20. While shopping for armor, the merchant offers to show the party a “special selection” of exotic armor. These are all very unusual and very expensive. This is a one-time offer that will never be repeated and if confronted, the merchant will claim ignorance as to the existence of the exotic armors, and if the shop is searched, they are nowhere to be found.

ENTERTAINMENT (04)

  1. The party receives an anonymous gift of entry passes to an exclusive and private club in the city. At the club, the party is approached by cultists who attempt to persuade the party into joining.
  2. The museum is showcasing some rare artifacts. While visiting, the party is present during the brazen theft of one of the objects - an item of unique and dangerous powers.
  3. Zoo animals have escaped and are menacing the population!
  4. A local sage sends an urgent message to the party about a matter of great importance. The sage, a bit senile, has gotten mixed up and this is not the group he was supposed to contact. He does not realize this and treats the party as if they were hired to retrieve a book from an old, guarded crypt. If the party refuses, the Sage will eventually be foolish enough to try it himself and the party will hear about his death.
  5. A public estate sale of one of the city’s wealthiest families is announced. The prices are high, but the quality equally impressive. In the announcement is an object that the party or one of the party members has been looking for. If they attend the sale, they discover the price is three times higher than they can afford (even after pooling money or getting a loan). The security is strong but not impossible...
  6. The museum is showcasing the preserved remains of a long-dead monster race as part of a traveling exhibition. During a tour, or at night when closed, the monsters are revived by an interested party, and they go on a murderous spree. They attack either the party (along with many others) or one of the party’s allies.
  7. A series of foreign street magicians has entered town and perform solo acts all over town. One of them is near the party, and they need a volunteer for a (permanent) disappearing act.
  8. A street corner storyteller is spinning a tale of adventure and peril to a crowd. The tale sounds suspiciously like the last adventure the party had.
  9. While eating, the party sees a puppet show happening nearby. They find it (magically) difficult to avert their eyes from the felt performers and can see figures moving out of the corners of their eyes. These are Oblique Golems, and can only move when not being viewed. The golems will attempt to rob anyone nearby. The puppets are just puppets.
  10. An Escape Room boasts a valuable prize for any group who can escape/solve the room before the hourglass fills. Several of the puzzles in the escape room align runes and involve magic words of power. If the party manages to complete the room, they complete the spell, finding a portal now open above the building. Demons pour from it into the town, and it cannot be closed for at least 24 hours.
  11. Some fire-jugglers are performing in the street, and they appear to be using magic to create illusionary figures that leap from the burning torches. These are actually Mephits, and the fire-jugglers did not summon them, they appeared on their own. They run off to cause havoc and burn as much of the city as they can.
  12. A local casino is offering big prizes to “Spin the Wheel” - with only a 5% chance of winning, this is mostly a scam, but those who play are Wizard-Marked to be robbed later. The prizes for actually winning are 4-figures.
  13. A pig-racing track has been cordoned off - turning the streets into the racecourse. All are welcome to enter, and whoever wins is offered a lucrative contract joining the “Hog Ridin’ Circuit” - a racing tournament involving half-a-dozen cities and some very shady dealings.
  14. A masked spruiker hands the party an ornately engraved thin metal plaque inviting them to an exclusive event at a place called “The Garden”, and a map is etched on the reverse side. The event, if attended, presents the party with an opportunity to travel to another plane and earn the favor of a powerful, if enigmatic figure.
  15. A group of acrobats are performing feats and stunts in the street. During the performance, one of the party members sees the face of one of the tumblers momentarily change into something monstrous.
  16. A pair of dueling Illusionists is staging an elaborate mock-battle in a nearby park, but neglected to inform anyone of this beforehand and have caused a panic.
  17. A tour group suddenly appears and engulfs the party. The guide is pointing out places where famous adventurers have died, and suddenly points right where the party is standing and begins discussing them as if they were not there! The tour group can not be interacted with (as they are projections from the future) and soon quickly departs and vanishes around a corner.
  18. A street lottery is being held by a local neighborhood social group. The cost is low and any tickets purchased are said to go towards upgrading the local park. There is a 50% that the party wins a modest prize of home-baked goods. The locals will send a message to the party later that their tickets were fraudulent and demand a return of the prize or the equivalent value in currency. This “lottery” is a common scam run in the area on obvious tourists.
  19. During an previous-announced free concert by some famous Bards, a bomb explodes.
  20. A street comedian is inadvertently casting “Tasha’s Hideous Laughter” on audience members. The phenomenon is soon discovered and the comedian flees. Later, he is found dead and covered in a thin slime.

