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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I wrote a longer blurb about this elsewhere, so I'll just copy it here:
There's adventure, there's drama, there's a sprinkling of romance, there's even a bit of edginess in there, too.
Writing quality is fantastic. Release rate is nonexistent since the series is complete, so you can freely binge the entire thing in one go if you care to. Characters portray recognizable tropes on the surface, but have sufficient twists on their personalities/outlooks such that they don't feel like something we've seen a hundred times already. Conflict isn't purely driven by interpersonal drama, and melodrama is kept to a minimum. Characters react realistically to each other given their respective positions and outlooks on events, and everything is tied together in a neat little bundle that's shown from the perspective of different characters for each chapter. Chapters are meaty without dragging on. The entire series is also only 29 chapters long.
Definitely worth checking out, easily one of the best stories I've read all year.
If there are seven word to decribe this work it is; it that this review cannot do justice. It clearly has the mark of a good writer. The author is someone that can correctly and effectively convey the world stage as well as the motives and descriptions of the individual characters with in the story, while leaving up to the imagination the of what can just lie around the corner. Love it or Hate it there are plenty to say about this novel.
The three characters are so great here I could read them forever. Please dont stop writing them. I love how you do worldbuilding too. I really want to hear more about Cyraveil and I love how the characters dont just tell me about it. This is the best kind of worldbuilding.
BEST AUTHOR EVER!
Like if you never read a high-quality story you don't know what you are losing. The only thing that might hurt you while reading this... is... the spoilers of course.
However, what will a group of incredible characters do when they return to their normal lives after finishing the ending of their special adventure?
This is what epilogue is about and it is complemented by the author's penmanship to another level where the real magic exists.
Thanks for such an amazing story!
First you're story finally got me to leave a review after years of just enjoying content here.
A story of what happens next after the adventure ends done with beautifully crafted realistic characters.Worth a read just like others have said simply due to the fact that it is relatively short and complete, a rarity on this site.
A must read for anyone interested in the reincarnation genre.
RRL is full of stories telling us about people from earth becoming heroes in a fantasy world. Rarely do those people return and never do we hear about how that turns out for them. 'Epilogue' starts where those stories have ended and shows how difficult it is to fit back into your ordinary life after having lived stressful but glorious adventures for the last years. Especially if you didn't want to return.
Style: The story is told in third-person style from an internal view, each chapter rotates between the three protagonists and there are short parts following the police and their missing person case about the fourth dimension-traveller. This shows us the events from multiple points of view, leading to additional nuances in the storytelling.
Story: The whole plot takes place back in our world. What happened in the other world is barely told, just a bit here and there. Bit by bit the reader learns what the characters had to do to survive and none of them is without scars. The things we learn are very deep with complex entanglements and brutal revelations.
Grammar: Good, very few errors.
Characters: The story concentrates on the inner turmoil and the difficulties the protagonists have fitting in after all they have won and lost. Each of them tries to cope in a different way which leads to different problems and they hurt from all those internal contradictions. Those and their relationship to each other are far from simple and this is described in an excellent way. Very rarely is a story this focused on the characters' development.
If you are looking for an easy read to pass the time, you should look elsewhere. This story hits you hard and makes you yearn for closure from these serious experiences.
hate you, now I cant enjoy isekai stories anymore. This is too good, and the depth in such a short story is amazing. I want so much more, why won't you give it to me D:
100% recommend, 10/5, best story on RR.
I'm going to echo one of the other reviews: this novel has me emotionally devastated. I read the first 10 chapters all in one sitting, and spent the next ~15 days checking for new chapters literally every five minutes.
Etzoli really pulled a new trick out of his hat with this one. Stylistically, his writing has come a long way since he began TLS - Epilogue shows this off in spades. There's still the occasional typo here and there, but they don't affect immersion in the slightest.
This story is unusual: for RRL because it has very high writing quality and character development, and in general because it begins after the story proper has ended; the characters are transported back to Earth after living an isekai story during the exposition, and little is revealed about the other world proper. Even so, Epilogue easily pulls you in and leaves you wanting more of the other world - it comes with its own cultures, languages, and idioms that play a prominent part in character-building.
The characters... I don't know where to start. Without revealing much of their development, Etzoli leaves you wondering. The entire time. He leads you along with tantalizing looks out of their mind's eye, and then snatches their perspective away from you just in time for them to make critical decisions and actions and leave you wondering at their deeper perspective. It's tantalizing, tormenting, and an oh-so-beautiful style of writing. Matt, especially, is an extremely 3D character, and by the end of the novel you'll be just as invested as I was.
Epilogue is one of those special stories that drop you into a story right at the end and answer the question of "What Happens Next?" The writing style of the internal monologues and almost diary like writing of each of the three characters is what makes the story. There is no Grand adventure there is no epic fight scene, this series is all about the three characters and their lives after this Narnia esque adventure that they just had and what happens when they have to integrate back into normal society. For one, he does his absolute best to a defdeg, an it seems like it's working for him. For another he's completely out of place and falls into a dark spiral. And then there's the one that's caught in the middle who tries her best to integrate but due to issues, she is left feeling broken and is therefore not able to integrate back and society. Some of my favorite parts tells of Jen's time at a friend's house for dinner. It shows something that she didn't notice before she left but now with all the things thathappened to her in this adventure she had she's able to pick up the subtle clues and notice something that is severely wrong. overall what makes the store is the characters and how they interact with the world and their stories after the fact. I recommend this story as a must-read for anyone who is always wondering what happens after the adventure.
I found this novel after it won NaNoWriMo and decided to give it a chance, and I did not regret that decission. This stroy is extremely good and should be published due to the sheer quality of the work despite being a quick read.
Style: The author has an amazing style which keeps the readed enthralled in the story telling and world builing present. It is extremely proffesional, more so than many novels I have read from renounded authors and the writter should feel very proud of this style.
Grammar: I have nothing to say about the grammar of this story other than it apears to be proffesionaly Proff read and edited with no obvious gramatical or spelling based mistakes that I noticed.
Story: The Author has managed to revitalise an extremly over done trope of 'Sent to a different universe with a fantasy setting'. It includes a seamless use of muliple POV which does not seem repeaditive and highights the character diven components of the story. The only reason that this did not recieve 5 stars is because I personally did not enjoy the thread forum posts which are used to try to express the frustration of Carl due to the lack of information but it was honestly boring to me, but that is a personal preffence. Still amazing work and a tone of prase should be directed towards the Author due to their amzaing use POV to tell a spectacular story with unpredictable twists.
Characters: Honestly the best part of the story with the multiple but even POV that the story it told from. This is done in a way to highlight inner conflicts and shows amazing character development. The personalitites feel real with realistic and understandable flaws. The author does an amzing job showing the changes in the reasoning with realisitc and logical thought patterns. Well done, you have my utmost respect for the planning and tallent that is required to make such belivable and three dimentonal characters. Again, well done.
Overall, this is a refressing take on an over used trope with intense character driven plot that is both highly realistic and entertaining. To any that have not yet had the oppourtunity to experience the trip the novel takes you on, I would highly recoment this as one of the best I have read on this site, period. 5/5