In my first time as an interviewer, I sat down separately with the authors of the Security Council resolution Commend The Holy Principality of Saint Mark (better known as Halo) to interview them on their thoughts, and get a better feel for the process. Below is the curated transcript of those interviews with The Unified Missourtama States and Teralyon.
[Nieubasria] First of all, congratulations on your co-authorship! It is no small feat. Can you tell us what started you on this track?
[Teralyon] The very beginning would have to be the WA course in the UTWP where we did several hands on assignments which taught us all about the WA ministry in TWP and both the GA and SC they were a lot more involved with the UTWP staff and that all built up to our final WA cycle project where our group was presented a choice by Mr. Badger, "Pick, 1 or 2" we picked 1 which ended up being "Write a SC resolution" and that what started us off down this entire SC rabbit hole.
[TUMS] SC#302 is a runaway UTWP project. As part of the WA section of the university we were put into groups to study each chamber of the WA, as part of studies we were to create a legal proposal for our chamber, after some initial drafting we met our requirements for the course and were about to move on, however I saw the potential in the draft we had and wanted to submit, Teralyon came along with me and together over the next month we pushed it to passing as our own little project
[Nieubasria] How involved were the UTWP staff or other students in this project?
[Teralyon] For the initial commendation draft itself, Badger and Dilber were in our DM group on discord to observe and if we asked any question they would of answered but for the most part we had free reign to research, contact and write whatever we wanted and then after our first draft was done Badger invited a few people to the TWP forums to critique it and offer advice and we took it all in there is a world of difference between the first draft and what was finally submitted and we could of never of done it without them.
[TUMS] While this project was certainly a product of UTWP, the only resources we obtained was a link to the rules, mainly I and Teralyon did the drafting, however there is a large list of people outside of the university as well as some inside who provided essential information and valuable feedback.
[Nieubasria] How would you describe the overall process to a new person? What is the best way to get into authoring?
[TUMS] The number one thing is to first read the rules, there are lots of people with great ideas who are submitting illegal proposals to the WA, read those rules! Secondly, finding an experienced author to help you, I right now can think of 9 SC authors I personally contacted to get feedback, many are happy to help, if anyone is thinking of authoring an SC proposal I would be happy to help them as well. Third, don’t author just because - the WA, especially SC (in liberations) are doing real work, you’re only going to make people angry if you’re spamming proposals, take your time.
[Teralyon] Well firstly I’d say believe in the subject you’re writing about- be it a commendation, condemnation or liberation don’t write a joke resolution, when we were going back and forth on who or what to write about the only person that was a unanimous decision for us was Halo. Then after you have an idea you are passionate about, study as much as can and do your research, gather facts from multiple sources and most importantly take your time would be my advice. Our commendation research and writing, rewriting, re-rewriting and campaigning lasted well after we completed the WA cycle. almost a full month after now that I think back on it
[Nieubasria] What was the easiest part?
[Teralyon] Honestly, Deciding to write one for Halo out of everything that was probably the most easiest choice to make, for myself Halo is one of the main reason i ended up becoming more involved in TWP instead of just a issues answering player, he definitely made TWP far more inviting than it used to be in my opinion.
[TUMS] Each part is difficult in its own way, but I guess in terms of least work: the campaign telegrams, those did cost 2 dollars, but that was pretty easy to write.
[Nieubasria]And lastly, what was the hardest part?
[TUMS] The WA is an opinions game, the hardest part is convincing people you are correct.
[Teralyon] Probably be taking criticism and learning how to see both points of view and making compromises.
[Nieubasria] Okay thank you so much for sitting with me for this interview! I appreciate your great answers!
[TUMS] No problem!
[Teralyon] Thank you for the great interview, I loved the "How would you describe the overall process to a new person? What is the best way to get into authoring?" question!
I was recently assigned to serve as TWP’s Ambassador to Karma and to the South Pacific. One of my main interests in this role is to learn about culture. This summer, I will focus energy on getting to know TSP and hope to also write a Foreign Affairs Feature on them. For now, I am happy to report on the cultural significance of Karma.
