The Scourged Earth

by Mirrored

Original ONGOING 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.

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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
Reviews

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djeruknipis
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I am surprised that mispelling can make me dislike the whole work. The Scourged Earth is laden with mispelling. Than and then. Their and they're. Two classic errors which unfortunately appear too frequently, preventing me from loving this fiction, even when everything else is so gooood. Author, you might not even realize you've mispelled, but you did. Do something about it!

Author did right when pacing his story. His main character didn't suddenly thrive post apocalypse, but he cope and he adapt. The world didn't suddenly panic with inexplicable appearace of indestructible high tech box, but react logically and naturally. The world also react naturally when apocalypse happen, by being afraid and being dead mostly. I enjoyed reading how events unfold. Nothing is forced (much). A great sign of tempered story telling skill. (Please do something about the mispelling)

Author also didn't fixate in upgrading his main character. He progressed at natural rate. Never obsessed. This may help him avoid meaningless development later on. Because many fiction of this kind only care about stat. I particularly enjoyed main character interaction with people he met. Strictly because they are their own person. Truck driver did not ashamed he's there only as transport, the police officer being stubborn because she felt she's still duty-bound, the weabo teenager is still partially live in his own imagination, the bike gang leader is chill and frank with her taste in man, even the bitch Greta is delightful to read. Man, you're great with characterization. (Please do something about the mispelling)

I only like interlude when I loathe the main character. Please practice point-of-view discipline. Please let us uncover other character motivation through the eye of your main character, and only when it's relevant to him. (Also, please do something about the mispelling)

Owlish
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An explanation for Status

A seemingly well thought out story of a Status System fighting against nanotech civilizations that cross interstellar space with the smallest amount of material possible to take over inhabited planets.

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.

 

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Grimdark action story with a cool horror vibe

I really enjoyed reading this story. The dark, oppresive mood is very well done, the overwhelming odds, the fatalistic outlook people adopt. 

My issues with the story are relatively minor, in the sense that they can be avoided or fixed pretty easily. The first is the massive amount of grammar and spelling errors. They often broke my immersion in the story and even made me wonder if the author is using transcription software of some kind.

The second is that I fear the author is falling into the "escalation trap" that is common in these types of stories, where the story keeps the foot on the gas so long that it becomes tiring and even a bit offputting, especially in a long running webserial format. A notable example of this is 'worm' and 'pact' by wildbow. The typical recomendation to avoid this would be to separate your stories into discrete arcs, each with their own "ramp up" and "ramp down" sections. It's what long-running, succesful stories tend to do to maintain interest, a great example of which is the manga "One Piece", which has been running for over 20 years and is still wildly popular and critically aclaimed. 

Anyway, the story is highly reccommended. It's not easy creating such a dark, oppressive, and interesting world, and I look forward to what comes next. 

pittsburghnelly
  • Overall Score

My new favorite story. I love the lvling system. His increases in power make sense. Love it!

Neeleypanda
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I'm really enjoying this story I like all the characters that you've introduced so far, I really hope you come up with a patreon so I can support this and also get more chapters

Zaerquin
  • Overall Score

 I found this and read it the same day, it was an enjoyable and fun read. One of the better apocalypse litrpg stories out there, the format of levels and all the numbers are enough to add to the story without being focused on them and making for a boring read. In fact, the world/universe that you have built is one of the most interesting ones I've ever read.

I look forward to more.

Thank you.

Scesce Scesce
  • Overall Score

got to the last chapter, it's generally good, the mc despite  this being kinda of sci.fi doesn't use any kind of rangeded weapons which is actually cool, since to me , using a gun on system apocalipse would kinda of ruin this.

like i wrote up above it has generally speaking no problem, but i admit that the despite the funny humor i've been quite tempted to stop reading it..  predictable romace (kate e_e),  System which is not really to my taste for all the scify crap... etc...

but luckily for the author it's around that time that the tall alien girl came around  and kind of made things interesting again. now going back to kate, author ... really young  femme fatale with her  own issue, like the living stereotype .... the biker milf or the alien would have been way more interesting...  even though  the alien girl is probably a stereotype too, but at least an interesting one.

Now i'm crossing finger for them to actually hook up and kinda wanna how the author is going to develop things (blaze and mc).

for now it's a maybe. hopefully blake will fuck. off (he kinda of told to be interested. xD). 

l611
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I enjoyed reading this novel. My only problem(well major problem) with novel was that everyone was acting and behaving like they have been doing this for ages now when in reality only some 10-15 days had passed. I don't see the reaction I'd expect from people whose whole world is crumbling down literally and figuratively. 

but i love the 'integrated to the bigger world' concept and thus would continue to kee reading this.

DNos
  • Overall Score

EPIC!!! I love the style and pacing. the character are also realistic and pragmatic and i honestly find it endearing, hope to see it become a widely recognized fiction. It fits the bill if you are also fan of the legend of Randidly ghosthound