In the war-torn land of Cyraveil, four heroes strove to overthrow an empire. By cold steel and elemental sorcery, they brought peace to a warring land on the brink of destruction. As the flames died, the realm needed strong leadership, and who better than the champions who had saved the kingdom? But when the people sought out their saviors... they vanished.

Matt, Blake, Jen, and Carl: the four mysterious companions, who together had deposed an insane ruler and saved countless lives, were gone—spirited back in a whirlwind of magic to a sleepy suburb in Mellbridge, Oregon, never to return. The friends found themselves home in the real world, exactly as they'd been the night they were taken, as if no time had passed... except only three came back.

  

 


 

Hi there! This was my entry for National Novel Writing Month, because why only write one series at a time? The more the merrier! (meanwhile, my keyboard bursts into flames...)

I'm also the writer of The Last Science, an ongoing low-fantasy/speculative sci-fi series. If you're familiar with that, you know what to expect here: lots of character-focused drama and dialogue, not a whole lot of traditional action. However, I'm writing a bit differently than usual here, and in a very different structure, so there should be some surprises for returning readers. I hope you enjoy it!

 [Discord] — for those of you who want to hang out and chat.

 

Cover art (fullsize): Path of Revelation, by taenaron (Tobias Roetsch), modified by Etzoli. Normally I like to do my own cover art from scratch, but I was in a rush for the contest. Might be replaced down the line if I get time.

[winner of the NaNoWriMo Royal Road 2018 challenge—Most Favorites]

This story has not been posted or published anywhere else besides RoyalRoad.com, at this URL: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21374/epilogue

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Etzoli

Etzoli

Professional Technological Thaumaturge

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arashifufu
Overall

Short and sweet. Well written, good quality. Intrigue, some drama, interesting worldbuilding but not too much of it, believable characters with believable flaws and thought processes. Definitely not a run of the mill, "typical" royalroad fiction. Satisfying ending! I recommend it.

The POV switching is a bit jarring at first, and I'm personally REALLY not a fan of it generally (it's become a bit of a trend, everyone seems to be cramming it into their fiction, and usually without a good reason). It works here though, the entire fiction was written around the concept, it wasn't just forced in as a gimmick. I got used to it pretty quick, it was neat 

flowerpower6286
Overall

Must read for Fans of Narnia

Reviewed at: Epilogue

Definitely a story that would resonate well with those who grew up reading the Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. Characters were consistent and story telling was superb in how the layers were slowly peeled away. The only thing that I didn't really like was the police dialogue at the start of each chapter as it detracted from the way the story unfolded. 

All in all, I loved the story and the world building! 

Kaoticice
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Why are you hurting me with amazingness

Reviewed at: Epilogue

I've read a lot of fiction, online and otherwise. Mostly, in the last few years, I read the RoyalRoad kind of fiction; a good way to sink some time, a nice feeling of productivity from numbers-go-up, etc.

Every once in a while though, I accidentally read something utterly mindblowingly delicious that leaves me aching and happy all at once; this is that. This is that, personified. Holy crap. If you're sitting there wondering if you should read this, or are not gripped by the summary and reading the reviews first, absolutely read it. Trust me.

Style: It's a character-driven drama with just enough whimsicality to sell the fantasy element, and just enough brutal trauma and amazing emotional complexity to ground you in reality. Incredibly well written.

Story: Yes. All of it. It's incredibly vorking tasty. Three teenagers who most certainly aren't teenagers anymore return to their "normal" lives after most of a decade of war and struggle in another world and just... Desperately try to cope.

Grammar: Impeccable.

Character: You'll have opinions about them, without a doubt. Every single one acts according to their own internal compass; this is a very character driven story, and their interactions and diversity is a major focus, and a major highlight. Extremely consistently well-written characters across the board.

CuriousTraveller
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Amazing and Realistic but the ending is a tragedy

Reviewed at: Epilogue

A realistic story about being isekaied. Starts when they return from another world. Well-written, amazing characters, good plot. Story is from three POVs. This story deserves its ratings. There is no different world or magic. Everything happens after they returned. How their emotions and thinking changed. How someone who is selfish this he is making hard decisions other won't make. How someone who doesn't want to totrure others but has to do thinks. How ypur home doesn't feel like home anymore. Why after crossing limits once you can't stop. This is still not long enough. There is not much to write about it excelt that it is amazing. Like everything here some might not like it. But it is very good at what it intends to be. Still less than 200 words.

Try rwading this of you have not already. This is one of the best. It is really an epilogue of what everyone earns after fulfilling the quest. Who saves people gets a good ending always. Can selfish persons get everything they want in tge end. Does getting what you want removes the image of pain you suffered to get it. How to make it 200 words long will this work.

Rouni
Overall

One of the best things I have read.

Reviewed at: Epilogue

I was a bit sceptical at first, but the concept was intriguing.
We follow a group of three, returning from their adventure, back to the real world. Having to readapt to normal society, trying to figur out who they were.
Solid characters, good progression, emotional development and interesting naration.
the author has masterfully created a small drama, turning around the usual fantasy story, there is love, betrayal, excitment. 
I would love a continuation, or a story of what was before.
Overall a great sort story, that could be featured in any short-story magazine. Makes me feel that the Narnia kids had it easy.

Martin 12341
Overall

I support all 5 star reviews that were previously written.

A different take on isekai with a fascinating outlook on what an isekai returner would face in the mundane world and what kind of difficulties he would have to come to terms with. The characters are real characters, with development, different facettes and dialogues perfectly set in scene.

