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The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
Commended by JJJ-thebanisher on 3/5/2017 4:25:58 PM
The Weekly Review – Edition 36


What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums

The intriguing Article: Lists by StrykerL

An Interview with the great site member Crescentstar

A Review of Grape’s Fruit Tale by Will11

This fantastic Short Story: Little Things by Mizal

Finally, Special Section: This Site by StrykerL


In Newbie Central Abby31, Doodler623, Apeking4 and rocketbekasi introduce their awesome selves to the site!

In the Lounge Briar Rose asks people for their weirdest fetishes…!

In News and Updates both Bucky and EndMaster’s competition entries begin to get judged!

In the Parlour Room Azurechevalier looks for stories about psyhic powers!

In the Creative Corner EndMaster’s fantastically awesome, wonderfully creative, endearingly brilliant and tantalisingly edgy competition comes to an end!

In the Writing Workshop ericyopy has a dream of writing about the American War of Independence with mechanised robots…!

In the Reading Corner Nyctophilia raises interest in Fahrenheit 451!

In the Advanced Editor’s Forum StrykerL seeks a way to disable the “go back” button feature!

In the Feature Well RoyalGhost007 prays for the ability to copy stories!

In the Bugs and Problems section Romulus points out that using the preview button breaks the classical editor!


I enthusiastically recommend StrykerL’s fantastic Lists Article, copied here from the Help and Info Section with the kind permission of the author:


Creative Writing (Standalone)
Poetry (Standalone)
Everything Else
Storywriting Critique
The Weekly Review
Creative Writing (Standalone)

EndMaster's short stories

Nine exceptional stories from EndMaster written as prompts at one point or the other in the 2000s. Highly recommended for fans of the author.

The Call of PikaChulu by BerkaZerka

BerkaZerka crosses the Lovecraftian mythos with the Pokemon world. Chaos, comedy, and a rogue Pikachu follow.

Dark City by BerkaZerka

Dark City is a collaborative story by the site’s members, set around a city where the villains reign supreme. The fantastic may be involved, but all supernatural occurrences retain an element of plausible deniability. The setting has inspired some excellent reading, and though it may not be updated too frequently, new content is always welcome.

Has evolved a detailed backstory and supporting elements, helpful for anyone wanting to step up and add to this content available here.

Tags: Collaborative Content, Fantasy, Modern Times, Dystopia, Economics

The Council of Nine by Steve24833

If you aren’t offended, Steve isn’t doing his job well. An alternate reality story set in the world of CYStia where forum personalities are the protagonists.

Cystia Fall into Darkness by mizal

The one where a Banisher takes reaping tips from a Necromancer

Untitled, by EbonVasilis

Two roads diverged from one moment. An excellent short story with a time skip, and pens which can change the properties of reality

Tags: Short Story, Fantasy, Dystopia, Magic

Zag's Collaborative CYOA - Born Among a Hundred

Zaghero builds a superhero story where the forum members decide what happens next

A Westerner goes to Japan by StrykerL

A humorous short story on the importance of focus while writing

Untitled, by Fazztheman

Tags: Modern, Family,

Chapter 1: The Order of the Glowing Sigil, by seib6466

Tags: Short Story, Fantasy, Magic


Prompts are an excellent way to flex your literary muscles and get honest feedback on your work. At the same time, you also get a chance to see how other authors worked with the same prompts. New members (and experienced ones who want to sharpen their skills) are welcome to participate in these.

Seto’s writing prompts have inspired weeks of excellent writing, based on at least one of three prompts chosen every week.

Writing Prompts: Week #2

· Prompt #1: The protagonist sacrifices themselves to save the antagonist.

· Prompt #2: The king is dead...

· Prompt #3: "What happens when the clock strikes twelve?"

Writing Prompts: Week #3

· Prompt #1: Write a story set in a world in the future, where machine and men are basically one and the same.

· Prompt #2: Sharing an ice cream during the apocalypse.

· Prompt #3: "Is revenge a science or an art?"

Writing Prompts: Week # 4

· Prompt #1: The antagonist and protagonist are family, and every Christmas they go home and have a Christmas dinner with their parents. (Doesn't have to be a superhero/supervillain sort of dynamic)

· Prompt #2: An abandoned house.

