Wanderer D 5,096 followers · 56 stories

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News Archive

  • Sunday
    SA: Round 175

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    “Got your mask on?”

    “Yeah, but these seem a little excessive for COVID.”

    Matthew gave FanficFan an incredulous stare through his gas mask. “Worse things than COVID have probably mutated down there.”

    Memories of foreign smells from the last time he’d done reviews with Intern came to mind. “Good point.”

    Standing next to a manhole cover, Matthew readied his industrial strength laser cutter (borrowed from the Compound storage locker, the paperwork was too slow DAMNIT). “Ready with the grappling hook?”

    FanficFan raised the gun shaped tool with the clawed attachment at the manhole cover. “As ready as I’ll ever be.”

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    9 comments · 981 views
  • 6 weeks
    SA: Round 173

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    It was, thought the duck, a very nice day. From her spot in the reedy pond, the short-cropped field of grass stretched out in the rising summer sun, a vast expanse of green surrounded by thin woods. Fat, lethargic clouds hung in the air with the idle threat of rain.

    She was, all things considered, a lucky duck.

    A faint noise caught her attention, some sort of animalistic sound from the woods on the opposite end of the field. Far away from her, and probably nothing. The duck settled back down into the water, relaxing.

    Something very fast and very round came hurtling towards her, and the duck squawked and took flight as the object impacted the water.

    There came a whirring sound over the field, and before long, an electric cart crested the hill.

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    4 comments · 2,399 views
  • 9 weeks
    SA: Round 172

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Cyne templed her fingers in the ruins of the empty office block. It had been empty before, which was probably for the best, but it somehow felt doubly so now. The automatons that had started dismantling parts of the lower depths of the endless SA complex rumbled in the distance.

    Drakey pushed rubble out of the way, breaching her domain. “There you are!”

    “There I am, yes.”

    He looked around, whistling. “I’m surprised they left this place in one piece. They’ve demolished a lot of this floor.”


    “Aye. There are decades where weeks happen, and weeks where decades happen.”


    Drakey blinked. “What?”

    Read More

    9 comments · 2,995 views
  • 12 weeks
    SA: Round 171

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    A lone figure topped the rise, then looked down at the ramshackle town situated below. An errant gust of wind blew the sand upwards as he readjusted his goggles and the red scarf that covered the lower half of his face. He scanned the town for the dive bar his sources had told him would be here. Where he might find...him.

    The figure stumbled down the rise, into the town proper. The bar was unmistakable, with various indescribable vehicles parked outside, all weathered by the sand and wind. A large skull of some long-ago creature adorned the top of the doorway, as the figure pushed inside.

    All the patrons looked up and stared at the new arrival, as the man slowly unwound his scarf and removed his goggles. Piercing the crowd with a steely gaze, he made his way to the bar, where the barkeep watched him warily.

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    11 comments · 3,645 views
  • 14 weeks
    SA: Round 170

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    FanficFan surveyed the open courtyard cautiously, staying still while waiting for any sign of movement. After several minutes of this, he took a few steps, then grew still again. Nothing came out to stop him. Growing bolder, Fanfic stepped forwards again, lengthening his stride. Once again, nothing impeded his progress.

    He kept this up for a few more minutes until he reached the center of the courtyard where a single bush lay. Casting one more glance around the enclosure, he reached down and pulled on the bush. Instead of resisting his tug, the plant easily came away from the ground, revealing no roots underneath. What was underneath was a manhole cover previously hidden from sight. Putting the bush aside, Fanfic rapped his knuckles against it.

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    4 comments · 3,753 views
  • 19 weeks
    SA: Round 169

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Floyd never really got why FanficFan always insisted on the both of them carrying all the groceries in one trip to avoid multiple excursions to… the outdoors. Sure, it meant fewer trips to the van, but he didn’t think toilet paper was meant to be stacked this high.

    “Are you sure you don’t need help with that?” Floyd asked, his arms looking like a coat rack overburdened with shopping bags.