Immediately, I was impressed with the close-knit and welcoming nature of this community. In fact, I could hardly keep up with their Discord—I’d often find that if I looked elsewhere for ten minutes, I’d miss some really great and funny moments. What is it that makes Karma such a lively and welcoming place? The Wayfarer (Spirit, who is Karma’s ambassador to TWP) and Beansburrow (Beanie) are among the nations who offered to share about the region.
If you ask anyone within Karma about what distinguishes their region, they would emphasize community. Beanie, a fairly new player, has glowing remarks about Karma: “It truly is the most wholesome, charming community I have ever been a part of. The people are kind, the people running the show are kind, everyone seems to be very helpful and ready to be… well… friends, which is NOT something I am used to.” Where does this come from? In the initial issue of The Augury (Karma’s newspaper), it is noted that Altino created this region specifically to cultivate a safe space for old and new players to play drama free. The region’s bylaws (“the Guidance”) and structure of sages help to build an impressive welcoming culture. Like any good region, it begins with good communication. Both Spirit and Beanie mentioned that Karma’s recruitment telegram sets a positive and welcoming tone.
But there is another major mechanism for this cultivation: though all nations within Karma are citizens, Karma has a special process called Enlightenment. Resident nations can petition to begin an Awakening Quest in order to become Enlightened. They answer several questions and receive a special task called a Bodhi. Upon completion, the Enlightened become members of the Sangha, the region’s legislative body. About thirty nations are Enlightened, and several are in progress. Why is Enlightenment important? Spirit explains, “You can choose to try and become enlightened at any time. You’ll then answer a lot of questions ranging from fun to philosophical. I would say the questions are more so that people can get to know you better… The main reason I think enlightenment is important is it places another milestone of sorts between being a citizen and being in a leadership position.”
This helps to explain why this close-knit region thrives: people take time to get to know each other and respect each other even across difference. This respect drives significant Discord and RMB activity. That activity was especially apparent in the Ides of March event that Karma held with Osiris. A number of nations wrote engaging narratives about (pretend) stabbing each other. I even joined on their Discord brandishing a nerf knife and discovered I was too blunt. Nothing builds community quite like taking a stab at an event like this. You can read some of these stories at: region=the_ides
There is interesting overlap between our beloved region and Karma. I discovered that founder Altino was a former commander of TWPAF, and invited The Holy Principality of Saint Mark and Big Bad Badger to join her in Karma. Both Halo and Badger serve as Sages (the supreme rulers of Karma). But you can also find quite a few TWPers here, such as Nrevyw and many others. Because of this friendship, TWP and Karma have held a joint Fridate, and can be found interacting at festivals such as the Festival of the Three Perfections and Burning Marsupial. Surely more is in store given the friendship that exists.
It has been a delight learning about and interacting with the kind folks at Karma, both through this role as ambassador and through the festivals we’ve celebrated of late. You can count on a warm welcome, good humor, and meaningful conversations there. For new nations, I encourage you to consider Foreign Affairs as one of the many ways you can get involved and enhance your experience of this game. TWPers should feel free to visit Karma! I conclude with invitations from my two interviewees fashioned from their response to my question, why should TWPers visit?
“We do our best to spread good vibes to others, and we always enjoy when cool peeps from other regions come to hang out ^.^ From the few conversations I’ve had with TWP peeps I’d love to talk with you all more <3.” - Spirit
“To bask in the greatness of the charismatic and powerful Hokage Beanie! Nah, to mingle with the cuties of Karma and experience a different kind of culture and to make friends with great people from a great place lead by great leaders. It’s always nice having y’all around! I haven’t met a bad egg from TWP yet, either. Personally, I’d LOVE to get to know more about y’all and your great region!” -Beanie
A week ago saw the culmination of The West Pacific and The East Pacific's annual festival: Burning Marsupial. Residents of both regions got together to party, celebrate, and come together over their hatred of pouchies. The festival, which was the second annual edition of the Burning Marsupial brand, lasted a week, with its finale on the 25th of May. The event can be summed up with three F-Words: Festival, Forts, and Friends.
