Inheritors of Eschaton

Inheritors of Eschaton

by TMarkos

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

The tear in reality led to a new world, one that promised fortune, prestige and a deeper understanding of the universe.

Those that entered found only death.  

Four survivors are stranded in a strange and hostile world, at the mercy of forces they cannot understand.  Their only path forward is to travel among the ashes of a broken and dying land searching for a way to survive, to endure - and to make their way back home.

Cover art by Harry Rowland.

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Part 1 - The Chariot ago
Part 2 - What Follows an Action ago
Part 3 - Catching Breath ago
Part 4 - Brothers ago
Part 5 - Fathers ago
Part 6 - The Lone and Level Sands ago
Part 7 - The Ashen Way ago
Part 8 - Voi Ch'intrate ago
Part 9 - Ex Tempore, Pro Tempore ago
Part 10 - Kansas City Shuffle ago
Part 11 - Plan D ago
Part 12 - Distinction and Proportionality ago
Part 13 - The Game of Seeker and Sought ago
Part 14 - The Barred Door ago
Part 15 - The Observation of Patterns ago
Part 16 - Gifts ago
Part 17 - Acceptable Losses ago
Part 18 - The Eternal Rule ago
Part 19 - A Fragment of Light ago
Part 20 - How to Win Friends and Influence People ago
Part 21 - The Broken City ago
Part 22 - Crossing Lines ago
Part 23 - Ladies and Gentlemen, For Our Next Trick ago
Part 24 - Some Flawed Place in the Iron Dark ago
Part 25 - Break On Through ago
Part 26 - Zhecima ago
Part 27 - Sanctum ago
Part 28 - The First ago
Part 29 - Caretaker ago
Part 30 - Legacy ago
Part 31 - Technicalities ago
Part 32 - Tools of the Trade ago
Part 33 - Op. 18 I: Moderato ago
Part 34 - The Second ago
Part 35 - An Involuntary Hermit ago
Part 36 - What Little Remains ago
Part 37 - Misappropriations ago
Part 38 - Kintsugi ago
Part 39 - The Third ago
Part 40 - Signs and Portents ago
Part 41 - Détente ago
Part 42 - Answers ago
Part 43 - In and Out ago
Part 44 - The Buried City ago
Part 45 - Meet the New Boss ago
Part 46 - Same as the Old Boss ago
Part 47 - Rashomon ago
Part 48 - Acquaintances ago
Part 49 - Promises of Death ago
Part 50 - Full Disclosure ago
Part 51 - Dispersal ago
Part 52 - Friendly Encounters ago
Part 53 - With Friends Like These ago
Part 54 - Opening the Door ago
Part 55 - Deep Sounds, and Deeper Still ago
Part 56 - Howling from the Mountain's Bosom ago
Part 57 - Not a Breath of Wind Upon the Hill ago
Part 58 - Yet Quivers Every Leaf ago
Part 59 - And Drops Each Blossom ago
Part 60 - Aftershocks ago
Part 61 - Flight and Pursuit ago
Part 62 - Advent ago
Part 63 - Prise de Fer ago
Part 64 - Inheritance ago
Updates & Consolidated Files ago
A New Story, A New World ago

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l nimbus


Reviewed at: Part 11 - Plan D

What is expected when I saw the premise of Four Soldiers in a Fantasy World With Guns, and what Inheritors of Eschaton actually read as were two different things. And, you know, I liked that. A lot. Once we got into it.

Suffice to say, IoE was about different from the norm, and I found that a good thing. Sure, watching a these four blast and blaze their way through small armies with seemingly infitine ammo and purposefully unanswered questions as to logistics an supplies might have been fun, on some nonsensical-but-who-gives-a-fuck level, but, yeah, no.

IoE was instead well constructed, using well-placed flashbacks to provide crucial details relevant to the advancing plot, as well as toss moral quandaries underneath the cast and the audiences feet. True to his other story, Grand Design, the author mixes heavy questions into the at first, seemingly standard world and setting.

