Stokes's Bristol Nightclub incident in detail (From: The Comeback Summer by Geoff Lemon)
IF YOU’RE LOOKING for a place where misadventure could begin, you can’t go past Mbargo. The nightclub’s streetfront is painted a purple so bright you’ll see it in your dreams. Strings of giant sequins shimmer in the breeze. Its phonically inventive name is spelt in silver letters that climb its three-storey terrace facade. Inside are strips of burning neon, a few booths, floorboards so marinated in drink that they have an ingredients list. Bristol is a student city on England’s south coast crowded with music and nightlife and street art. This is Banksy’s home town, and the tourism board suggests in rather strong terms that ‘you would be a fool not to see his amazing work firsthand’. The same organisation describes Mbargo as ‘intimate’, which is fair for a place where you can catch an STI standing up. Students cram into its modest dimensions while people with names like DJ Klaud battle for billing with £1.50 drink deals over seven sloppy nights a week. To get a sense of the story about to come, consider that it’s the kind of place open until two o’clock on a Monday morning, and that at two o’clock on a Monday morning, Ben Stokes still thought it had closed too early. The Ashes of 2017–18 had disciplinary bookends. It was after that series that Australia’s two leaders went off the rails in South Africa. It was a few weeks before that Ashes tour that England’s biggest star windmilled his way into his own disaster. In the early hours of 25 September 2017, Stokes and teammate Alex Hales were barred from re-entering Mbargo after a night out on the piss. A Sunday thrashing of an abject West Indies in an ignored series at the fag-end of the season apparently required ample celebration. After arguing with the bouncer and hanging about at the door for a while, they wandered off to find a casino in the hope of more drinking. They’d barely made it around the corner before getting in the middle of a conflict between four locals. As is said on the internet, it escalated quickly. The 26 September reporting was bloodless. Withholding names, police stated that a man ‘was arrested on suspicion of causing actual bodily harm’ while another went to hospital with facial injuries. England’s director of cricket Andrew Strauss separately confirmed that Stokes was the arrestee, adding that he had been released without charge and that Hales had gamely offered to ‘help police with their enquiries’. Administrators had a good chance of hiding behind that investigation, and the next day Stokes was named in the upcoming Ashes squad as expected. But that night the video emerged. Bristol student Max Wilson had shot it on his phone, then offered it to The Sun. What he thought was playing hardball was actually lowball: his opening price of £3000 was snapped up by a tabloid that would have paid ten times that. The Sun went on to make a mint by syndicating the rights worldwide. From a window above the fray, the vision showed six men on the street below performing the muddled choreography of a melee. One was right at the centre of it. One was waving a bottle, one dipped in and out, one tried to calm it. Two others floated around the edges. The central figure was unmistakable: red hair burning even in the streetlight as he launched into a series of blows against two of the men, falling to grapple with them on the ground, then following both across the street, swinging punches the whole way. Hales trailed behind, repeatedly and impotently shouting ‘Stokes! Stop! Stokes! Enough!’ The ECB could fudge issues that existed only in thickets of legalese, but not those captured in moving colour. Stokes was stood down from the next West Indies match, then suspended indefinitely. It emerged that he had broken his hand during the fight, something he’d done twice before while punching objects in dressing rooms. The response in Australia was fierce: Stokes was a thug, a lowlife, a selection that would disgrace England. It was not entirely coincidental that a ban for England’s best player would be handy for the Aussie team, but there was also a cultural split. In England, plenty of people still minimise pub fights as lads letting off steam. In Australia, heavy media coverage as a succession of young men were killed had inverted that tolerance. The discourse now saw any punch as potentially deadly and accordingly reckless. This was more poignant in a cricket context given that David Hookes, the dashing Test batsman and state coach, was killed in 2004 by a pub bouncer’s fist. The PR situation was bad for Stokes as details emerged of the injuries to the men he’d hit, and that one was a young war veteran and father. Stokes wasn’t officially removed from the Ashes squad through October but stayed behind when his teammates left, hoping for police to dismiss the matter in time for a late dash to Australia. His annual contract was renewed on the due date in case that came to pass. Then 29 October brought a twist in the tale. ‘Ben Stokes praised by gay couple after defending them from homophobic thugs,’ ran the headline. Kai Barry and Billy O’Connell had emerged. Not entirely out of nowhere: while Stokes had made no public comment, this story in his defence had initially been leaked to TV host Piers Morgan after the fight, as soon as the video appeared. Police body-camera footage played in court would later show that Stokes had given the same story to the arresting officer on the night. But no-one knew the identities of the fifth and sixth men in the video, and police appeals had turned up nothing. It was The Sun again with the breakthrough. Kai and Billy were perfect for a readership not keen on nuance. ‘We couldn’t believe it when we found out they were famous cricketers. I just thought Ben and Alex were quite hot, fit guys,’ said Kai, who was memorably described as a ‘former House of Fraser sales assistant’. The paper had the pair do a full photo shoot: layering the fake tan, showing off chest waxes, mixing Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton into a range of outfits. Their best shot had them standing back to back, heads turned to the camera, in a mirror-image Zoolander moment. Suddenly The Sun was the England team’s best friend. ‘Their claims could lead to the all-rounder being cleared over the punch-up and freed to play in the First Test in Australia next month,’ it gushed, then gave a tasting platter of quotes: ‘We were so grateful to Ben for stepping in to help. He was a real hero.’ ‘If Ben hadn’t intervened it could have been a lot worse for us.’ ‘We could’ve been in real trouble. Ben was a real gentleman.’ Would it be known forever as Kai and Billy’s Ashes? No. While the Bristol boys provided spin for Stokes’ reputation they didn’t influence the police. With charges still pending there was little choice – not given Strauss had previously sacked Kevin Pietersen for being annoying. Stokes remained suspended through the Ashes and a one-day series in Australia, and lost the vice-captaincy. It was January 2018 before the Crown Prosecution Service laid a charge. That charge surprisingly came in as affray, a crime that can carry prison time but is classified as ‘a breach of the peace as a result of disorderly conduct’. The men he had punched, Ryan Ali and Ryan Hale, faced the same count, charged as equal participants in a fight rather than Stokes being charged with assaulting them. Alex Hales was not charged, despite being seen in the video to aim several kicks when Ryan Ali was lying on the ground. Given the underwhelming standing of the offence, Stokes was cleared by the ECB to tour New Zealand, and kept playing until his trial in August 2018, which he missed a Test to attend. None of the three defendants would be convicted. The reasoning behind the charges was never released and was attributed vaguely to ‘CPS lawyers’. The service gave the case to Alison Morgan, a prosecutor of a class known as Treasury Counsel who usually handle serious criminal matters. Morgan had a scheduling clash and never ended up court for the case, but in 2018 and 2019 she would go on to win damages and admissions of libel from The Daily Mail, The Times and The Daily Telegraph variously for incorrectly reporting that she had been responsible for the inadequate and inconsistent charging decisions. Morgan’s successor on the case was Nicholas Corsellis QC, who on the first day of trial was permitted by the CPS to request two assault charges be added against Stokes. ‘Upon further review,’ claimed a CPS statement, ‘we considered that additional assault charges would also be appropriate.’ This was patent nonsense from the service that eight months earlier had chosen the lesser charge. Any lawyer knows that no judge will allow new charges once a trial has begun, because the defence hasn’t had time to prepare. But such a request could deflect criticism of the prosecution service by technically making the judge the one who disallows the charge. Working through the story from the trial and the tape is complicated. You had a Ryan and a Ryan, a Hale and a Hales, a Billy and a Barry and a Ben. You had several versions of events as to who knew whom, who was drinking with whom, who had insulted whom and who had merely engaged in ‘banter’, a word that in modern Britain has to do an unconscionable amount of lifting. The reporting had constantly mixed up the Ryans as to who had which injury, who was in hospital, who had played which part in the fight, and whose mum had which stern words to say about it. Let’s agree that from now Ryan Ali is Ryan One, the firefighter who ended up with a fractured eye socket and a cracked tooth. Ryan Two can be Ryan Hale, the soldier who scored concussion and facial lacerations. Mr Barry and Mr O’Connell are best known per The Sun as Kai and Billy. In scorecard parlance we’ll leave the cricketers as Stokes and Hales. Amid the confusion, Stokes and his lawyers built his case in a straightforward way. The UK legal definition of affray is ‘if a person threatens or uses unlawful violence or force towards another person, which causes another person of reasonable firmness present at the scene to fear for their safety’. That means it doesn’t account for violence that harms a target, but violence that might frighten a theoretical bystander. The wiggle room for Stokes was with ‘unlawful’, because the charge excuses violence in defending oneself or others. This interpretation hinged on the beginning of the video, where Ryan One waves a beer bottle about and takes a swing at Kai. The version from Stokes was that he was minding his own business walking down the street when he heard homophobic abuse. He intervened verbally and was threatened verbally by Ryan One – something that Ryan One denied but that couldn’t be proved or disproved. In fear for his safety Stokes had to nullify that threat by bashing Ryan One before it went the other way. He registered Ryan Two in his peripheral vision as another possible threat, and again had only one recourse. Stokes also had to convince the jury to disregard testimony from Mbargo’s bouncer that he had been looking for a fight. A solid lump of a man, Andrew Cunningham had not enjoyed his patron’s attempts to get back into the club after the bouncer declined an offer of a bribe. ‘He got a bit verbally abusive towards myself. He mentioned my gold teeth and he said I looked like a cunt and I replied, “Thank you very much.” He just looked at me and told me my tattoos were shit and to look at my job.’ Cunningham described these words as coming in ‘a spiteful tone, quite an angry tone’, and said that Stokes still seemed angry as he walked away. These were details the doorman had nothing to gain by inventing, but each of them Stokes denied. By his own accounting he had drunk a beer at the game and three pints at his hotel, then ‘potentially had some Jägerbombs’ along with half a dozen vodkas at the club. He insisted that after all of this he was not drunk. If I may take a moment here to call upon the wisdom of experience – a person who cannot definitively say whether they have had any Jägerbombs has definitely had some Jägerbombs. A Jägerbomb is an experience that does not pass one by. Further to that, a person who says they have ‘potentially’ done something has definitely done that thing and doesn’t want to admit it. A person who has had between 15 and 24 standard drinks in one evening is shitfaced. A person who tries to bribe a bouncer £300 – three hundred quid! – to get into Mbargo – Mbargo! – is beyond shitfaced. If Stokes admitted that he was drunk then the prosecution could say he was out of control. He claimed clear recall of assessing a threat, feeling fear and deciding to protect himself with force. He