The first of these is obviously festival. Burning Marsupial is based, no surprise, on the Burning Man festival that happens in Nevada once a year. Both events have a similar theme: being creative together. Just as at Burning Man the emphasis is on immediacy, so at Burning Marsupial the event is designed to bring people together as much as possible for the duration to foster friendships until next year.
This brings us to the forts. Just like how at Burning Man festival attendees create, essentially creating the life of the festival themselves, Burning Marsupial provides a space for campers to show off their talents. Different channels were different forts, and in each fort campers could post different things they had made. Mixtapes, artwork, poetry: all of it had a place. Although campers received medals at the end of the festival, the focus was not the end result: it was the experience of building something together.
Thus, the last F-Word for the festival is friends. Being able to hang out with each other for a week allowed campers to spend time with friends old and new alike. The West Pacific and The East Pacific are friends at the regional level, politically speaking, but Burning Marsupial lets the members of both regions get to know each other better and make new friends even outside their own regional borders. The two regions are very different in a lot of ways, but the festival really highlighted what they had in common. And of course, we can't forget campers who came from other regions: Burning Marsupial is an inclusive place for all.
All in all, the event was a fun time showing off the hard work of all those who attended from both TWP and TEP, as well as other regions, but also the event's organizers who put in a lot of work to make sure that it came off without a hitch. We're all looking forward to getting back out for the third annual Burning Marsupial next year!
By Fuentana and friends
As your Poet Laureate of Haiku, I have really enjoyed sharing writings with you on a regular basis on our RMB. There are in fact many talented writers among us, as there surely are among our crop of new nations. With this in mind, I am happy to inaugurate a new feature in The West Pacifican: The Writers’ Corner. This inaugural edition features the writings of two new West Pacificans who are also now part of our Hall of Nations: The citizens of hong kong and Dayadhvam. Each has shared a wonderful short story. We hope you enjoy!
If you’d like to submit to a future edition, please TG me or DM me on Discord. The Writers’ Corner will happily consider any genre of writing.
The Heart of the Lighthouse by Dayadhvam
She fervently disliked the feeling of the marine breeze caressing her hair, dark as the night sea, atop the lonely lighthouse of the rocky shore. Nature’s cold embrace was like her mother’s, she thought, whistles of a happy song echoing in the empty landscape of an alien place. She never quite grew used to it, to the wind’s howl, to the indistinct figures navigating sea and land, to the darkness. She held onto warm memories of her past life, a chill sinking its cruel teeth into her bones. The moon’s pale gaze wasn’t enough to keep her in such a tormentous place, it never could’ve been enough.
Obscurity fell around her again as she descended the tight, small steps leading down to the basement of the seemingly immense tower. What was a lighthouse without its light? Without the guidance it provided? Even just a little bulb would've been enough to keep her warm, to keep her safe from nightly beasts, and nightly memories, and nightly feelings. Enough to keep her sane, to remind her that there was a reason she was stranded in such an unfamiliar place, all alone. Even if there was none. Even if it all seemed just nature’s tragic joke. Step by step, her descent was swallowed by pitch black. Step by step. She forgot how many steps she’d taken since she’d gotten there. Since she woke up on the cold sand of a beach. Step by step. She couldn’t see, but it was muscle memory. Her hand tried to grip the concrete walls, ruining ancient cobwebs. When she finally reached the bottom, she let go of the air she was cautiously holding onto. Though she felt ill, she couldn't help but wander the empty tower, looking for something. Maybe a solution. Maybe answers. Maybe strength. Maybe she was looking for something she didn’t even know she needed. A door. She saw a door. It had always been there, perhaps. Perhaps, it too had been swallowed by darkness, cobwebs and mold.
The room behind it looked to have been emptied a long time ago and it had been home to local rats for what seemed like it could’ve been even longer. But in the middle of the room, sat a lonely lightbulb. A lightbulb. A lightbulb. She took it in her hands and ran back up the staircase, air barely reaching her lungs. When she reached the top, she kneeled down, hand to her chest, catching her breath. She thought she could die, but not right then. Not right then. She dusted off the old lightbulb and screwed it in place. At the press of a button, her world was illuminated again. Suddenly, the beasts disappeared. The darkness disappeared. Her skin felt warm. She huddled close to the heart of the lighthouse, basking in its motherly affection, and as she looked to the distant dark sea, she began wondering if her family disappearing into the depths had ever even been real. But it didn’t matter anymore. Her heart had been lit up.
