A full ten minutes went by as Xavier browsed the list with no movement from Myst. Finally, she shivered and spoke to Xavier with an uncharacteristically flat tone. “Your scan has been completed and your race choice has been assigned. Please select your race from the following list.”

Available Races:


The window in front of Xavier refreshed, and he couldn’t help but blink at it. Gone were all the choices he had been browsing, and in their place a single entry stood by itself. Confused, Xavier looked for a scroll button. Unable to find one, he asked Myst where his choices were. In the same flat voice, Myst said, “Your assigned race choice is displayed in the list. Please select your race.”

“But there is only one race,” protested Xavier.

“Your assigned race choice is displayed in the list. Please select your race,” responded Myst.

“But what about the basic races! Don’t I get to pick one of them?”

“That is a great question, traveler. No. Due to the results of your physical scan, there are no available playable races that fit within the allowance for adjustments to an alternate reality body. Due to the psychological damage that could be done to you when experiencing the difference in dimensionality between your real body and your alternate reality body, you cannot be assigned any race currently playable by player characters. Due to this, the system has chosen a race from within the lore that matches your physiological characteristics and has made the necessary adjustments so you can play as this race. Your assigned race choice is displayed in the list. Please select your race.”

“Wait, you made a race for me?”

“That is a great question, traveler. No. We adjusted an existing NPC race so as to prevent the balance of the game from being broken and are allowing you and any other player who meets the requirements to play that race. Your assigned race choice is displayed in the list. Please select your race.”

“Okay... I guess I’ll choose my race from the list,” Xavier said sarcastically as he looked more closely at the single race that had been made available for him.

Titan. Even the name sent a twinge of disgust through him. He was playing this game in part to get away from the disadvantages of his massive size, and the game hadn’t even started before he was reminded of it! And what was with locking him out of the other options? Sighing in frustration, Xavier decided to just get through the tutorial. The game representatives and the doctor would be hearing about this as soon as he got out, that was for sure.

Clicking on the Titan, another screen popped up describing the race in more detail as well as displaying the various abilities of the race.

Titan - Unique

Now lost in the mist of time, this ancient race once ruled the world, rivaled only by the great Dragons. Long-lived and immensely strong, the Titans were masters of almost anything they put their hand to and created a far-reaching empire that is still ruled by the Elemental Giants. Little else is known about the Titans, and further information must be unlocked through discoveries in game.

Racial Requirements

Titan’s Strength: To unlock this race a player must have the strength of a titan.

Titan’s Endurance: To unlock this race a player must have the constitution of a titan.


Accept Race



“Wait a second. This can’t be right,” Xavier said. “How do I have the strength and endurance of a titan? I haven’t even started playing!”

“That is a great question, traveler.” Myst stopped talking and stared at him.

“Uh. Something has to be wrong. May I talk to an administrator or something?”

“That is a great question, traveler. There are no errors. Your body is anomalous, meaning that it deviates from what is standard, normal, or expected. As such, what is standard, normal, or expected cannot be used, and a new standard must be developed. Far from being at a disadvantage, you will likely find yourself the utter envy of all the other players. You are countless times stronger than even the strongest player, you have an excellent reaction time, and you have no noticeable mental impairment. Just because you are different and fall outside the norm does not mean there is something wrong.” Myst fell silent again, continuing to stare.

“Argh! Fine!” Hitting the ‘accept race’ button, a large mirror replaced the race screen, and Xavier was faced with an eight foot, nine-inch tall giant, complete with leather and fur clothing and a massive sword and shield. The only thing that separated the image from being the perfect example of a ferocious fantasy barbarian was that it was his own face that stared back at him.

Selecting a couple options on the side, Xavier was able to see what he would look like in different types of medieval fantasy clothing, including wizard robes and a blacksmith’s leathers. While not the most handsome, Xavier was passably good looking when his skin wasn’t all stretched out, though his size was so shocking to most people that his looks rarely registered. Still, it was a bit strange for Xavier to see this version of himself. He had often avoided mirrors in the real world due to their frustrating reminder of his ugly situation. The rugged strength of the face before him was a welcome sight.

