[Review] Veins of the Earth (Lotfp) Pt.I; Final Boss

[Campaign Setting]
Veins of the Earth (2017)
Patrick Stuart & Scrapprincess (Lamentations of the Flame Princess)

Veins of The Earth: 9789525904871: Amazon.com: Books

Here we are at last. The ultimate craft meets its ultimate practitioner. For years I have waded through all the creations, terrible and sublime, that Lotfp could throw at me. I have seen wonders that would not believe. I have witnessed boredom and banality that would scar your sensibilities. Now at last I am ready to grapple with their sublime achievement.

Veins of the Earth is the Underdark, extrapolated, distilled and recast. Stripped of familiar trappings, Stuart and Scrapprincess endaevour to show us the essence of the Underdark, the platonic ideal, in a way that the traditional Underdark, burdened by decades of familarity, metaplot and pop-culture, no longer can. Deep time, fringe biology, paleontology and science-fiction are mixed with the distilled essences of D&D to produce an alloy of strange and wondrous property.

Where to begin? The first and arguably most important part of VotE is its Bestiary. It has long been my contention that nothing serves to define a campaign setting so much as the creatures that inhabit it and Stuart & Scrap deliver for us 150 pages worth of monstrosities of the Utter Depths. Gone is the creative but somewhat meandering efforts of Fire on the Velvet Horizon.

Instead the limited scope provides a laser-focus, the creatures all the more terrifying and bizarre for it, Patrick’s at times flowery prose has expanded to encompass entire geologic lexicons yet is simultaneously trimmed down in length to J.M. Harrisonian levels of zen-master poetry, each sentence a fucking koan, Scrap’s scribbly efforts, often scornfully derided on this blog, have emerged from their cocoon to reveal the aeons-old otherworldly horrors of the uttermost depths in gorgeous contrast, their abhorrent nature expressed in every primal marker-stroke of deep arterial red, black and royal blue.

Behold.

THEY COME OUT CRAWLING. They judder and fall like an old man escaping from a crashed car, but fast, like skipping low-res recordings. It leaps but has forgotten how to stand. The shaking steps collapse. The fossilised stone skeleton of a precambrian vampire. Cracked and deranged by its entombment. The skull is twisted in a Munch-Scream warp. The eyes burn with an ancient second night, ultraviolet coronal rings that hang on eclipsed moons. Limbs rolled and bent in sedimentary stones. The ghosts of opalised organs moonwhite in central mass. Shining pyritised teeth. Soil and ash falling from its joints like rain. Utterly totally insane.

Witness.

The sting of the atomic bee is so deadly that the death it brings briefly outstrips time. Like a gunshot skipping on a lake. Your cells are annihilated at such speed, and with such violence, that you are plunged through nearby wild dimensions as you burn. What this looks like to observers is a victim burning, turning to ash, and being caught in a violent unseen, unfelt wind, all at once as they flickerstop in and out. The wind of your extra-dimensional fall will plaster your ash to a nearby surface. You leave behind Hiroshimascar remains and an agonised radioactive ghost who has briefly seen outside time and space. Communicating with this ghost is incredibly deadly but can supply weird understandings

See.

◼️VEINS OF THE EARTH◼️ This Lamentations... - Bugbear Brothers | Facebook
Alkalion

 

Halls of the Nephilim: Veins of the Earth: Initial Impressions
Anti-Phoenix

I remarked at FotVH that it was a job half done. I was right. Making mechanics for your monsters allows you to grant them properties of much greater depth then mere descriptive language allows. Rules describe their place in the fictional eco-system, their place in the order of things, it forces you to consider a thousand factors beyond aesthetic preening. Nowhere is this more apparent then in VoTE’s bestiary. Mechanics are an integral part of the flavor.

Stat blocks are set out in highly readable bullet point format and incorporate two ability scores that will be off immense importance in the utter depths. Nearly all creatures have a climbing score and some might be Blind, which affects how they respond to light-sources in the lightless chasms and pits of the Veins. Important in a lightless place, every creature has a Sound and a Smell.

SOUNDS like a faint sizzle like a fizzy drink. Distant half-musical plinks, like heating metal cooling in the cold

In his introduction Stuart explains his conception of the Veins as something towering and vast, old far beyond human pre-history, much larger then all the countries of human endaevour, and containing creatures strange and powerful beyond mortal reckoning. Nearly every creature in the bestiary reinforces this theme in some way.

