• The August 2017 Writers' Study Safari

    The August 2017 Writers’ Study Safari
    By Caillagh de Bodemloze

    Welcome, all, to the Writers’ Study Safari.

    It’s been a long time since the last brave group of explorers dared to enter the Writers’ Study and view the glorious countryside and fascinating natives found in there. The leader of that last expedition – one of our finest men – is unfortunately… no longer available… to lead this safari. We have, however, made one or two changes since that last expedition, and I’m… moderately sure our new safety precautions will be adequate.

    Just to be certain, however, I would advise you to keep your hands, heads and belongings inside the vehicle at all times while travelling. Please do not attempt to feed the driver.

    There have been far too many Writers’ Study competition results since the last safari for me to draw all of the victors to your attention, but, as we pass through the competition areas, please offer a hearty cheer for Heiro de Bodemloze, the winner of Tale of the Week 263, with a theme of ‘Falling’. Please also applaud Tigellinus, the winner of Monthly Creative Writing Competition XV, with his Universal Dynasty: Dusk of the Old and NCR, who won Monthly AAR Competition LXX with A Dutch Resurgence.

    We move on now to more dangerous areas of the Writers’ Study. I would advise you to keep a sharp eye out for parties of attackers, which are a danger in all of the AAR subforums. Please follow any instructions given to you by the Writers’ Study imps – they are experts in dealing with all forms of AAR, and will defend themselves with great proficiency. If you remain near them, there is a reasonable chance they will also defend you.

    There are far too many new and continuing AARs for us to have the chance to see more than a very few in this safari, sadly. We would encourage you to return for future safaris if you would like to see more of them – or, of course, you can arrange your own individual tour of any part of the Writers’ Study you wish.

    In our Warhammer section, our most recent AAR is Studies of the WAAAGH!!! by Mercenary2479. This is the story of Emil Bickenstadt, his astonishingly long lifespan, and his life’s work – the titular Studies of the WAAAGH!!!. It’s full of colourful characters engaged in colourful action, and its warmth and humour make it well worth reading.

    As we pass into our historical sections, please remember that flash photography is not permitted, even from inside the vehicle, as the flashes startle the historical characters and may make them aggressive. Or, well, even more aggressive than usual...

    Attila and his hordes seem to have been plundering elsewhere recently, but in our Rome II enclosure, we find TheGovna and his story of The Restoration of Epirus. In style, this is a more traditional AAR than Mercenary2479’s, with details of at least some of the actions taken by TheGovna as the player of the game, and mention of turns – but it beautifully bridges the divide between the traditional style and a more fictionalised style of narrative by also describing the actions of generals and faction leaders as their own actions, as if they were real people. As if this were not enough, TheGovna combines this with excellent screenshots.

    Over to your left you will find Andraste’s Children by our very own Content Director, Alwyn. Alwyn gives us a great adventure packed with interesting characters – some of whom may, or may not, be guided by the gods. We are also very pleased to have an AAR by a newcomer to the Writers' Study; Welsh Dragon's Toutatis Favours the Brave. So far, this has only two chapters, but with prophecies and a hero already established, it's off to a brilliant, and very atmospheric, start.

    Napoleon, somewhat surprisingly, brings us a tale of the First World War, recounted in very dramatic detail by a veteran, with Nous Pauvre Couillons du Front by theSilentKiller, while in the Empire forum we find a tale of pirates and mad naval officers in A Dutch Resurgence, a story of the revival of the Dutch which has been revived for us by NCR.

    As you might expect, life in medieval times is full of hustle and bustle, hurly and burly, and as we drive slowly through the Medieval II streets, you will see uncountable numbers of things are going on around us. I’ll point out just a few. Over here, we have something unusual – an AAR which is the retelling of a Hotseat Game – Jadli’s The Dragonborn Comes. Just a little further along, we see a group of longstanding AARtists – Seven of Spades, who has recently completed his intrigue and conflict-filled story of the papal states The Scepter of the See, Roman Heritage, who has recently returned to the Writers’ Study and is continuing the epic tale of the Eastern Roman Empire in Historia Rhomaike, and of course Alavaria with his world-dominating Pisans in Dreadbolt.