confidently denied details from the bouncer’s testimony, like using the word ‘cunt’ or mentioning gold teeth. Yet on other details he claimed a ‘significant memory blackout’. He didn’t remember the punch that saw Ryan One taken away by ambulance. He didn’t remember what the Ryans had said to Kai and Billy, only that those words were homophobic. With no head injury, as one of the few people who hadn’t been hit, he had supposedly suffered this memory loss despite being sober. The version from Kai and Billy was compatible but vague: they had been walking along, they ‘heard … shouts’ of abuse from an unspecified source, then Stokes ‘stepped in’ and thus they avoided possible harm. They claimed to have been bought a drink by Stokes at Mbargo, although CCTV showed them meeting outside. The overall implication from both accounts was that the cricketers had been pals with Kai and Billy, while the Ryans as per The Sun’s headline were a roving band of thugs. The reality though is that the Ryans were the ones hanging out with Kai and Billy at Mbargo. Police discussed CCTV from inside the club in questioning and at trial. On that footage the four Bristolians bought drinks for one another, danced together, and Kai was noted to have variously touched Ryan Two’s crotch and Ryan One’s buttock. Ryan One told police that all of this was taken lightheartedly and wasn’t a problem. Indeed, when the Ryans called it a night the other two left with them. This much is clear from footage out the front of Mbargo, which shows Kai and Billy exit the club and start talking with a subdued Hales and a demonstrative Stokes, who are stuck outside. The vision was played in court to determine whether Stokes was antagonistic towards Kai and Billy, as he appears to impersonate them and to throw a lit cigarette their way. More interesting is that after a few minutes the Ryans emerge, and all six actors in the fight video briefly form a prequel in the one frame. Ryan Two pats Billy on the chest in friendly fashion with his right hand before clapping him on the back with his left. He moves past and does the same to Kai before leaving the shot. Ryan One stops to speak to Kai. They lean in for a moment, talking, then Kai turns and they walk out of frame together. Billy hangs around for a few seconds at the door and then looks after them and races to catch up. Stokes and Hales remain outside the club to remonstrate further with the bouncers. Whatever discord develops around the corner is between four men who left amicably together minutes earlier. There’s no way to know what caused that friction. If Ryan One did use homophobic slurs, he might have been drunkenly obnoxious for no reason. He might have had an insecure macho response to some extra flirtation. He might have thought unkindness was funny – ‘banter’ once again. Or he might have said something that was misunderstood, as both Ryans insisted in court that they had not used nor had the impulse to use any abusive language. What clearly didn’t happen was an attack by bigots on random passers-by. This kind of crime is regular enough that an audience understands the horror of it, and this is what was evoked by the public accounts of Stokes, Billy and Kai. All we know is that there was some verbal dispute among the Bristol locals, and that Stokes came along behind them and put himself in the middle of it. Ryan One responded to the interference aggressively and away they went. There are plenty of reasons to look sideways at the idea that Stokes was a saviour. Foremost, neither Kai nor Billy was called upon as witnesses in court. You’d think it would be ideal to have Stokes’ story backed up by those who benefited from his selflessness. But his defence team had developed the impression that the pair had shown a changeable recall of events amid a hard-partying lifestyle, and would be dismantled by the prosecution on the stand. That raises the question of whether The Sun coached their quotes for the 2017 interview. Despite missing court, Kai and Billy clearly enjoyed the attention. In 2018 after the trial they did a follow-up spread in the same paper about how poor Ben had been mistreated. They got a television spot on Good Morning Britain and glowed about his heroism. In 2019 The Sun wheeled them out once more to say that Stokes should get a knighthood. In 2017 they had ‘never watched cricket’ but by 2019 were supposedly volunteering sentences like, ‘He saved us, now he’s saved the Ashes.’ Whether they were paid for these appearances is not known, but the chance to be famous for a day can be lure enough. If you find this cynical, consider that on the night in question, the Bristol boys were so deeply moved and thankful for Ben’s intervention that they left him to be arrested and never attempted to find out who he was. Seconds after the video ended, an off-duty policeman reached the scene. You might think that someone grateful to a saviour would speak on his behalf. Instead, said Kai, ‘it all got a bit scary so we walked off. It was too much for me and we went to Quigley’s takeaway for chicken burgers and cheesy chips.’ They didn’t give their hero a thought for over a month while police issued multiple appeals for witnesses. As for Stokes, he told his arresting officer that ‘his friends’ had been attacked. After three minutes of chat outside a nightclub, these friends were so dear to him that he has never contacted them again: not after the newspaper piece, not after the verdict. He didn’t want to see how they were or thank them for their support. He didn’t mention them by name in his solicitor’s statement after the trial. The Stokes defence rested on Ryan One’s bottle, which he had carried out of Mbargo to finish a beer, not to use in a Sharks versus Jets amateur production. But once he turned it over to hold it by the neck it became a weapon. Intent and interpretation can change the material nature of things. Part of Stokes’ justification in court was that the bottle implied that the two Ryans might have ‘other weapons’ hidden away. You can understand how a jury could decide that created doubt. Not being convicted, though, doesn’t give the contents of the video a big green tick. It does not, as his lawyer claimed, vindicate Stokes. Looking in detail, Ryan One is belligerent but his movements telegraph a bluff. Hales is the person he’s gesturing at, but they’re several metres