· Prompt #3: "I never thought I'd enjoy my own funeral so much"

Writing Prompts: Week #5

Prompt #1: A character finds out that a very common, everyday object he/she owns contains immense power.
Prompt #2: (I don't want to influence your take on this picture, so I'm not going to provide a description.)
Prompt #3: "It seemed like a good idea yesterday."
Writing Prompts Week #7

· Prompt #1: A child notices their birthday cake always has 5 candles.

· Prompt #2: The Dragon Village

· Prompt #3: "Reality doesn't work that way."

Writing Prompts: Week #8

Prompt #1: What if you were just the side character in a story?
Prompt #2: A winter journey
Prompt #3: "Are we the only ones left?"
Romulus’ poetry prompts have been well curated and a strong focus on the technical aspects of poetry are especially helpful for aspiring poets.

Poetry Prompts - Week 1

· Topic: Winter

Optional requirement: Write a poem using iambic and/or trochaic lines.
Poetry Prompts - Week 2

Topic: Cities
Optional requirement: Incorporate a form of rhyme in your poem
Poetry Prompts - Week 3

Topic: Something Sad.
Optional requirement: Incorporate a form of alliteration.
Poetry Prompts - Week 4

Topic: Anything at All.
Optional requirement: Write your poem in Blank Verse.
Poetry Prompts - Week 5

Topic: Love.
Optional requirement: Write a sonnet.
Poetry Prompts - Week 6

Topic: Time.
Optional requirement: Write a ballad.
Poetry (Standalone)

Poetry for religions class by Betaband

A poem with an eerie vibe

Everything else

The CYStian Roll of Honor by Will11 – Week 1

Will11 tracks the highest commendation Earners of CYStia

List of interesting Interactive Fiction games

Many Parser based. Note IF differs from CYoA in that IF tends to be Parser led narrative while CYoA tends to be structured choice led narrative.

What is Flash Fiction?

Expertly explained by IronPanther

EndMaster’s product line

The middle of another CYS vs CoG thread produces an unexpected gem as EndMaster gets into the consumer products business… to dubious results. No refunds accepted, and always read the fine print. Thread also has a quick discussion on economics of commercial storygames.

The Sage’s Library

Creative banter regarding the nature of the Orders.


Bucky’s February Flash Fiction Contest, February 2017

Home to numerous commended 200-300 word flash fiction entries from a diverse list of authors and spanning numerous genres. An excellence compilation of stories that convey a lot with a little. Recommended for new writers.

Related: Feedback thread here

EndMaster’s EdgeLord Competition, February 2017

[Mature Content] A compendium of the edgiest works CYS could churn out, to appease EndMaster’s will, complete with EndMaster’s gleeful roasts of the participants. You’ll want to avoid this if you’re easily offended.

Scripting notable posts

Advanced Editor notable posts

Game Design

Game design is distinct from Storywriting in its focus on the nature of choices and consequences in game structure.

A large list of resources (outside CYS) useful for designing CYOAs

On methods to explore the game world

Are games with only one or two end links acceptable?

Detailed insights on how to design epic storygames where quest mechanics are involved


Why removing guns in a fiction setting won’t lead to swordfights

An inquiry whether the absence of guns would realistically lead to modern day equivalent battles being fought in close quarters (swordfighting, for example) leads to multiple helpful responses. The quick answer: no, the longer answer: it’s nuanced.

On the use of Flashbacks

On Naming a Villain (hint: they can be named anything, it’s the actions that count)

How to create a setting

How to speed-proofread well

Tips for writing sequels

How to Indicate Sound in Writing? (Onomatopoeia)

Why to not make ‘multiple part’ stories (make complete, self-contained stories)

On the use of commas

Murder Mysteries, Detective Stories, and Linearity

Quotation marks and commas

Storywriting Critique

The following are prompts put up in the writing workshop that got helpful feedback. Some of the pointers on these threads may be useful for writers aiming to work with similar themes