    “No, no,” FanficFan retorted, straining to keep the toilet paper tower, easily double his height, from tipping over. “You’re already carrying enough. I got this. I’m just glad we got as much as we did. At least we have a valid reason to be getting all this toilet paper. This is a reasonable amount for at most twenty people being quarantined together in one building.”

    “Doesn’t mean judgey people aren’t going to judge.”

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    4 comments · 3,279 views
  • 21 weeks
    SA: Round 168

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Paul, chair swivelled away from the dozen or so monitors with screens of stories, reviews, and video games all running concurrently, stared at Cynewulf. He did not appear amused. Quite the opposite, in fact. His scowl was somewhere between deadpan and frustrated, as though he couldn’t decide which one he wanted to display more. “You want me doing reviews for SA now?”

    Cyne grinned sheepishly. “Yes? You said you’d be available.”

    Last week, I said I’d be available. Is it last week?”

    She raised a finger in the air. “Technically, the week doesn’t roll over until—”

    “The correct answer is no.” He turned back to his monitors, fingers already blurring over the keyboards. “Some of us have review blogs outside of SA. Some of us have and keep schedules. Some of us—”

    “We’ll pay you double-time.”

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    15 comments · 2,997 views
  • 26 weeks
    SA: Round 166

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Drake marched back and forth in front of the desk, hands clasped behind his back. “So, you think you have what it takes to be a Seattle’s Angel reviewer, do ya?”

    Winter_Solstice darted his eyes to the side. “Well, I applied and you guys accepted me, so…”

    They accepted you!” Drake thrust a finger at Winter. “I haven’t yet! I need to make sure you’re up to snuff!”

    “Aren’t we just reviewing fanfics?” Winter shrugged. “I’ve got experience with that, shouldn’t be a problem?”

    “Is that so?” Drake glared and crossed his arms. “What have you done for reviewing before?”

    “I was a reviewer for Twilight’s Library.”

    Drake lowered his arms a bit and his glare softened. “Really?”

    “And then Tag-a-long’s Bookclub, Rage Reviews! and The Goodfic Bin.”

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    14 comments · 7,343 views
  • 28 weeks
    SA: Round 165

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    The Wolf in Black fled across the desert, and the Floydien followed.


    It was the apotheosis of all deserts, huge, standing to the sky in what looked like all directions. From the abandoned Office Badlands to the Lost Gyro Food Trucks of Level 17 it stretched its sandy claws, white and blinding and thirsty and featureless, save for the distant hazed-cloud mirage of the brutalist architecture that marked much of the lower depths of the Seattle’s Angel’s Inifini-plex.

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    11 comments · 8,222 views
  • 30 weeks
    SA: Round 164

    Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


    Chris walked down the corridors of Seattle’s Angels HQ, sipping a cup of coffee as he went. 

    “Did Matthew really have to have everyone come in today? I know it’s the first meeting of the year, but this is ridiculous,” he said as he took another sip. 

    As he made his way into the conference room, he took notice that the table seemed…. Bigger… than it was when he left for the holidays. 

    He plopped to his seat next to EbonQuill. “Does the table seem bigger to you, or is it just me?”

    “Didn’t you get the email?” EbonQuill questioned. “Matthew said he was bringing on the newbies to start off the new year. ‘New Year, New Blood,’ I think he called it.”

    Not in the right frame of mind to be caught by surprise, Chris took another sip of his coffee, his visage one of exasperation. 

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    11 comments · 7,642 views
Jul
25th
2020

Story Reviews » SA: Round 174 · 5:27pm July 25th

Seattle's Angels is a group that promotes good stories with low views. You can find us here.


Deep down in the lower levels of the Seattle’s Angels Secret Underground Base and Tree Fort, the door to Corejo’s room was locked tight. Were any Angel to press their ear against the door, they would have heard the familiar sound of another Angel click-clacking away at their keyboard, as Angels are wont to do while hard at work writing reviews. But any seasoned Angel would have also recognized the finer details of this restless, fervent click-clacking—the sharp, fervent staccato, the heavy, consistent thud of the Enter key—and that Angel would have hurriedly backed away and scurried off to their own duties, knowledgeable as to what was happening beyond that door and what they would come between were they to linger. Every seasoned Angel knew that sound intimately. For it was not the sound of professionals hard at work. It was the sound of panic.

