• Scriptorium Editorial for March 2017

    Winter has come, and gone, and with it so has 2016's edition of the Scriptorium Writing Competition. This has been by far one of the more interesting competitions: lowest number of entrants ever has attracted the largest number of votes in quite some time and produced the closest competition in recent memory with no clear gold winner until the very end.

    We would also like to thank Gunny and DarrenTotalWar for their generosity in providing us with DLC keys to give out to the winnerr. A special shout out goes to Atthias who helped us avoid a difficult situation by letting us know that the White Dwarf became free dlc.

    Also we would like to thank the awesome awesome guys over at the Critics Quill & Writer's Study (in particular Alwyn and Caillagh) for participating in, and coming up with the idea of, the first ever joint editorial, Hader and Flinn for actively helping us make this a success as well everyone who helped promote the Writing Competition by using the sig-bar. You have our gratitude.

    Top News

    Competition Winners

    Overall Winners
    1st: [B]: The Sands of jaffa by Thesmellypocket
    2nd: The Sins We Forget by Rabbit55821 and Caterina's Death by Tigellinus
    3rd: Avarice by Salah ad Din Yusuf

    Librarian's Choice
    -[B] Neko Haiku by Gunny and The Worst They Could by Kyriakos

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    Other News

    We are hiring! Feel free to send me a message if you would like to join the best part of TWC content staff and work for the community!
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    Recent Articles

    Below is a list of all articles added to the Scriptorium catalogs in the past months.

    Recently Added Articles

    February 2016
    [History] Vipsania Agrippina

    March 2016
    [History] The Development of IRA Counter-Mobility Operations 1919-1921

    June 2016
    [Tutorial] How to use the Official Modding Tools
    [History] Fierce as Fire, Immovable as a Mountain: Oda Nobunaga's war against Takeda Shingen Added
    [History] Hideyoshi by Mary Elizabeth Berry
    [History] The Drama of Drama: One of the First Uprisings Against the Axis
    [History] Achaemenid Chronology
    [History] The Iberians: Compilated Information
    [Guide] Being an Admin in a Hotseat Game

    July 2016
    [History] The Rise of Ming and the Conquest of China
    [TW Guide] How to Win with the Dwarves on VH/VH

    August 2016
    [Computers] PC Optimization Guide

    October 2016
    [TW Guide] Turtling in TATW and MOS
    [TW Guide] The PALANTIR Unit Guide for Third Age v3.2
    [History] Napoleon and the Conclusion of the Military Revolution
    [Computers] Computer Terminology Explained
    [History] Shapur and the First Roman-Sassanid War
    [Computers] How to fix the Safedisk issue affecting older Total War Games
    [Games] Recommended MPC Rules
    [TW Guide] A Short Guide to Greatness for your King Governors and Generals

    November 2016
    [Sociology] Bullying
    [Miscellaneous] Coping with Stress - The Last Supper

    December 2016
    A Guide on How to Give Advice
    [History] The Libyan Kingdom of the Garmatians

    January 2017
    Getting Started - Modding for Newbies Added

    February 2017
    RMV2 Converter v1.1
    How to Create A New Faction (from existing faction) Using the Assembly Kit and PFM
    [History] Medieval Nubian Kingdoms
    Add custom animated bow
    [History] The Mauryan Empire

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    Article Reviews

    1st place, The Sands of Jaffa, by Thesmellypocket - review by Alwyn

    An army of Saracens vastly outnumber the small band of Frankish knights commanded by King Richard. We would expect Richard and his men to be afraid. Part of the brilliance of this story is that it shows how the courage of the larger Saracen army was devoured by fear. We can see how the fear grows, as Frankish knights advance with their “heavy feet” on the pleasant sands - they are powerful, armoured warriors - and the “unstoppable” force of these knights, despite a barrage of missiles. The Frankish knights are inspired by the courage of King Richard, the lion-hearted leader who leads from the front. This story also shows us King Richard not only as a lion-hearted leader, but as a man with emotions, a three-dimensional character. We see King Richard’s thoughts and feelings, his sympathy for the slain Saracens and his self-doubt as he leads his men against overwhelming odds. The brilliant use of contrasts multiplies the impact of this story, culminating in the ending “Palestine’s coast had been restored” which contrasts with the slaughter which has created “a disgusting mass of blood and flesh” in what had been “delightful streets”.

