Gazing upon a sea of wonders: SC2023 Reading Challenge in The Library at the Centre of All Things | World Anvil

Gazing upon a sea of wonders: SC2023 Reading Challenge

It's readin' time

As an archivist of all things existing across countless realms, I cannot afford to write it all by myself. Fortunately, I am far from the sole keeper of knowledge in this vast reality. I possess a great number of encyclopedias written by other beings, some as otherworldly and alien to me as I might be to you, dear reader. On regular occasions, a whole section of my library begins to buzz and teem with activity. Words sprawl and bloom on paper in the comforting melody of history being recorded.


I enjoy partaking in the general turmoil and lay down knowledge from various worlds that I insert amongst the other almanacks, hoping that some might reach my fellow scholars. Though this time I had been quite busy to engage much in discussion, I do miss the pleasant talks about this species or that peculiar individual.


Usually, after a period of high activity, the room knows some rest. Fewer words appear as the books heated by the friction of the metaphorical quill have the chance to cool down. This calls for some reading, while the sentences are still warm and full of promises. Though I lack the omniscience to read each and every publication, I gather as much as I possibly can. Doing so, some of them stood out of the crowd to me, and these ones I crave to make them known to you. The avid reader will probably recognize some names and titles, but I always try my best to keep some surprises up my sleeves.


Figures of old venerated to this day


Old King Caed — Cathedris

The Old King sits eternally on his throne, his charred face staring eyeless into an empty horizon. The first god of Cathedris, who used to reign over the others, had an aura of authority that forced all to bow before him. Now, there is nothing but uneasiness in the island he once ruled. Below his throne might lay a Gift from the sky, the very thing that is said to have turned mortals into Gods.

I can now rest easy. The two gods that intrigued me most, Qetzel and Old King Caed have been given an article. Since there was little information about him, I wondered what made Caed the "old king" of the gods, and Stormbril delivered as always! I just love the idea of the god of authority, which faded over time until it was unable to prevent Qur from blasting him. A brilliant and beautiful article, filled to the brim with various chunks of information.


The World


What I learnt

  • A lot of small paragraphs can go a long way to approach a wide range of topics.
  • Not to hesitate to include obscure details like Caed's rings.
  • The Author


    Leviathan — Wow that's a lot of stars

    Leviathan is a Zaratan, a sort of giant turtle-like creature living in the water world of Torm. A thousand years ago, he was the first to house a city on his back, trailblazing an age of blooming shell-bound cities. Curious at first, he came to enjoy the company of the small lifeforms that settled on his shell, and in return the inhabitants took great care of him, prioritizing his well-being over anything else. This symbiosis persisted for over five centuries, until Leviathan was deemed too old to sustain the weight of a civilisation. Still, he is honoured all throughout Torm as a pioneer and receives regular visits from the people he once sheltered.

    If you know me, you know I can't resist when I see an article titled Leviathan. I love the concept of these creatures so much that I want to know which approaches other writers take when writing one. And to say the least, Leviathan deserved his name! I'm also really fond of cities built on the back of giant creatures, but putting the focus on the wellbeing of the creatures is refreshing and wholesome. I also like how everything in this article is told through the history of Leviathan's life, centuries passing by in the length of a paragraph, which enhanced the feeling of the gigantism of zaratans.


    What I learnt

  • History and a brief visual description can be enough.
  • Anything can be a historical figure.
  • Wholesomeness is cool. I should try it.

    The Dark Lord Malchène — Dark Lord Seduction Plan

    A famous leader and the last Dark Lord to deal a serious blow to the Light, Malchène was perhaps the greatest. He united the Dark society and took over the city of Esteille, before meeting his end when a ritual went very wrong. To this day, he is still considered a heroic figure and an example to follow for all Dark citizens.

    What is fantastic about this article is that it feels very short, and I wondered if it was really 300 words long. Yet, it packs so much information that it can serve as an introduction to society and the enmity between the Light and the Dark. Being efficient and short is a valuable skill, and Amélie has mastered it by using small and concise boxes that give all the core information. Plus, props to her for linking a SC prompt to a regular prompt!


    What I learnt

  • Short doesn't mean lacking.
  • Information boxes are an efficient way to dissect a topic.
  • Airy layouts are easy to read and don't require images to ease the flow of reading.
  • The Author


    Eternal Sage AmélieIS

    Amélie I. S. Debruyne
    To see what I am up to: SC list of articles and goals.


    Soundless Speech


    Shade-Speak — Eivrall

    Shade-Speak was born from the underground hacktivists of Ru who needed a way to communicate secretly while being constantly monitored by the omnipresent government. Hidden in plain sight, their encrypted messages take the form of inconspicuous lines of code, unrelated images and otherwise innocent pieces of art. To the ignorant, there is nothing to see. But to those who know the underground code, they see their culture, full of tricks to evade surveillance and secrets.

    I love steganography — the art of hiding messages in unrelated media — and this article does a great job at explaining how it works and how a group of underground activists might use it to communicate across the internet. What I prefer is that for the members of Ru, it has really become like a true language, reflecting their culture, and ideals, and it might have known an evolution close to that of a natural language. A simple yet great take on a fascinating concept!