Mythological horrors are endowed with bizarre traits from deep cavern biology and prehistory. Everything is ancient, Cambrian-Explosion, Ice-Age, Fungal, annalidian nightmare. The inspiration drawn from the distant and long-extinct corners of the animal kingdom infuses the monsters with an alien feel that cements the Veins as a Lovecraftian place where mankind is only an interloper. Some are possessed of a terrifying versimilitude, like packs of Bioluminescent Dogs or a raptor-like turtle creature whose slow metabolism can be hyper-accelerated but one hour before it must either feed or die. Others are incomprehensible, terrifying extraplanar predators that imitate familiar shapes only to ensnare. The Angler-Lich is such a one, a 2-dimensional caricature of an evil undead necromancer, in actuality merely the extraplanar lure of an extra-cosmic predator that feeds on heroes. The other almost a herron, a monster that attempts to seize and pull men into a hyper-dimension using a hooked simulacrum of its prey.

There are lions dripping with universal solvent, and deep mineral men that live within volcanic vents and harvest the tachyonic honey of Atomic Bees. There are warm-blooded predators too, some merely unnerving like the hyper-mobile Gigaferret, others reminiscent of Deep Time, drawn from Pleistocene Times, Immortal Golems of Mud and Bone raised in a time before speech, or the shamanistic criminals of the Neaderthals, who can tease the spirit animal from your bones, or remake your flesh with a song. There are well-intentioned deep-core visitors of super-heated metal that can destroy you by mere communication. There are collective hallucinations and flying, dreaming whales guarded by their incarnate nightmares. Everything, from nuisance vermin like the Sonic Pig to Hidden Powers that can get you an audience with the Gods, makes an appearance.  This is one of the richest bestiaries that I have ever seen.

50 pages in I went to Lotfp.com and made an account to order a hardcover. Unfortunately I would have had to pay 30 bucks in shipping, atop of the 66 bucks. I instead went on dutch amazon and ordered the whole for 58 bucks. Sorry Raggi.

These are great entries executed with perfect attention to usability at the table. Valuable body parts are marked as treasure, beautiful dialogue options are provided if the monster is more likely to interact. Witness here the koans of the Tachyon Troll, who ages backward and forward in time, enlightened to the Tao of Troll by its supra-temporal existence, seeking to consume the PCs with serene content.

“Will you teach me a fire sermon? Or is your path upon my tongue? Your Tao
between my teeth?”
“Do not sorrow for this ripped blood-nugget. Its new home is within me. I anoint
you!”
“I am a Throne of Life, consumed and endlessly renewed.” 

Veins encompasses a vast spectrum of time, space, and dimension. Creatures are drawn from higher dimensions, the distant past or literally unfathomable depths. Giant Hermit crabs lair in the Skulls of Vanquished Titans, waiting for a distant time beyond time when they can restart the cosmic cycle. Mantis Shrimps co-exist with Fungal Zombies or hordes of the infected, kept alive by the disease that consumes them. Something of the goofyness of Fire on the Velvet Horizon is cushioned by the bizarre coherence of the whole.

At times it is difficult to piece together the meaning behind some of the entries, but always they come together in the end. You will perhaps pause as you ponder the nature of the perpetually phase-transitioning Igneous Wrath or struggle to decipher the riddle of the Ignimbrite Mites. The stellar entries in the beginning mean that the end of the section can feel a little underwhelming but it doesn’t matter.

A good monsters often trigger bouts of creativity and ideas as you read them. Good entries inspire the GM to come up with encounters or adventures or entire campaigns centered around them. Veins does this. My mind is awash with narrow tunnels and soaring chasms, lit by sputtering pin-pricks of lantern-light or vast bioluminescent fungal forests, of mineral gardens tended by alien crystal men so hot the lungs boil. Of predators of condensed moonlight and strata of fossil vampires awakening slowly to rampage through the darkness and the silence. Of the cruel Knotsmen who have offered the souls of their children in exchange for succour from some ancient peril. Of subterrene gardens lit by the deadly but beautiful luminescence of the Ultraviolet Butterfly.

A stellar bestiary. Familiar concepts like Golems or Oozes occasionally turn up to be recast as something bizarre, disturbing and exciting. I could spend hours lovingly going over each entry but we must press on. A fantastic beginning.

