A Journey of Black and Red

by Mecanimus

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Where am I? What is this! I... I don't remember anything. I am in chains? Why am I in chains?! And why am I so very...

Thirsty.

 

 

This is a story of vampires as I believe they should be, with their strengths and weaknesses, with their remnants of humanity and the beast inside. Updates every Friday. Mind the tags. 

Cover by Antti Hakosaari: https://www.artstation.com/haco

Special thanks to Svensonsen for getting me started, as well as Omi Nya, Jemima, my patrons and you dear readers, for the support.

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Mecanimus

Mecanimus

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300 Review Upvotes
2nd Anniversary
25 Reviews
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Word Count (15)
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1. Cruel Genesis ago
2. Jimena ago
3. False Haven ago
4. The seed of Discord ago
5. The Reveal ago
6. Uprooted ago
7. Servitude ago
8. Outside ago
9. A casual visit ago
10. No rest for the wicked ago
11. The Gauntlet ago
12. Acte I, scène finale ago
13. Homeward ago
14. Roadside snacks ago
15. Reap what you sow ago
16. Marsh March ago
17. Loth of Skoragg's offer. ago
18. Six Months Later ago
19. A gentleman and a scholar ago
20. The Pursuer and the Pursued ago
21. Murder of Crows ago
22. The Waiting Maw ago
23. Into the Heart ago
24. Valor ago
25. The Source ago
26. Self-Discovery ago
27. Coming of Age ago
28. Like Herding Cats pt. 1 ago
29. Like Herding Cats Pt. 2 ago
30. Charm ago
31. Winternight ago
32. Old Money ago
33. The science of the Hunt ago
34. Ring Breaker ago
35. Blood Ties ago
36. Cloaks and Daggers ago
37. 1812, Overture. ago
38. Learning curve. ago
39. The Righteous One ago
40. Masquerade ago
41. Stand your ground. ago
42. The Cruel Seas ago
43. Confluence ago
44. Daydreaming ago
45. Embracing Modernity ago
46. The Eternal Game ago
47. Nemesis ago
48. Pyre of Dreams ago
49. The shadow over Marquette. ago
50. Under the Skin ago
51. Prince of Azure and Gold ago
52. Fate and Absurdity ago
??. Black and Red Healer ago
53. Three is a Crowd ago
54. Night-Owned Town ago
55. Sins. And explosions! ago
56. Preparations ago
57. The Beacon ago
58. The First Queen ago
59. Omen of the end. ago
60. Big Game Hunting ago
61. Before the Storm ago
62. Eneru ago
63. Reign of Blood ago
64. Knight Takes Queen. ago
65. Sur les Bords du Mississippi... ago
66. ... un alligator se tapit. ago
67. Expect the unexpected. ago
68. Dies Irae ago
69. Trial ago
70. Painful hearing. ago
Glossary. ago
71. House Nirari ago
72. All that Glitters ago
73. Mise en Abyme ago
74. Vernissage ago
75. Oh, the Binglery! ago
76. Finale ago
77. Wilhelm's Task ago
78. The Secret Task ago
79. Reception ago
80. Smoke and Mirrors ago
81. The Test ago
82. Pact. ago
83. Divide and Conquer ago
84. Bloody Games ago
85. The Library of Alexandria ago
86. Et tu, Brute? ago
87. State of Affairs ago
87.5 Unhinged ago
88. The Gathering Tide ago
89. Council ago
90. Northern Wind. ago
91. Horde ago
92. Call of Blood and Bone ago
93. The Smell of Victory. ago
94. The Die is Cast ago
95. Curtains ago
96. The Cubs ago
97. Takeover ago
98. Schooled ago
99. The Vampire's Best Tools. ago
100. Surprise! ago
101. Tempus Fugit ago
102. Home ago
103. Down she goes. ago
104. Warrens of the World ago
??. Back and Here Again. ago
That One Time I Was Involved In The Summoning Of the Selective Justice League Of Blood-Ash-Mango- ago
105. Trapped ago
106. End of the Line ago
107. Choosing sides ago
108. The Other Sphere ago
109. Hell's Gates ago
110. The Heart of the Nile ago
111. Blue ago
112. Third of her Line ago
113. Fist of the Drowned God ago
114. The Lost World ago
115. Otto ago