apart when Ryan One cocks his arm ostentatiously, showing off the bottle rather than bracing to swing. He skips forward but Hales skips back and Ryan One doesn’t follow. Kai stretches out an arm to impede Ryan One, who has a drunken stumble, nearly eats pavement, then staggers towards Kai and hits him in the back. That hand is still holding the bottle, but his strike is a side-arm cuff on a soft part of the body. It’s all pretty tame. This is where Stokes gets involved. Having moved across to protect Hales, he now takes three large steps to run around Kai and booms his first punch at Ryan One. They fall to the ground and the bottle clinks away. Stokes gets to his feet to punch down at the fallen man, while Hales arrives to kick him ineffectively then runs off across the street for some unknown reason. Ice-cream van? Stokes is soon back in the grapple having his shirt pulled up to show off his Durham tan. Ryan Two steps in for the first time to pull Stokes away, prompting a couple more random punches at this new target, then Stokes trips backwards over Ryan One and sprawls in the street. Hales chooses this moment to return and aim some solid kicks at the head of the man on the ground. Nothing so far is a triumph of moral philosophy or the pugilistic arts. But if it all stopped here, perhaps you could say it was somewhere approaching fair. Ryan One has behaved like a turnip and it’s not an entirely unjust world that would give him a whack across the chops. The antagonists have disentangled, Stokes has some distance, it’s time to dust off and go home. Ryan Two steps forward for this purpose with his palm raised in conciliatory style and says, ‘Settle down, stop.’ So Stokes punches him. It’s roughly his fifth punch overall, and he really winds up into this one. He misses so hard that he stumbles away into the shadows of the shop awnings along the road. Hales starts shouting for him to stop. Ryan Two backs into the street, still holding his palm up. Stokes closes on him from about five metres away, six large steps, to where Ryan Two is standing on his own. Stokes pushes him a couple of times, as Ryan Two keeps trying to placate him and saying ‘Stop.’ Stokes throws his sixth punch, largely missing as his target ducks. Ryan Two keeps pulling away and reversing, into the middle of the street now. Stokes follows him, grabbing his sleeve to drag him back. By this point Ryan One has found his feet and walked around behind his friend. Both of them are in the same line of sight for Stokes, and both are backing away. Stokes aims his seventh and his eighth punches, which Ryan Two tries to deflect, as Hales walks up behind Stokes to grab him. Stokes yanks away from his friend and switches to Ryan One instead, taking seven paces to grab him before throwing his ninth punch of the night. He grabs again; Ryan One blocks that arm and pushes himself back away from Stokes. Ryan Two again intercedes, putting himself between the two with his palms up and his arm extended. Stokes throws his tenth punch, a right-hander at the face of Ryan Two, then shoves him backwards. Ryan Two backs away once more, four paces. Stokes follows, steadies, lines up, then launches his strongest punch yet, his eleventh, a proper right hook from a solid base, one that cracks across the man’s head and gives him concussion. Ryan Two ends up flat on his back in the middle of the street, his hands still outstretched for a moment in useless protest until they twitch and drop to the blacktop. Stokes isn’t done. He once more shoves away the restraining Hales and follows Ryan One, who keeps backing away saying, ‘Alright, alright, alright.’ Five more paces from Stokes before another blow at the man’s head. Kai and Billy are now standing over the poleaxed Ryan Two. The video ends, but seconds later Stokes will punch Ryan One hard enough to knock him out too, before off-duty cop Andrew Spure arrives on the scene to bring down the curtain. When the body-camera footage kicks in some minutes later, Stokes is in handcuffs but Ryan One is still laid out in the street. Ryan Two has regained consciousness, folded his shirt under his friend’s head and is asking police for an ambulance. ‘At this point, I felt vulnerable and frightened. I was concerned for myself and others.’ This was how Stokes described that sequence to the court. An elite athlete with years of gym work and training to snap a bat through the line of a ball with astounding power and precision, swinging fists as hard as he can at men with none of those advantages. Punching so hard that he breaks his hand, and repeatedly shoving away a friend so he can punch some more. Frightened and threatened by two targets shouting ‘Get back!’ and ‘Stop!’ The off-duty officer testified that Stokes ‘seemed to be the main aggressor or was progressing forward trying to get to’ Ryan One, who was ‘trying to back away or get away from the situation’. The student who filmed the video can be heard on the tape at one stage exclaiming ‘Fuck!’ and testified that it was because ‘I felt a little bit sorry about the lad that had been punched and it looked like he had his hands up’. That tallied with the prosecutor’s depiction of ‘a sustained episode of significant violence that left onlookers shocked at what was taking place’. The defendant stuck to his strategy. ‘No, my sole focus was to protect myself.’ All up, in the 33 seconds of footage after he falls over, Stokes takes 35 steps forward to keep hitting two men who keep trying to get away. Not once is he hit back. After the verdict, Stokes’ solicitor positioned him as the victim. It had been ‘an eleven-month ordeal for Ben … The jury’s decision fairly reflects the truth of what happened that night … He was minding his own business … It was only when others came under threat that Ben became physically engaged. The steps that he took were solely aimed at ensuring the safety of himself and the others present …’ The statement was impossibly self-righteous and self-absorbed. If there was anyone to feel sorry for it was Ryan Hale, the second of our two Ryans. He’s the one who emerged from the club with a friendly arm around the shoulder for Kai and Billy. He’s the one who interposed himself to end the fight, then kept putting himself back in the firing line, trying to calm an intimidating stranger while dodging blows. For his show of restraint he got laid out