Original ONGOING Action Fantasy Mystery Anti-Hero Lead Dungeon Grimdark High Fantasy Ruling Class Secret Identity Steampunk
Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content
  • Traumatising content

Dungeon crawl. Fight monsters. Loot. Drink. Repeat. This was the life cycle of a low-tier adventurer. Many pitied them. Cooper envied them.

Cooper begins his journey as a meek keg runner in his local tavern. Out of desperation, he takes a chance opportunity with an adventuring party for a one time deal. Carry their loot, earn some coin.

But, fate intervenes and Cooper discovers that he can use his cunning, wit and carrying capacity to trick adventurers out of their loot, eventually turning him into a powerful player in the seething underbelly of the city of Hiberia.

Loot Mule is part of 'The Broken Adventure' serieswhich itself is part of a larger fictional setting called 'Pocketworld'.


This is a slow-paced series with a focus on character development, world building and scene setting. If you're looking for a quick, blow-by-blow, instant gratification series with fantasy fulfillment, you will not find it here. You have been warned.


Chapters released every Thursday.

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SecretMortician

SecretMortician

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KoboldPatrol
  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
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Excellent richness of descriptions and personalities, but with a bumpy start

Chapter: Loot Mule - 1.10

(as of chapter 10, i.e. very preliminary)

Cooper belongs to the lowest rung in an unfair society, barely surviving by doing hard labor hauling beer kegs, when he is hired by an adventurer party to be their 'Loot Mule', i.e. to carry the heavy loot so they have their hands free to dive deeper into the dungeon. As this is not the first story I read on RRL I guess he will receive more from the dive than the promised coins.

Style/Grammar: The story is told in third-person internal style, some following Cooper and some follow other characters. Out of the first 10 chapters half have been from "other" points of view which is not good for the storyline so early in the story; according to an author's note this is due to early feedback that was misinterpreted and it should be back to Cooper by chapter 13 (the chapters in between are already on patreon) so I will not deduce stars for now. While these other POV distract from the MC at this part of the story (perhaps later the chapter order could be rearranged?), they succeed in showing a wider picture, smoothly explaining to us readers how the world works without using clumsy info dumps. The descriptions are detailed and very lifelike, much better than most other RRL stories. The choice of words is great and rich, the grammar ist very good and there are barely any typos. Posting speed seems to be rather slow with weekly chapters of around 5 pages each.

Story: Not much has happened yet, just the introduction of the MC and his unlikeable employers, we also learn that the society is divided and brutal. Due to the detailed descriptions there has not been much progress in those ten chapters. It's not slice-of-life-like but I guess some readers will prefer more action. It's too early to give a real evaluation of the pacing, it could pick up after the introductions.

Characters: Cooper at first glance feels like a simple worker who gave up on life and is just vegetating along and being stepped upon, but it is quickly shown that there is wit hidden beneath the pathetic misery. I guess there will be more personality showing later. The other characters are a wide variety from bubbly and friendly baker girl over gold-digging whore to criminal scum robbing the MC's last bread, but all of them have their own goals and dreams hidden inside, making them realistic personalities.

All in all this has the potential for a great story. Readers should have patience with the author during the first chapters, maybe even wait until there are 15 or more chapters posted before reading so the story will have time to gather momemtum.

Ashcheul
  • Overall Score

// This review was written when only 13 chapters were written (last of them being"Loot Mule - 1.12 - The Mirari Stone 3/3")

This will be a short, and somewhat unfair review.

1. Characterisation is extensive. Which is something I like.

Spoiler: Spoiler

 

2. Nothing really happens in starting 13 chapters. Which is something I don't like. We get some interactions between characters, but it grates on me how it's 13th chapter and we still never see  them interacting enough, nor do we see much in the way of consequences of actions or choises to be made (and I prefer when those happen during chapter a few times - at least with the short-term choises; with long-term choises taking their time; not when you have to wait for any response for few chapters)

I do respect long-term buildup and patience in stories, but I'm a child of my age - instant gratification raised us - in school, in video games, goods, fast-food. So I need a fast bone to pick on, things to think on, while slow long-term events shape - this I need to be motivated; layers. Rhythm consisting of beats and nothingness.

Well, at least that's how I feel about things and stuff :D

(Ok, it was pretty biased review :D)

...even 13 chapters deep, we still haven't seen any part of that trick that Mule would use to trick adventurers (it was promised in annotation). :D

Zoe Vi
  • Overall Score

Refreshing take on high fantasy

Chapter: Loot Mule – 1.4

 

Felt inclined to review after reading the previous review.

The "hardworking" MC does indeed get beaten about, and things seem bleak and grimdark in a *gasp* tagged as grimdark story with appropriate trigger warnings. There is no point in leaving a negative review if you just don't like the content of the story. And after looking through the previous reviewer's page, he hasn't rated anything above 3 stars. So take it with a grain of salt.

Onto the story. The heavy dark tones are offset by a very unique taste of humour in large doses and quirky interesting characters. If you're into that type of thing, I recommend it. I'm also curious how the anti-hero lead tag will come into play.

All in all well written and entertaining. Keep em coming OP. 

ShaadyGuy
  • Overall Score

More character in two sentences than some stories have in twenty chapters.

Chapter: Loot Mule – 1.4

Quality writing, better than the majority of stories on this site.

Cyoa11aa
  • Overall Score

A refreshing look into the adventure life from the eyes of a full fleshed MC. Love the absence of an immediate info dump of background and world garbage. The slow building around the characters is the best way. Current villains are nice with good motivation. Felt the initial Meetup was a lil forced. Overall an amazing book and I'm overjoyed that it has joined RR's library.

Chayim
  • Overall Score

We haven't even gotten to the dungeon yet but I can tell this'll be a good one.

The elegant prose along with effective narrative devices make reading it a breeze.

Coupled along with the foreshadowing leads me to believe that we'll be going on quite a journey.

2_L33T_2_LIFT
  • Overall Score

the story jumps around from character to character Wich makes it hard to get to know or care about any of them, it also means that even though there's 13 (short) chapterst theres  only 4-5 for the Mc and 1-3 for the rest. the poll in chapter 1.9 was not a good sign 

Zhaernon
  • Overall Score

Tormented MC and standard society divide.

Chapter: Loot Mule – 1.3

It's hard to give a review when so few chapters are out (4 so far), but I feel like a fair warning to potential readers is in order. 

This story so far offers little in terms of a story and the focus instead is on mistreating the (apparently) only hardworking and honest fellow around.

The MC gets bullied, picked on, made fun of, beaten, and stolen from, all within the first three chapters. The author describes in detail all those happenings and it feels like hammering on and on until nothing but despair is left. 

The society in the novel has a hard divide, to the point of appearing grimdark. It's hard to gauge at this point, but it feels close or even worse than the divide in ancient Rome between slaves, citizens, and ruling class. 

 

From the synopsis we can guess that it won't last. It's also a pretty standard trope to start from zero. But excessive narrative of constantly putting down the MC is still unusual and off-putting.

Lastly, the story is decently written and its grammar is good.