Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Traumatising content

It is the final days after the end of the world and you only have one month left before the last sanctuary erupts into chaos. There's a dead body hanging from a tree and cadaverous giants watch you sleep at night. The end is already here, you just don't know it yet.

Now rated in the top 3% of all novels on Royal Road!

Palus Somni (‘Marsh of Sleep’) is a worldbuilding webnovel about what happens when your God forsakes you.

Inspired by gothic horror and mingled with British myth and folklore, join the Alucinari nuns as they struggle with day-to-day life after the world has ended.

Every night when the sun sets the monstrous Gol, colossal beings with too many teeth, awaken and roam the marshlands. Only those with a faithful heart will be spared. Young acolyte Wille has never seen the walls fail, but when a fellow nun is murdered within their sanctum the very safety of the monastery is thrown into question. Did the Gol find a way to breach their defences, or is there a human traitor amongst them? The answer lies both far in the past and deep beneath the earth, through the maze of ancient catacombs.

With a cast of over thirty different characters, watch as your friends and enemies spiral into inevitable madness at the hands of a callous and unforgiving world. Discover the secrets of Palus Somni through letters, diary entries and notes found scattered across the monastery. Uncover the mystery of the grotesque giants that stalk the night and bring your challenge to the Gods themselves.

Each character has their own handmade pixel art, and every update includes a music recommendation for a dark atmospheric dungeon synth album that you can listen to while you read.

Slice of life meets cosmic abomination: Palus Somni is a collection of intertwining stories, some chapters are stand-alone tales while others feed into the overarching narrative. It is an exploration into a community, and rather than focusing on any one character the story meanders through the convent, exposing the hopes and fears of its inhabitants.

Story updates every full moon.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 14,902
  • Average Views :
  • 552
  • Followers :
  • 83
  • Favorites :
  • 27
  • Ratings :
  • 16
  • Pages :
  • 270
Go to Table of Contents
Rate it
Fiction breaking rules? Report
Laurie Raye

Laurie Raye

Swamp goblin

Character Designer
The Cake is out of the Oven
2nd Anniversary
Group Leader (V)
Word Count (VII)
10 Review Upvotes
Top List #1000
Fledgling Reviewer (II)

Leave a review

drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
Sort by:

For whatever reason, my review is showiy several stats less than what I put. It should be:

Style - 5   Story - 5  Grammar - 5  Character - 4.5

Overall - 5

The story starts in the nuns' convent, and through their research and exploration we gradually are exposed to the world outside.

It very much feels like the calm before the storm. Something terrible happened, that hasn't really reached them yet, through its only ba matter of time. How they will meet this, his they will survive (if they even do survive) it's being built up.

The characters are interesting, the grammar and the writing style are very nearly faultless, and the story is intriguing. I'd very much recommend this story to anyone who likes character-driven psychological thrillers.


This story is beautiful and dark. We are invited into a world like our own, but different, with dark things and yet with God. Many of our main characters are nuns and the fictionalized fantasy version of their nunnery is well researched. 

The writing is superb. It explains everything, it introduces the world, it pulls you in, and it does so well.

In addition to all of this Raye goes out of the way to add even more to the tale- music that should be listened to while reading each chapter is posted, and we have great pixel art at the bottom of the chapters to show off characters or scenes.

I saw no issues with grammar, I love the characters and the story, the style is great.

Bobidi Bop

I've just read about half of the current chapters and now I can't sleep. This story is too good for comfort and understands the nuances of horror. Nowadays, what people look for are silly jump scares with little character or plot. This is in contrast to what they should look for; a story where the horror lies in both what is happening and the futility of the character's actions no matter how they change. Within this novel we get just that, people who are trying and failing(though they don't know it) to survive the end of days. Everything seems thought out and as with any good story, once complete I believe this will need quite a few read throughs to fully understand the extent of the foreshadowing and plot. 

My Understanding of what is happening so far

Spoiler :
This story is a mix of Annihlation(film) in that the environment is changing( though in a more sinister anti human fashion, the walking dead in that everyone is already f**ked, a mix of alien here and there, and the darkest dungeon in the mad excavation of an old lord reveal evils best left buried in the ground. This is my current educated guess however, so take it with a grain of salt.

Dick Benetton

I have just lost my virginity. That is, this is my first time reading a novel from the horror genre. I played plenty of horror video games, watched plenty of horror movies, but for some reason, never touched any horror books. 

Until now.


3rd person perspectives galore as you venture through the bleak world of Palus Somni. Whether the chapter is exploring the final moments of one of the nuns or a note posted somewhere, Laurie Raye sews each string and fabric of this grim story masterfully well. This, coupled with the incredible choice of BGM that is suggested at the start of each chapter, genuinely made my hairs raise at certain moments. 


Even though perspectives jump and shift with every chapter, new discoveries are made that mould the story and the lore at a pace that allowed me to absorb what was going on. Together with the horror element, is the mystery. Who lives? Who dies? Just what in the world are they facing each time the sun sets? These questions sucked me in as I tried to peel back the layers behind the real protagonist of the story—which is the world itself.


The only mistakes are intentional. You can't exactly write with perfect grammar when you're literally about to die, right? 

I kid, it's perfect.


Characters don't interact nearly as much with each other, and I believe it's fine for the nature of this story. It's not so much "who are these people", but rather, "HOW are these people". The thought process behind each living character is dissected remarkably well in their stressful situations, and I applaud the author for that.

To Conclude

Look at that book's cover. Just look at it. There's just something so calming yet eerie at the same time when I look at that portrait. I feel that this feeling best describes my experience reading Palus Somni. Hollywood should hire Laurie Raye to write 2018's The Nun, maybe then the movie can finally capture a creepy convent realistically. Long story short—grab yourself a warm cup of coffee and a cozy blanket every full moon, you'll need it when the next chapter strikes.

C.R. Mcmahon

"Along with a greasy and more viscous ichor"

This work is delightfully terrifying, and very descriptive. I could not wait to review it after reading only one chapter. I am currently still reading, and will continue to do so. Please try listening to the music. The scenes along with the tone set by the songs have an amazing combination. 

Thrown into this scary world I found my self enjoying every line. There were no grammar errors that distracted me from the story either. 

I found it hard to review this only because I was very sucked into the story. Well worth a read. If you are into horror, and suspense please check this out!!