SPORTS (05)

  1. The party receives an anonymous gift of tickets to a local sporting match. If they attend, they are approached by an NPC who says they represent a "person who wishes to remain nameless, but desires to procure your services in a delicate, and potentially dangerous matter."
  2. The party is invited by a local ally to attend a boxing match. At the match both fighters are killed by a powerful assassin who works in secret for a local politician.
  3. The party attends a game of skill and is accused of bribing a ref to throw the game by a rogue (who did actually rig the fight, but now has been caught and is desperate). A few of his crew will back him up and some of the crowd sides with them.
  4. A marathon race has been scheduled to wind through the city as part of a larger season of racing. A number of famous people and some talented locals will participate. During the race, several of the runners suddenly collapse and begin coughing blood. This is the start of a disease outbreak, and will, without precautions, infect over half the city in only 72 hours. The source is magical in nature, and part of a larger scheme to cripple the city by a secret faction.
  5. A bare-knuckle street match has been set up by an enterprising rogue/wizard. A series of ringers are inviting all-comers to challenge for a fat purse. Those who fight are wizard-marked, and followed later, to be kidnapped and bound for a fighting-arena in the Underdark.
  6. An illegal horse race, infamous in the city for causing multiple deaths every year, is about to commence once again. The street the party currently finds themselves in will turn into the aftermath of a battlefield within several seconds. The race has no rules and is heavily wagered upon by the criminal elements of the city.
  7. A “Circus Maximus” involving blood-sport, animal fighting, and a “nautical spectacle” is going to be held at the city’s largest stadium. The public is allowed to sign up to fight in one of the 3 events. The purse for winning is generous (5 figures) and is, of course, rigged and being carefully watched by the strongest Rogues Guild in the city, who stand to make a pile of money. If the party participates, they will see that some of their opponents have been enchanted with speed and strength.
  8. An annual Guards Competition is about to commence. They are divided into 4 teams, and the locals have lifelong and fierce loyalties
  9. In one quarter is an annual event - the Endurance Drinking Contest. A group of competitors take a shot, perform a task, take a shot, perform a different task, repeat. The winner gets a trophy, their portrait on the wall of winners, and bragging rights. The tasks range from silly to nearly impossible.
  10. A mounted race is about to commence, and the party runs into a thick crowd along the edges of the route. If the party chooses to stay to watch, they will see one of the riders being assassinated from a position high above the streets by a mage’s spell.
  11. A traveling ball-team is looking for a manager and some bodyguards, and one of the party’s allies has recommended the party, as a joke. The team shows up where the party is to conduct an interview.
  12. A boxing match has resulted in a death and the angry and bewildered crowd has spilled out into the streets in a terrible brawl, hurting bystanders and destroying property. If the body is examined, 3 small holes in the back of the dead boxer’s neck can be found and 3 small projectiles found inside the wound. The trail leads to a mage’s henchman.
  13. Illegal cart-racing has been taking place at night among the city’s youth and an ally of the party is terribly worried about their child’s possible-participation. The racing will soon claim lives.
  14. The Dozens has arrived in the city - a nationwide, very famous content of insults and put-downs. The entry fee is to survive a round-robin of burns during The Throwdown, where hundreds will enter. The prize is bragging rights, a 4-figure cash prize, and the chance to defend their title next year.
  15. An ally of the party has entered a marathon footrace. During the race, the ally disappears.
  16. A Fishing Derby, the 1st of 3 contests each year, is being held by any who wish to pay the modest entry fee. There is only one rule - you cannot use a traditional rod/reel, fly, or net/seine to catch the fish. The Derby draws the inventive and the mad, and lasts over 3 days.
  17. A professional team of Goliath and Dwarven “Chicken Fighters” arrive at the city for an exhibition match in the city’s swimming pool. One of the Goliath recognizes a party member (whether the members also remembers them, or not) and offers free tickets. During the match, one of the Dwarves is hurt, and after a flurry of rules-consultations, its determined that a substitute is allowed. The party is looked at by the Goliath and asked for help.
  18. A ping-pong match is being staged between Royal cousins, to settle a dispute. The match is going to be public, and during it, both Royals disappear and are replaced with monkeys. Uproar ensues.
  19. The party finds out there is an underground avian-fighting event happening below the tavern. When they go to investigate, they find a goose and a rooster on opposite sides of a metal chess board pushing the pieces around randomly. A ref resets illegal moves and pulls captured pieces from the board. The crowd roars wildly, screaming for their bird to win the game. The party is approached by a grifter who says he knows who’s going to win and will sell the info. The grifter’s prediction will prove right 2 times, then wrong the 3rd time.
  20. An illegal blood-sport fighting match has caused the death of a local celebrity and the party has been framed for the murder.