DaCaRi’s Pirate story

Feedback related to: Character design, use of magic

Tags: Pirate, Treasure, Magic

Nyctophilia’s Aloris: The King’s Son storyline

Feedback related to: World building, Detailing

Tags: Fantasy, War, Politics

StrykerL’s Floatstones – Thinking out loud

Feedback related to: World building, Detailing

Tags: Sci-Fi, Technology, Post-Apocalyptic

TheTraveler’s Untitled Post-Apocalyptic story

Feedback related to: Passive vs Active, Clichéd descriptions, detailing, grammar, planning

Tags: Sci-Fi, Family, Post-Apocalyptic, Mystery

Making a Rebellion Story by AzureChevalier

Feedback related to: Plot consistency and meaning

Tags: High Fantasy, Politics, Laws, Governance

The Weekly Review

The Weekly Review - Edition 35

What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
The intriguing Article: Getting on board with The Orders thing by Will11
An Interview with the great site member StrykerL
A Review of Endmaster’s Innkeeper by Will11
This fantastic Short Story: Little Things by Mizal
Finally, Special Section: How to Write Good by Will11
The Weekly Review - Edition 34

What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
The intriguing Article: Commendations, Orders and Titles by Seto and StykerL
An Interview with the great site member Wouldn’t It Be Nice
A Review of Endmaster’s Innkeeper by Will11
This fantastic Short Story: The Magician’s House by Will11
Finally, Special Section: He Said “No” by Will11
The Weekly Review - Edition 33

What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
The intriguing Article: The Weekly Review by Will11
An Interview with the great site member MinnieKing
A Review of Briar_Rose’s The Price of Freedom: Innocence Lost by Will11
This fantastic Short Story: The Magician’s House by Will11
Finally, Special Section: Movie Comedy by Will11
The Weekly Review - Edition 32

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
An Article on What’s happening to my site?: An Article for Cystians
A Review of the Lost Expedition (2) by Will11, reviewed Seto
The Short Story Death Walked Into The Village
CYStian Review of MinnieKing
The Special Section where Steve makes another desperate grab for power using the newspaper as he doesn't know what else to put in that section but gibberish
The Weekly Review - Edition 31

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
A blank space where the article would’ve went if someone had actually written it. Ah screw it, I'll just write an article now.
A Review of The Multiverse Chalkboard, reviewed by Steve24833
The Short Story by Mizal called The Only Peace Possible (Please note that none of it's in italics, because fuck your system, mizal, the tags frustrate me)
CYStian Review of Will11
A Special Section on the Four Orders
The Weekly Review - Edition 30

What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
The intriguing Article: Submitting Help and Info Articles by Will11
An Interview with the great site member BradinDvorak
A Review of Sethaniel’s Haunted by Will11
This fantastic Short Story: A Dragon Comes Calling by Mizal
Finally, Special Section: Courtroom Comedy by Will11
The Weekly Review - Edition 29

What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
The intriguing Article: Writing with intent by Mizal
An Interview with the great site member Zaghero
A Review of Chocobot’s ‘A Jung Hero’s Adventure’ by Mizal
This fantastic Short Story: A Dragon Comes Calling by Mizal
Finally, Special Section: Funniest True Book Titles by Will11
The Weekly Review - Edition 28

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
An Article on Solving the Procrastination Crisis
A Review of tsmpaul’s 8 Goals, 28 Rolls, reviewed by Steve24833
A Short Story by WIBN
CYStian Review of ZagHero
A Special Section of a Defense of Communism
The Weekly Review - Edition 27

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
An Article on Flow by Bucky
A Review of AppDude27 and TerrAquVen’s 4 Little Mice, reviewed by Steve24833
The Short Story Stupidity by Steve24833
A new section: CYStian Review of mizal
A Special Section of the big questions of life and their obvious answers by Steve24833
The Weekly Review - Edition 26

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums
An Article on some word stuff or grammar or whatever by Bucky
A Review of Dragon Ages by socialspider, reviewed by Seto.
The Christmas Poem the Hangover by Steve24833
A Special Section on Why You Didn’t Find Any Presents Under Your Tree by Steve24833
The Weekly Review - Edition 25

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article on Bucky’s Great Competition by Will11!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Will11 by Seto!
A Review of Killa Robot’s Inepta Academy, written by Steve24833!
The Short Story Discovery by the terrific writer Steve24833!
A Special Section of Famous Last Words!
The Weekly Review - Edition 24