    Personally I have quite liked Thesmellypocket's entry and am happy that it received a gold medal from our beleoved community.

    - Alwyn

    joint 2nd place, The Sins We Forget, by Rabbit55821 - review by Settra

    In what was a very interesting competition, The Sins We Forget manages to take the definition of interesting to a whole new level. When we first announced the theme we were afraid that people would find it confusing but Rabbit55821 has taken it in stride and managed to produce an entry which is both themed and non-themed, action packed while completely devoid of action by skilled usage of a single concept: implication.

    Rabbit has written a short story in which nothing is given, everything is debatable, everything is uncertain. It is implied that humanity will perish, it is implied that the betrayal at the end will occur, it is implied that one character lacks a conscience or a spine. Everything is implied, nothing is revealed for Rabbit has managed to pull off something which very few other people can, he managed to create the perfect cliffhanger. And he did all of that by using only dialog and very few descriptors of any kind. The style of the dialog is direct, blunt and very clear making the entry both easy to read and easy to understand. As mentioned above the entry is completely devoid of action yet abounds in the implication of ulterior action which does tend to make the imagination go wild and raise many questions. If there's one complaint it's that the characters seem a bit unidimensional, but in all honesty one cannot expect anything more from something this short and sweet.

    Even though the Sands of Jaffa has, deservedly, won the gold medal I will go ahead and say that this is my favorite entry of this year and I will happily award it with the Silver medal.

    - Settra

    joint 2nd place, Caterina's Death, Tigellinus - review by Caillagh

    Catherina’s Death plunges the reader straight into the heart of the action, without pausing to explain anything. From there, Tigellinus gradually gives us more details, leading us further into the story of two brothers on opposite sides of a battle. We see Kaldratos discovering his wife has been shot – and we watch as he realises that he will not be able to save her. We follow him into his pain and his anger, and we know that he will seek revenge for his loss. Tigellinus has taken us from having very little information about his world and his story to feeling almost that we are there with Kaldratos, all the action and drama having led us to this one moment of enormous tragedy for one man.

    If there's one thing our audience seems to love is well written tragedy, for this entry has been deemed worthy of the Silver Medal.

    - Caillagh

    3rd place, Avarice, by Salah ad Din Yusuf - review by Shankbot de Bodemloze

    'Avarice' is another poem entered into this year's Scriptorium Writing Competition, and it too offers plenty of opportunity for analysis. As the title indicates, greed and desire are the main themes that run throughout this poem. The second stanza showcases the destructive nature of these themes, with even the highest civilisations being corrupted by the need of wealth and driven by the lust for excess. This is reinforced by words such as 'invaders' and 'horde' which further enhance the imagery the poet is trying to create. In contrast to such ideas is the desert setting of the poem and its structure; the beautiful simplicity of them both is in sharp difference to the poem's contents and strengthens the message it is trying to convey - a warning against greed.

    With both obvious and more subtle messages against avarice, one can't help but draw current social parallels to this fantastic poem, whether intended or not. The community seems to agbree with me for it has decided to grant Salah ad Din Yusuf's aptly named Avarice a respectable 3rd place and a shiny Bronze Medal

    - Shankbot de Bodemloze

    joint Librarian's Choice, Neko Haiku, Gunny - review by Shankbot de Bodemloze

    'Neko Haiku' is a fantastic little entry into the Scriptorium Writing Competition, focusing on the relationship between the speaker and his cat. Haiku's have a number of technical requirements, including the well known five-seven-five structure, which the poet manages to fulfil. Some of my favourite aspects include the modern, subtle take on the traditional seasonal reference found in haiku's - the whole theme of the poem focusing on cats and love in haiku poetry is a well-known symbolism of spring, reinforced by the reference to 'yellow eyes', another colour symbolic of this season. Another is the effective cutting that is present, signified with the word 'But', which is delivered with a powerful simplicity founded in how easily the emotions of annoyance and love contrast and are relatable with the phrases the poet uses in the second and third lines.