“Type faster!” Corejo said to Chris. “He’s gonna be here any minute!”

Their hands were a blur, mashing their keyboards like actors in a cheesy 80s hacker movie. A pair of footsteps echoed down the hallway.

“He’s coming!” They both doubled down on their typing speed with little care for a typo or too. They both knew what would happen if they were late for a review round again.

“Hold on!” Chris said, “I still have to come up with a witty outro!”

The footsteps stopped, and a set of keys rattled on the other side of the door.

Corejo grabbed Chris by the shoulders and shook him. “Just hit send! We can’t be late again! I don’t want to go back to the Fungeon!”

Chris was all sweat and panic and determination. He at least wasn’t going down without a fight. Just a little more. A closing sentence aaaand—

“Done!” Chris said, and with a final keystroke sent the file down the series of tubes called the internet to Wanderer D, just as the tumbler on the lock clicked and the door hinges groaned like the lid of an iron maiden swinging wide.

They both swivelled around in their seats with the biggest, most innocent smiles on their faces. Corejo rested his elbow on Chris’ shoulder and held his other hand akimbo, while Chris chose a more reserved hands-in-lap approach. Were anyone to look closely enough, they would have sworn they saw halos above their heads. Those people would also be wrong.

Matthew stood in the doorway, staring at them with the resignation of a man too tired to yell at his dog for chewing on the sofa again. He had a sandwich in one hand and a cold pop in the other.

“You two done yet?” he asked through a mouthful of sandwich.

“Yep!” Chris said.

“You know it, boss!” Corejo added. “Wouldn’t miss a deadline for the world!”

Matthew blinked. “That’s a string of words I’d only believe if they came from literally anybody else.” 

He turned and headed out the door, calling over his shoulder: “Just have them on my desk by this afternoon.”

The two reviewers waved goodbye, all smiles. Corejo leaned in toward Chris.

“You did send them to D, right?” Corejo whispered through clenched teeth.

Chris leaned toward him in response. “Of course I did. Who do you think I sent them to?”

ROUND 174


A tale, from the Land of Faerie, of a Princess who endured a cruel curse.


If you keep track of what the different Seattle’s Angels reviewers like and dislike (and if you don’t have a spreadsheet tracking all our preferences, what are you doing with your life?), you’ll know that I’m a sucker for fairy stories. And even more so for faerie stories. This is indeed a fae tale, but more than just scratching a personal itch, it shows how to tell such a tale in the MLP setting.

A story about deer that’s not really about deer, and one about kindness that’s actually about karma, The Princess and Her Hunger drips with the kind of dramatic irony that can sometimes seem cheap in prequels and origin stories (we all already know where things will stand by the time we get to a characters’ first appearance in the show, after all), but here irony informs both character and setting in a pleasantly filling way. 

Plus, the author has a way with his words. Every paragraph oozes the formal but succinct just-so style that defines this type of storytelling. The writing is great on its own, but more than that, it’s great in a manner which supports the structure and style of the narrative. That kind of synergy is always nice to see in a piece of fiction.

So if you’re the sort of person whose interest is piqued when told that this is a story of the fall of House Dealan Dé of the fia sídhe, make sure you give this a read. It’s everything you’re hoping it is, in a delicious single-serving package.

Goddamn, I love fairy tales. The simple, bite-sized setup of the fairy tale style never fails to draw me in. 

Cliche, sure, but cliches are cliche for a reason. If it's done right, I don’t ever mind how rote the setup may be. I'll take superb execution of a well-worn pattern over a unique mess any day. And if you haven't read enough fairy tales for them to feel rote, then that's even less excuse to enjoy this fantastic origin story.

Yep! You read that right. It's also an origin story for none other than Chrysalis, which I don't think we have too many of. This one won't disappoint you.


