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Messages - Operative13

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Fifth Community Vote Begins!

Pardon the seeming lack of engagement on my behalf... I should note that although I do try to keep to a rigid schedule, there always is that one thing that nags at us to attend to more important matters. That thing being Real Life. :unsure: Whatever the case may be, I've devoted myself to keeping this workshop up for 10 weeks, and that is exactly what I plan!  ;)

The next Writing Activity for this week is: Stream of Consciousness. You could write from anything. A certain character, an outside observer... so long as it has some particular focus in a story, whatever that story may be. ;)

Good Luck Fellow Writers!  8)

Also, congratulations to No Days Off!'s "Ravens and Revenants" for winning this week's Community Vote!  :thumbsup: Hope to see you guys keep it up until next week's vote  ;)

Better late than never, but I finally got around to reviewing "Ravens and Revenants" by No Days Off!  ;)

Ravens and Revenants - No Days Off! (Review)
Quite impressed by the story-telling techniques in this story. Much of it reads like a proper short story, going straight to descriptive and background details without so much as wasting time with useless details. There's quite a build of unique characters around, although I'm a tad concerned that some of these characters sound too alike in their dialogue... that and it's quite difficult to tell who's talking what.  :unsure: However I'm certain that can be fixed promptly with some good revisions. The story adequately covers the lore behind what's going on in this world and what kind of society these people live in, just touching upon it whenever it fits the current subject. It doesn't mindlessly dump information out of context, at least not so much where it becomes unwieldy, and it keeps the connections and world-building interesting and fresh as one can just picture what sort of world this might be.

Although it's quite too early to tell whether the story will be a worthwhile investment yet, it reads promptly and smoothly enough to be intriguing, but it lacks somewhat of a hook to keep reader investment in. Thus far we are only introduced to characters with no outstanding event or conflict other than the ongoing war between Asturias and the Imperials, and even that appears distant thanks to the carefree mood of the fortress soldiers. Grammar and format are other areas to work on, but other than that, the backgrounds are the most interesting parts to the story itself. Something I might find investment in. Until then, I'll wait for further updates to see whether my faith in these rich characters are worthwhile in this story  ;)

Week 5 Update

In five days, the Writer's Marathon will hit it's official halfway mark, and with it, our nearly finished stories. Hopefully everyone's been keeping up with their updates as of late. Today is the deadline to write last week's review, so if you haven't already, now would be a good time to get it done  ;) Aside from that, we also have this week's Writing Activity Theme: World-Building. There's a twist however... you must tell this lore in the context of a story. No paragraph dumping, no expositions... this activity involves your ability to incorporate details of a story's world and make it flow naturally with the events and interactions between characters.

Do you have what it takes to write the world you want? The Writing Activity begins tomorrow  8)

Good Luck Fellow Writers!  8)

Tuesday is here, and with it, the First Writing Activity: Characterization!  ;)

If you haven't already, get your piece in by tomorrow as we'll be rolling quickly into the next round of Community Votes on Friday.

My pitch for this week's Writing Activity: Characterization.

Interrogation of Genevieve Aristol
“State your name for the record.”

“Genevieve Aristol.”




“I’m self-employed.”

“And what exactly do you sell in this shop?”

“Just little things...”

“Like what?”

“...gadgets, trinkets, the sort.”

“It says here you are a licensed alchemist. Do you suppose you have anything in your shop relating to this?”

“N-No, I... haven’t practiced alchemy in ages.”

“Oh? You mean to imply you haven’t done anything with your license for the past two years?

“Well, I have but.. It was only for a month or so.”

“And what was the reason for this?”

“I... didn’t want to go through the trouble.”


“I have all my things delivered to me from outside sources instead of making it myself... I just didn’t have the time.”

“Let me recap. You obtained your Alchemy License about three years ago, yes?”


“And within one month, you suddenly quit making concoctions yourself and decided to outsource that job.”

“Not suddenly. I had my doubts before, and it was only until it got too much that I decided...”

“Decided what?”


“Ms. Aristol, you need to help me understand this. You went through our certification process to obtain a license to manufacture your own alchemic products, knowing full well you might not make full use of it, then went to another alchemist to obtain the products you now sell in your store?”

The interrogator presents a glass vial.

“Now why would you go through the trouble of all that when you could have simply applied as a Licensed Distributor instead?”


“Be honest with me. Why did you suddenly stop producing your own potions a month into your license?”


“It wasn’t because of... Doubts, was it?”


“Ms. Aristol, I’ve no doubt you recognize this vial, yes?”

