New Year's Reading Challenge etc in Kohtalo | World Anvil

New Year's Reading Challenge etc

And just like that, children and adults everywhere started putting the wrong date on paperwork for almost a month. Weird how these things happen. At work we have 2 whole buildings turned over to us and there are even serves in some of them. Yes, i can now actually claim to be keeping cat videos safe for the good of humanity. Or, as I like to call myself and my night-shift breathren, Motel 6 (we keep the lights on for you).   But that is not at all what this is about. We are going to read some cool articles. A bit later in the month than I like to be starting this, so unlike in past years there will be significantly less RNG and read an article in every category, because time is a thing and time management is not a strong point for some people (me, I am the some people, and thats okay).   First things first, if you are reading this and want to squeeze in the challenge because you want to read awesome things, or want the badge because endorphins, but dont know where to start, head here.
Reading Challenge - Worldember 2023
Generic article | Jan 28, 2024

If you want to know who mentioned your article during the reading challenge, you are in the right place. Just search your name and see all the mentions!

Satrium is an awesome pillar of our community and does things like this way more often than we give them credit for. So if you need all 10 articles, or even just 1 or 2, this is a great place to get started. The warm fuzzies if you see your name are a bonus. Alternatively, you could actively seek out names NOT on this list and read those articles, to spread the warm fuzzies around. After all, warm fuzzies anathema to brain goblins everywhere, and should be distributed as wide as we can to keep said brain goblins away.   Anyway, on to articles that I enjoyed. Yes, I am still working through notifications as work and life allow. So we will start with


Burrowing Owls
Species | Dec 6, 2023

Burrowing Owls are a common predatory bird found throughout Vóreios, but most consider them to be rare creatures to see. A small, long-legged owl, these creatures are often confused with Hawks or other birds of prey when looked at from a distance.

Specifically owls, and ones that burrow at that. RiverFang always does an amazing job at article formatting, whether on longer articles or for shorter ones (I am getting better, when time allows, which seems less often as of late). The article presents the facts without coming across as too textbook-y which is also always nice for a reader. As far as worlds to explore with very fun and interesting content you could do worse than Isekai.

Every DMs Dream

Gralie Applewood
Character | Dec 11, 2023

In the dim chamber, Gralie whispered to Jarned, her heart heavy with secrets and a looming threat. Courage and faith her guiding lights.

Okay, so maybe a bit of an exaggeration there, but Gralie Applewood has all the information that I could want besides stats, whether using them as an NPC or if a player was playing them. Rumors, relationships, secrets, plot hooks and a backstory, all well presented and thought out. Seriously, Graile is fleshed out enough to plop down in any campaign with only minor work from a GM to make her fit into the world. (Of course one should ask MandoMc before doing so) Another article with great formatting also. I'm not saying my formatting is bad, but it does suffer some. I could probably help with that a little by not procrastinating in WE. But where is the fun in that, procrastination makes the world go round.


Stardust Sparrow
Species | Dec 31, 2023
Thei makes very fun creatures. They are nice articles that you can read in a singe sitting. The quote here is fun, the idea of birds that leave behind trails of glowing dust is fun. Admittedly Thei also made a bunch of cool dragons that you should also check out, bonus points if you find the one that likes ice cream. Theiket has a gift for making concise articles that are dense with worldbuilding. Also, Thei puts up with me and Mochi looking at everything they make and saying "if not friend why friend shaped?" in discord and then explaining to Thei that we dont care if it looks like a thorny nightmare-horror from the depths of hell, it just needs a fuzzy blanket and some snuggles. WA really has some of the best mods out there. Thanks for being you Thei.

Line's Leylines

Physical / Metaphysical Law | Mar 20, 2024

Malkora's magical lifeblood, bringing radical change to all corners of the world.

Okay, so I at some point somewhere said that I would work on these in my world this WE, and I did make the Leyline Compass which is slightly more than tangentially related. But I did almost no work on actual leylines. I say almost because I started at not the best place (at least for me) of mapping out the leylines, which led to a rabbit hole of map projections and the realization that I need a globe to draw on. Then it was January. Strixxline has wonderfully fleshed out the Leylines in Malkora with this article. Five domains with 2 opposing leylines in each, what can happen when they emerge to the surface of the world... there is a cornucopia of inspiration here. Line also makes amazing art. Some might say award winning. (World Anvil people are some people, if memory serves, the map of Malkora is beautiful). Also Line brings wonderful feral energy to the community, especially during SummerCamp.