    But still Medieval II has not finished with us, for here we also find some of our newest authors of AARs: The Best of Luck, bringing us a story – told from several different points of view – of what the Republic of Novgorod hopes will be its rise, in Republican Ambitions; HuliganFish, who shares with us his account of the fascinating characters and politics behind a Polish attempt at conquest in Upon the wings of eagles; and Lament, who writes an engaging and entertaining narrative of Prussia and its enemies (all of whom are described as entirely feeble and completely lacking in every honourable instinct) in Imposing Order – Teutonic Order.

    Over in Eras, things are, perhaps thankfully, a little quieter; a chance to catch our breath after the crowds gathered in Medieval II, and perhaps to take a moment to step out of the vehicle and experience some AARs from up close. And there are many things well worth seeing. For instance, Nad’s EB v1.21 AAR, which describes, in few words but with very effective screenshots, his Roman campaign. Or, alternatively, why not try Justinian Australis’s long-running The Last Pagan Emperor. His characters are brought to life with carefully-chosen phrases and descriptions, and the action is always exciting.

    The last of our AAR sections is burgeoning also, with a new Football Manager 2012 AAR, Homecoming by Heiro de Bodemloze. This is a very new AAR, but already Heiro is giving us a clear idea of his main character and introducing us to the decisions he will need to make.

    - - -

    Sorry to rush you, ladies and gentlemen, but if you could make your way back to the vehicle in an orderly manner… thank you… no, it’s best not to follow the imps, they have… well, an impish sense of humour, and we have previously lost several guests that way…

    Excellent! Now, the only remaining part of the Writers’ Study is the Creative Writing section. As you will immediately realise from the title, it is easily the most dangerous area of the Writers’ Study, as absolutely anything can happen. Our AAR forums are filled with predictable dangers; our Creative Writing section is full of potentially life-threatening surprises. The only way to truly appreciate some of the treasures found here is by leaving the vehicle, so we have a few additional rules here. Please stay close to your assigned imp. Their sense of humour is… unusual, I admit, but they are very thoroughly trained in dealing with dangerous situations, and their instinct for self-preservation is quite remarkable. If your imp shows signs of anxiety, it’s best to run as fast as possible back to the safety vehicle. Please do not lose sight of the vehicle at any time, and please remain alert.

    There is, of course, more here than we could possibly have time to see in just one visit. A few of the recent highlights of our Creative Writing section will have to be enough – but please do make your own individual appointment to return and see all those things we don’t have time for today!

    We begin with two of the more unusual items found here. Caligula’s Anthology of Tales is not just an anthology of tales in general, as the title suggests, but is in fact a relatively new collection of all Caligula’s entries to Tale of the Week. Lord of the Drunk Penguin, on the other hand, has been adding to his poetry collection, Some Poems since 2013. If you haven’t read them, these are recommended as threads you can dip into briefly without needing to keep track of an ongoing story.

    We do, however, have many ongoing stories it’s worth keeping track of. For instance, you could try ♔Old Dragoon♔’s tale of the Eastern Roman Empire, AD USQUE FIDELIS, with flashbacks set in and around the Nika Riots, told from the point of view of several people who were there. There is a mystery to be solved, and lives may be at stake – both the flashbacks and the present-day sections are full of tension and drama.

    From the Eastern Roman Empire, we move to Romania in the ninth century, with O Poveste Rumânească: Traian și Natia. The Best of Luck is giving us the story of Traian and Natia – and since he’s already told us that Traian will one day be known as ‘the Great’, I think we can expect plenty of excitement, along with the character development he’s already providing.

    m_1512’s Forgotten Tales of Germania is well known to all of us for its characters, its haunting atmosphere, and its intricacy – so you will all be as thrilled as I was to learn that m_1512 has recently posted a new chapter for us.

    The Tale of the White Leopard, Admiral Van Tromp’s low-fantasy account of the eventful and dramatic life of Silander, is also continuing. Silander, who started out as a trainee scribe, has failed to progress very far in his career, but he has had many adventures – although to say more would be to spoil the story.

    Also providing us with adventure and intrigue is Swords Made of Letters by Basileos Leandros I. This story weaves together assorted threads from around Europe in the period just before the Second World War. There is clearly some kind of conspiracy; there is obviously espionage. Will anyone be able to put the pieces together and work out who is behind all of this and what they are trying to do?

    A new arrival in the Creative Writing section is Pax Res Republica by isa0005. Although only one section of this has been posted so far, it promises to be a collection showing the lives of ordinary Romans during the later days of the Roman Republic.