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Reviews
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Starveling
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A well written and interesting story

Reviewed at: 30. Charm

A dark and gritty vampire story. It calls on Bram Stoker's Dracula and Anne Rice's Vampire Chronicles but doesn’t just copy them. The world is set in the Southern United States two decades after it was formed, specifically around the French speaking populations.

The vampires in this story aren't nice, they burn in the sun and sleep during the day. They drink the blood of humans and fight with other magical creatures like Werewolves and mages all against a backdrop of a still tumultuous United States of America. It has interesting interactions between its characters all influenced by traditional European, Native American, and African cultures. The characters' different backgrounds influencing how they perceive and interact with the main character.

The characters are well written and well explored. They each have people they trust and distrust, they betray each other and help each other, they have likes and dislikes, flaws and strengths.

The pacing of the story is a breath of fresh air when many stories on this site have much trouble with either rushing through or going so slow that it turns into a slice of life.

The plot is well thought out and interesting. The main character has her share of ups and downs, walking a twisting road through life trying to avoid any of the truly powerful entities in the world that could kill her in a second flat.

All around a very enjoyable story. It is perhaps a bit Grimdark for some people's tastes, at least in its characters’ flexible morals and proclivity towards violence. If you like a more down to earth and gritty depiction of creatures that can only survive by taking lives then this story is definitely for you.

KenshinSpirit
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Simply amazing vampire story

Reviewed at: 53. Three is a Crowd

I think it would suffice to say that I pledged my support on patron after the first 60 chapters. But for anybody that would require a more comprehensive review, I will try my best at highlighting what makes this novel great, not perfect, but great. 

First of all, it gets better the more the story goes on, style wise, story telling wise, character and world building wise as well as plot wise. There are some less engaging and duller parts, though I dare say this is highly subjective, but the more the story progresses and the more polished everything feels.

I will try to keep this spoiler free, but in case I should fail in this endeavor, beware. You have been warned. 

Now into the heart of the matter. The start of the novel is a solid 10/10, the perspective chosen for it is great : not only does it allow you to share in the MC disorientation but it still lets you keep a comfortable distance that permits a wider understanding of what is going on. The result is the acute consciousness of the MC's predicament as well as a fair understanding of the general situation. It is so engaging and high in emotions that the end of the introductory arc left the second arc tasting blander than it should have for its overall quality.

For the characters, well, the MC isn't overtly original in its base model, though the coloring added and backstory give her unique quirks and peculiarities that make her either amusing to outright hilarious to simply badass as death, without falling into simplicity through the addition of obstructions and adversity throughout the entire story. All of that being masterfully thought through and brought to life by Mecanimus' incredibly elegant and refined writing style (did I mention it gets better the more you read.

Side characters are like-wise purposefully introduced and developed in such a way that you never find yourself wanting for more neither being fed up with anyone of the characters. Every arc finds closure, every character serves a complex purpose by the intricate but subtle development of personalities, little by little bringing you to a better understanding of everyone of them. I should also mention that the world-building is so well done that it feeds itself further. Indeed, the characters are never one-sided or simplistic and can always make a come back to bring more life and depth to the story and serve as highlights for newer characters.

 

The magic is soft, it is not clearly defined (as of yet) what it can and cannot do, yet it is powerful to be sure, and takes part in the story as one more element to a deep and complex world. Nor overpowered neither feeble, it is perfectly balanced, depending heavily on the user to determine the height it reaches.

It is overall a great vampire story, punctuated by many references to various subjects, be it litterature, language, civilisations, history of which the accuracy deepens that much more the immersion.