Stay tuned for part II.


36 thoughts on “[Review] Veins of the Earth (Lotfp) Pt.I; Final Boss

  1. So satisfyingly alien and hostile, stocked with intriguing monsters. I look forward to Part 2, especially with reference to how readily the material lends itself to good gaming.
    In terms of new monsters, S4 The Lost Caverns of Tsojcanth devoted a good chunk of a supplementary booklet to them, and that contributed to a wondrous feel for the two level dungeon part of the adventure.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. How could you Prince? Why if you’d bought the product at least 300 times, you’ve could’ve helped Brave Sir Raggi in his efforts in paying for his franchise.

    In all seriousness though, Veins is probably my favorite thing ever. It’s atmosphere,it’s inhabitants, and it’s pure unadulterated awesomeness makes it just a delight. This is why I call Patrick a crapshoot(as in his stuff is a gamble) you can end up in pure chaos or something near divine as this. Same with Scrap; I have to disagree with Your RPG Sucks on her art not being good at all. Her art here actually looks like what someone who tried his best in reaccounting the horror he saw down in the Earth’s underside.

    [Onto the Product]
    The only thing I’m disappointed in is the fact that there isn’t any:moles, naked mole rats,giant worms, or more variety of insects. Also, there is a tad too many sea monsters,and since the Nightmare Sea isn’t produced yet, they just feel…orphaned in the greater product. Not that I don’t like them, it’s just that they seem like they could’ve been used elsewhere.

    I think the uniqueness of the monsters is what somewhat ruins the product. Some are so strange and surreal how could you ever play them ever again? How could your team ever have the wonder of encountering the Tachyon Troll, The Still-Tor Men, or the Tetracharcardron after their first time? There is also some who kinda clash with each other; how the hell do the Titan Crabs deal with the Brockten or the Anti-Phoenix cosmologically?

    There is also the Archeans, Olms, and Knotsmen. I find it weird they’re in the bestiary and not the cultures of the veins. I am glad however they have some stats unlike the cultures.

    Favorites:
    The Calcinated Cancer Bear reminiscent of Kane’s Two Sun Setting Sabertooth.
    Still-Tor Men for being extra-dimensional birds.
    Phantom Hand of Gargas for being just a Master Hand as well as its super weird power and purpose.
    The Rapture for being a grimdark Grue.
    Meanderthals for being murderous ghost Neanderthals
    And the Fossil Vampires for being pre-human vampires.

    Like

    1. noisms at Monsters & Manuals once observed that making truly novel monsters is nearly impossible. Even if some monsters are misses, Stuart deserves massive credit for making entire bestiaries worth of new things to kill in your elfgames.

      [Favorites]
      Lamenters
      Funganid Slaves
      Blackfoot Gigaferret (I’ve thought mustelids were neat even since I read Redwall books as a kid, and this one fucking brutal)
      Spotlight Dogs (great visuals and the head is spooky)
      ToRaptoises
      Trilobite-Knight (the idea that the Permian Extinction Event was intentional and the trilobite survivors are waiting for Round II is too cool)
      Fossil Vampires (“When you run out of dice, start simulating higher numbers with the dice you have. There is, in theory, no end to this progression. You may awaken the whole stratum.”)

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The Knights were awesome. I wanted to describe a scene where a Trilobite and a Grengencschin(those moth fighters) fighting over a interior waterfall.

        The Spotlight Dogs were sweet as well, reminds me of the Nightlands.

        Like

    2. @doge
      It seems mean-spirited but the price difference was so extreme, of course I looked for alternatives.

      Stuart grew since DCO, and it shows in this. Sign me up for whatever crazy shit comes next.

      I think you bring up a valid point regarding the uniqueness of the monsters but I don’t see that point ruining the bestiary and being unique to Veins. It’s a tragic feature of DnD that once you figure out what a monster can do it’s not as impactful anymore. The more narrow your subset of DnD is (i.e. Underdark vs generic fantasy world) the less likely will you have to use monsters repeatedly so a single very good encounter is still worth doing if it generates a whole adventure. I think you could conceive of some sort of trans-stratic hadean-era proto-dungeon where these different eco-systems coincide into a single, never-ending battle royale.