Find your light, no matter where you’re stranded.
Next to the telephone stands a photo frame.
The frame had been a beautiful ruby red. The colour started to peel, however, revealing streaks of white. Jonathan now lives inside the frame, his smile as bright as it has ever been, his eyes twinkling.
I remember that rainy day in 1992 when Jonathan drove his car into the path of a speeding truck.
Oh, his lover Michelle had been distraught. Jonathan would have made a wonderful husband — he had the whole package: smart, handsome, charming —
I stood by Michelle sheltering her from the rain as she wept by the coffin.
As the years went by, I became Michelle’s rock, her strength and stay. It was just us, getting over the loss of Michelle’s lover, my friend. We shared each other’s grief.
Jonathan wanted Michelle to be happy, and I gave Michelle happiness. I was there for her. We fell in love. We got married. We started a family.
It was all for Michelle’s happiness. It was all that Jonathan would have wanted.
The telephone rings. “I’ll get it!”
“David!” said the voice inside.
“Hello? Who is this?”
“David? It’s me! Jonathan!”
“Jonathan? But —”
“Gosh, it works! The time phone works!”
I know Jonathan was an esteemed physicist, but Jonathan had never told me he built a phone that could call into the future.
“Jonathan! A time phone? You didn’t tell me you made —”
“Future me didn’t tell you?”
“I’m dead, aren’t I?”
I do not know how to break it to him.
“Well, I am sure it was meant to be.” Jonathan had always been one to accept fate. “What year is it on your end?”
“Well at least I have some time left, at least I know now I have at most 28 more years to live.”
“You’re in 1992? Look, Jonathan, you are going to get hit by a truck so you have to —”
“How is Michelle doing?”
I know now that whatever I tell Jonathan, Michelle’s happiness is at stake. Her happiness is my happiness.
“Michelle’s fine. Listen, you have to take Gilboa Road on your way back home if you want to see Michelle again.”
“I should hang up now. I better be going home before my boss finds out about this entire time phone business and send me to ethics training again.”
As I hung up the phone I carefully hold the frame in my hands. I gaze into Jonathan’s sparkling eyes, knowing I’ve made the right decision.
“Who is it, honey?” Jonathan would be happy to hear Michelle’s voice again.
“Ah, it’s nothing, just some random ad.”
“Looking at Jonathan, I see?” she said as I wrap her close, my arms around her shoulder.
“He was a wonderful man. If only he wasn’t on Gilboa Street.”
When I started in the WAR Ministry just over a six weeks ago, I was promoting the March to 600 as a staffer; then suddenly I was acting Deputy Minister promoting the Spring to 700, and in the flurry of the days since [Youtuber Redacted]’s video, I have been posting about the 800 or Bust AND the Now to 900 campaigns as acting Minister.
The impact of the new, energetic players has yet to be determined but one thing is certain – the numbers are mad. We have accumulated over 1200 WA nations in the West now, and our Delegate is well on the way to 900 endorsements. For reference, the record before our current Delegate was 607. Our Ministry will be actively watching for any trends we can report for our next update, and as the WA population stabilizes after the expected mass CTE in mid-May, the endorsement cap may see a bump up! Keep your ears on for news on that.
Our Ministry’s Dispatch and Notices strategy continues with “The Masses” and Nations Not Endorsing (NNE) dispatches, and we have added a “New WA Nations” dispatch to welcome and inform our newest WA players specifically. Also, a development milestone for our automatic tools has been reached as we now have a reliable system for updating our dispatches with more exciting news forthcoming!
Every TWP nation can help the WA Ministry by becoming a WA member, endorsing Bran Astor, endorsing the Guardians, and endorsing nations across the region until you have reached the endo cap of 200. Remember that most people will endorse you back, so stay mindful to not endorse too many people at once so you stay within the 200 cap.