The Resident Grillmaster

Sgt. Yahn Sunder
Character | Dec 31, 2023

A warrior of great accomplishments who voluntarily remains a sergeant on the Pit Wall. He is the greatest hunter, angler, kaiju-killer, and BBQ chef in the Zone.

First off, props to Kitoypy, as always, for his amazing use of the tools that HeroForge offers. It goes a long way towards making his amazing characters transition from living on a page to stepping off the page and into the readers head. Not that his characters need any help. Wizard's Peak is one of my favorite worlds to go and explore when I have time. Admittedly, for those that are awake when I am on discord, I am a bit of a sucker for BBQ and food in general. I would love to play a high level game with Yahn, or to play in a lower level campaign and do a quest for Yahn (or have Yahn bail the party out when they get in way over their head, because lets be honest, that's what parties have a tendency to do.) Since he has already started his journey across the worlds of WA, Yahn has an open invitation to Kohtalo anytime he wants to visit.

Something Lurks in the Hills

Bonerattler Tribe
Organization | Dec 11, 2023
Keon Croucher has made a small but growing problem for the region that houses the Bonerattler Tribe. Awesome job on the little couplet/chant in the sidebar. There are some improvements that could be made, sure, but that is true of every article that any of us write. I look back at some articles I wrote and wish they were this useful at putting out information on what is both a culture and a regional threat. Another article that I feel is "campaign ready" as far as giving the GM a great starting platform. Throw in some maps and strap yourselves in, the warrens are more than ready for a party to start trying to clear them out. And Keon has even included some loot ideas, beyond the fact that there are hostages that need rescuing.


Something Between a Conversation and Death
Prose | Dec 31, 2023

"What is life?" a Bekiskapan philosopher once asked. This story is his answer.

Chris (ECCBooks on WA) is an amazing writer. Seriously, I cant recommend his articles enough (he also has books, which is very cool, read those too if you feel so inclined). This is just another example in a long list of articles that I could point to as dense and beautiful worldbuilding. To echo what he said about my work, I hope to be able to write something as somber as this at some point. I tend to use humor as a bit of a crutch at times. I also highly recommend tuning in to any stream that Chris is a part of, as he provides the insight of both a teacher and a writer. I dont know if I can properly summarize or describe this article other than the comment I posted on it. "It is always great to see someone make a symphony out of those little phrases that for some reason or another strike that starting chord."

We Need More Rum Captain!

Vehicle | Jan 10, 2024
In addition to being a programmer, one of the founders of this amazing community, and an all around awesome person, Dimi is also an incredibly fun DM/GM. I say that despite his claims that the definitely a Mummy Queen or Lich-of-some-sort that the awesome adventuring party Pest Control destroyed at the moment of its resurection with the cleansing power of fire was in fact just the bereaved (and recently deceased) lord's wife brought back with a successful, if somewhat costly to the local populace, resurrection spell. But I digress, in this article we see Dimi's passion and his eye for detail. Although, on third reading, I cant help but notice that there is a core that has a capacity...not to give his players any ideas but the thought "could that be taken supercritical" did briefly cross my mind. That i guess that would depend on if Anima Levitation Cores function more as a reactor or a battery. Note to Dimi's players, please leave the Core alone, Dimi has given you a wonderful ship with plenty of things that go boom. It would be a shame to BOOM the Rorqual, especially before the rum is gone.

The Materials Category Shortlist

    Okay, okay, I'm cheating a little bit here. Sort of. Materials are one of those things that I feel like I struggle to write, but I really enjoy reading about them. Here are the articles i eventually narrowed down the list to. And it was hard. really hard. Our community made some awesome articles this year. I'm sure the other judges would agree with me on that. From the high tech Projector Film (an article which is just as stunning as stunning as any image the film could create) to the gently glowing Lumewood all these articles have things that I would like to emulate in future writings.
Just as an aside for anyone writing about reactors, you will notice that my question about Dimi's article was if the core could go supercritical. One of the greatest injustices that the media industry has done to nuclear power is to make everyone think that "critical" is bad. it is not. Without going into too much detail a reactor has 3 basic states:
  • Subcritical power is going down
  • Critical steady state
  • Supercritical power is going up
  • Of course there is also critical mass but that is different. So please remember, if the reactor is doing bad things, it is supercritical. Or possibly subcritical, but it is probably not just critical.