The interrogator picks up the vial and examines it.

The subject nods.

“Well, to be fair, it’s just your typical glass vial... in fact most alchemists use these vials to store potions for individual consumption... the residue however is a completely different story. This...”

The interrogator presents another vial with a red liquid inside.

“...is what we found inside your vial.”


“...do you know what this is?”


“It’s a special tonic called Last Lament. Easily mistaken for something harmless as a health potion, for example. But this is no ordinary potion. This thing is extremely potent. When ingested, you’ll feel ecstatic at first, only to suffer internal bleeding and organ failure days later.”


“Ms. Aristol, do you know why we called you here?”

“Am I in trouble?”

“Ms. Aristol, if you call your lawyer now, you might never see your friend live another day.”

The subject is visibly distressed.


“Rayne, I believe her name is. I have reports here telling me you two have been in close contact since your license approval. Yet suddenly you didn’t... show up. Conveniently the week before she disappeared. Care to explain?”

The subject is visibly shaken.

“...I was told she was out of town that week. I didn’t know she was in any sort of trouble until now and I just thought she was...”


The subject nods her head.

“She was your supplier this whole time, wasn’t she?”

The subject nods her head.

“Was she the one that supplied you with the potion?”

The subjects nods her head.

“How much did she give you?”

“Crate-loads... but they were always mixed with the genuine stuff so I could keep up the appearance. The real thing I kept away from the storefront.”

“Did someone come to your store on a regular basis to buy it?”

“Not someone. Some people. It was never the same person.”

“How did you know you were dealing with the right person?”

“A passphrase. It was always different with each meeting. Rayne would give me the phrase beforehand so I’d know I’d be expecting someone.”

“Do you know if Rayne had any connections? Someone we could possibly get in touch with?”

The subject shakes her head.

“She always kept to herself. Never really much the talkative person. I never really took her to be different until... I’m sorry, this is a lot for me right now.”

“Take your time. We have all day.”

“...am I still in trouble?”

“Have I ever said you were?”


“Ms. Aristol, as much as distributing illegal substances is a crime, our priority right now is saving your friend Rayne from possibly dangerous people. Now as I am not a lawyer, I cannot guarantee you will walk free, but I can say that your contribution to the investigation will be taken into consideration.”

The subject is twirling her thumbs.

“If I could, I would... but I don’t know else I can help.”

“Do you perhaps think you could identify some of the people that came looking for the potion?”

“...maybe. I don’t know. I’ve seen lots of faces over the years. I don’t know if I can remember any of them.”

“If we do have some, do you think you can try?”

“...I guess I can. I can’t promise it though.”

“Just do your best. That’s all we ask.”

The interrogator pulls out Suspect One, Suspect Two, and Suspect Three.

“Do any of these men look familiar?”

The subject studies the photographs.

“Maybe one of them...”

“Which one?”

“That one.”

The subjects points to Suspect Three.

“I don’t know for sure. He just looks like someone I’ve seen.”

“That’ll be fine, Ms. Aristol. We’ll let you know if something pops up. That’ll be all for today. You’re free to go.”

-End Transcript-

Third Community Vote Begins!

Another week, another time to get the Community Vote started! :D As there's been quite a decline in member participation over the past few weeks, in my wisest wisdom, I have decided to implement a few changes to the Writer's Marathon Workshop as it stands.  :ninja:

1. Open Enrollment.
That's right! You may now join the Writer's Marathon at any time now! Simply state your intention to participate alongside your partner within the workshop thread and I will be sure to PM you as soon as possible for further details on how to become a member.

2. Update Requirements
With open enrollments, we require a new standard in order to keep everyone engaged and active within the Workshop. Starting next week, the Writer's Marathon will reintroduce an Update Requirement of at least 500 words in order to get writers writing and readers to read more of our works in anticipation of the next update  ;)

3. Review Requirements
Alongside these update requirements, the Writer's Marathon will also be reintroducing a Review Requirement. This one will be less stringent than the previous workshops, but it will be a requirement nonetheless. Each Workshop Member will be required to write a review for one other story every week. As a freebie, you may choose to write your first review as a promotion for your own story starting next week. Afterwards, you must write a review on a different story by Monday of each week at the conclusion of the Community Vote. I will be keeping track of who's doing what, so be wary  8) This sets the First Review Date at Monday, February 12th 11:59PM PST.

And finally...