regardless, concussed in the street, then was issued a criminal charge equal to that of the man who hit him, and described in national media as a violent bigot in an untested story to support that man’s defence. Lawyers for Ryan Two made a more convincing post-trial statement, noting that Kai and Billy, ‘neither of whom were relied upon by the prosecution or the defence team for Mr Stokes, have taken the opportunity to speak with various media outlets about the alleged homophobic abuse that they received in the early hours of September 25. Mr Hale has passionately denied this allegation throughout the course of this case,’ it continued. ‘It is upsetting to Mr Hale that although he was acquitted, the accusation that he was the author of such abuse remains. Both Mr Hale and Mr Ali were knocked unconscious by Mr Stokes, and although Mr Stokes has been acquitted of an affray, Mr Hale struggles with the reasons why the Crown Prosecution Service did not treat him as a victim of an unlawful assault.’Good question. Avon and Somerset police were the investigating force, and they were frustrated by the decision. Ryan Two was filmed clearly not hurting anyone, but police were instructed by the CPS to proceed with a charge. Hales (the cricketer) was filmed fighting but ‘a decision was made at a senior level of the CPS’ not to proceed. Police expected Stokes to be charged with assault but the CPS declined. It doesn’t take a wild cynic to think that placing the same lukewarm charge on three men for vastly divergent behaviour might ensure that none would be convicted, even as the trial would maintain the pretence that a defendant of influential standing had not been given a free pass. A couple of years down the line, the original interview with Kai and Billy has disappeared. All traces have been scrubbed from The Sun website, its social media history, and even from the Wayback Machine internet archive. Given its headline of ‘homophobic thugs’ and text that names Ryan Two but not Ryan One, the libel liability isn’t hard to spot. Later interviews with Kai and Billy take the passive voice – they ‘suffered homophobic slurs outside a Bristol nightclub’. The article that was once claimed to exonerate brave Ben Stokes now links only to a missing content page, with a picture of a dropped ice-cream cone and the phrase ‘legal removal’ inserted into the web URL. In terms of consequences, Stokes missed one tour. When he resumed his career in January 2018, the Australians hadn’t yet ruined theirs. Their year-long bans looked much more stringent. But the Stokes case dragged on in other ways. With no criminal liability, the Australians confessed promptly enough for the sporting world to give them the full length of the lash. Their situation was ugly but there was closure. Stokes got stuck in legal stasis, unable to be fully backed or condemned. Instead his issue was always present, a browser full of open tabs that the ECB swore they would read any day now. Through 2018 Stokes was back but he wasn’t back, in the sunglasses and finger-guns sense. In his return one-day series he nearly cost England a match with 39 from 73 balls in Wellington. His first Test hit was a duck as England got rolled in Auckland for 58. At Trent Bridge while Stokes was injured, England posted a world record 481 against Australia. With Stokes three weeks later at the same ground they made 268. He crawled to 50 from 103, the second-slowest any Englishman had reached that milestone in 20 years. That span covered Alastair Cook’s whole career. It was apologetic batting, acting out responsibility via the scorecard. Stokes was creeping back into the team like he’d been kicked out in a blazing row and was hoping to tip-toe to the sofa. It was December 2018 before the ECB disciplinary committee ruled on him and Hales. In a ‘remarkable coincidence’, wrote Simon Heffer in The Telegraph, ‘the punishment both players faced in terms of bans from playing at international level was covered by the amount of games they had already missed when dropped by England’s selectors, in the furore that followed the incident’. The verdict compounded the omissions around the case by not addressing the violence at its heart. Nor did Stokes, apologising only ‘to my team-mates, coaches and support staff’, and then ‘to England supporters and to the public for bringing the game into disrepute’. The implicit next step was to rebuild that reputation. It might have been easier had his court defence not meant that he wasn’t game to admit any fault at all. It might have been easier if he or his advisers had been willing to change tack once the trial was done. Imagine a world where Stokes had stood outside court and apologised for overreacting, for the injuries he’d caused, and for the time and energy he had sucked out of other people’s lives. That would have been a show of responsibility beyond a scorecard. When the time came around to assess forgiveness, it might have meant forgiveness was deserved.
Hey, so my old account got compromised and due to some issues I couldn’t fix it. So I’m reposting from where I left off. Feel free to suggest more than 100 since we were nearly there anyway.
Convince a loan shark to forgive a mans debt
Helping a poor lad win a race so that he can win the heart of his crush.
Babysit for a friendly fey power-couple whose magically-gifted children love playing games like "the floor is made of lava," "don't let the balloon touch the ground," and "freeze tag."
Light all the sacred shrine lanterns along a deserted mountain trail.
Investigate the site of a meteor crash in the deep woods.
Track down a cow that broke free from the herd and return it to the farmer (alive)
convince someones child not to become a soldie adventurer.
Convince someone's parents that they should allow their child to be a soldier or adventurer.
Take a lesson from a BARD and make a performance.
Use your spells to aide in a Play or performance.
Look into strange happenings around town. (It's just restless kids/ teens playing pranks)
Take some food/ supplies to the orphanage outside of town.
Help gather food for the upcoming celebratory feast (fruit from the orchard, grain or vegetables from the fields, herbs and mushrooms from the forest, etc. Choose what makes most sense in your setting)
Harvest honey from a certain beehive with the sweetest honey. The bees there are notoriously ornery.