I read it in one evening. Read it. This is quality content.

Thank you, dear author for sharing your brilliant fantasy with me. I genuinely appreciate it and personally wish you all the best. If I didn't already have an account I would have created one solely for this review.

LordDelakar
Overall

Truly great work. Probably one of the best or RR, You all more or less know the story that happens before. We have all read it a dozen or so times at least on RR. Characters are well though out and the trauma feels real. This isn't that story on RR this is what happens after that story a true epilogue.

grademaster
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Trying to describe how I hate it

Reviewed at: Epilogue

I hated it. I completely hated it. I don't hate crap stories, I've seen and read a lot of them and if you just relax and laugh at the little mistakes, maybe fill in the little blanks in the details, it works just fine for a casual read. This is not a crappy story. In fact, by my metric, it's one of the best I've ever read. But my metric isn't by good feelings or enjoyment, it's about the magnitude of emotion a book makes me feel, and I HATE this book. 

It ruins isekai for me. Isekai is, to me, wish fulfillment, and I don't at all eman that in a bad way. Lots of books are wish fulfillment and that's a good thing but this is the exact opposite. It crushes wishes and all the things I thought good about isekai. It exposes some brutal reality onto that innocent image I've set in my mind as a trend and just... ruins it. For this alone you should have put in the tradgedy tag. 

Now the characters. They were flawed, sometimes blatantly so, sometimes subtly enough that you didn't think much of it until midway through the story or later on. They were very much people, defined and dynamic, instead of paper cutouts of one idea or another. You could see how they dealt with problems and, most shakingly, how they broke under pressure. I hated seeing that, seeing characters I empathised with fall to those levels in their own unique ways. Just another thing to hate about this story. To go deeper into the charactarization I'd have to spoil parts of it and no potential reader deserves that. If you invest in the characters, which I both hope and dread that you will, then good luck. 

To finish this off I'll go into the story, since the grammar's totally fine - no issues I could notice, it started out slow. And then it kept ramping up, intensifying, and then beat me to the floor in the climax. Ah, but that wasn't the climax. The climax wasn't the whole intense, 'beat to the floor' part, it's what comes after, the consequences. In a way that's what this whole story is about, at least to me, the consequences of actions, of adventure, of living out what might have been a fantasy if things were just a little more... I don't know, better, if people were less horrible and if circumstances hadn't forced sacrifice, if there had been a good way of resolving things. But I'm talking about nothing substantial now. The story is devestating in all the worst ways. 

This isn't a must-read book in the case of something to read immediately. In fact, I'd heavily advise against it. This is a meta book, a blatant insult to the series it bases itself around. It's a 'fuck you' to the genre of isekai, of adventure, and of people. It's horrible and I can't properly show people how I hate it and all it stands for. I hate the characters, the direction of the story, the morals behind it, the world the characters are set in, I hate the way it twists the knife with an artful lack of details when I just want to know why X happened the way it did, why my most related character got the most horrific fate I can imagine, something honestly so terrible that I would relate it to torture, and that I can't say terrible things about the story because my hate is just some twisted, awful form of love for it... 

I hate this story. I'll never read it again, and I'll make sure to never read any of your other stories because I just can't enjoy this. You aren't the author for me and this was never the story for me to begin with. And, altough I don't want to say it and I don't really mean it, thank you for writing this. 

Onyavar
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Perfect fantasy short series.

Reviewed at: Epilogue

Like the title says: This is a perfect short series. Set in the real world with the isekaied characters on their return trip.

Short summary: it is a mystery story that is set entirely in the real world as the main characters have to cope with their everyday life after returning from some "Narnia".

First, why would you read a piece that has less than twenty chapters? Because it is designed that way! Making this whole story last longer, would have made it worse: So we have to admire the author for their ability to stick with the bare necessities for the story to both work dramatically, and shine as fantasy.

The Grammar was spot-on. I noticed a total of five spelling mistakes, but that couldn't distract from the fun of an extremeley well-written short series. This came from a person who knows to write and deliver their story flawlessly.

The story is magnificent, as it allows the reader to take a few glimpses of the war-torn fantasy world the main characters were abducted to. So it has hints of world-building, but most of all, suspense. You can NOT decide to discontinue reading this. (Are there caveats and plotholes? Yes, but only insofar as the magic of the crossover is involved. That one is iffy in nearly all isekai, anyway.)

This is a character driven story, too. We get to learn who the people were before they were abducted into a fantasy world. We get to know what they did there, at least partially. And most importantly, how they struggle to re-integrate into normal modern society. There is character development ALL OVER the story. Oh, and most importantly, we get three very unique points of view that vastly differ from each other, not to forget the bystanders from the nromal reality.

The style is just dense. Packed with clues, and twists. You can't predict from the start how it will turn out, you can't even guess what lies ahead two chapters.

In total, the story waits to be read almost like a polished gem of perfection, to be read at your convenience; and the best thing is it can be read in one single sitting (if you're the kind of reader who can get entrapped in a story for 8-12 hours straight.)

 

Mnem
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Excellent novel

Reviewed at: Epilogue

This was a fantastic story. I'm ashamed to admit I scrolled past quite a few times before I finally read it. Tight, focused, and compelling. Everything moves the plot forward, no fluff. The characters are believable and interesting. The hook is unique - what happens to the heroes when the adventure is done?

 

5 stars.