      Veins makes some intriguing notes regarding dispositions between these cosmic level threats which is welcome but I figure the best solution when it comes to eco-systems is to just envision them as so ridiculously large you can encounter just about anything without running into questions of why its still around.

      I haven’t gone into the veins cultures yet but I figure they might not be so radically different from your familiar DnD creatures that you can’t transplant the statts. Not sure yet.

      I was very impressed by the Tachyon Troll, Meanderthals, Brocken and that Radiolarian thing.

      Liked by 1 person

    3. @ZOZ

      It depends on what is meant by truly novel I guess. There’s probably hundreds of bestiaries and the top 5% of those would probably blow our minds. I think it’s probably true that over 30+ years of RPGing you will find some example of almost everything popping up. Stuart’s both intelligent and very well read in an unconventional area (paleontology and geology) so he can innovate in an area that is not often utilized and has the creativity and capacity to do so.

      I think the worst D&D for designing monsters was probably 3.5e because it had so many built in assumptions and categorization that it actually limited your creative scope, but it was also the edition that spawned bestiaries until you got sick of them, and some of them were pretty dope. No wait 4e was worse. Creature del Terrore, Beings From Beyond, some of the Scarred Lands stuff, the old Dark Sun Monstrous Compendiums, there’s a lot of interesting monsters. I say this with rose-tinted glasses, perhaps if I look now most of those books would fill me with disgust.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I think for a monster to be truly novel it would have to be original in three areas: visuals, stats, and flavor text. I’ve flipped through my fair share of 3.5 monster manuals and I’d say each has about two or four cool, original monsters each. If that’s the industry standard, Stuart’s working on another level.

        Regarding being well read, you can look at Stuart’s blog from back when he wrote Veins of the Earth and see that he spent a lot of time researching caving, geology, deep time, etc. It never occurred to me that RPG writers would do any serious study about the subject they’re writing about, but they really should. Do you think Zak took the time to read a book about life in the Arctic Circle before writing FB&M? If he did, it doesn’t come though in his work.

        Liked by 1 person

    1. Fuck I just recognized you. Another underrated OSR superstar. Welcome back dude. In broad terms I very much agree, even the nuisance vermin is compelling and I dig the spread too, everything from anklebiters to civilization ending living battlecruisers.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. The art you selected is pretty good. I lost interest in VotE having read a blog post of his where he tried to explain how his spacial diagrams worked. It was a foolish attempt to solve a notorious problem, mapping a 3d environment in 2d space.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You were working on mapping cave systems in Aione before your blog went down weren’t you? That was some good shit. What is your opinion on using full on wire-frame models for the 3D segments? It would look like you were using Matlab and distance would be hard to convey but at least you would be able to see the general relationship. Greis’s maps are simple but robust but woefully 2D and to convey Depth in Grave of the Hearless he just made fifteen different pancake slices and connected them via labelled tunnels. A smudgy, disgusting mess.

      Like

    1. You wanna score some points for baby Jesus you advise me on what to read next. I’ve finished the Kalevala, Eddison’s translation of Egil’s Saga, Morris’s translation of the Volsunga Saga and now The Saga of King Hrolf Kraki. Which others are good? I’m stuck in my goddamn home working all day and reading on my coffee breaks. Even people that hate you but are honest will admit you have sublime taste in fantasy literature.

      Like

    1. Your recommendation meets my level of taste, there are two caveats;

      1) I request specific recommendations when it comes to the Icelandic Sagas. Njall. Orkneyinga. Prose Edda. et al. I happen to know Kent is a big Viking nerd.
      2) I have already read Titus Groan. I thought the language was splendid, next level, majestic and baroque beyond comparison. S-rank author.

      Like

  4. On the basis of that Alkalion I reluctantly acknowledge that Scrap *can* do good work when she feels like it. Or maybe she just hadn’t figured out the right level of “good enough to pass, crude enough to make the point that we’re depicting the undepictable here” at first.

    Like

      1. Are you pulling my chain? It seems like the sort of thing you’d do: you have a history of japes and trickery.

        In any case, my fault for not sticking to the safe-bet “they” for everyone.

