Forge of Destiny

by Yrsillar

Original ONGOING Action Adventure Drama Fantasy Female Lead Magic Martial Arts Slice of Life Xianxia

In the Celestial Empire, a land ruled by Immortals and stalked by Spirits and Beasts, a young girl from the slums of an unimportant city is found to have the Talent. In the great Sect of Argent Peak, she will take her first unsteady steps upon the way.

Can she learn to not only survive, but thrive on her journey?

Updates Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays. Now listed on Top Web Fiction List

Cover Art by faith0m

Original, unedited Quest found here

Tales of Destiny, an anthology of short stories in the same setting

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Yrsillar

Yrsillar

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue-Smelting ago
Smelting 2 ago
Smelting 3 ago
Smelting 4 ago
Bonus 1: Commencement Day ago
Chapter 1-First Steps 1 ago
Chapter 2-First Steps 2 ago
Chapter 3- First Steps 3 ago
Chapter 4-First Steps 4 ago
Chapter 5-First Steps 5 ago
Chapter 6-Exam Prep 1 ago
Chapter 7-Exam Prep 2 ago
Chapter 8-Exam Prep 3 ago
Chapter 9-Exam Prep 4 ago
Bonus 2: Lessons and Lore ago
Chapter 10 Exam Prep 5 ago
Chapter 11 Exam Prep 6 ago
Chapter 12 -Zhou's Trial 1 ago
Chapter 13-Zhou's Trial 2 ago
Chapter 14-Zhou's Trial 3 ago
Chapter 15-Zhou's Trial 4 ago
Chapter 16-Zhou's Trial 5 ago
Chapter 17-Zhou's Trial 6 ago
Bonus 3: Faculty Meeting ago
Chapter 18-Zhou's Trial 7 ago
Chapter 19-Zhou's Trial 8 ago
Chapter 20-Foundations 1 ago
Chapter 21-Foundations 2 ago
Chapter 22-Foundations 3 ago
Chapter 23-Foundations 4 ago
Chapter 24-Foundations 5 ago
Chapter 25-Foundations 6 ago
Bonus 4: Growing Unease ago
Chapter 26-Foundations 7 ago
Chapter 27-Foundations 8 ago
Chapter 28-Foundations 9 ago
Bonus 5: The Great Sects ago
Chapter 29-Mountainside Clash ago
Chapter 30-Mountainside Clash 2 ago
Bonus 6: Charity ago
Chapter 31-Mountainside Clash 3 ago
Chapter 32-Mountainside Clash 4 ago
Chapter 33- Dwindling Peace 1 ago
Chapter 34-Dwindling Peace 2 ago
Bonus 7: Spite ago
Chapter 35-Dwindling Peace 3 ago
Chapter 36-Dwindling Peace 4 ago
Chapter 37-Truce End 1 ago
Chapter 38-Truce End 2 ago
Chapter 39-Truce End 3 ago
Chapter 40-Truce End 4 ago
Chapter 41-Truce End 5 ago
Chapter 42-Truce End 6 ago
Bonus 8: Observation ago
Chapter 43- Brewing Chaos 1 ago
Chapter 44- Brewing Chaos 2 ago
Chapter 45-Second Realm ago
Chapter 46-Restoring Order 1 ago
Chapter 47-Restoring Order 2 ago
Chapter 48-Restoring Order 3 ago
Bonus 9: On Cultivation ago
Chapter 49-Serpent's Treasure 1 ago
Chapter 50-Serpent's Treasure 2 ago
Chapter 51-Serpent's Treasure 3 ago
Chapter 52-Serpent's Treasure 4 ago
Chapter 53-Serpent's Treasure 5 ago
Chapter 54-Cooperation 1 ago
Chapter 55-Cooperation 2 ago
Chapter 56 Cooperation 3 ago
Chapter 57-Cooperation 4 ago
Chapter 58-Tag 1 ago
Chapter 59-Tag 2 ago
Interlude: Bai Meizhen ago
Chapter 60-Simmering 1 ago
Bonus 10: Death of the Sage ago
Chapter 61-Simmering 2 ago
Chapter 62-Simmering 3 ago
Chapter 63-Rebellion 1 ago
Chapter 64 Rebellion 2 ago
Chapter 65 Challenge ago
Chapter 66-Sect Work 1 ago
Chapter 67- Sect Work 2 ago
Chapter 68-Sect Work 3 ago
Bonus 11: The Twilight King ago
Chapter 69-Sect Work 3 ago
Chapter 70-Sect Work 4 ago
Chapter 71-Sect Work 5 ago
Chapter 72-Recovery 1 ago
Chapter 73-Recovery 2 ago
Chapter 74 Night on the Lake ago
Chapter 75-Melodies 1 ago
Chapter 76-Melodies 2 ago
Bonus 12: Plots and Plans ago
Chapter 77-Hatchling 1 ago
Interlude: Sima Jiao ago
Chapter 78- Hatchling 2 ago
Chapter 79-Hatchling 3 ago
Chapter 80-Council ago
Chapter 81-Elder Ying ago
Chapter 82-Relaxing Hike ago