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article on Procrastination by temporaryaccount!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Malkalack!
A Review of How not to Write by its author Will11 (SHAMLESS SELF-PUBLICITY ALERT)!
The Short Story Spare the Rod, Spoil the Child by the terrific writer Steve24833!
A Special Section of Will11’s entry for the ballad-writing competition!
The Weekly Review - Edition 23

A What is New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article about the popularity of Story Game genres!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Ford!
A Review of Wonko_the_Sane’s great story The Vampire Hunter by Steve 24833!
The Short Story High-Functioning by the terrific writer Steve24833!
A Special Section of jokes!
The Weekly Review - Edition 22

A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article about giving and receiving criticism by Steve 24833!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Seto!
A Review of BerkaZerka’s great Everything Else story Cows vs. Aliens!
A Short Story by the terrific writer Steve24833!
A Special Section of jokes!
The Weekly Review - Edition 21

A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article explaining what to do after you get banned by Steve 24833!
An Interview of the fantastic site member TharaApples!
A Review of Romulus’s great Fan Fiction story The Raven!
A Short Story by the terrific writer Mizal!
A Special Section of jokes!
The Weekly Review - Edition 20

A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article exploring the usefulness of Articles!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Bucky!
A Review of the great Fantasy story The Path of Death!
A Short Story by the terrific writer Steve25833!
A Special Section with a great satirical poem by keen author Lancelot!
The Weekly Review - Edition 19

A What’s New Section giving the latest info on the Forums!
An Article exploring the challenges of writing!
An Interview of the fantastic site member Mizal!
A Review of the great Edutainment Story Mutiny on the Bounty!
A Short Story by the fantastic site member Mizal!
A Special Section on Comedy and a Brand New Special Section!
The Weekly Review - Edition 18

In Newbie Central newcomers DoctorFizz0505 introduces his or her fantastic self to the site!
In the Lounge Steve24833 starts an Apology Thread for anyone that feels the need to get anything off their chests…
In the Parlor Room ugilick raises an interesting question about first and third person perspectives in stories.
In the Writing Workshop DoctorFizz0505 triggers a very lively discussion about Sci-Fi ideas for stories.
In the Reading Corner Kingler1140 looks for fellow fans of the book My Side of the Mountain.
The Weekly Review - Edition 17

In Newbie Central newcomers Catlover02 and GNeighbour introduce their fantastic selves to the site!
In the Lounge Poeticmindframe45 triggers a lively debate about whether transgender preferences should be considered a mental illness or not…
In the Parlor Room Kiel Farren’s A Game of Life and Death and Gmmcgee’s Avery M continue to puzzle and bemuse.
In the Writing Workshop Killa_Robot seeks writers to help update some of the site’s more outdated Articles.
In the Reading Corner things remain quiet from last week… I wonder if anyone has been reading anything good lately?
The Weekly Review - Edition 16

The Weekly Review returns again, publishing every Sunday!

In Newbie Central newcomers Leek, Exbandivis, AtheistCat and Trashy_To_The_Max introduce their fantastic selves to the site!
In the Lounge EndMaster continues his time-consuming but greatly-appreciated war to improve the quality of the site, aided by hard work of TharaApples!
In the Parlour Room site members are still seeking assistance to beat that incredibly tricky Wall Mart Game!
In the Writing Workshop Axiom continues to deliver great writing prompts and Bucky’s writing competition counts down to its deadline!
In the Reading Corner Bannerlord reminds us what a fantastic series the Darren Shan books were!
The Weekly Review - Edition 15

Interviewee: Chase223
Review: Achilles
Quiz: Howdrunk izz yoo?
The Weekly Review - Edition 14

Interviewee: Steve24833
Review: Achilles 2
Quiz: Will you go to Heaven or Hell?
The Weekly Review - Edition 13

Interviewee: BerkaZerka
Review: Kill Aman's Mustache
Quiz: How marriageable are you?
The Weekly Review - Edition 12

Interviewee: Myself!
Review: Randomly Walk II, the Epic Sequel. Or Randomly Walk 2, with different capitalization... I don't know what I called that old thing...
Quiz: Do you know your history?
The Weekly Review - Edition 11