    See, I didn't forget about them. Although I am notoriously bad about resolutions and/or goal setting. but here it goes.
  • Actually Finish and adventure for Adventure April.
  • I should be able to do this. I mean I am setting myself up for a bit of a time crunch as I will once again be hanging out with some cool people on a cruise ship for part of the month, but I am not (currently) planning on doing a multi-week trip up and down the entire coast this time.
  • Write more in The Book of the Unquiet Dead
  • I have a really bad habit of wanting to go back to some articles and then not doing that. SQUIRREL. The goal is to eventually have annotated entries for every undead in 5E, and maybe some others besides. Except vampires, because in my world most of them aren't technically undead, though the Crimson Knights definitely are.
  • Third thing here yup that's a Free Guy reference
  • Make a homepage for Kohtalo
  • I will get to this year. I promise. It should be easy. There is even a Sage Seminar for me to go watch on it.
  • See, now I wanted to put some things in the sidebar because it is severely underutilized most of the time, but then if you don't have enough content to fill it and haven't put in the time to work out how to have it scroll as people go through the rest of your article you are left with this blank space. Not that blank space is bad, it just looks awkward. I mean I could probably fill the whole thing with rambling. I'm good at rambling, "changed the wording of an assignment 2 years before that teachers retirement, a change that is still in effect in that class at my high school" good. Instead I guess I could give a sort of "Best of" list for my world, for people who may want to explore it more.
    Character | Jul 2, 2023
    Still really proud of this, Waves-Against-the-Hull was fun to write, and I still occasionally find it hard to believe that I won. Kenku's mimicry feature is so underutilized in D&D and coming up with a reason for it in world was an interesting challenge. But seriously, "You can accurately mimic sounds you have heard, including voices. A creature that hears the sounds you make can tell they are imitations only with a successful Wisdom (Insight) check against a DC of 8 + your proficiency bonus + your Charisma modifier." That plus minor illusion can make for so many fun shenanigans
    Hell's Half-Acre
    Building / Landmark | Jul 2, 2023
    Coming up with some of my favorite NPCs and making a menu were both really fun challenges. Chef is still a personal favorite. Who knows, maybe he has a cousin of sorts at the Outpost of the Moons? SPOILER
    He doesnt, at least not in the kitchen. That would be too on the nose.
    Still, the Tavern Challenge I think has been my overall favorite so far. It is such a staple in the culture of TTRPGs. Everyone needs a good tavern. Feel free to use this one if you feel so inclined. I should really come back and make some stat blocks and lair actions for the staff.
    The Storm Giant Empire
    Ethnicity | Jan 19, 2023
    Probably the most important article right now as far as the hsitory of my world goes. I mean I really should write about the Necromancer Wars more at some point, but wars are just sort of boring to me. Also I need to finish several maps so that some rather important ruins can be placed. To finish those maps i need to make my leyline map. Maps are a deep deep rabbit hole. There always seems to be more of them to make.
      And last but not least, some of my favorite articles from SummerCamp and WorldEmbers Past
    The Lucky Ducky Letter Exchange
    Technology / Science | Jul 23, 2023
    What Happened to the Army of Endless Blight?
    Military Conflict | Aug 1, 2023
    Epson Quills
    Species | Jul 2, 2023
      No, but seriously, fear the Epson Quills, all it takes is one getting into your world and LOW IRRIDESCENT CRIMSON


    Please Login in order to comment!
    Jan 22, 2024 18:58 by Dr Emily Vair-Turnbull

    Great picks, and some great resolutions too. :)

    Emy x   Etrea | Vazdimet
    Jan 23, 2024 03:29 by E. Christopher Clark

    Thanks so much for including me here and for the incredibly kind words. Here's to a fantastic 2024!

    Vote for the Clarkwoods Literary Universe as Best World in the Worldbuilding Awards