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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Mirrored

Mirrored

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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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whoever
  • Overall Score

nice world building, but low quality writing

If you are interested in apocalypse litrpg stories, then this is a must read for the world-building, especially the unique and innovative mechanics used in it. The story is also not bad.

Sadly the writing does not match the ingenuity of the mechanics at all. The low quality of the writing make it quite an exhausting read and reading it as web-serial will not be fun unless the world you are burning with enough passion. Without enough passion for the story to have all the previous chapters memories or managing to be immersed into each chapter starting from the first line, the inconsistent ways to refer to characters alone will make you stop reading almost instantly when trying to resume reading later (like after waiting for the next chapter).

Zethuron
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Apocalypse LitRPG without Fantasy

I first have to thank the author, for being able to create this sort of novel.

 

This novel features a unique combination of story elements, a Apocalypse system sci-fi without any Fantasy elements. And that makes this novel really great.

 

The villians, the Scourges are just so alien,  and do feel threatening through the story so far, with far more dangerous Scourges being hinted at.  On the other side, the system does seem well made, some sort of AI, but without actual consience, it requires other people to take decisions that require such.

 

The story so far has been interesting, developing enemies, restoration of  human civilization under the system. The way the characters act in the current apocalypse. All of this has been well done.

 

The grammar used in this novel has been overall constistent, with some mistakes here and there, but they do not hinder the reading experience at all.

Keep this on, you have created something truly special and i cant wait to see how this does develop.

 

Synaps
  • Overall Score

8/10 pretty cool but stay away from me.

This story has an interesting setting and conciet for the nature of reality; It has decent dialogue and fewer grammatical errors than might be expected. It has pretty good pacing and some fun action.

It's a little lacking in charm. Comes off as a little dry. I find myself forgetting side characters and recent developments quickly. The tone is bleak, but not in a "the end is nigh and there's no hope" kind of way. It's more in a "My most valuable skill is violence. This is my life now, oh boy, here I go killin' again." Kind of way.

The undermining and shattering of human society seems to have gone unexpectedly smooth. People seem to be taking the sudden disappearance of loved ones and the cessation of their daily comforts and habits like they've been preparing all their life.

The MC especially started out really detatched from any hint he might have had a life before it all came crashing down, citing a life history of popping out of the ground and running off to work in IT. Which I like because it foreshadows a twist that the apocolypse actually started decades before the setting, when everyone's parents mysteriously disappeared.

 

Skuzze
  • Overall Score

5/5 grammar reviewers are liars.

Bad usage of "your", "to/too", "were/we're" and "an/a" throughout the entire story.

Some random searches below to prove my point:

-

Chapter 1.3:

"your exactly still the same breed"

“None of us are volunteers if that's what your asking."

"The modern world left no place to run too."

"Could he kill some person even if it essentially forced him too?"

-

Chapter 1.4:

“If you want our help your going to need offer something”

“your so out of your league it's hilarious”

"Planning like that is probably why your cowering ”

"Tie him too a mattress"

-

Chapter 1.6:

"and your surprised they can manage first-aid?”

"if your lucky”

“I don't pretend to know why your such an asshole,"

"Ambition if your dumb enough to fight."

"Good too know about though,"

“But if you have too ask, than don't bother.”

"They decided too just do that."

"all the way too the lobby"

-

Chapter 2.1:

"Less reassured too see a "

“I'm going too be too busy”

"he didn't want too."

your actually shit”

your back too being”

your really not a people person”

-

The majority of the chapters have similar mistakes, I only chose 4 random chapters to prove that the grammer isn't 5/5 like some of these fake reviews claim it to be.

There's a guy who found the majority of the errors in the early chapters but stopped doing it after chapter 1.3 because the author isn't reading comments. Check it out for yourselves.

TheEarlofBronze
  • Overall Score

A wonderful mix of grueling despair and Litrpg adventure. Great Imagination!