Interviewee: Playa988
Review: Bacon Wars
Quiz: Do you have weight problems?
The Weekly Review - Edition 10

Interviewee: Applegirl
Review: Farewell, My Childhood Self.
Quiz: How do you feel about George Bush?
The Weekly Review - Edition 9

Interviewee: Killa_Robot
Review: Through Time
Quiz: How sexy are you?
The Weekly Review - Edition 8

Interviewee: Ogre11
Review(s): The Mayoral Campaign, The Quick Dating Game, Finding the Muse
Quiz: How will you face death?
The Weekly Review - Edition 7

Interviewee: Appdude27
Review(s): Vexor writes in about 4 Blind Mice and Before Midnight
Quiz: Are you gay? Let’s find out!
The Weekly Review - Edition 6

Interviewee: Kiel_Farren
Review: Eternal
The Weekly Review - Edition 5

Interviewee: Briar_Rose
Review: Dead Man Walking
The Weekly Review - Edition 4

Interviewee: JJJ-thebanisher
Review: Necromancer
The Weekly Review - Edition 3

Interviewee: SindriV
Review: Ground Zero
The Weekly Review - Edition 2

Interviewee: Sethaniel
Review: Snow
The Weekly Review - Edition 1

Interviewee: Endmaster
Review: Homo Perfectus 8


Crescentstar is one of those great individuals who make up the core 50-100 members of the site, a long-time member who has written a great story, contributed a great deal to the Forums and assists through writing to keep making the site a better place. Here she gives her opinions in this fun interview:

1: How did you first find this site and what made you want to join?
One of my closest friends loved "pick-your-path" games and got me interested in them when I was eleven by showing me a game she made on Scratch. After giving up on them for a year, I decided, hey, why not? I looked them up by its many names. I first found this one really weird one and that was just really creepy. Luckily, I clicked on the lovely link leading to this site. At first, I didn't make an account, but I got addicted to AppDude's MyVacation (and had to save so many times!). So here I am.

2: How have you found this site since you have joined?
I must have found it incredibly dull and boring after reading some of the better storygames because I became inactive for about a year. I became active for the School-Based Contest, which re-sparked my interest in the stories here, the unique people here, and the rich history of the members and site.
This site has some of the most interesting, genuine (like, REAL), and humorous people I've ever met. I guess I've finally got that CYS need where you just have to log on to see what's happening (or see if anyone responded to your PMs >->).

3: What are your favourite aspects or members of the site?
My newfound favorite aspect of the site is definitely the Creative Corner. Though I liked Forum Games, the CC is a good center for a spectrum of people, not just the people willing to play Forum Games (and deal with those ever-growing, colossal threads...).
Another one would be how tightly-knit the community is here. Everyone basically knows everyone, and I find it nice because people can actually get to know others through Forums alone.

My favorite members would definitely be Shadowulf (who's just awesome), Seto (who's so nice to everyone), and Raven47 (who's such an interesting and honest person). I'd rather not get into detail of HOW MUCH I FREAKING LOVE YOU ALL. (... mostly)

4: What are your least favourite aspects of the site?
I dislike newer members who start a storygame, take the title, ignore PMs of support for their storygames (some have potential), and never come back again. 1) Some take good user names, and 2) some take good story titles.
There's not really much to say. I think the site I fairly balanced, especially for a writing site.

5: You wrote a good story for the ballad writing competition, what stories do you plan to write in the future?
Good? Story? Ballad? I think you just made my day, Will.
I'm planning on the sequel to that ballad that delves deeper into the characters. I'm into the planning these days. Besides that, I'm definitely finishing a romance-puzzle storygame this year, as well as *maybe* a large-world fantasy. I'm not going to take up more space describing them, so if you ever want to know, my profile page is where you can find more descriptions.

6: What do you think of the new commendations/orders system?
I love commendations especially because they show what you've actually done for the site. Orders are an awesome competitive tool - very clever idea, 3J.
So, yeah, people! Keep up those commendations because you might one day knock Steve off that throne!