The further I read, the more obvious it was that this unique setting received a lot of thought, planning and innovation. A lot.


Opening in a desert world, Inheritors of Eschaton follows a group of soldiers as they traverse a foreign, fleeing ahead of a deadly force slowly consuming the world behind them. I'd say more, but, hey, SPOILERS!

Suffice to say, that shortly after running into their first real obstacle, moral quandaries aarise.Good, sensible questions that have very real bearing and impact. Not, “Hey, should I feel bad about killing someone?” More like “Heythis guy might be a racist slaver living with a tribe of cannibalistic murderhobos, should we help him without knowing that first?” These questions aren’t thrown out of thin air, but asked by people who were in these situations before, and got the wrong answer last time. Like I said, heavy stuff.

I also rather like how the plot was constructed, by putting the reader right into where it gets good, and filling them in via strategically placed flashbacks that bring us up to speed on current events in a matter that doesn’t bring forth the urge to hugely sigh and scroll past back to the fun bits. You know, machine guns and solar-powered Hummers in a fantasy world?

Now, the actual aspect of these soldiers navigating the language barrier of a cometely different world (where, shock upon shock, teh locals don know eengleesh!) was in turns entertaining, somewhat tedious, bearable, and cleverly factored into the main plot. In turns. Which some of those overstayed their welcome.

That said, the enjoyment of watching this world unfold wasn’t lessened, nor were some of the better details, like Mark and Jesse literally towering over the far smaller inhabitants of this sand-infested world. Also, them being soldiers but not gunning down anything that some much as glanced their way in a fit of testerone fueled rage, then proceeding to angrily stomp their corpses into paste once ammo eventually ran out.

You know, the reason that most Soldiers In a Fantasy World With Guns stories run out of steam. At about the same time people start asking questions about bullet capacity and acquisition, the infinite holding capacity of their ration bags,why someone doesn’t just kill them by poisoning their food/just sending an small army to deal with them, and what in the hell did they do to Spiderman to get his dangersense x1000?

That, thankfully, is mercifully absent here.


LI'll be honest. The style took some time to pull me in, likely due to it's fluid nature. I stead of writing each chapter from one character's perspective, the style here follows a chain of events, switching from character to characters and swiveling scope as needed. This is actually quite hard to pull off, but the author more than manages it.

Still, it took a while to grow on me, but grow it did. Like some noxious weed. But hey, at least we got some good, proper smackdowns?

…That mostly involved some posturing, magical sword-waving antagonist wanna-be being shot in the face and wondering what the fug happened on their way to the afterlife.


Why is this section even in my reviews?


Okay, so, initially, I wasn’t much impressed by the characters with them being a standard four-warm-bodies team and a rescued damsel in distress.

However, I admit I was wrong to judge a book by it's first chapter. The plot, as well as the increasingly spooky flashbacks, provided a much needed life to these characters, showing their decision-making process, moral limitations, personal traits, even being generous and providing a physical description now and then.

Still, I have to say they actually did feel interchangeable for the first few chapters, and we still don't know too much about their past. But, I honestly don’t expect to, this early in the story.

I honestly feel like you've done a good job with fleshing them out since their initial introduction, and considering how standard they felt, that's no small task.

The villians, however…

They've felt a wee bit..boilerplate so far. I won’t say too much because of spoiler, but they haven’t exactly broken the mold or really stood out so far.

They were just, bad, deal with and move on.

Now, while one of them did have consequences with their passing, we have yet to see more. Sure, we have a vaguely shadowy overlord figure maybe looming on the horizon, but the ones we have seen haven’t impressed me much.


While it took me a few chapters to get into it, I found that I actually enjoyed Inheritors of Eschaton. It was delightfully non-standard, and actually very well executed. The story knows what it wants to be, and is suceeding into growing into that.

I really can’t say more, just that you should give it a bit of time to flex and show it’s strengths.