Reviewed at: 6.14 Drama and Queens

I think I decided I was going to rate this 5/5 when the MC first stumbled across one of the Alien Scourges that is known as a "Feral Artisan" without going into spoilers the descriptive power of the author was impressive, I both felt excited by the concept he was dealing with, and had absolutely no problems visualising it, which deserves a round of applause.

MC is an enjoyable character, down-to-earth but not slipping into any one cliche. At first you think he's gonna be a lone wolf, then you think he's a bit of a stick up his ass kinda guy, then you realise he actually kinda likes looking like a crazy berserker demon, then you realise he's growing and realising the importance of leadership over mere survival.... etc etc. It's not perfect but for Royal Road it's easily one of my favourite stories, right up there with Delve! 

Highly worth the read, quite a decent amount of content though it is sadly not finished. Desperately praying the author hasn't dropped it!

RAG
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GREAT STORY HELD BACK BY COVER IMAGE

Reviewed at: 4.7 Undercurrents

This is honestly a great systempocalypse story.

It keeps itself from overusing blueboxes, has set up future conflict and issues within the system itself and people who use it, keeps the numbers small, has decently strong characterization, and actually manages to make the horror seem somewhat horrifying without diving into dreary depression. I can easily group it with the handful of fics on RoyalRoad I keep coming back to.

And I'm pretty sure I would have been reading it a good 6 months ago if not for the cover picture.

Technically not just the picture, but the name and description as well. Taken all together, the first impression one gets from this story isn't "solid litrpg scifi/fan apoc". No, instead the vibe one gets is that this is some kind of hopeless, depressiong, apoc loss story. One of the MC trudging through empty landscapes, the remains of cities, surviving on cans of beans and turtling up to hide whenever monsters go past. Little more than prey lost in a sea of predators. And while, unquestionably, that is something that can happen in this setting, and there are certainly characters like that, it isn't the story we're given. The story we're dealing with is far less hopeless than that.

But, again, that's not the impression one gets from the title, pic, and most of the description.

TLDR; Change your pic and description, it's fucking you over.

Steve Moss
  • Overall Score

Excellent Alien Invasion Post Apocalyptic LitRPG

Well written and engaging story.  Recommended. 

Bjorn Dragonwing
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Weeeeeeeee (review titles dont matter!!!!)

Howdy, so first off i have really enjoyed it so far, incredibly excited for more!

Style: this is hard for me to judge, and seems mostly based on opinion, and I liked your style so... yeah

Story: So far, good, some nice foreshadowing of future events, the plot is advancing in mostly natural ways. Be careful of how well your mc does, as while it is entertaining and enjoyable to read you mentioned in the synopsis that he was average, which has not been the case.

Grammar: i sorta suck at jidging the other parts but not this one! As one of the other reviews said (quite harshly) there are errors, the main consistent one I notive is your misspelling of We're as Were, it messes up the flow of your story, which is really important in this case as We're is usually a word used in dialogue.

Character: You have done this alright, however some problems, biggest one in my opinion is Greta, i would suggest either adding more backstory for her, or changing her interactions majorly. Sheseems to be a ruthless mastermind that wants control of the city, yet her actions do not always fit with that. Though it may be my mistake in interpreting her actions. *Wittle SPOILERS Examples are how badly gaurded auvril(?) Was guarded, and then her appearence in the medical tent.

Alright, I hoped this helped, as that is what this was for, if it didnt or I messed up my critisicms please pm me. Other than that I am definitly looking forward to more!!

jacckkko
  • Overall Score

Original setting, mediocre fantasy

I read until chapter 3.9 but I'm dropping it. Here 's why with and without spoilers.

Spoilerless review

Like I said in the title the setting is pretty original. Instead of the classic medieval setting with magic, we are in a modern world who suddenly get invaded by aliens and humanity get help from a super advanced AI. The LitRPG elements of the story are pretty good and nicely included. They stay simple and don't distract you from the plot. I like the fact that they are no stats for example. That's about it for the good points.