4. Writing Activities
From Monday to Friday, we will be hosting a Writing Activity each week that will be open to the MangaRaider's Community to participate. To spice things up, the Winner of the Week's Writing Activity will be featured on the Workshop's Original Post and help choose the theme of next week's Writing Activity.

For anyone looking to get a head-start on next week's Writing Activity, the theme will be: Characterization.
Create the Best (or worst) character you can imagine and convince the Community that your character stands out among everyone else's!  8) The character should aim to be memorable. How you make it memorable is up to you. Do whatever you can to make it so, whether it'd be writing a short story about them or a deep biography on their lives... even art is acceptable. The only condition to this is that the character must have a story behind them.

With these implementations, hopefully we'll see life spring back into this place... Members, let me know either down below in the thread or via PM what changes you would like to see or comment on the new system.  ;)

Without further ado, here are the current stories by our amazing Writer's Marathon Members

Good Luck Fellow Writers!  8)

Speaking of which... I've noticed there's been quite a lack of engagement in the recent weeks since this workshop began.  :-\ If possible, I'd like to hear some suggestions from people on what should be included within the workshop, such as events and competitions, in order to get this place active again  ;) That might even include re-opening enrollment if more people take interest in the workshop.  ;D

Let me know in the replies down below and we'll try to incorporate your ideas as much as possible!  :thumbsup:

Good luck fellow writers!

Quite late for this, but I suppose better late than never, right?  :D (Yeah, right...  :unsure:) My entry for the SSFO.

Tensions Mounting
Gunshots crackled not too far from the squad’s location. Anise instantly reared her head toward its direction.

“I thought you said this town was under control,” she said.

“That’s what I was told...” Lieutenant Heims remarked.

The Major picked up her rifle and stood up from the crate.

“Take your men and come with me,” she ordered.

“Yes Major.”

Heims saluted before calling out his platoon to standing attention.

As the Major and her troops made haste to the sound’s origin, a Commissar shouted orders to his men in a crowded street.

“Make ready!” the man hollered.

The soldiers-in-blue raised their rifles. The crowd could only watch in horror as the blindfolded men stood before the guns, a wall painted fresh in splattered blood and flesh. Women screamed and children cried, the other men standing in morbid sorrow or in repressed anger and rage. Yet the Commissar and his soldiers looked on stoically as they made judgement onto the men before them, who could only count their prayers as they awaited their fate.


In an instant, the shots rang out in a unified chorus, blasting the air with its deafening tone. On cue, the bodies dropped, red flowing through the streets as the other troops came to pick up the bodies and load them onto piled wagons. So too did the women dropped, tears streaming from their reddened, watery faces. The guards shouted at the crowd as people tried to shove their way into the line, only to be beaten back by the butts of their rifles and warning shots whizz over their heads.

“Steady men...” the Commissar voiced. “Our gripe is not with the people.”

As the soldiers stacked the bodies atop the lumbering wagons, rumbling footsteps echoed down the cobblestone path. The Commissar swiveled his head to see Major Schreier and her platoon marching down the street. The crowd parted ways as she and her troops entered the circle and confronted the Commissar.

“Ah, why if it isn’t the Legionnaires themselves?” the Commissar touted.

Anise stopped and gazed upon the bloody firing line and the piled corpses that hung loose atop the wagons.

“What is the meaning of this, Commissar?” she asked.

“Ah, yes. This little... congregation,” he said, twirling his hand at the wall’s general direction. “We’ve been rooting out some troublesome elements within the town. Some hardline loyalists that’ve been killing our men for some time. We’re simply administering the proper judgement appropriate for such individuals. Nothing more.”

Anise gazed at the mourning widows and orphans, crying and wailing aimlessly at their lost husbands and fathers, only able to reach out across the Unionists pushing them away.

Her eyes scowled back at the Commissar.“On whose authority were you to execute these people?” she barked.

The Commissar scoffed. “My authority is my own. This is a Commissariat matter, after all. I don’t believe you have any authority concerning this matter, Mercenary.”

“As a Legionary, we have laws to abide by. Executing civilians is a War Crime.”

“But these aren’t civilians, Major,” he asserted. “These are combatants. All within the appropriate bounds, I assure you. They fired upon my men, and this is the price they pay for their aggression.”

Anise eyed the carts. “Does that include children?”

“Regrettably so,” the Commissar answered in a solemn voice. “We must make an example to these people. Sparing them only encourages more children to join their ranks, and as combatants ourselves, we are not here to govern and police them. We have to be firm and unwavering in our conviction! Or else we allow the enemy to bully us into submission.”