    And, of course, we cannot leave the Creative Writing enclosure without taking a brief look at SoulGamesInc’s Game of Thrones: Long and Sharp. This A Song of Ice and Fire fan-fiction has been running for over a year now. It tells the story of Arthur, a boy born into the House Reyne, but brought up within the household of the Lannisters – the people who destroyed House Reyne. As always, SoulGamesInc’s very thorough grasp of even the finest of details within A Song of Ice and Fire is apparent in every line.

    Alas, we must now return to the safety vehicle so that our authors can return to their work, but the Writers’ Study is always open for individual visits, and the authors are always grateful for support and encouragement. Ah - I am reminded by the Senior Imp that the Writers’ Study imps also like support and encouragement, although it is best not to give them too much caffeine, or they do become somewhat jittery.

    The Writers’ Study staff and imps thank you for joining us on this brief safari. We hope you have enjoyed it, and we look forward to seeing you all again in the Writers’ Study.

    Please form an orderly queue as you wait to enter the vehicle. No doubt the door will open just as soon as the driver wakes up. In the meantime, please remain calm...
    Comments 10 Comments
    1. Johnadiw26's Avatar
      Johnadiw26 -
      congratulation to all winner, so many an excellent AAR to read, I love how @de Bodemloze style to introduces the AAR's, well done.
    1. Welsh Dragon's Avatar
      Welsh Dragon -
      Wow, thank you for including my story in your guided tour. I'm happy to report that a third chapter of Toutatis Favours the Brave went up just the other day, with a fourth and more in the works. Also congratulations to the competition winners, and I look forward to reading some of the other works detailed here soon.

      All the Best, Welsh Dragon.
    1. Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar
      Caillagh de Bodemloze -
      Thank you, Johnadiw26, that's very kind!

      Welsh Dragon, you're very welcome. And I'm very happy to hear there's more of your AAR (and even more planned)!
    1. Shankbot de Bodemloze's Avatar
      Shankbot de Bodemloze -
      A great article, really handy if like me you are useless at keeping an eye on the scene - many thanks for summarising for us.

      Can I book a slot on the next safari?
    1. Owlparrot3's Avatar
      Owlparrot3 -
      What i dont understand is does this review only post links to stories of winners???But then what about NCR .
    1. Owlparrot3's Avatar
      Owlparrot3 -

      This story is good too and updated more than many others on this list .Reallity stories are bitter but also sweet ,for once pause the medivalistic magical and ancient stories and try reading recent stories and you will began to love them too .
    1. Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar
      Caillagh de Bodemloze -
      No, mad orc, this was not intended to contain only competition winners. It includes other AARs and Creative Writing, chosen from the pieces that had been most recently updated when I wrote it. There are far too many pieces in the WS for me to include all of them!

      Thank you, Shankbot!

      Tickets for the next safari can be obtained from the imps stationed next to the exits.
    1. Admiral Van Tromp's Avatar
      Admiral Van Tromp -
      Just saw this. Nicely done! Is it to become a regular summary? (Apologies if it already is and I never noticed )
    1. Tigellinus's Avatar
      Tigellinus -
      Quote Originally Posted by mad orc View Post

      This story is good too and updated more than many others on this list .Reallity stories are bitter but also sweet ,for once pause the medivalistic magical and ancient stories and try reading recent stories and you will began to love them too .
      Want to start this off with: Fantastic job Caillagh! Also, gratitude for the mention of UD!

      Mad Orc@: I hope it has not offended you. But, as Cailagh said, there are way too many Creative Writing pieces and AARS for him to get to them all.

      However, I do want to point something out. We all have perspective and taste. So, stating that people will love a certain story so long as they read it isn't strictly true by any sense. I, for one, hate romance novels.

      I'm just not a romantic.

      But, don't fret too much, my friend. I'm sure your works will get mentioned next time

      Kind regards to you all,

    1. Caillagh de Bodemloze's Avatar
      Caillagh de Bodemloze -
      (I completely missed those last two comments till now - sorry about that.)

      Thank you, Admiral Van Tromp, that's very kind. We used to have something similar to this, in blog posts written for us by Merchant of Venice, but it hasn't been something we've done for a while. I'm hoping it will become a regular (or irregular - every so often, even if not at specified regular intervals) feature, although obviously the final say on that rests with Alwyn, as the Critic's Quill Content Director.

      Tigellinus, thank you. You're also very kind. (And you're very welcome for the mention of UD. Having won the most recent MCWC pretty much guaranteed you a mention this time round. )