7: I notice you have recently written a number of interesting writing prompts, what inspires your writing?
Other than reading, I think my competitive nature forces me to feel obligated to write, as nerdy as that sounds. It's that, "they did it; I can too" feeling.
On the less nerdy hand, I get inspired by ideas, scenes, and happenings that make up my daily life (minus the boring parts). For example, the prompts Seto and Romulus give every week stir this inner part of me that makes me want to write down something, whether it be boring and lame or interesting and fun.

Writing used to be a place for me to just vent. After looking back on that, I've shredded the paper I've written those particularly gruesome things on (there must be no evidence to be used against me!).

8: How do you see your role on the site in the future?
I... don't know. I'll probably continue the way I am - stuck in the Creative Corner. Maybe insert a decent storygame here and there. I'm taking a break from reviewing storygames just because it's wears me down to my bones and leaves me foggy-brained in the morning. I'll just go wherever destiny takes me!!! *walks off cliff edge*

9: Any funny stories to relate?
Uh... I kissed a girl and I liked it because of the taste of her cherry chapstick?
I dunno. (That didn't happen though.) My existence is a boring web of excrement and towels.

10: Finally, any last words, possibly to new site members?
Please, don't kill me. I still have friends I need to say, "goodbye," to and family I still need to call. I'm too young to die!

For new site members, lurk some. Not doing anything can be better than doing something. Get to know the different people on the site whether you plan on interacting with them. And remember: Write something you can be proud of because you tried you best.


This little story is an interesting example of the LOL Random genre that takes an original idea and makes it noteworthy enough not to be deleted. The idea, possibly borrowed from The Sausage Party is enough to make the story interesting enough for five minutes but it’s short length and lack of development is evidence that there is only so far you can take a novelty genre. Thankfully the spelling and grammar are good or the story would be gone already.

This raises the interesting question of what makes good writing? Is it a large vocabulary, well-defined settings, interesting characters and a plot we care about? Is it the experience we have of making us laugh or having some strong reaction to the story that makes it memorable? Grape made me laugh but it was a five minute entertainment. It was not one of those stories I’d recommend to my friends. But if you want brief entertainment out of stories you could do a lot worse.


Click here to read Part 1:

Part 2 of 2

Kyera struggled to free her legs and managed to pull herself into a sitting position, trying to remain calm and figure out what to do. Through the loose weave of the mage's long sleeves, she could see glimmers of red light now, the tattoos blazing fiercely as they tried, and apparently failed, to contain the forces of magic Eidolon commanded. This was what was known as 'a bad thing', for just about everyone around.

And the she watched, it trembled, the shifting and shaking increased, and just like that the bricks began tumbling to the ground. No, looking closer, some of them were actually sinking, as, actually, the ground itself was rising over them, practically boiling up and engulfing pieces of the wall as...wait. No.

Kyera had never considered herself very religious, but she heard herself stammering out the names of a dozen different spirits and divines as she frantically kicked and clawed her way backwards through the soft earth, finally recognizing what she was looking at as hundreds of thousands--millions!--of ants crawling over the bricks and each other in writhing mounds.

The guards were shouting now and running their way, the dwarf who was closest momentarily taking cover behind their tree, then leaning out to take aim with his crossbow. A cloud of sparrows dropped from the branches, flapping against his beard and face and pecking at his fingers, sending the bolt flying wide and making him drop his weapon with a curse as he flailed at the birds.

Other guards arrived and after a brief exchange took up position in a semi-circle around the mage. Still not quite clear of the patch of treacherous dirt, Kyera twisted around to get a view of their positions and swore softly, not liking at all that she was between Eidolon and a half a dozen frightened, crossbow-wielding guards, however this went down.

"Gentlemen, drop your weapons and I'll leave here in peace."

"Eidolon! Stop--stop with the spells! Lie down on the ground and put your hands over your head, or we'll shoot!" the warden shouted, with what Kyera suspected was more bravado than conviction.

The mage went on as if she hadn't heard him. "You've kept me prisoner here, but I understand--you were only doing your duty. I bear you no ill will, but I'm leaving now and I won't allow you to stop me."