    The World


    What I learnt

  • Expand slightly on real-life concepts and adapt them to fit a universe works just fine.
  • A language can take many forms and still remain close to a natural speech.
  • The Author


    Sage 1337spectra

    Gabrielle Decker

    I'm a Comment Caroler! Click to learn more
    Go to Eivrall


    Smudge-script — Summerdark

    First created by an order of assassins in order to carry out their evil deeds, smudge-script faded away before being revived in the Second Age. It fell in the hands of explorers and scouts, who used the discrete glyphs to communicate vital information in the wildlands. To the untrained eye, it looks like cracks on a rock or an animal's footprint, but a moorstrider will recognize the pattern and acknowledge the silent message.

    Another cipher-based language with a completely different purpose. Through its users, the language has become a symbol of protection and hope, even to those who aren't able to decipher it. I like how from a symbol of death and dread it evolved to become the symbol of protection, learning and exploration.


    What I learnt

  • The evolution of a script across the ages can reflect the evolution of the society.

    Color Shift — Spaceport

    Fluffypedes are small and fluffy worm-like creatures who came up with a very visual language. By changing the colour of their fur, they can express three different emotions: a green indicator of food, a pink and blue fondness, and a red fear. Different from the pattern they adopt to blend in their surroundings, Color Shift is the primitive yet successful way of communication for this species.

    I like how, while simple, the Color shift is thoroughly explained, especially the meaning of the... colour shifts. My favourite part is that fluffypedes rarely display the colour of fear, but when one does, it propagates to all neighbouring worms, turning the vicinity bright red. One of my favourite methods of communication, and a cool defense mechanism!


    What I learnt

  • Articles can be only text without section, if the layout is clear.
  • Inspiration for my own color-based language
  • The Author


    Councilor of the Inner Sanctum deleyna

    Deleyna Marr
    Deleyna - I survived Summer Camp 2023! Check out my 2023 Summer Camp Reading Challenge and read some of my favorite articles from around the community. Or check out what happened with my Dimi Mission!


    Faraway Profession


    So you want to be a Finder — Evenacht

    Unfortunately, people die. Fortunately, that is not the end of the line. Ghosts of Evenacht are given another chance to make the good by becoming Finders. Their job is to Redeem the Condemned, people punished by Death which scattered and hid their essence somewhere in Evenacht. The Finders go on exciting quests to retrieve those fragments and grant the ghost a final Redemption. It is not an occupation without threats, as even ghosts are not exempted from tiredness and dangers in the form of essence-draining creatures. But it is first and foremost a job with many opportunities, from meeting eminent figures to contemplating breathtaking landscapes!

    To make the whole article a cohesive job offer while still giving out all the information is a tour de force. The pictures that separate each row of text anchor the article into the world and highlight the most important part of the offer. If I were a ghost, no doubt that I would join the Finders with an incentive like that, even if the turnover is quite high!


    The World


    What I learnt

  • Another creative way to write articles
  • Less is more, except when there are enough fitting images
  • The Author


    Sage Kwyn Marie

    Kwyn Marie


    Fanfiction Authors — OUAT Fanfiction

    In the world of Once Upon a Time, authors wander to secondary worlds of their creation to write their story using special pens. Fanfiction authors are different, they don't create from nothing, but rather explore a wide variety of possibilities from a base material. Doing so, they can go further than the original author ever intended, and even mess up the world in which the story takes place, unaware of the consequences of their exploration.

    Granted, I know very little about Once Upon a Time, as I only watched the first episode years ago. Thus I don't know how much of the article is original worldbuilding since the author themselves claim that their world is "not intended to be completely original". Despite that, I always love it when stories include authors as demiurges, so I was hooked from the start. I like even more the idea of having fanfiction writers as legitimate authors who have a real influence on the original story and can be troublemakers. Finally, the figurative "faraway place" being secondary fictional worlds is a nice twist to the prompt.


    The World


    What I learnt

  • Inspiration on twisting prompts
  • A new view on fanfiction

    Search and Rescue Department — Turien

    The tasks of the S&R Department are manyfold: they gather intelligence about companies and organisations that might cross the law, resolve the kidnapping of important people or find mysterious ones to put them to work or research poorly understood artefacts. Composed of a wide range of species and ethnicities, they go wherever they are needed throughout the continent and even the ocean. Even though they are secretive and mysterious, they are a vital component of Turien's safety and well-being by taking care of its most important people.

    Another interesting choice of presentation! This time we are presented the profession through a report written by a rookie in the S&R Department. The numerous sticky notes give us an idea of the personality of the team's members and their relation to each other, in addition to some bit of information that can be deduced. A great format that is easy to read and a biased narrator is a good idea to describe this organisation that has its fair share of secrets. The supervisor's feedbacks at the end were a nice bonus.


    The World


    What I learnt

  • More inspiration to break the regular article structure.
  • Biased narrators are efficient in hiding secrets.
  • The Author


    Grandmaster TaraFaeBelle

    Tara Fae Belle
    Check out what Mimi got up to last year over Summer Camp Mimi Lakes File and this year! SummerCamp 23 Articles


    What's next?


    And that wraps it up for this Summercamp! Now for what is to come... I have no idea where I will go creatively for the next months. First thing first I will soon move to a brand new city, have a real (and exciting) job for the first time, and probably die from the Mediterranean heat. In the meantime, I might write some, maybe go back to Oblogga, maybe experiment. And I have a lot of reading to catch up!


    I still have one thing to do though... I'll still make time to put together the Reading Challenge Big List!


    Stay safe out there, and keep up your great work!


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