“Yet here you are doing just that!” Anise shot. “Do you understand what you’re setting us up for? These people will hate and resent you for what you have done. They won’t submit, they’ll fight back. Just look at them!” She pointed to the crowd. “They’re out for blood! Our blood!”

“What do you know about handling these people, hm?” the Commissar asked. “You are a foreigner who have never set foot in these lands, much less lived with these people.”

“I know enough, Commissar. I’ve been places and seen firsthand what happens when people like you try to fight them. Now if you don’t want the same thing happening here, I suggest you stop this instant.”

The Commissar clicked his tongue, looking about the crowd. “You put me in a rough spot, Major... do you suppose I... let these men go then? Let them... wander off and pray they do not kill us later out of kindness and generosity? We’ve already executed forty of them today. What difference does ten or twenty more make in that case?”


The Commissar exhaled, his black gloves atop his hips.

“Don’t fight me on this,” the Major asserted.

One of the Unionists reached for his holster. That was until Lieutenant Heims eyed him down and shook his head, finger on the trigger.

A moment passed, before the Commissar made his decision.

“Very well... I concede.” He nodded his head toward the guards attending the last ten men in the line.

“Thank you Commissar...” Anise began, only for the Commissar to pull his gun and shoot one of the prisoners. Everyone stood in shock, especially the Major. A woman screamed in the deathly silence.

“What have you done!?” the Major shouted, raising her rifle to the Commissar. The Legionnaires and Unionists both pointed their weapons against one another as the poor woman broke through the circle toward her wounded husband, drowning in his own blood.

“Stay with me! Stay with me Alfred!” she hollered as she gripped her husband’s hand.

“...Er-... -in...” the man gurgled.

“...on the condition one more answers for his crimes,” the Commissar said as he holstered his pistol. He turned to the crowd with Anise’s rifle still pointed at him and shouted. “Let this be a lesson to those who wish to fight! If you seek to do us harm and take up arms against the Union and her Comrades, know we will spare no mercy to the likes that support the vile regime that is our enemy. But if you welcome us with open arms, or seek only to live your lives in peace... free of fear or pain, we too shall reciprocate those acts upon you. Think carefully before you set yourself and others toward destruction!”

The Commissar then turned towards the guards. “Hand the prisoners over!” He then looked back to the Major, her rifle still gleaming at his face. “They’re your responsibility now, Major. Whatever happens next is your doing. Unit... Fallout!”

He waved his hand, and the Unionists began to disperse from the area, taking their wagons and leaving the prisoners and the bemoaning husband-and-wife to Anise and the Legionnaires. She and her men lowered their rifles as the Unionists left and the crowd filled the area, bickering away about the horrid event. Lieutenant Heims walked up to Anise, still glaring at the Commissar and his men marching away down the street.

“I hate that bastard...” Heims said.

“Get these people out of here,” the Major ordered. “They don’t need to be here anymore.”

“Yes Sir...” Heims nodded. “Third Platoon, form up!” he hollered as he disappeared into the crowd.

Anise turned her attention to the crying woman huddled over her now-dead husband, his blank eyes staring into the sky. She walked over and approached the mourning woman.

“I’m sorry about your loss...” Anise began. The woman still cried, not seeming to pay much attention. Anise knelt down and put her rifle aside, trying to make contact with the woman. “I wish I could’ve done more to save him.”

The woman began wiping her tears away, almost frantically as the streams poured out from her woeful face. She sniffed her nose and pulled out a handkerchief from her dress pocket, dabbing at her blood-red eyes as she attempted to calm her senses.

“I- I told him...” she sniffed, barely getting her words through. “I told him he should have neve-...” Sniff. “...never have...” Sniff. “...gone.” Sniff. “I told him...” Sniff. “...not to...” Sniff. “...go!” Sniff. “W-...” Sniff. “Why would...” Sniff. “Why would he...?” Sniff. “...do that to me?” Sniff. “Why, Alf-...” Sniff. “..-red?”

It didn’t take long for the woman to burst into hysterical tears once more, her desperate cries piercing through the air. Anise could do little to comfort the poor woman. She knew it well. The anguish of a lost loved one, and the despair that followed. Nothing could repair the void left behind. She could only hope to alleviate the woman’s pain, and so she reached out and hugged the poor woman in empathy, as pain-stricken as it was.

“I’m sorry.”

Anise could only mutter.