The ants. Kyera suddenly realized she didn't see them crawling over the jumble of bricks any longer. A split second later, she realized why. Surging out of the ground next to each guard came a dark, roiling form; millions upon millions of ants, fused into disturbingly humanoid shapes that towered over the dwarves. There was a moment of shouting and panic, and the twanging of bolts being fired into the nebulous masses. Kyera had flung herself down and shielded her head the instant she realized what was happening, but when she looked again she saw no noticeable effect on the...ant golems? While meanwhile only the warden and one other guard had had the presence of mind not to fire.

"Eidolon. All right, ah, let's not do anything hasty. Call off these...things, won't you please, and we can discuss this peacefully," the warden said. Kyera had to admire that he could actually keep his voice from shaking. She could see the whites of his eyes and flared nostrils from here and he looked ready to piss himself.

"There's nothing to discuss. Drop your weapons. I'll send these ants back into the earth and they will do you no harm as long as you don't try and prevent me from leaving."

The warden looked at the dark cloud of ants looming over his shoulder, then at the fright in the other guards faces, before swearing gruffly and bending to set his crossbow on the ground. "Do as she says," he ordered the other.

The last dwarf hesitated. He looked to be calculating his chances.

"Don't be stupid," Kyera blurted out. "Just do what she says. Can't you see you're outclassed? The spellbinders aren't working anymore. Not a one of you signed on to take on a mage this powerful."

"Can she do more than control a buncha ants?" the stubborn holdout protested. "Those tattoos must be halfway working still. Strike me down with a lightning bolt if you got all yer powers, witch. I dare ya."

"Mm. I'll admit it. My magic is still hampered somewhat. But even if you shot me, it just means I'd lose my focus and the swarm would be on top of you, and all your friends. Let me warn you, they're ravenous right now. They'd strip your flesh from your bones in seconds."

That gave him pause. He looked up at the humanoid pillar of ants just behind him, then around at the other frightened guards in similar predicaments. Then, sighing, he placed his crossbow on the ground.

"Smart dwarf."

Eidolon turned her attention now to Kyera. "Oh, and you. Kyera, even though I know your binding tattoos are fake, and that were put here to watch me for signs of regaining my powers in exchange for a pardon...and you've apparently been under the impression I'm blind and stupid all this time, I want you to know that I've quite enjoyed your company. And so I'm not going to kill you."

"Shit. Uh...thanks."

Ugh. Kyera cringed a little and couldn't quite meet the mage's eyes. How long had she known?

"You're welcome." A moment's hesitation. "In fact, we get along well enough that I could see myself working with you. I'm willing to give you the opportunity to join me if you wish it."

Kyera's brow furrowed as she considered that. As hard as she'd been trying to stay on the right side of things lately, it was pretty tempting, to be honest. But finally she shook her head and said with a bit of regret, "That's a generous offer, all things considered. But, ah, I owe a lot to the ones who put me here, too. I couldn't betray them."

Eidolon nodded. "Well, I'm sorry to hear that, but I understand. And I hope things work out for you. Even know, you were put here to watch me. That was your one job, and you just had no idea. I'd been working with those ants a little at a time, for over a year now. You just didn't ever pay enough attention to what was going on right under your nose."

"The details, right. I can see that now."

"Hah. I'm not so sure about that!" the mage's voice had taken on an uncharacteristically chipper note. She was pretty clearly having the time of her life, here on the verge of freedom, with all of them helpless before her. In a strange way, Kyera was happy for her.

"Anyway!" Eidolon went on, "I hope you won't be punished too harshly for your incredible failure."

Kyera's lips twisted into a rueful smile. "Yeah, hope not. Just have to see how it goes. Though, ah, I'll sort of miss you too. We'd have made a good team, if things were different. But, they're not, long. And good luck out there."

A chuckle from her friend, then she waved and started to walk off. "Thank you. But I won't need it."

The ants threatening the guards had been gradually sinking back to the ground, and now disappeared into the earth, tugging the crossbows along with them. Kyera noticed the dwarves seemed even...dwarfier all of a sudden, and realized their boots were sunk into the soil, as hers has been.

Kyera remained sitting on the ground and let her thoughts wander to the near future while they worked to pull themselves free, cursing and complaining. She figured that it would at least look good that she had so nobly refused Eidolon's offer, and she had plenty of witnesses to that, but...yeah, she was going to have a lot of explaining to do. Letting a powerful, dangerous mage escape was kind of a big deal. The whole lot of them would be questioned, made to put quill to parchment and all that nonsense.