    There are more features of this entry to comment on, but hopefully these brief examples show how this haiku, despite its simple appearance and length, is skillfully crafted by the poet, who offers a lot to explore and analyse. To summarise, the short and simple appearance of this haiku shouldn't detract from the skill used to craft it nor the quality of the poet's work. With subtle references and powerful but relatable expressions of emotion, the poet has created a wonderful haiku which has been a pleasure to read and that is why we in the Scriptorium staff have decided to award Gunny with the Librarian's Choice medal.

    - Shankbot de Bodemloze

    joint Librarian's Choice Winner, The Worst They Could, Kyriakos - review by Maximinus Thrax

    Groundhog Day, The Mythological Edition

    I must confess that Kyriakos' Librarian Choice winning entry is one of the most interesting narrative pieces I've laid my eyes on lately here on TWC. This rather unusual entry addresses a theme dear to me, that of the fate of man, the struggle with the beastly creature that is Destiny, a creature dreaded even by the gods. How would a mortal being react if he was to know what's in store for him on the next corner? Would he back out, or would he try to challenge his destiny? In the race for survivability, the mortals hold a slight advantage over the gods: the fact that they can't predict their demise, as they can't foresee their own future through normal means. This leaves room for the mortals to try to shape their own path, mere pawns struggling to reach kingly status.

    Kyriakos' short story revolves around a few moments from the legendary journey of Oddysseus and his crew back to his home on the island of Ithaca, specifically their encounter with the monster Scylla. Extremely interesting choice to illustrate the fragility of life when facing the destiny. The author manages to capture and illustrate with artistic precision that brief moment suspended in time which can change everything in the life of man. The ominous silence that engulfs that fraction of a second before what appears to be the end of his path. A fraction of a second that is suggested to be repeating itself over and over again in a time loop just like the events from that early 90s movie mentioned in the title attached at the beginning of this brief review. Each time with newly-found strength to face the destiny, a feat only a mortal possesses.

    - Maximinus Thrax

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    Closing Remarks

    Thanks for everyone who participated in the competition, and congratulations to the winners! We had a lot of good entries and it was a close race for many of them. I hope you will take your time to enter again next time. And as said further up; We are hiring! So feel free to send me a message about that.

    If you have enjoyed this year's competition and looking for more of the same, or just want to read great stuff written by members of our little community please make sure to check out the ongoing Writer's Study Yearly Competition and their Tale of the Week competition by following the following links:

    Writer's Study Yearly and Monthly competitions

    Tale of the Week

    We hoped you liked out reviews. If you want more make sure to read the Critics Quill upcoming reviews, they're lengthier and far more in depth than what we usually do. I happen to know that Shankbot wrote two fantastic pieces.

    Make sure to check them out here

    The Scriptorium Team

    Settra - Chief Librarian & Editor
    joerock22 - Writer & Librarian
    Maximinus Thrax - Writer & Librarian
    Shankbot de Bodemloze - Writer & Librarian

    Guest Writers

    Alwyn - Writer's Study and Critics Quill Director
    Caillagh - Writer's Study and Critics Quill writer

    Beneath is included a selection of the many great publications and videos made by other parts of TWC's wonderful staff!

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    Comments 3 Comments
    1. Alwyn's Avatar
      Alwyn -
      Congratulations to the winners on your wonderful writing! Great reviews, Settra, Caillagh, Shankbot and Maximinus Thrax! Thanks to Settra and the Scriptorium team for allowing Caillagh and me to join you for this issue as guest writers!
    1. Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar
      Caillagh de Bodemloze -
      As Alwyn said - congratulations to all the winners! It's easy to see why it was a close competition.

      And thank you for the opportunity to write one of the reviews as a guest writer. It was great to be allowed to do that.
    1. Socrates1984's Avatar
      Socrates1984 -
      WOW! After this, I'll visit the Scriptorium frequently! I had no idea about the things one can find in there. It's a repository of wisdom and enjoyment whether it's TW guides, modding or wonderful reads.

      Also, congratulations to the winners!
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