Chapter 83 Crackdown 1 ago
Chapter 84-Crackdown 2 ago
Chapter 85-Elder Ying 2 ago
Chapter 86-Council Work 1 ago
Bonus-Precious! ago
Chapter 87-Council Work 2 ago
Chapter 88- Resurgence 1 ago
Chapter 89-Resurgence 2 ago
Chapter 90-Resurgence 3 ago
Chapter 91-Resurgence 4 ago
Chapter 92-Resurgence 5 ago
Chapter 93-Resurgence 6 ago
Interlude- Cai Renxiang ago
Chapter 94-Peace 1 ago
Chapter 95-Peace 2 ago
Chapter 96-Peace 3 ago
Bonus Chapter: Humiliation ago
Chapter 97-Peace 4 ago
Chapter 98-Dark Dreams 1 ago
Chapter 99-Dark Dreams 2 ago
Chapter 100-Dark Dreams 3 ago
Chapter 101-Dark Dreams 4 ago
Chapter 102-Dark Dreams 5 ago
Chapter 103-Dark Dreams 6 ago
Interlude- Li Suyin ago
Chapter 104-Tutelage 1 ago
Bonus Chapter- Cold/Alone ago
Chapter 105-Tutelage 2 ago
Chapter 106-Tutelage 3 ago
Chapter 107-Tutelage 4 ago
Chapter 108-Tutelage 5 ago
Chapter 109-Theft 1 ago
Chapter 110-Theft 2 ago
Chapter 111-Theft 3 ago
Chapter 112-Theft 4 ago
Bonus Chapter-Dynasties of the Emerald Seas ago
Chapter 113- Connections 1 ago
Interlude-Gu Xiulan ago
Chapter 114-Connections 2 ago
Chapter 115-Blizzard ago
Chapter 116-Elder Jiao ago
Chapter 117 Troubles ago
Chapter 118-Heist ago
Chapter 119- Friends 1 ago
Chapter 120-Friends 2 ago
Bonus Chapter-Mid Year Conference ago
Chapter 121-Friends 3 ago
Chapter 122-Crimson Princess 1 ago
Chapter 123 Crimson Princess 2 ago
Chapter 124-Crimson Princess 3 ago
Chapter 125-Sabotage ago
Chapter 126-Guardians 1 ago
Chapter 127-Guardians 2 ago
Chapter 128-Escalation ago
Bonus Chapter-Hunter ago
Chapter 129- Quests ago
Interlude- Bai Cui ago
Chapter 130- Training ago
Chapter 131-Favors ago
Chapter 132-Courting ago
Chapter 133-Courting 2 ago
Chapter 134-News ago
Chapter 135-Heiress ago
Chapter 136-Law ago
Chapter 137-Reconciliation ago
Chapter 138-Connections ago
Bonus Chapter: Betrothal ago
Chapter 139-Spirits ago
Chapter 140-Finishing Moves ago
Chapter 141-Finishing Moves 2 ago
Chapter 142-Finishing Moves 3 ago
Chapter 143-Finishing Moves 4 ago
Chapter 144-Finishing Moves 5 ago
Chapter 145-Finishing Moves 6 ago
Chapter 146-Finishing Moves 7 ago
Bonus Chapter: Ancestors Sublime ago
Chapter 147-Finishing Moves 8 ago
Interlude: Ji Rong ago
Chapter 148-Third Realm 1 ago
Chapter 149-Third Realm 2 ago
Chapter 150-Ice 1 ago
Chapter 151-Ice 2 ago
Chapter 152-Career ago
Bonus: Ascension for the Common Baron ago
Chapter 153-Beginning and Ending ago
Chapter 154-Oaths ago
Chapter 155-Revelry ago
Bonus Chapter: Temples and Festivals ago
Chapter 156-Hangover ago
Chapter 157-Bronze Realm ago
Interlude: Han Jian ago
Chapter 158-Resolution ago
Chapter 159-Moon ago
Chapter 160-Moon 2 ago
Chapter 161-Dragon 1 ago
Chapter 162-Dragon 2 ago
Chapter 163-Dragon 3 ago
Chapter 164-Dragon 4 ago
Chapter 165-Retainer 1 ago
Chapter 166-Retainer 2 ago
Chapter 167-Competitor ago
Chapter 168-Loose Ends ago
Chapter 169-Family 1 ago
Chapter 170-Family 2 ago
Ling Qingge Interlude ago
Bonus Chapter: Alone ago
Chapter 171-Family 3 ago
Chapter 172-Hidden 1 ago
Chapter 173-Hidden 2 ago
Chapter 174-Training 1 ago
Chapter 175-Training 2 ago
Chapter 176-Training 3 ago
Chapter 177-Training 4 ago
Chapter 178-Socialite 1 ago
Chapter 179-Standing ago
Chapter 180-Years End 1 ago
Chapter 181-Years End 2 ago
Chapter 182-Years End 3 ago
Bonus Chapter-Duty ago
Chapter 183-Years End 4 ago
Chapter 184 ago
Bonus: Argent Sect Promotional ago
Chapter 185 ago
Chapter 186 ago
Chapter 187 ago
Chapter 188 ago
Chapter 189 ago
Chapter 190 ago
Chapter 191 ago
Chapter 192 ago
Interlude: Sun Liling ago
Chapter 193 ago
Chapter 194 ago
Chapter 195 ago
Chapter 196 ago
Chapter 197 ago
Chapter 198 ago
Chapter 199 ago

