The Scourged Earth

by Mirrored

Original HIATUS Action Adventure Horror Sci-fi Cyberpunk Grimdark LitRPG Magic Male Lead
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content

 Derrick is no ones hero.  He is barely dealing with his mundane life when all of humanity is forced to confront the extraordinary. Overnight, all across the world, mysterious machines appear. They offer people the chance to purchase almost anything they can think of. Weapons, medicine and even super human abilities are offered, seemingly for free.

But following these machines, come the Scourges. The most dangerous creatures, diseases and machines that infest the universe. Ever growing and battling, these empires of horror and hunger will overhelm and devour the Earth and its inhabitants. Unless Derrick and humanity can stand against all the horrors that battle between the stars.


My first Story, an attempt to turn the standard fantasy litrpg apocalypse into a Sci Fi. Trying for a slower build to power for the MC, so don't expect him to have cheat powers. I delight in helpful crticism so no holding back plz.

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Word Count (13)
Fledgling Reviewer (IV)
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1.1 The World Changes ago
1.2 Hitting the Gym ago
1.3 Whet the Blades ago
Interlude: Gods and Monsters ago
1.4 Me and you in the Melee ago
1.5 Explosive Situation ago
1.6 Rest and Recuperation ago
1.7 Hunting Grounds ago
1.8 The Next Level ago
2.1 A New Day ago
2.2 A New Battlefield ago
2.3 Cakewalk ago
Interlude: Gods and Monsters II ago
2.4 Human Nature ago
2.5 Social Creatures ago
2.6 Moves ago
Interlude: Ghost Town ago
Just a Poll and some music suggestions. ago
2.7 Questions and Answers ago
2.8 Dark Gifts ago
2.9 Scavengers ago
2.10 Pull of Greed ago
2.11 Tyranny ago
3.1 Standing Out ago
3.2 Temptation and Meditation ago
3.3 Plots and Armor ago
Interlude: Hierarchies ago
3.4 Trust and Trials ago
3.5 Support ago
3.6 Confidence under Fire ago
3.7 Progress ago
3.8 Alien Rules I ago
Interlude: Subtle Beasts ago
3.9 Caught in the Fold ago
3.10 Alien Rules II ago
3.11 Talent ago
3.12 Commitment ago
4.1 The Basics I ago
4.2 The Basics II ago
4.3 Personal Growth ago
4.4 Personal Growth II ago
4.5 Personal Growth III ago
4.6 Oil and Water ago
4.7 Undercurrents ago
4.8 Faces and Voices ago
4.9 Seizing Power ago
4.10 Meeting New People ago
4.11 Meeting New People II ago
4.12 Making an Impression ago
4.13 Unneighbourly ago
4.14 Tools and Traps ago
4.15 Nemesis ago
Interlude: Priorities ago
4.16 Nemesis II ago
4.17 What Lurks Beneath ago
5.1 Wake Up Call ago
5.2 No Good Deed ago
5.3 Goes Unpunished ago
5.4 Bargains ago
5.5 Responsibility ago
5.6 Rushing Ahead ago
5.7 Heart of the Matter ago
5.8 Under your Skin ago
5.9 Under Your Skin II ago
5.10 Fog of War ago
5.11 Fog of War II ago
5.12 Party Tricks I ago
5.13 Party Tricks II ago
5.14 Deleterious ago
5.15 Celebration ago
Interlude: Complications ago
Editing, Scheduling and Patreon Announcement ago
6.1 Without a Hitch ago
6.2 Limits ago
6.3 Litigation ago
6.4 Helpless ago
6.5 Innovation ago
6.6 Abomination ago
6.7 Complications ago
6.8 Breakneck ago
6.9 Moving Targets ago
6.10 Moving Targets II ago
 6.11 Recoil ago
6.12 Wild Theories ago
Interlude: Unnatural ago
6.13 Reaching ago
6.14 Drama and Queens ago

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  • Overall Score

An oppressive apocalypse

Let’s get the bad news out of the way first. There are minor grammatical errors, the main character gives speeches that are a little too edgy, and there aren’t that many chapters out.

All that being said I really enjoyed this.

It reminds me of Oxygen Leech in a way. Humanity survives by the skin of their teeth and claws their way out of despair to survive.

The characters are engaging and mostly act like real people. The Users acting as an empowered militia is a fun idea that is actually executed really well. Having three “branches” that support each other makes sense and creates a world where not everyone has to be a fighter.

The “Scourges” are alien forces that are so effective and deadly that entire galaxies fall to them. Having these foreign superpowers actually interact with each other and fight is super interesting as they start out small but grow exponentially more dangerous in unique ways.

By combining action that doesn’t rely on numbers with interesting and engaging alien archetypes Mirrored has created a world I’m eager to read more about.

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A really good story with an understandable and well thought out world. The System and its limitations are quite smartly done and something which is similar to what I assume is the result of a brainstorming session by more than one person and seeing what its logical end point is (by this I mean the end point of a System like technology fighting against extinction)


The Characterizations are pretty good and usually not heavy handed in its development, although it can feel clumsy when trying to be subtle.