Gather rare medicinal herbs to help the local healer brew a salve for Little Timmy who's sick.
The town's blacksmith has broken his arm. Figure out a way to keep the town supplied until he's back on his feet.
An NPC's party is a total snooze fest. Liven it up. Let your players interpret that as they wish...
Negotiate with the local kobold tribe over mining rights and dues.
Spy on the populace for a local lord, to find the insurrectionists.
Convince a proud weapon smith to make plow shares, instead of his legendary blades. (The blades end up sentient and cursed after so many battles.)
Infiltrate a thieves guild, to unmask the new “Puppet Master.”
Rebuild a home destroyed by bandits
Help a local cleric move a sofa
Re-light a signal fire on top of a mountain
Participate in a talent show
Challenge the village bullies to a game of basketball
Deliver secret letters for two star crossed lovers from rival houses.
Solve the murder mystery.
Find the elven queen and get magical soil and seeds to heal the recently cleaned blighted forest.
Win a tournament of carnival games.
Win a pokecard/dice tournament.
Deliver a love letter.
Take a group to the school prom.
Fix up a bunch of broken items in the shopkeeper’s place.
Be a member of the jury for a very grey case
Set up trade agreements between competing guilds to help alleviate the amount of sabotage in the business.
Train a group of guards in how to anticipate the often unpredictable actions of adventurers.
Host a support group for "I think my child might be turning evil"
Resolve a miner’s strike for the local magistrate.
Save a servant’s job by finding the missing silver and prove she didn’t pilfer it.
Raise funds from the tight-fisted local aristocracy to build an orphanage for the children orphaned by the recent war, to which the local aristocracy was heavily called upon to financially support by the Baron/Duchess/Queen, etc.
Perform a puppet show for the children of a fey court to keep them entertained and out of mischief while their parents/guardians attend court.
Collect living magical beasts for the local Countess’s Mystical Menagerie.
Take the Baroness’s teenage son on a “heroic adventure” as he is enamored with adventurers and longs for an epic quest, but is socially awkward, bad with weapons, clumsy, and so far unable to learn even cantrips. They are forbidden from placing him in front of any real threat. Do they put on a completely faux adventure or attempt to build his confidence and teach him skills?
Prove the innocence of a man accused of theft of a noble's jewels
Find a way to repair a large windmill that helps drive the town
Put on a play for a group of orphans after the local actor troupe quit
Interview witnesses of a possible murder
Interview applicants for the job of henchman
Get alchemical supplies for healing potions to a remote town dealing with a disease outbreak
Deal with a noble's son bullying and throwing his weight around
Plan security for a festival. They have to be careful, too tight and it's no fun. Too loose, and it can get out of hand. Include different areas where things can go wrong (party boats, shooting range, stuff for kids in the morning).
A local orphanage is going to be shut down. The only way to keep it open is to win the cash prize at the local talent show/battle of the bands.
A series of combat fake-outs where a siege turns out to be a festival, but the party needs to convince them to clear a path from the front gate. Then some marauders attack but it turns out they're just larping, but they are still bothering travelers, etc.
Help Catsy Cline the tabaxi farmer do chores around her farm with lots of unusual creatures.
Help a group of mourners put on a funeral. You'll need to play music and cater food.
Try to beat the Fairy Godfather at a casino game to win a magic item.
A woman's flock of prize chickens were spooked away by last night's storm. They look to be a different breed than most other chickens in the area. Help her round them up safe and sound and she'll give you a warm meal and a small reward.
A young boy asks for help to find his runaway family dog. He gives you a shabby old blanket covered in fur and tells you it was her favorite. Under the smudges of mud and dead leaves, you notice finely embroidered clothes that suggest that he comes from a wealthy family.
A performer who was supposed to make an appearance at the tavern the party is staying at hasn't shown up yet. Either find them or stall for time so the crowd doesn't get bored!
A house party in the city has been getting lots of noise complaints. Break it up and send the drunk guests home.
A little girl's direcat got stuck in a tree.
A wizard's familiar is going on strike. Apparently it doesn't like dying so much.
Find a very small lost item.
Be bodyguards for someone who just wants them for the prestige. They are incredibly irritating but under no threat of violence.
Retrieve a blink dog or semi intangible animal.
Write a diplomatic letter for an inept ruler to prevent disaster.
Help out local farmers before the first frost rolls in.
Babysit a powerfully magical infant.
Rescue a cat from a giant magical tree (its near the top)
Find and bring back a child lost in a maze (the maze changes and uses illusions)
Fill in for some performers who are unavailable (sick, hurt, left). Could be a play, stunts, music, etc. (lots of role playing, write an outline of challenges they'll encounter during it)
Help someone find a loophole in a contact with a demon / fey
Gather rare ingredients for a particular perfume, poison, or potion for an alchemist.
Help the local blacksmith with their next armor piece.
Baby sit a bunch of old time adventures with dementia. Their class abilities are still intact, they're just senile.
Someone seeks help in solving a magical puzzle box they inherited from a family member.
Plant some false information, either by rumour, or in letter form. Make sure the correct people learn this information. Bonuses for making them believe it comes from an enemy of theirs, not the player, and is supposed to be secret.
Help a local chef win a cook off by gathering his necessary exotic ingredients (marketplace, dark market, going and getting them yourself from the wilderness)
Go with a dragon studies professor to study a dragon's habits.
A changling has a sword pulled on them by their friends after telling them they're a changling.