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TehChron
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Setting Aside Generic Sounding Praise

To be blunt, most of you who are reading this review likely did not come across this story due to familiarity with Quests (A CYOA story format decided by popular vote), nor did you do so due to familiarity with the author. I'm sure you came here because of your familiarity with the genre, and the desire to sift through all the generic imitation trash to find that next diamond in the rough that would be Worth It. Worth your time. Worth reading. Worth following.

Forge of Destiny is Worth It.

The story of Ling Qi is an understated one. I'm sure that if you already read the first chapter before reading this review, you'll have some inkling of what I'm referring to. Make no mistake, however; This story is Xianxia to it's very core. It does not reinvent the wheel of the genre, but it does what so many other stories fail to bother with. It takes the world in which it is set, and it brings it to life. This means that, as a result, things such as the heights of Cultivation are common knowledge. There are no hidden Realms. No secret levels. The road to Ascension is the Empire is one that is...If not well trodden, it is at least decently mapped out. Ascension is the end goal for any who walk the path of Cultivation, and that is made explicit from the outset.

In exchange, Yrsillar does not build high as most genre writers do. Inventing new and fantastical limits for their protagonist to break through over and over again. Instead, they build deep. This world in which Ling Qi and the Argent Sect live are living, breathing things. Mysteries for us, as readers, to explore through Ling Qi's eyes. And this journey is done masterfully. The Argent Sect is a melting pot of the different peoples of the Empire, notable clan scions taken from all across its borders, each representative of the cultures of their homelands and Clans and most importantly: Themselves.