Sometimes a little tequila can make things a little clearer and a lot more complicated, be it about one's future or one's past.

And Berry really needs to stop drinking at work.


In contrast to the first story we reviewed, this one isn’t the kind of story I usually like. Between the swearing, the more cynical vision of Equestria generally and various specific ponies in particular, the relationship drama, and the fact that the whole premise centers around “ponies getting drunk,” this is the kind of story I don’t usually read. So why am I recommending it for you? Well, because this is good enough that I enjoyed it despite my personal tastes.

The dialogue throughout the story feels almost Tarantino-esque; wandering and casual, but vibrant and real. Moreover, it’s peppered with the kind of borderline-between-mean-and-funny jabs that fill any real conversation between friends. Or frenemies. Or people you actually, genuinely don’t like, but have to put up with because it’s your job.

Likewise, the way the tone moves from jocular to angry and back again has a natural cadence. It’s not always a comfortable cadence, but then, that’s part of what makes it feel realistic. Sometimes, conversations get awkward fast. And sometimes, that awkwardness can be just as quickly swept under the rug.

If this is the kind of story you like, you’re going to love Lágrimas del Corazón. And if it isn’t, consider giving it a try anyway. It might not be your cup of tea, but maybe it’ll be your shot of tequila.

Berry Punch and Roseluck aren't two ponies you often see paired up in a story, and I gotta say, they work surprisingly well together.

Here we've got a nice, down-to-earth story about Berry Punch running the local Ponyville watering hole. The story is rich with atmosphere and one-off characters that help make the story and the central characters feel all the more natural.

This one really leans hard into character interaction—with heavy emphasis on Berry, the seasoned bartender, and Roseluck, the teetotaller—and the mood and focus of the story never step out of line.

My one gripe with this story is sort of an accidental offshoot of that wonderful atmosphere it builds, in that it feels like it spends a lot of words setting up the atmosphere before picking a direction to take the story. I don’t want to harp on that too hard, though, since the rest is wholly worthwhile.


The newly-returned Princess Luna can't quite understand why her sister allows her ponies to burn giant wicker and straw images of her royal self. Why would she tolerate this sort of blatant lese majeste?

Maybe it's about reminding the world that the princesses are ponies, too. Or maybe it's just a bit of seasonal silliness. Or maybe it's Celestia's way of reminding herself who they really are, under everything else.


Here’s a story that looks pretty silly on the surface. It’s tagged comedy, the title suggests nothing so much as a Nic Cage parody… nothing wrong with that, but it doesn’t seem to promise a whole lot of depth. But this is a story that’ll turn around and surprise you.

Because it’s not a meme fic. It’s a story about traditions: how they start, and grow, and develop, and what they mean to people. Even silly traditions are serious, in their own way, and shouldn’t be dismissed out of hand. They can mean a lot—even to the people who, if you asked them academically, would say they don’t mean anything at all.

And amid all that, there’s a Sisters Fic here too! Celestia and Luna, in the aftermath of S1E1-2, trying to come to terms with one another, with how Celestia (and the world) have changed, and how Luna hasn’t yet. All examined through the lens of a bunch of drunk college students trying to burn/protect an effigy. It’s an odd choice at first blush, but after reading the story, I can’t think of anything more appropriate.

All that said, it’s also a very funny story, as one about gleeful arson almost has to be. A lot of that humor comes from characters taking things that look ridiculous from outside totally seriously. So if you like a good mix of lore and humor, you should definitely check this one out.

This was certainly an interesting one. 

I don’t think anyone would be hard pressed to agree that the premise sounds promising: Celestia letting ponies burn an effigy of her? Why in the world would she do that?

Well, Luna definitely has her reservations (as did I!), but I had questions as to where exactly this story was headed early on. I mean, the moral is essentially written right there on the tin. But how do we get there?

I’m happy to say I wasn’t disappointed! There’s plenty of headcanon in here to satisfy the detail oriented, and the dream castle idea along with everything in it definitely had me sucked in well enough to earn the answers to that initial ‘how?’