An ant crawled across the crumbled earth in front of her, carrying a piece of a leaf.


Maravian leaf-snipper. That was right.

They used their mandibles to cut leaves, and ate...fungus, not flesh. They were farmers, not ravenous dwarf eaters.

Kyera buried her face in her hands, her shoulders shaking with suppressed laughter. Details indeed.

She figured it might be best to leave this last little revelation out of her official report.


Here, at the risk of repeating myself, I’d like to share StrykerL’s description of the site from his interview in the last Edition because I think it really accurately and beautifully describes this Site:

“The site is as much a marvel of the internet as Wikipedia. If you think about it, the basic premise sounds similarly outlandish - people from around the world who might never meet face to face will volunteer to write and encourage others to write exceptional choose-your-adventure-stories, all on a website, using a relatively simple editor - and yet it works magnificently. The fact that the site has existed for sixteen years is a testament to the strength of its unifying vision.

There’s an entire ecosystem - writers, reviewers, open-minded moderators, testers, coding experts, community builders, and many more - they’re all here. The community is close-knit and active, and everything builds off of everything else, making CYS a gem of the internet age. I'd compare CYS to a hidden tavern of the net’s backroads where the ale is hearty, the stories thrilling, and the regulars friendly.”

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

Actually, Grape is most probably the alt of MinnieKing. Also, it's surprising how far the weekly review came from edition one which was an idea to edition 36 where the weekly review is actually accurate and can be considered as the site's newspaper

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
Yeah, it has changed a lot :) There are some things I actually really like from the earlier editions, especially the quizzes, but over the last year or two my workload has increased so I don't have as much time as before to be more creative and fun with it :D I like the fact it's diversified now though because hopefully there is something that everyone will like, people might just read it for the short stories or people who don't like the interviews can just read the what's new or something like that :) It's getting so big now I doubt most readers read all of it :D

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

I wonder why you discontinued the quizzes? They actually seemed like a good idea! It's still nice that an idea turned into something else more interesting. Pray tell but did you start the weekly review or did someone else come up with the idea first?

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
Jaystarcat had the idea originally but her newspaper and a few others didn't last because too many people were involved I think :)

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

This was my favorite review so far. Bravo. *Finger whistle*

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
I liked it so much I actually read all of it for once

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
True story, I was going to call you an unfunny alt-spamming twat in the second paragraph and then laugh about how you'd never read it. I guess it's just as well I never got around to that.

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
lol thanks me too

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
Another great review :)

Looks like the formatting took a hit, the hyperlinks in the article were lost. Anyone who'd like to recommend good threads to add to the List (particularly good things from before 2016) is welcome to share the same in the [Archive] Lists thread in the Lounge.

Will, you're laying it a tad thick in praise of *cough*the president*cough* I mean EndMaster's thread. This smells of intimidation of the free press. I mean, really? Did you miss any adjectives there?

"In the Creative Corner EndMaster’s fantastically awesome, wonderfully creative, endearingly brilliant and tantalisingly edgy competition comes to an end!"

Was Will pressured to write glowing reviews under threat of bankruptcy and lawsuits? Is Mizal J Mizlington a PAID REPORTER? FIND OUT NEXT WEEK (If the presses aren't shuttered)

Also, it seems like a lot of people over the years have taken you 'last words' question as a literal 'sleeping with the fishes' query. Amusing :)

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
EndMaster is an absolutely lovely individual and I am under no intimidation or threat of physical violence of any kind and neither is any of my immediate family, particularly not my parents. That is all I have to say on this matter.

Haha actually I just wanted to make sure his competition got a mention this week :D

I didn't realise the "any last words" question was threatening but I guess I'm a lot more intimidating than I thought :P

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

Will is very scary. o-o

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

These are great. I'm glad my story was able to get put on Styrker's list. 

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago
Wow, super long one haha!

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

Mostly because of the new article that was included.

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

This was rather intriguing to read through. 

The Weekly Review - Edition 36

3 years ago

Another great review. Nice job, Will.