Much like ourselves, Ling Qi is a stranger to the land of Immortals, and through her eyes we watch the struggle for a mortal in a land of nascent godlings struggle to find their feet purchase in the vast new world which she has found herself. Starting from nothing, and with the goal of any Cultivator ahead of her. In this regard, Yrsillar makes no mystery of what lofty goals Ling Qi's eyes become set.

Yet, even if you know of it academically, that does not mean that you understand the gulf between Heaven and Earth.

Thus, we join Ling Qi in her journey to uncover the world of the Immortals. The secrets of Cultivation, and reaching the heights of power in the Empire. Along with the many threats both within, and without. In this regard Forge of Destiny is a Xianxia story to its very core: Power informs Politics, and Victory needs no excuse. Ling Qi's triumphs are earned, her failures the result of the environment she finds herself in. The same is just as true for everyone around her, from the lowliest mortal to the most wise Elder. 

 

I can go on forever, praising the excellence of the journey in its raw, unfinished form, marred by the nature of the Quest format. But you readers who are only just discovering this excellent journey now benefit from the finished product, and to do so would be to spoil the surprises in store for you.

Let it simply be said, that Forge of Destiny is Worth It. 

Please, enjoy.

 

Thor's Twin
  • Overall Score

A well-crafted xianxia story that is grounded in the setting.  Which is something rare in this genre.  Additionally, this story has a charming main character who is well characterized with a fabulous supporting cast that stays relevant throughout the story.

It doesn't do anything fancy or try to break new conceptual grounds with what the characters can do.  What this story does do, however, is put complex characters with believable motivations into a fantastical setting.  Some were born and raised in this setting and know exactly what to expect, but others have no grounding and muddle through it the best they can.

Overall, this story is not about the main character getting more power to overcome everything that comes their way.  It is not a power fantasy.  It is more about the characters and how they react and develop in their journey to become an immortal.

A sub-theme, however, does appear.  The conflict between freedom and obligations and what freedom truly means in the context of this setting.  

Deathwings
  • Overall Score

Beware, for this is just too good

This is your first Xanxia ? My condoleance, for once you've read this, you will come to the horrifying conclusion that it's all downhill from there.

This story is so damn good it will ruin the entire genre for you as you'll never find another Xanxia that can hope to compet.

Sebastian Lindblad
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The Forge of Destiny follows the arc of Ling Qi, reluctant immortal, lost daughter, formerly of the slums of Tonghou.

On a distant mountain peak, under the eyes of a venerable Sect, the scions of ancient imperial clans rub elbows with the daughters and the sons of merchants, where a few lost thiefs and scoundrels are without a place and newly-minted scions of baronial and ducal houses try to find theirs - into this boiling plot Ling Qi is thrown.

FoD succeeds where so many of its contemporaries have failed. And why is that, you might wonder? 

The magic system is decent, perhaps even good.

There is a glut of the traditional archetypes and troupes, the young masters and the animal companions, the battle princesses,  the imperial way a la China that never was, spirits both young and ancient. Now, in my own opinion, FoD's greatest strength is its characters.

The dark action girl who renounces all, yet misses her lost mother, who just wants to be seen.

The young master, who tries to live up to his old heritage.

The girl with fire in her veins, betrodded to one she despises,  unrequited in love.

The thug, trodden on for his entire life, learning that his fists has a reach that is only so long.

The scion of a ducal house of a generation, raised with gauntled fist, yearning to match great expectations, to build a world of law and justice, where might does not make right.

It is to these characters the readers return, chapter after chapter.

Signspace13
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Shows a great understanding of the Genre

Finally a decent Xianxia on RR, I have found that most Xianxia on RR tend to try and compensate for the perceived problems with the genre, like excessive melodrama and slow pacing, by toning things down and adding comedy, or by speeding up early chapters with little explanation and more action, but they usually end up over compensate and end up as either boring or incomprehensible, you have shown a much clearer understanding of the genre in your work, by just using the genre to write a decent story with interesting characters, with a female protagonist no less, a perspective uncommon in the genre, and usually muddied by over the top romance when it is.