Parts of this story felt like they could have benefited from having a larger story—namely Luna’s character growth—while others fit snugly within the short story framework, like the shenanigans surrounding the straw Celestia. It left me with a strange sense of wanting more, yet feeling simultaneously content with what I got. I don’t know if there’s a word for that feeling (if one exists, it’s probably German; it’s always German), but Mitch definitely made me feel it.

And as an added bonus, who doesn’t love learning random things while reading pony? I never knew about the Gävle goat before reading this story, but I do now. (When the wiki link literally has a table with columns labelled “security additions,” “date of destruction,” and “method of destruction” for a straw goat statue, I can’t help but laugh at the absurdity. That just screams ponified shenanigans. “Burnt by unknown vandals reportedly dressed as Santa and the gingerbread man, by shooting a flaming arrow at the goat” [2005] is my favorite entry.)

I do have to note that Luna’s got that hardcore “Ye Olde English” speak people love attributing to her. While taking it to the level Mitch H does here isn’t my cup of tea, it’s used correctly, which is in and of itself refreshing to see.


Two weeks before the 1000th Summer Sun Celebration, Moondancer discovers a forgotten spell scrawled across the pages of an ancient book. Casting it threatens to turns her world upside down: faced with glimpses of an Equestria contradicted by historians, she must use all of her intellect to piece together the mystery surrounding Mage Meadowbrook, Princess Celestia, and the mare with the mane of stars—before the project destroys everything she's worked for.

It's a good thing she can rely on Twilight Sparkle for help.


You know, I enjoy writing reviews and all, but it can be hard work. Luckily, this time noted ponyfic guy and all-around smart person horizon did all the hard work for me. Here’s what he said when he recommended the story to Seattle’s Angels:

I knew this one was worth reading right from its academic-mystery hook, but the slow-burn early chapters didn't prepare me for how good it becomes as its storylines collide. What looks at first like some sort of intriguing alternate universe, with Moon Dancer as our academic superstar protagonist, ends up slotting more and more neatly into canon as her singleminded pursuit of a forbidden memory spell causes her world to disintegrate. And along the way this draws some beautiful, exquisite parallels between her relationship with Twilight Sparkle and Princess Celestia's relationship with the mystery mare she's researching.

Along the way, it's got tension, wit, poetry, and song. There's more worldbuilding in little niche historical tidbits than some entire stories manage to put together. As the timeline gets more and more confused the story becomes increasingly thematically and narratively coherent, which is exactly how to handle a story dealing with memory-slips.

Couldn’t have said it better myself! This is a story that gets dense as it goes along, but it’s never difficult to follow; that can be tough to pull off, but the author keeps all the pieces pulling in the same direction, making the story feel impressive without being impenetrable. And that’s without getting into the emotional core of the story, which is an achingly heartwrenching tale of… you know what, just go read it. If you like smart writing, you’ll love this. If you like strong emotional resonance, you’ll love this. And if you don’t like either of those things, I don’t know what to tell you.

So this is the last story I got to in this round, and I have to say, I’m glad I read it last. After this rollercoaster of a story, I don’t think I could have read any story with quite as much enthusiasm. I haven’t been sucked into a story this hard since reading Enchanted Library. That’s not to say anything against the other stories, but this one just, like… goddamn.

There’s so much I love about this story—from the mystery of Mage Meadowbrook’s spell, to the beautiful narrative turns of phrase and voicing, to the way she totally doesn’t have a thing for impressing Twilight. And just really, Moondancer’s internal voicing is beyond perfect. Even the list format sections that crop up with relative frequency are just so on point for a detail-oriented pony like her. It all comes together to create this beautifully blended narrative that works better than many of the most well-regarded stories you’ll find on this site. No, seriously.

I wish I had more words to do this story justice, but my head is so full of awe that nothing suffices.

If you have to pick only one story from the bunch for some weird reason, make it this one.


“So why were you two thrown into the Fungeon again?” Csquared said. He had shoved the door open against the tide of ball pit balls threatening to toss him back into the rumpus room proper. “I’ve been looking for you guys all over the place.”