Another thing, I would suggest not going for explicit sexual content and just gloss over it. The entire time I read this fic, one thing which was constant was the fact that I was already preparing myself for the cringefest of a sex scene I was sure was just around the corner. Dont avoid it if you feel you must, but please try to make it painless for writer and reader both.

Grammar wise, there are definately a few basic stand out problems. It is quite readable, but has a ton of spelling errors or wrong exact word choices that can be easily glossed over by a casual reader.

Its tenses are also quite a mess sometimes, but something which only time and practice can fix. A solid decision needs to be made in how the story should be portrayed. First person, or third? Flip floppping back and forth (sometimes just for a sentence or two) just makes it a jarring experience.


Overall a great story with a quality rarely seen in RoyalRoad or most any free to read sites.

  • Overall Score

Best post-apoc LitRPG/GameLit story

Highly recommended!

Just found the story today via comment on litrpg subreddit and read it all in one go. Definitely the best post-apoc story I've come across so far. Better than most published ones, too.


Read it!

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Don't be discoureged by low amount of chapters

As I said in title you should really consider reading this one because it is amazing honestly. Also chapters are quite long so it makes for a longer read one might expect. I really like world building and the author built a unique apocalypse universe where system battles with aliens. Characters so far seem to be a bit one dimensional but it does not impact the story that progresses nicely and is both engaging and entertaining. Did I mention that there are no grammar problems? There aren't and that is a relief because i would't be writing this review or read at all othervise. All in all I would recommend this story to anyone on this site.

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Best apocalyptic LitRPG in my opinion

Of all the post-apocalyptic LitRPGs I've read, this is definatly the best. I've read System Apocalypse and RedMage/Advent, this is def better - better worldbuilding, better pacing, it's great. A+

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Loving it, please keep writing!!

Moarrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. Looking forward to the next installment cool My only criticism is having to wait for more chapters tongue-out

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Intriguing Tale For Fans of Real Sci-fi and LitRPG

Post-apocalyptic LitRPG stories are a staple of RoyalRoad at this point, and most of them are shallow and stale. However, despite technically sharing this genre, The Scourged Earth is in a league of its own. 

Taking many of the tropes from the genre, this tale weaves them together with a refreshing mix of gritty realism that combines both light and darkness to prevent grimderp from occurring. The somewhat simple and childish tone that so many LitRPgs have is missing completely because the story is treated as a proper sci-fi and the LitRPG aspects aren't used by the author to cover up for bad story telling or incomplete world building. Everything in this tale has depth and has been very thought out. There is tons of lore and history built in that fills you with curiosity, wonder, and horror. The addition of the LitRPG aspects doesn’t make everything mechanical, make the story depend on copious amounts of Deus Ex Machina, or shove obnoxious amounts of stat boxes in your face.

Thus, we are treated to a fleshed-out world and well thought out system where very real seeming characters struggle to adapt to their changing circumstances and figure out their place in this new world. They are nothing like the usual grinding machines without souls that are blindly seeking power to suit the author’s ends. You end up caring for them.

There are some minor grammar issues, but nothing that breaks immersion, and that's all I care about. I'm pretty lax about typos and grammar. 

All in all, I can only strongly recommend this series for both fans of traditional sci-fi and LitRPGs.

  • Overall Score

litrpg whitout the bad part

contrary to most litrpg this story does'nt focus on the stat themself more on the world building, the mc have some power but he isn't the ultimate op so if you want a good little time waster it's a good story for that

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So I've read up to 3.4 and decided to leave a review before I got too lazy. For two reasons. I really have been enjoying this story and it is pretty unique take on an apocalyptic setting. Becuase of these two reasons I wanted to formally put out what I beleive is a slight to this otherwise good fiction.

First and formost is imagery. For the most part, I have good feel of what the characters look like. And I use 'feel' because what descriptions I remember give the barest of essentials to what character looks like. For instance, Bruce is muscely, Blake was blonde haired, and thats pretty much the extent of what I had to use to construct an image of those charcters. Locations are far worse than the charcters and it usually becomes a bit jarring as the characters move around. Notably the world feels to suddenly expand.

Now the last thing is grammar. The story is 100% readable. However, there are frequent errors that are noticeable and break the immersion breifly. Nothing that a dedicated proofreader couldn't fix with some quick skiming. But there is enough that it is something to point out.

With that said I'm looking forward to reading more and hope that the Author improves on these issues as they continue to write.

  • Overall Score

The world building is good in this one. The threats as well as the system make sense and you can tell the author took the time to really flesh out the background to be believable. Where as in other stories the system is mysterious and threats just labeled as 'monsters', in this one things are much more clear. This gives things a gravity to them that isn't really there in a lot of other stories.

The other good thing is while the MC is special he's far from being the best. He feels like he could be a real person rather than just an obvious protagonist.