Now why a mediocre fantasy ? This is supposed to be an apocalypse and yet as of chapter 3.9, not a single charachter has cried or even freaked out. They don't really seem to care about anything. This story has a blatant lack of any emotions whatsoever. I don't care about the characters because I'm not emotionnaly invested into them. They don't show any! They are also some other flaws but this is really the most problematic one.

If you want something original to pass the time go ahead and give it a try. However, this the kind of story you'll very soon forget about since the lack of emotions means there is not a single memorable moment. Noone in the story cares, why would I ?

Spoilers, I warned you

Now I'm going to kind of shit on the story and speak of the flaws it has in my opinion. It's really long.

Fights

The fights are pretty bad at the start. At the start, it is way more noticeable since he is supposed to be a normal human but is capable of feats that are impossible. Later, he becomes a superhuman so there's more leeway but still some dumb stuff. Here are 2 examples.

The fight in 1.3 against the other human with a knife. The author mentions multiple times that he has no real combat training. The guy charged at him with a knife and he does a "classic" karate block and grabs his wrist ??? First, of course he has no emotions so he doesn't back off because of fear. Second go watch some real self defense videos on youtube about defending against a knife fight. You either run or get stabbed/slashed a few times to disarm your opponent because it's so quick. He doesn't have a fucking super reflex trait and even then momentum would carry on. Then the guy charges again he keeps him at bay with his axe with an upward swing but then apparently closes the distance in an instant to palm strike him in the face. Again what ??? What about range or the other guy reacting ? Did he keeps his axe in the air instead of naturally let it go down? Plus it's not like he is trying to spare him. He deals a deathblow just right after. That fight is atrocious, doesn't feel real at all and breaks the immersion at least for me. Btw fight to the death with a guy. MC doesn't care so much that he has already forgotten his face 3 days later.

Another example from later in the story, 3.7 against the 2 dogs. He still has an axe but instead hits the dog on the snout. Again no fear of course that the dog will just trash his hand but ffs he has an axe. However, the author wanted to showcase his new skill so that's what we get. Btw the same dog moments before was quick enough to manage to bite his other axe and take it from him. Sure he boosts himself with drug but that's just ridiculous. He still has an axe!

Charachers

Let's start with the MC Derrick. Firstable, he seems like he just appeared into existence. No family no friends nothing. Sure he is an orphan but so what ? Let's say he was 8. Did he not build any new relationships for the next 15 years ? Somebody had to take care of him. It musn't have been so bad. He has a diploma and an IT job. Doesn't seem traumatised. He's not a loner. He is actively looking for social contact, texting people and whatnot. He has build a friendly relationship within the 3 weeks he knew Brian. The only conclcusion I can have is just that he doesn't care. Doesn't give 2 shit about anything. He just follows along the plot with nothing fazing him and zero emotions. I mean maybe a plot twist is coming where in reality he is a robot but if not it's just bad.

Blake and Kate. He is the bad boy. She is the the feisty girl and romantic interest. They come from a mean family and they get a bit moppy when talking about their past. There you go. If the story didn't explicitly tell you, you would think they were also strangers before all this. I think they have the least interactions between them than the rest of the team. However, as soon as he saw that alien tech, he took that opportunity to wake her from her coma. That would seem pretty significant but meh. Again no emotions nothing.

Jenny was my hope. She was acting irrationnaly by pointing her gun at the only people that could save her. Now here is a simple question. You are a police officer and the apocalypse is happening. Do you try and join with your colleagues with whom you probably already dealt with life and death situations OR 3 strangers of which one is an asshole ? I mean it doesn't make any sense why she would join them. You could say the system but it's pretty hands off on who you can associate with. What about her friends and family ? To me it's just the author wanting a team with a bad person, a good one, the romantic intersest and the MC. Not thinking at all about anything else really. It's just bad.