MR Pub / Re: Chit Chat 2018
« on: January 27, 2018, 12:53:20 AM »
The Second Community Vote for the Writer's Marathon Workshop is underway! If you haven't checked it out yet, pop right in and see our eye-gouging Works-in-Progress!  :D

There will also be a small competition in which everyone in the MR community can participate! A short story competition of 500-1000 words will be held Tuesday-Friday this week. Do you have what it takes to impress your readers? Get your work out there and prove yourself among your peers!  :biggrin:

Second Community Vote Begins!

Here-ye, Here-ye! Come one and all, big and small, short and tall, to the Writer's Marathon Second Community Vote!

Now, seeing as though I've been terribly slacking in regards to promoting this workshop what with the Struggles of Existence constantly hanging over my head... I thought it about time to give this place a lil' more Sparkle!  :santa:

First and Foremost, the Links to each respective team's portfolio! Go check them out and see who's been writing well this past week!  8)

Secondly, we're adding a little challenge to boost participation within the Writer's Marathon  ;)

A Short Scenario Face-Off! That's right! Each person will create a short scenario of 500-1000 words for a short competition from Tuesday to Friday this week! This competition is open to the MR public, and you do not need to be a member of this workshop to participate :D Simply post your little scenario here in the Workshop and I'll be sure to enter it in the week-long SSFO. As such, the Second Community Vote this week will end on Monday instead of Tuesday this time around. If such things become popular, we might look into making it a regular event. But for now... get cracking!  :thumbsup:

Good Luck Fellow Writers!  8)

Tomorrow marks the start of Week 3 and the Second Community Vote! Hopefully you all have been updating your stories accordingly  ;)

Should you ever run into a snag with your story, feel free to chat with one of our members via PM or through the Writer's Marathon Discord Link. Good luck everyone!  8)

With Tuesday to a close, we now count the final vote for the First Community Vote!  :D Here are the Totals:

Zsssssst! - By Caesarea (2)

Ravens and Revenants - By No Days Off! (1)

90 Days to Kill My Master - By eukocar (0)

The Witch Rox - By The SlamJam (0)

Good work to everyone involved, and hopefully we'll see those votes soar as the weeks drag on  ;) Let's see what's in store for next Friday, shall we?  8)

Today's the last day to vote! If you haven't already checked out our works-in-progress out in the Original Post, now is the time to share your opinion, and possibly write a review for your favourites  ;) The First Community Vote ends tomorrow.

Develop Your Story / Re: Chelderan Chronicles: Worldbuilding
« on: January 21, 2018, 06:41:15 AM »
Order of the Marines (Legion of Terra)

As the Legion of Terra expanded their operations across the globe, it became more evident that greater specialization would be necessary to fill the demands of fighting in treacherous terrain and inhospitable environments. With plans to expand the Legion into a greater assortment of specialist infantry, three new Legionary Orders were created, effectively doubling the division and subsequent complexity of the Legion’s organization. Of these new orders was the Order of the Marines, elite troops trained in assault and raiding tactics.

Much like their Grenadier cousins, Marines were designed to engage the enemy in frontal attacks using superior firepower and maneuvering, however they held much greater emphasis in small-scale unit tactics and rapid deployment. They operated in dense, limited terrain engaging within close proximity to the enemy, finding exploitations and opening areas of attack through aggressive harassment and skirmishing techniques before spearheading across multiple fronts. Such methods of battle meant a high emphasis on mobility and stopping power. Weapons such as automatic rifles, shotguns, and rifle grenades were often employed by Marines to accomplish this task, and boded well for the kinds of environments the Marines often fought in, ranging from dense towns and cities, island fortresses and entrenched beaches, and even as exotic as jungles and alpine mountains. Fighting in such difficult environments made small-scale unit maneuvers extremely important, a niche the Marines filled exceptionally in comparison to the other Legionary Orders, which at the time emphasized large-scale unit mobilization as their primary tactic.

As such, the Marines had a notable record of defeating numerically-superior opponents in their tenure because of their training and tactics. They excelled at breaking through enemy defenses and disrupting formations for exploitation, as their service with the Marianans showed when they successfully cracked open the seemingly-invincible Elsian Iron Fortress chain. However, their success as aggressive raiders and incapacitators comes at the price of defensive capabilities. Because their tactics require extensive use of mobile, offensive-oriented equipment, much of the Marine’s gear lacks any real defensive capability. Marines are prone to drawn-out firefights, where troops and supplies can quickly dwindle under attrition, and cannot effectively engage in long-range skirmishes or reliably defend against an overwhelming offensive themselves. Marines must constantly be on the move and on the offensive, lest they become the hunted themselves.

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