Declog a sewer pipe in the sewers beneath the city. There is a homeless werebeaver living there that is unknowingly building a dam, causing the blockage, during full moons.
Track down a cowardly sentient ooze with a magic item.
Win a poetry competition in a cave of intelligent pacifist orcs
Help a lone forest dweller unblock the mountain path from storm debris
Help an astral dragon return to its home plane.
Help with rebuilding an intricate shrine so the settlement it's built around can receive the blessing of its god(s) once more. Proper reconstruction probably requires it to be partly made of rare materials using exotic techniques.
Help the festival planners in preventing an important festival competition/election/nomination from being rigged.
Accompany a famous explorer(s) as they seek to catalog new sights with the aid of 'fresh yet experienced perspectives'.
Rescue a merchant caravan trapped in a stormy mountain pass.
Tutor a newborn demigodlike being in mortal matters, so that it can blend in with the mortal family it is raised with.
Help the local government investigate and assess candidates for an office of high esteem, requiring specific traits e.g. unwavering loyalty, honesty, a propensity for pragmatism, etc.
Bring a renowned artist to somewhere they've never been so they can become inspired once more.
One of the locals owns a hyperactive blink dog as a pet. Recently they hurt their leg so need someone to take it for a walk. WCGW.
Recover several missing sandbags and get them to the town before the coming storm.
Be lab rats for a potion maker
Help out with a concert by a traveling bard by doing behind the scenes stuff
Be actors in a play
Help extinguish a large fire
Give a lecture on adventuring to some students
Find a way to open a mysterious old door that's been locked for centuries.
Retrieve a bunch of magical animals for a wizard
Broker a peace treaty between two warring kingdoms.
Help a lost child find their parents.
Rehabilitate a criminal seeking redemption back into society.
Fix the town's well
Mend the relationship of two old friends who were partners in a vital business to the village
This probably shouldn't be here, but this is every Sonic game and their levels that I can remember on the spot.
Sonic 1 (16-bit): Green Hill, Marble, Spring Yard, Labyrinth, Star Light, Scrap Brain, Final Sonic 1 (8-bit): Green Hill, Bridge, Jungle, Labyrinth, Scrap Brain, Sky Base Sonic 2 (8-bit): Under Ground, Sky High, Aqua Lake, Green Hills, Gimmick Mt. Scrambled Egg, Crystal Egg Sonic 2 (16-bit): Emerald Hill, Chemical Plant, Aquatic Ruin, Casino Night, Hill Top, Mystic Cave, Oil Ocean, Metropolis, Sky Chase, Wing Fortress, Death Egg Sonic CD: Palmtree Panic, Collision Chaos, Tidal Tempest, Quartz Quadrant, Wacky Workbench, Stardust Speedway, Metallic Madness Sonic Chaos: Turquoise Hill, Gigalopolis, Sleeping Egg, Mecha Green Hill, Aqua Planet, Electric Egg SegaSonic the Hedgehog: Volcanic Vault, Icy Isle, Desert Dodge, Trap Tower, Landslide Limbo, Wild Water Way, Eggman's Tower Sonic 3: Angel Island, Hydrocity, Marble Garden, Carnival Night, Ice Cap, Launch Base Sonic & Knuckles: Mushroom Hill, Flying Battery, Sandopolis, Lava Reef, Hidden Palace, Sky Sanctuary, Death Egg, The Doomsday Sonic Triple Trouble: Great Turquoise, Sunset Park, Meta Junglira, Robotnik Winter, Tidal Plant, Atomic Destroyer Knuckles' Chaotix Isolated Island, Botanic Base, Speed Slider, Amazing Arena, Techno Tower, Marina Madness Sonic 3D Blast: Green Grove, Rusty Ruin, Spring Stadium, Diamond Dust, Volcano Valley, Gene Gadget, Panic Puppet, The Final Fight Sonic Adventure: Emerald Coast, Windy Valley, Casinopolis, Icecap, Twinkle Park, Speed Highway, Red Mountain, Sky Deck, Hot Shelter*, Lost World, Final Egg * E-102 Gamma, Amy, and Big only Sonic the Hedgehog Pocket Adventure: Neo South Island, Secret Plant, Cosmic Casino, Aquatic Relix, Sky Chase, Aerobase, Gigantic Angel, Last Utopia, Chaotic Space Sonic Adventure 2: City Escape, Metal Harbor, Green Forest, Pyramid Cave, Crazy Gadget, Final Rush Wild Canyon, Pumpkin Hill, Aquatic Mine, Death Chamber, Meteor Herd Prison Lane, Mission Street, Route 101, Hidden Base, Eternal Engine Radical Highway, White Jungle, Sky Rail, Final Chase Dry Lagoon, Egg Quarters, Security Hall, Route 280, Mad Space Iron Gate, Sand Ocean, Lost Colony, Weapons Bed, Cosmic Wall Sonic Advance: Neo Green Hill, Secret Base, Casino Paradise, Ice Mountain, Angel Island, Egg Rocket, Cosmic Angel, X-Zone, The Moon Sonic Advance 2: Leaf Forest, Hot Crater, Music Plant, Ice Paradise, Sky Canyon, Techno Base, Egg Utopia, XX, True Area 53 Sonic Heroes: Seaside Hill, Ocean Palace, Grand Metropolis, Power Plant, Casino Park, BINGO Highway, Rail Canyon, Bullet Station, Frog Forest, Lost Jungle, Hang