Underread and Underrated
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Featured SCP!

SCP-5332: Remnants of the Elder

Storage: The cargo to be stowed in the hold, in a large standard crate with a sheepskin padded interior, and secured to the floor hull by rope.

Featured Tale/Format!

The Definition Of Madness

He was cracking open the second beer when he heard the voice.













Topic and Prompt of the month!

Last Month's Pieces and Topic

Topic + pick of this month!

MEMORANDUM 083, Prelude, and stories set in West and Central Asia

The combined population of West and Central Asia is just under 390 million, according to a 2019 UN population statistic. For an area slightly larger and more populous than the United States, you don't see as many stories in the former regions. It's a shame, because as the Office for the Reclamation of Islamic Artifacts and Necropotence show, there's a wealth of stories to be told.

Depending on the interpretation, the ORIA is either based out or a national organ of the Islamic Republic of Iran. The nation itself has a unique place in Middle East and Central Asian affairs:

  • It is the largest majority Shi'ite nation on Earth, in population and area. As well, it served as a focal point in several Zoroastrian empires, prior to the 7th Century Muslim conquest.
  • A regional superpower, it has tremendous influence on the affairs of both areas, both as an ally and an opponent.
  • Partially as a result of its Shia Islamist government, Iran is a frequent opponent of Salafi jihadist terrorist groups such as ISIL and al-Qaeda; however, it has provided support to Hezbollah, a Shia Islamist militant group.

Central to most depictions of the ORIA is an opposition to imperialism. The ORIA sees itself as guardians against foreign incursion, a literal "reclamation" of the anomalous Islamic world from powers such as the Foundation and GRU-P. As a result, the dynamic of "normalcy" can change drastically within its areas of operation, necessitating a mix of diplomacy, espionage, and armed conflict.

Of course, the ORIA isn't the be-all-end-all of the regional anomalous. Just look to Necropotence, a story in the Coldest War canon about the anomalous bits of the Soviet–Afghan War.

And writers shouldn't feel constrained to late 20th/early 21st-Century politics! Consider how the Daevite Empire had a presence in Northern Iran, or what GRU-P might've been up to during the WWII Soviet evacuations. Failing that, how does ORIA manage generic murder monsters? Not every West/Central Asian anomaly is uniquely West/Central Asian.

Sure, stories in North America are fine. Just… maybe think about a change of scenery.

This month's challenge:

  • For writers: Write an article taking place in one or both of these regions, from the perspective of a local.
  • For artists: Draw a scene from Necropotence.

Young and Under 30

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