Thoroughly annoyed at this whole process, Xavier tried to use the available slider to make himself as short as possible but was only able to reduce his height to 8’ 5”, a measly 4” below his regular height.

“Please be aware that no additional changes are available due to your avatar already being adjusted by 20%,”Myst’s flat voice commented. “Would you like to accept these changes or reset your avatar?” Grousing in his heart about the limits that Nova Terra put on changing one’s self when creating a character, Xavier reset his character and tried modifying some of the giant’s other features, only to find himself coming back to the maximum height setting.

Looking over the powerful and imposing figure in front of him, Xavier mused that maybe it wasn’t so bad to be tall. The fact that the game let him pick up a unique race went far toward mollifying his frustration, and it wasn’t like being large was new to him. After all, he had spent his whole life towering over those around him. Actually, thinking more deeply about it, not being able to see over other people’s heads would be quite strange. He set his height to his real-life height and added some barbaric looking tattoos across his left arm and chest.

“That doesn’t look too bad,” Xavier thought, accepting the changes. Instantly, the robotic body that currently housed him twisted and grew, the metallic skin tone softening and changing to a dark tan. His shoulders broadened, and his chest widened as his height shot up another foot, leaving him towering over Myst.

Flexing his fingers and clenching his fist, Xavier could feel the power in them. Power that his hands in the real world lacked. There was a solidity about this body that his body in the real world didn’t have, a weightiness as if this body was somehow more real. Jumping in place, Xavier felt no discomfort whatsoever. Instead, he felt strong and powerful, as though he could take on the world.

“Thank you, traveler. Due to your race selection, your starting location has been locked. When you arrive at your starting location, you will be prompted to select your name. Once you have entered the game you will encounter many different situations and challenges that will require you to use your wits and strength to overcome. There is much to discover in Nova Terra, including quests, specialized classes, and secret treasure. Please enjoy your stay in Nova Terra!”

As the world of white faded away, Xavier found himself in a small stone room with a magic circle in the center. Standing at the door was a guard who stepped forward with a clipboard and said in a nervous tone as he looked up at Xavier’s towering bulk, “Ho, traveler. Please write your name for the record.”

Mulling over his name choice for a moment, Xavier wrote “Thorn” in the available space. After receiving a small package that included five pieces of bread, each barely big enough for a single bite, five equally small water skins, and five copper coins, he ducked through the door and into a bustling medieval city complete with cobblestone streets.

Welcome to Nova Terra

Welcome, traveler! In order to get your adventure started, please see one of the secretaries at Berum’s city hall to receive your first quest.

You have received 3 Destiny points that can be used to change your destiny.

The long cobblestone street, easily two carts wide, stretched to his right and left, and the colorfully painted wooden buildings that rose on either side presented a charming picture. Hawkers called from their storefronts, trying to attract the attention of the crowds that raced by. Players, easy to spot by their determined movements toward their respective destinations mixed in with the slower, less deliberate townsfolk NPCs who went about their daily lives, unaware of the incongruity between the players and themselves.

Xavier, no, Thorn, was astounded at how realistic everything was and could have been convinced it was reality if not for the box of text hovering in the middle of his vision. Dismissing it with a thought, he joined the flow of players. Despite standing a full two feet above the rest of the crowd, the players were far too preoccupied with their own tasks to pay attention to him. Plagued his whole life by the stares of others, a profound sense of relief swept over him as he looked around at the crowds hurrying by while paying him little to no attention.

In fact, despite his height, there were many other players that stood out far more than Thorn, who was dressed in the simple beginner clothing. Fanciful armor covered a myriad of races streaming by, giving full testament to the claim that Nova Terra was a place of diversity. Graceful elves stalked down the road, brushing past human warriors in massive plate mail armor. Short but wide dwarves cut a determined path through the crowds while equally short halflings slipped through like tiny fish.