Greta is trash. Blake doesn't give 2 shits about her. MC care even less and I the reader even less. She is supposed to be some evil mastermind but that party was just trash. MC is physically blocked from going after Blake. So you expect someting. Btw MC takes a break to have a chat because he doesn't care about anything, nice timing for some exposition right there. At the end of all that Blake is just tied and naked. Wow what an evil evil charachter that Greta. Really makes me afraid of her. She is so mean. And of course they just go back to the party because who cares. After that, the deal she has with the alien is just retarded. An alien get punished by potentially causing harm to an user by the system but here no problem. Not just Derrick in a roudabout way but also directly killing Blake in his sleep. Where is the consistency? Greta is dumb.

The aliens are just bad imho. Why would the system let them have any control? I thought it was the ultimate AI. No idea. The idea of allied aliens is nice but what we get is them talking about shit we don't even know about. What is the point of throwing random names here and there. It's not like the interludes explain what those things are anyway.

Side charachters are ok. I like them. They have their own quirks. That's cool.

The Scourges

I don't fear them and not just because MC doesn't have any emotions. They are not that oppresive. For example, the grey legion has had like maximum 20 dudes in one place. Pretty small. Instead of the shitty allied alien interludes, humans getting overwhelmed and destroyed would be more interesting. We would know what they are capable of if they were let run rampant and we would fear them

Rest of the Earth

We don't anything apart from that place and even then we know very little. Were they any riots ? Looters ? What about sustenance, electricity, fuel, gas ? Of course one of the reasons is that the MC just doesn't care. One of the flaws I was going to mention is that it seems like society had just disappeared. Where were the governments reactions and instructions ? But in the interlude after 3.8, we learn from Greta that the system had cut off communications. That seems like a pretty fucking big deal and yet it comes so late.

The system

I already mentionned that it doesn't make sense that it would give such control to the allied aliens. There is also that dumb thing where it punished one of the aliens and not the other for whatever reason. The most dumb thing about it though is that he doesn't give information about the scourges when it's probably what would help humans the most. Why ? Why didn't it make use of the existng governments instead of cutting communications ? Certainly doens't inspire confidence.

 

Rhythm
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DO YOU LIKE HUMANS KICKING ASS? DO YOU ENJOY A MAN FIGHTING AGAINST ALL THE ODDS? DO YOU LIKE BLOOD AND THUNDER? DERRICK THE RED HAS GOT YOU COVERED!

A grim dark Humanity FUCK YEAH! GAMELIT sci-fi post apocolytic world with a unique magic and setting. 

Its like cocaine. 

Style- Great. Long chapters, well done plots and storytelling. Creative enemies and abilites. Real danger and threat to every character. Author isn't afarid to cripple is main character for development and will keep you on the edge of your seat about it. 

Grammer- Haven't noticed any issues yet. For a native english speaker without an english degree i think this is fine. 

Story- Hooo boy, I love seeing humans fight and struggle and WIN. We are the top of the food chain currently, what if something came along we had NO CHANCE of beating but were told by an omnipresent being to try anyways, while it gave us some tools and help along the way. Well, i'd like to think we would stand up and fucking FIGHT. Thats exactly how humans act in this novel, granted, its mainly our good MC here, but its still great. Its so nice to see humans not just roll over and die. We are born fighters, its in our nature, all we knew before the 21st century was war and conflict. The Author seems to understand that. The scourges are unique and all come with different flavors and styles. The magic/ability system still confuses me a tiny but, but damn if it isn't neat. I imagine its supposed to be a little confusing, because lord knows, the characters sure as hell don't understand it. As of the latest chapter, I think 62? I'm finally starting to understand the difference between them. 

 

 

Character score- Motives, plots, a likeable Main character with Brains. The Author didn't fall for the trope of writing a character thats smarter than him, which is awesome. He makes mistakes, but also has some really good ideas and plans. The side cast is all fleshed out and well written with motives and plots as well. 


Overall- Read it. Its great. The magic system might confuse you but it starts to make sense later.