Can't wait for more!

Elaborate
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Consistent and grounded Xianxia

As noted in the novel's description, this is originally a forum quest - basically an ttRPG, except there are dozens of people controlling one character. This has three monumental effects on the story, all of which are nearly unheard of in Xianxia: 

  • All the characters have stats, their abilities are consistent with those stats, and the world is consistent with the abilities. There is limited scope for ass-pulls. 
  • The MCs moves are debated on for pages and pages, meaning they behave in a mostly logical manner, aiming to optimize their chances of success - and they don't know what the author knows about the world, so there's less 'lucky coincidences'. 
  • Since actions are resolved with dice, the MC can fail. The character knows it. The audience know it. For a Xianxia, this is freaking revolutionary. 

Overall, this makes for a refreshing, grounded, down-to-Earth feel, unusual in Xianxias.

The actual Quest is way ahead, though, so you're likely to check it out. But when you do, here's a tip: The GM's story posts actually have a [next] button on them that'll take you to the next part of the story, bypassing a lot of browsing of old debates. Man, the hours I wasted before figuring that out... 

Zethuron
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What Xianxia should be, a really enjoyable read

This story brings Xianxia to new heights, it uses the classic Chinese setting that all Xianxia do use, but this story is something different from those and arguably vastly better.  It uses consistency, makes characters reasonable and rational, atleast as much as Cultivators can be. The common Xianxia tropes like cheats, arrogant young masters, last minute powerups and the likes are all absent from this story, which is a fresh breath of air from all the repetiveness of the Xianxia genre.

The characters in this story are extremely well written for Xianxia characters. They have their own motivations for their actions, with all of them having some kind of goal.

Ling Qi is just a mortal girl who has been selected to join the sect and enter the world of cultivators, there she learns about the cultivation world and its strange inhabitants. Her goal is a well defined but hard to reach one, she is fully determined to reach it, even if she has to suffer in order to improve herself, and for good reasons, the competition in the sect is not kind to people who do not give their fullest. The path to the top, to Ascension is a harsh one, and one can count themselves to be lucky to find people they can call friends while being on the path of cultivation.

 

The world feels realistic for a Xianxia one, with well established cultivation rules and it has some of the most well constructed worldbuilding i have read so far in a Xianxia story. One of the things i do really like, is that the people and their culture is not one solid monolith unable to change at all like you see in other Xianxia's, this feels like a living world.

The story goes in-depth to do a detailed explaination of cultivation and all its related concepts, for both the very basics, and the advanced stuff. While the story may not use the tropes that ruin other Xianxia stories, it still does use the core concepts of Xianxia.  It also makes cultivation explainable and put logic behind it.

The story is easy to read, consistent pacing throughout the entire story.  The writing style of the author can keep you reading and enjoying the story.

Grammar is good like one would expect from a skilled author, though the occasional mistakes and typos can be found, they are however quickly corrected whenever spotted.

There is just so much potentional with this story, and where it can go, and how it can expand and improve on other Xianxia tropes/concepts not used yet in this story.

This is a story for any fans of Xianxia or Eastern Fantasy in general, its also a great introduction to the Xianxia genre, though on the other side, no Xianxia story comes anywhere near the quality this story has, so reading this will ruin any future chances of enjoying any stories in the Xianxia genre.

Lucid Prophet
  • Overall Score

When I first read Forge of Destiny, what absolutely grabbed me was the characters, Ling Qi especially. Seeing her internal conflict, how she gradually changes along with the others around her as the world advances at its own pace really touched me.

The themes of what it means to be free, and how Ling Qi's views develop with time is a intriguing read.

some_total_kretin
  • Overall Score

I'm going to start by comparing this to another highly praised xianxia here on RRL, by showing what was done right or competently and what the other xianxia/wuxia did really badly.

Well executed xianxia so far (around 50 chapters in). The characters are not annoying little shits, but still kids. The young masters are aproprietally childish/b-line villanous and the MC is not exactly OP, but not the weakest kid in the bunch.