        Like

  5. Compliments do more harm than good in my experience.

    Hunting for straight genre-fantasy has been offering diminishing returns for a long time now, and I prefer to read old classics of exploration or those of the literary hard-core which quench the same thirst genre-fantasy did. I have not heard you refer to Gene Wolfe’s Book of the New Sun. I have read it once a decade since my teens and it, like Tolkien’s work, has bucked the trend of decline in interest for me, I now rate it even more highly than in my teens for whatever reason. The last time I read it I made certain to listen to the same four hour loop of atmospheric soundscapes to entrench my mood. I do this for everything fantastical as I have a massive music library and an OK Hi Fi. For Dante try Debussy’s Pelleas et Melisande – a three hour cycle with the perfect atmosphere.

    Vance I struggle with outside the psychopathic humour of the Cugel stories. Lyonesse is lumpen in quality, mostly tedious and superficial. Dying Earth over-rated as is Dunsany. Howard I now reject, my reaction to CA Smith is unstable lurching one way then the opposite, Lovecraft, get yourself an Arkham hardback, put on some dark soundscapes and his style is not foolish but literary IMO *for his purpose*. He survives well for me.

    Regarding to the Icelandic literature, don’t forget Dasent’s Njal’s Saga. This comes in two volumes originally but is expensive. What I did was get the comprehensive introduction from archive.org and printed it out injecting some viking art, and then get the beautiful and cheap Grant Richards 1900 hardback of Dasent’s Njal story by itself. Njal & Egil are the core – Dasent & Eddison. But you need books like Jones’ The Vikings and some viking art books to give your imagination something to move. Also Bengtsson’s The Long Ships 1954 is very good. Surprisingly Poul Anderson’s The Broken Sword 1954 is good too, there is terrific audiobook of this. Spend money printing out huge maps of Iceland and Norway and Britain relevant to the 1000-1200 period.

    Tolkien is a subject for another day. To more deeply understand the works I have been dipping into anglo-saxon history — Whitelock, Chambers, and my appreciation of Beowulf has grown. I love it as much as Homer now so I am reading Bright’s Old English Grammar just to read Beowulf in the original. And frankly now I can see why Tolkien and Nietzsche were drawn to philology, it reminds me of some Maths classes.

    Like

    1. G.W.]

      I have read it, but only once. I picked up the Coda in Canada last year so it’s due for a reread.

      [Lyonesse]

      I remember viscerally enjoying it but parts blend together on recollection. Every chapter is a new bombardement of charm and wit. There’s a wealth of characters, ideas, cultures, colorful imagery, beautiful dialogue etc. that has cemented it as a superior bit of medieval fantasy. In comparison with something like Game of Thrones its splendid. Vance is a mutant freak writer, with exceptional creativity a mischievous wit and a talent for language, but not a comparison for the all time greats.

      [Njall]

      My thanks. I got wind of Morris’s translation of the Volsunga in his preface to Egil’s Saga, where he discusses the importance of certain conventions in preserving the feel of the Sagas and not merely the literal translation. I ran into this when I read the Penguin translation of the Ring of the Nibelungen, which conveys the meaning but saps the entire work of energy and forcefulness.

      Egil’s Saga was a choice encounter, it was available for a good price, and I’d already read The Worm Ouroboros so I bought it. I got interested in pre-Tolkinian fantasy after The Children of Hurin;. Glaurung is based on Fafnir, Turin has thick shades of Kullervo, the re-forging of the blade Narsil is mirrorred in the Volsunga etc. etc. It’s fascinating to chase the antecedents of such a brilliant author.

      There’s a suprising number of epic poems I’d never heard of. The Tale of the Heike. The Legend of El Cid. The Shahnameh.

      Your approach is very high investment, deep understanding, high reward. I think I’d invest the extra time and commitment if my standards were to further sharpen. Currently my innate curiosity is still too high, though I have started to develop the ability to trace the genealogy of fantasy ideas in any book I read, a sign of the end times surely.

      Like

      1. Regarding your tracing of genealogical ideas, I’m pleased to inform you that you have reached your next clearance level: welcome to the Mytheme Level.

        Good guy Jeff wrote about this some time ago:
        https://jrients.blogspot.com/2016/05/old-wine-into-new-skins.html

        I discovered something like the UTA notation when I read Katharine Briggs’ _An Encyclopedia of Fairies_ (the story codes are in an appendix).
        Later at Uni I had a perfesser that also went into this with a different nomenclature, ie mythemes.