Castle, Mystic Mansion, Egg Fleet, Final Fortress Sonic Advance 3: Route 99, Sunset Hill, Ocean Base, Toy Kingdom, Twinkle Snow, Cyber Track, Chaos Angel, Altar Emerald, Nonaggression Sonic Rush: Leaf Storm, Water Palace, Mirage Road, Night Carnival, Huge Crisis, Altitude Limit, Dead Line, Unknown, Exception Sonic Rivals: Forest Falls, Colosseum Highway, Sky Park, Crystal Mountain, Death Yard, Meteor Base Sonic the Hedgehog: Wave Ocean, Dusty Desert, White Acropolis, Crisis City, Flame Core, Radical Train, Tropical Jungle, Kingdom Valley, Aquatic Base, End of the World Sonic Rush Adventure: Plant Kingdom, Machine Labyrinth, Coral Cave, Haunted Ship, Sky Babylon, Blizzard Peaks, Pirates' Island, Big Swell, Deep Core Sonic Rivals 2: Blue Coast, Sunset Forest, Neon Palace, Frontier Canyon, Mystic Haunt, Chaotic Inferno Sonic and the Secret Rings: Lost Prologue, Sand Oasis, Dinosaur Jungle, Evil Foundry, Levitated Ruin, Pirate Storm, Skeleton Dome, Night Palace Sonic Unleashed: Windmill Isle, Savannah Citadel, Rooftop Run, Cool Edge, Arid Sands, Skyscraper Scamper, Jungle Joyride, Eggmanland Sonic Colors: Tropical Resort, Sweet Mountain, Starlight Carnival, Planet Wisp, Aquarium Park, Asteroid Coaster, Terminal Velocity Sonic Lost World: Windy Hill, Desert Ruins, Tropical Coast, Frozen Factory, Silent Forest, Sky Road, Lava Mountain Sonic Mania: Angel Island*, Green Hill, Chemical Plant, Studiopolis, Flying Battery, Press Garden, Stardust Speedway, Hydrocity, Mirage Saloon, Oil Ocean Lava Reef, Metallic Madness, Titanic Monarch, Egg Reverie *Encore Mode only Sonic Forces: Lost Valley, Spaceport, Ghost Town, Prison Hall, Egg Gate, Arsenal Pyramid, Luminous Forest, Green Hill, Park Avenue, Casino Forest, Aqua Road, Sunset Heights, Capital City, Chemical Plant, Red Gate Bridge, Guardian Rock, Network Terminal, Death Egg, Metropolitan Highway, Null Space, Imperial Tower, Mortar Canyon, Iron Fortress, Final Judgement (will edit when new games are released)
Hey everyone! I know that describing the BEST tourist attraction/sight in each country might be controversial or subjective, but I would to receive better knowledge from you locals by describing what is without a doubt the well-recognized site in your country. I watched some Geography Now videos but probably some of locals may disagree.... So far, I have learnt the following is more well-known by country. Eiffel Tower in Paris, France. Big Ben Clock Tower or Buckingham Palace in London, England in the UK. Colosseum in Rome or the Leaning Tower of Pisa in Pisa, Italy Mount Fuji in Japan The Great Wall in northern part of China (also the Tiananmen Square in Beijing.) Parthenon in Athens Greece The Pyramid and the Great Spynx in Giza, Egypt Chichen Itza in Yucatán, Mexico Angkor Wat in Siem Reap, Cambodia Taj Mahal in Agra, India Machu Picchu in Cuzco, Peru Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany. The Mermaid Statue in Copenhagen, Denmark. Kremlin in Moscow, Russia. Blue Lagoon in southwestern Iceland Christ the Reedemer in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil Angel Falls in Auyán-tepui, Venezuela ENORMOUS AMOUNT OF EXQUISITE SITES IN THE USA (My 2nd home for 2 decades) which I cannot choose one, thus Statue of Liberty in New York, Mt Rushmore in South Dakota, Hollywood Mountain in Los Angeles Casinos in Las Vegas, Nevada. Palmetto Tree in South Carolina (my home state) The Alps in Switzerland Mt Kilimanjaro in Tanzania. Burj Khalifa in Dubai, UAE. Pha That Luang in Vientiane, Laos. Anne Frank’s House and the Windmill pipe tower in the Netherlands. The Parliament Building in Budapest, Hungary. Maybe..... The Hill of Crosses in Šiauliai, Lithuania. Charles Bridge in Prague or the Brno Cathedral (one that is surrounded with many buildings) which both are in Czech Republic. Either the Saragada Familia in Barcelona or the Alhambra Palace in Grenada which both are in Spain. Oceans in Portugal (Portuguese LOVE their sea) Boracay Beaches in the Philippines (which is my birth country) I did not went to the following countries, I am extremely passionate at Geography ever since the age of 5. Geography Now Barby is my man for this field of study. I played “Tetris Plus” on Playstation and “The Illusion of Gaia” (PAL version title: “The Illusion of Time”) on Super Nintendo (Japan: Super Famicom). Both games influenced me to savour the sights of each country. Please correct me if my observation skills are severely flawed or if you want to disagree with me, though I am still learning. Thank so much for your precious time to read my post! (-^) Here is the URL as my reference. https://www.insider.com/best-tourist-attractions-in-countries-around-the-world-2019-7#iceland-blue-lagoon-16
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