The vampire side of it leaves nothing to be desired and avoids cliché and overused tropes, but I will let you discover for yourself what it really means to be gifted eternal life, in this superbly reconstructed 19th century. 

NobleGuile
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

This is a story I didn't realise I needed until I found it.

This is a story of real vampires, they drink blood, sleep during the day and definitely don't sparkle. 

The plot is fabulous, exciting and interesting the main character has to fight for her victories and it doesn't get boring.

The characters are engaging and the non-human mentality is well done.

All in all, it's a good read and worth your time.

(review written after reading all 23 chapters currently available)

riotnrrd26
Overall

I first dismissed this as "oh, just another vampire story", but then I saw a recommendation and decided to read a few chapters.  A few days later I was fully caught up, and eagerly awaiting the next chapter.

Easily one of the best vampire-lead stories I've ever read, and in the top 10 of all things I've read in the past year.

The varying internal voice(s) of Ariane are particularly well done - I especially love when she's blood-drunk.

Knightfire
Overall

A terrific main character

Reviewed at: 27. Coming of Age

 I am not normally a fan of vampire stories but I find this one to be a story I look for updates for a couple of reasons.  First the MC is really well done.  LIkeable, realistic, makes mistakes and grows in knowledge and power slowly.  You feel liker her journey is your journey.   SecondI like the slowly developing world that while it has many normal vampire tropes, it still feels original and interesting.  I look forward to this story adding to its world.

Frederic Axt
Overall

Finally a Story to at least temporarily stop my craving for Vampyr or World of Darkness storys.

With a nice pacing and good worldbuilding similar to WoD it is a nice read. 

My one criticism is that the first ark could have been a bit more detailed with one or two "missions" more or more discovery of the underlying workings of the supernatural world. At the same time it avoids the usual needed Infodump and such information can be included when needed.

I for one would enjoy a deeper look into magic at a later date, till then

Looking forward to MOOOARR :)

HoloSol
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Simply amazing. First Vampire novel I’ve actually enjoyed.

Reviewed at: 26. Self-Discovery

Basically the first Vampire novel I could ever sink my teeth into.

 

As of chapter 26, I have nothing but positive words to say about this story. Really looking forward to where the story is going; it’s brimming with potential. 

Ferone
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

worthy of being a professionally written novel

Reviewed at: 74. Vernissage

Note; don't get weirded out by the beginning of the story

As you can see from the score I find this story amazing, from the writing, the wit and the general plot, characters and action. This story is amazing.

 

The start can be off putting but I feel adds to the experience once you understand what is going on

ViolentViolet41
Overall

The story of A Journey of Black and Red is very continuous, and connects plot arcs very well. It shows growth of character, detailed story, and has engaging combat, while not relying on any one of those for a sole support; rather joining all of them in a mixture to keep the story going. 

Yes, there are errors, and yes, not everything is for everyone. I have parts I didn't like. But the vast majority of it I loved, and this was posted in-progress, as it was written. This shows that The author wrote well, and wrote engagingly enough that people would keep reading through the distasteful parts. And even then, if you look at it, even the parts I did not particularly like were well-crafted and interesting. 

 

CozyBlankets
Overall

Amazing Story All Around

Reviewed at: 71. House Nirari

One of the best stories I ever read. The main character is touching, fun, and savage all at the same time. The world feel alive, gritty and well put together . The secondary characters are generally amazing and unique. 

The story itself is great. There is combat, politics, Manipulation, Magic, Monsters, Humor but also just people being people. There are untones of Lovecraftian horror (as if I couldn't like this story) , half dread, half awe inspiring . 

And no oversexualization which is a welcome first  for  a vampire story.

As a non English reader (French), it was easy to read, and it felt like really fluid writing. 

Without a doubt my favorite on RR. Actually made me go on patreon because this is the kind of story that makes me laugh, dream and desperately wait for the next chapter.