Even more interesting were the odd Tigerkin that dotted the crowds or the Birdkin wheeling lazily overhead. Many of the more exotic races could not be seen, since they were more region specific. Demonkin were entirely missing from the city. From the research that he had done, it seemed that Humans and Demonkin formed the two main races of Nova Terra. Each race was part of an empire occupying approximately half of the continent.

It was the friction between these two empires that formed the primary conflict in Nova Terra, with the other races allying themselves with the two main races. Berum, the city where Thorn had spawned, was in the north-west, far from the front lines of the Human and Demonkin conflict. The far north of Angoril was a frozen land of tundra, ice-covered mountains rising like dragon’s teeth into the sky. Berum was located on a long chain of mountains that started in the far north, skirted the steppes and flowed all the way down to the Midlands along the western coast.

Deep forests and tall mountains marked the landscape around Berum, and the local population consisted of hardy human pioneers and taciturn dwarves who preferred to stay in their mountain fortresses.

After spending several minutes looking over the pop-ups that explained how to use his inventory and the limited number of other game features, Thorn decided to spend some time wandering around the city where he had started. Starting points in Nova Terra were based on a variety of factors and were divided into three different categories: rural, urban, and military. Anyone who spawned in a small town was considered to have a rural start while those who first spawned in a city had urban starts. Starting in a military fort was rare but had been known to happen, especially when the player had a military history in the real world.

Surprisingly, Nova Terra was quite adept at identifying what a new player was familiar with and using that knowledge to ease them into this new world. There had been some hubbub when Nova Terra launched because people were concerned that the system was reading the player’s memories, but Horizon’s public demonstrations to the contrary put them at ease.

Looking at his in-game map display, he saw the city he had arrived in, Berum, in the north-west of Angoril, the primary continent in Nova Terra. Even though the game had been out for a number of years, no one had managed to explore the entirety of Angoril, and many a guild was still focused on trying to map out the massive land. Angoril was roughly divided into eight sections, four in the north and four in the south.

From what he had read about Nova Terra, it seemed that each of these sections was a duchy, ruled by an appointed duke. In the center of the northern half of the continent, residing in the floating city that graced the majority of the advertisements for the game, was the Imperial city where the Human Emperor held court. Mirroring this, the Demonkin capital was located in the center of the southern duchies. But, rather than floating, the Imperial city of the Demonkin occupied the inside of a massive pit.

The southern and northern ends of the continent were temperate and had rotating seasons, but the four central duchies were closer to a tropical environment.

Apart from the continent of Angoril, there were three smaller continents that had been introduced in various patches, and each had a different theme. Rasyn, off Angoril’s eastern coast, was styled after Japan’s Tokugawa period. To the north lay Gerund, a Viking themed location that housed numerous barbarian clans while to the south was Moa’techa, the Mayan themed empire. Each of the smaller continents was also dominated by a specific race.

Thorn spent almost an hour walking around and taking in all the new sights and sounds of the city. It wasn’t until he heard someone complaining about the rate of loot drops that he even remembered this was a game. The sights and smells were mesmerizing to someone who had been closeted his whole life. Brought out of his daze by the reminder, Thorn decided to check where he stood before he made a plan of action.


Name: [Thorn]

Race: [Titan]

Health: [100%]

Mana: [100%]

Titles: [None]

Conditions: [None]


Racial Traits

Titan’s Strength: Increased resistance to mind-affecting conditions

Titan’s Endurance: Increased resistance to physical conditions

Titan’s Strength and Titan’s Endurance were excellent. Both were defensive abilities and complemented his massive innate strength. Extra resistance to anything was excellent as far as Thorn was concerned. After all, the more defenses the better.

A note from WildCard

If you've enjoyed what you read and are interested in reading more, please consider supporting me on Patreon where you can read advanced chapters, explore the world of Nova Terra, and help me determine where the story goes.

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About the author


Bio: My name is Seth Ring and I am a writer. I create worlds and tell the stories of those who inhabit them. I love exploring these new worlds with other people. I post a chapter every Friday around 12 pm EST. To get advanced access to chapters you can support me on Patreon at

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