Also there is no absolutely wasted overarching overcomplicated plot hinted in the background from the beginning, that then rots and stinks up the whole story by being incompetently written.

!!!FOLLOWING CONTAINS SPOILERS!!! 

The last review I've done was  painting in the mists, where the author spent half of the first book removing everything that could even pose a threat to the character and doing bland exposition with flat characters.

I'm talking about it because I've criticised his charactrers as anime tropes without even a little bit of flashing out, just show us the character in a dog and pony routine, show his one character dimension and send it to the sidelines so that wish fullfillment might take place for poorly or not at all defined reasons.

Here is what he should have done. The characters here are anime trope characters, but they are competently fleshed out, not just shown. They act and react, not just represent their one dimension. Their thought processes and motivations are at least hinted at and stuff happens for a reason (at least when it mattered to me).

Painting in the mists removed the spice by removing the young masters and b line villains, but left the most atrocious of all - blatant wish fullfillment without any struggle whatsoever. The MC was given super duper ultra rare technique for no reason at all! He just dreamed about walking in a park and an old man gave it to him. For no reason, with barely two paragraphs of preface. No sense of pressure, no stakes in place, nothing.

Here the MC trains hard to catch up to the middle of the pack for several chapters and has a lucky encounter when undergoing advanced placement examination, where she meets a spirit that convinces his master to give her a technique that she might use. Not the strongest stuff,  not the hardest stuff, just a little bit of a better chance.

The main character of the other xianxia/wuxia is a reincarnated engineer that decided to do things his own way. He is muscular, elegant, beautiful and in the first chapter on the first day we know him it is revealed that he has a rare talent. That talent is in the next chapter shown to be basically the best there is possible to get, with a little bit of handicap, that is then removed by afformentioned meeting in a dream.

Here we have a little girl that lived in the streets for some of her life until being basically forcefully recruited into the sect. She then procedes to try and survive in the new environment and slowly starts to thrive there thanks to her go getter personality.

She also slowly realizes that she had made mistakes and not all is as it seems with her past - mind you she does not have misterious heaven defying past - she just realizes that running away from home might not have been the best solution and that her mother might not have been the evil strict person she thought her to be.

Just compare the two - the first got everything by investing nothing and is lauded as great genius, the second slowly builds herself up from humble beginngings and there are still thousands of other geniuses better then her. The first basically does everything by himself or is given everything, because the side characters are not fleshed out enought to be more than stick figures on a training field. The second one learns things from others, because she was just a beggar on the streets with only mere basics of eduation. She learns things from others and communicates and interacts with them. The first one is merely given large amounts of exposition to explain the stuff that is happening.

The combat is competently written in both of those fictions, but the characters fighting in this one are definitelly better.

Both stories are slow, but here there is at least stuff happening, in the other one, the stuff is just exposed and then forgotten.

Changed to five stars for competent example of what a xianxia is about with all the obvious clichees, which are not overused. Complimented by show and tell approach without the need for huge sinister background plots.

golofprague
  • Overall Score

A breath of fresh into stale, boring xianxia

Greatest xianxia ever-actual characters that are not cut outs,no dbz problem of constant escalation,an actual understandable story and an actual non murderhobo non jackass protag

Better than 80% of the stuff on here

 

 

To append my earlier statement-I,like most of you,was sick of xianxia.I had even resolved myself to never read it again.Until one day I saw this.I was a bit skeptical at first but found that I actually enjoyed reading this,it was... a breath of fresh air in a stale genre of completly assholish main characters whos only reason to pursue power was a neboulous defined goal of "I will be the greatest thing ever with my super speshul cheat power,look at me im so coool and awsome,girls just throw themselves one me. consequence wats that".

IN this story however ling qi has a goal ,she has a well defined goal other than being facepunch mcgee, there is no constant last minute power ups,other people matter,the society matters and is not just superflous to the plot.I will state this right now,this is most likely the best xianxia you will ever read,everything else just falls flat.