        I see your Shahnameh and raise you the Nart Sagas 🙂

        Like

    2. “I have started to develop the ability to trace the genealogy of fantasy ideas in any book I read”

      One of the easily forgotten, but remarkable and obvious, realisations is that a writer in say 1925 knows *nothing* of what came after. This is important for genre fiction where successful ideas become cliche overnight. There is a purity to early fantasy fiction which is worth venerating when that imagination was strong.

      The early cosmic vision in *House on the Borderlands* is something we would expect of Kubrick in 2001 – A Space Odyssey, and was probably beyond even his power to visualise. I can’t imagine how strange it must have been to read Hodgson in the 1920s.

      Fantasy creation now is much polluted by foolish films with glaringly sophisticated computer imaging. Worthless content, overwhelming graphics. Fantasy writing now has to compete with the recent history of CGI, and most writing leans on the imagery of cinema evoking it. And yet look at how simple and powerful Hodgson writing was for that scene in HotB. The average teenager would see nothing of value in the scene given the SF images he can conjure on his iphone.

      So what is the teenagers loss? Well, he is not imagining something he is simply seeing. It is the reason I have been against illustrations in rpg books beyond section marks. Get back to the word, dense poetic driving the imagination. Almost all rpg material is 90% overlong. Technical matters and probability explanations deserve due length, we have the 3 AD&D core for that. But fantasies should be brief, concise and poetic.

      Like

      1. [Purity]

        Purity is the operative word. Very often the concepts are diluted as they pass through multiple iterations of fantasy, relying increasingly on unspoken knowledge of the concepts for their imaginative charge. There’s nine million books with vampires but only one with fucking Dracula. I have this on occasion when I read weird campaign settings and I roll my eyes at the vague nonsense or cookie ‘our orcs be different’ crap I see too often. With my new players I deliberately used Mystara and kept it as basic as possible. Orcs, Wizards, magic swords. Good stuff.

        I think the observation that many Millenials and Gen Z. ers have atrophied imaginative ability because of prevalence of CGI coupled with an IQ 80 plot holds more or less true for the purposes of D&D. I see it with 5e, fantasy concepts are rootless, unaware of their origins and what they are trying to evoke. I think D&D is a good barometer when it comes to the expected background of a fantasy fan.

        [Illustrations]

        I disagree. Images have the ability to communicate atmosphere in a way that transcends the written word. We are visual creatures and a single image can carry a thousand times the information content of language, essentially the source code of the brain. Language is, above all, a medium for precision, control. It is perfect for the transmission of ideas, concepts, finite things. If you want to convey atmosphere which per definition must permeate the whole piece it is much more effective to use imagery.

        [Brief, Concise]

        I think I used the term ‘conceptual capacity’ somewhere in Mists of Akuma. Essentially, if you pack your game or setting with too much crap it is going to come across as a smudgy piece of fucking shit, indigestible. I envy William Morris, who is boring to one whose expectations in fantasy are a plethora of enchanting, magical creatures but who is capable of making an entire compelling world using nothing but humans in a medieval fantasy milieu and one enchanted object.

        For Age of Dusk I conversely want to use as little recognizable AD&D source code as possible. No Orcs, no elves. I think if you do your own setting and want it taken seriously (a stupid desire, for autistics) you should at least consider the question of using the assumed D&D setting consciously before either embracing, or rejecting it.

        Like

      2. Illustrations.

        I tend to cut out illustrations when they appear in works of Fantasy. I am not interested in some artist’s depiction of something I have described before me. I love fantastical and mythological and obviously but as things in themselves not adjuncts. Abstract or impressionist art which requires me to reinvent the image can work for me, I love vague ink drawings. And I kept the Henderson illustrations in my Eddison because he is brilliant, I have other works by him.

        Now it might be that when I read fantasy or myth I reach for music to establish the mood that for others derives from illustration.

        Like

      3. [The young people have no imagination]

        I blame neoliberal parenting which started among the upper class in the 80s and then became truly common in the 2000s. Children were raised with every activity must be intentional, self improving and designed so one can go to school, get a job, etc. The idea of “I read fantasy because I like famtasy.” is foreign to these children. Reading genre fantasy is a waste of time, you must read classics or books that “improve or educate the self.”

        Neoliberal parenting once understood can explain almost all the strangeness of these generations.

        Like

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