NAUTICAL (06)

  1. A local ally invites the party on a fishing trip. While on the trip, the vessel is attacked by a desperate band of Kuo-Toa, who appear to be diseased and attack with a more-than-usual savage aggression.
  2. The city is holding a yachting regatta and the party is present when one of the ships catches fire. Many accusations are bandied about and most seem to blame one of the city’s administrators who had a grudge.
  3. A seasonal storm rushes over the city does significant (and costly) damage to the local fleets (and any ships the party might have moored here). Trade and travel is stalled and only a hefty bribe and some forceful diplomacy can secure any movement needs that the party might have.
  4. A local mad-wizard-inventor is launching a submarine and has asked for volunteer pilots and crew. If the party accepts, they are attacked by a great white shark. If they do not, the sub is sunk by the shark. The mad-wizard will try again next month with a new design. If the shark has been killed, this version will find a sunken treasure worth a king’s fortune.
  5. The party is invited to a beach party by an ally. While there, a number of party-goers find themselves suddenly growing gills and webbed feet and toes and a strong urge to enter the ocean. They have been drugged by a Sahuagin Sorcerer, who is trying to build an “amphibious army” to attack the town and destroy it.
  6. A large number of Brachia (Crab-Folk) have surfaced in the bay and are attempting to communicate via the Dream spell (which will manifest as the entire town committing suicide, and this will be dreamed en-masse by the locals). This dream is not a threat, but a warning of what will happen if the townsfolk don’t rid themselves of a recently-acquired magic item (by the party themselves, or by another adventuring group). They have 72 hours to unravel the mystery.
  7. A number of Were-Sharks are attacking swimmers at night (mostly kids/young adults out partying on the beach). These therianthropes are not aware of their actions, but know something is wrong. While shape-changed, they work as a team, like wolves.
  8. While passing a street they encounter a group of semi-drunken sailors. The sailors start a brawl with the party, for their fun. When magic or weapons are used things will get nasty as the sailors will pull shivs, long knives, chains, and cudgels.
  9. Something has turned the ocean red and fish are dying in great numbers.
  10. A large statue that could be worth a lot is trapped in a cavern in the water. If the party can retrieve it without additional help, they can claim it as their own, sell it, and keep all of the profits. If they enlist any help, the local authorities will take over the operation and claim the statue for themselves.
  11. During a sailboat race, a school of merfolk begin harassing and destroying the boats.
  12. A group of traveling sailors try to sell famous and popular books, paintings, and equipment to the party at a great price. Upon closer inspection, the items appear to be forgeries.
  13. A seadragon is heading for the coast, but rumor has it she will slumber if told a bedtime story. In order for her to hear it, the party must intercept her and shout the story from aboard a ship. But it better be a good story.
  14. An ocean water spirit wants to visit a fellow spirit friend who is further inland. They will make a path over land of water they can travel through. The party can try to convince the spirit to follow their path and plot a nondestructive course, or they can try to stop the spirit from visiting their friend through force.
  15. For three days, no one has been able to catch a fish with a hook and line. Nothing even bites, something just cuts the lines before any fish can bite.
  16. Tidal Wave!
  17. A local surfer has gone missing and only his surfboard is found on the beach, covered in a black slime. Days later, his head (missing the eyes) washes ashore.
  18. An Aboleth has awoken in the bay and starts calling minions to serve it. Some of them are townsfolk, and possibly the Mayor as well.
  19. A waterspout threatens the docked ships in the harbor. It is not a natural occurrence.
  20. A pack of Scrag (Sea Trolls) have started plucking beachcombers from the shoreline.
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