Corejo pointed an accusing finger at Chris beside him—“pointed” being a generous term, what with how his hands were tied up to the spare basketball hoop with a jump rope. It was more of a finger attempting to angle itself angrily in Chris’ general direction.

“Cause this idiot sent our reviews to RedSquirrel instead of Wanderer, and he thought the best thing to do with them was find-and-replace the word ‘the’ with ‘Matthew is a butt’ before sending them to Matt.”

“You’re the one who composed the email!” Chris said. He was clapped in a pair of pink fuzzy cuffs chained to the Little Tikes Cozy Coupe, recently put to pasture after one too many power drifts around the Adventure Climber. “All I did was hit send.”

Csquared stared at them with a raised eyebrow. “You were late getting your reviews in.”

“We were late getting our reviews in,” they said in unison, hanging their heads in defeat.

“But Squirrel did still do that,” Corejo said under his breath.

“Uh huh…” Csquared said. “Welp, you two have fun, then.” And he shut the door to the clatter of ball pit balls. A half-finished game of darts stared back at them from the back of the door. Most of the darts were embedded in the door rather than the board.

“Hey, Chris,” Corejo said.

“Yeah?”

“This Fungeon isn’t very fun.”

“I’m pretty sure that’s the point. It’s just the storage closet for the rumpus room, remember?”

“Yeah, I guess…”

Corejo kicked a stray ball that had escaped the pit and watched it roll unenthusiastically toward the slip-n’-slide. A long bout of silence passed as they each stared into whatever nothingness they felt most comforting.

“Hey, Chris,” Corejo said.

“Yeah?”

“Can you itch my nose for me? I can’t reach it.”

“Shut up, Core.”


Feel free to visit our group for more information and events, and to offer some recommendations for future rounds. See you all next time!

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Comments ( 16 )
Ice Star #1 · 2 weeks ago · · 2 ·

Requiem for a Dream is criminally underrated still? Man, 2020 really is cursed.

Oh, huh. That's me.

Another day, another dollar.

The intro/outro of these things are my favorite part.

5321433
Dude, I know, right? Requiem is just such a good story. Like, bolded capital letters GOOD. It’s an absolute crime it hasn’t gotten more attention.

Ice Star #5 · 2 weeks ago · · 2 ·

5321515
Not to mention it has a thicc green thumb ratio to be in awe of.

5321517
Thumb? :pinkiegasp: Those are hooves!

5321634
Hooves don’t have five extra digits.

Kinda surprised to see Requiem here, I think that Horizon got it as an honorable mention in the There Can Be Only One poll of RCL. But indeed, it still doesn’t get nearly enough attention it deserves. I’ve long decided it’s one of the best fics on this site.

And who actually had the heart to give the story a downvote when I wasn’t looking?

5321666
Not with that attitude

5321782
Honestly, based on the timing and weird inoffensive nature of my comments still getting downvotes, I would say it’s out of spite.

I'll note that I had Requiem for a Dream bookmarked in one of my (many) RIL shelves, but it took this review to actually get me off my indolent ass and read it. And that can be directly linked to my ego being stroked about getting an old story reviewed in the same blog post.

Am I petty? Damn right I'm petty.

It's a pretty little story. With very strong characterization, which, if I ever get off my slovenly rear and get to work on that one story, I think I'll have to crib from, heavily.

Assuming Moondancer ever shows up on stage, rather than casting the occasional not-very-flattering shadow across the proceedings.

5321436
Yes. That you.

5321515
I like putting at least a little bit of effort into them.

Thanks for the nice words about my story.

And yeah, Requiem for a Dream is good stuff. I need to reread it.

Can we just take a a moment to appreciate the “exciting adventures of Angels” installment at the beginning and end there? Cause that was great:rainbowlaugh:
Thanks you guys for taking the time to read + review these fics for us. We certainly appreciate it. :twilightsmile:

So, so glad to see Requiem get another shout-out. Horrified that, after all this time, it still qualified for SA.

5321782
I did! You can see the full list here.

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