I did, and it more than won me over. Who knows, this just might be what you're looking for, when you want a Soldiers In a Fantasy World With Guns story and are tired of all the others being dropped for the exact same reasons.



Some American soldiers go through a portal to another world with magic. Seeing that premise, do you think you know how this story goes? If you do, you're probably wrong.

The characters have actual character. The plot has actual plot. The world is an actual world. Things are planned out and eventually make sense.

If you like fantasy novels, this is probably worth reading. I'll probably be following what the author of this does in the future.


I'm a million percent on board with this. We're looking at something that echos with hints of Stargate, or Gate, but is wholly unique in its own way. One chapter in and the characters are already comfortable and familiar, while still feeling like there's more to explore. It's fantastic. 

I could read this author's work until the end of time and not get bored, and as a follow up to Grand Design, I am enthralled to see where this goes. 


Deserves Praise -- Intense World-building That Doesn't Lose Sight of Story

Reviewed at: Part 16 - Gifts

Overall impression: Wow. Want a homemade language? Want research notes? Want scribbles and maps and extraneous resources that are a pleasure to read instead of a weird schematic? Want a portal jumper adventure with well-fleshed independent characters? 

Style: TMarkos blends careful description and detail with the right pacing of dialogue and plot development. Things move fast but you're never anything but confident about where the characters are in the world or how they feel about it.

Grammar Score: Superb. I'm not going to go into this too much because, why? It's good. The Grammar.

Story: Despite the obvious parallels that could be drawn between this story and Gate or Star Gate, the story quickly delineates a world and tale completely unique.

Character Score: Going back to pacing for a moment to describe the characters. There are sixteen chapters out right now and four to seven central figures that we are following. By about the third chapter most of the central theme characters are well fleshed out and easily identifiable by their mannerisms, speech patterns, preferences, and physical description. They feel like characters that you've been following for one hundred and sixteen chapters.

Well done. My compliments to the editor dog too.


Like being bitch slapped by a pie (but like, a good one)

Reviewed at: Part 4 - Brothers

Ok, so you know how you read something, expecting a mild amusement for a couple of hours, not really expecting all that much? Ok now, have you ever just bit into a pie or something expecting a generic gelatin taste, only to receive the best goddamn taste in the world? Like, better than the food had any right to be?

That's what this story is. Its a bitchslap by a god-tier pie masquerading as some shitty bakehouse mess. And it is glorious. In a cesspit of generic remixes of the same shit, it's like being stuck under a blanket of stuffy boredom only to be dropped straight onto Mt Everest's peak for one hell of a fresh breath of air. I swear, the amour of worldbuilding going on and around this thing would give Tolkien masculinity issues. Read this story if you wanna be bitchslapped by pie taste while standing on Mt Everest.

Good shit mate


An exceptionally well done story about modern soldiers in a fantasy world.

Reviewed at: Part 5 - Fathers

Inheritors of Eschaton echoes memories of Stargate, held up with worldbuilding more rock-solid than the magic space rocks Stargates are made of.

The way modern technology is described and treated, in addition to the distinct lack of hamhanded or inappropriate exposition makes for a very natural reading experience.

I really can't push myself to write a review beyond just "Go read it, it's good." because I'd rather not spoil you on the story itself.


This is one of the few books on this site I've read so far that measure up to professional and critical muster. The writing is crisp, engaging, and confident. The world is detailed and vibrant. The characters are strong. Finally, I just love the footnotes at the end of each chapter. I'll be honest, I'm kind of in it for the footnotes at this point because they're like a little present at the end. 

Definitely will keep reading!


I thought this was a really solid story. I'd probably  classify it as a horror story, but in the best possible sense, where there are unknown elements creating a tense atmosphere until the final revelation and resolution are reached. The story avoided a lot of the cliches that world hopping stories often fall into, dealt with challenges like language and cultural differences without getting bogged down in the process or diverting from the main story, and presented a fairly reasonable world in which the story could operate. The writing was solid, and characterization was consistent throughout. A solid read overall.


In a setting somehow similar to Stargate, some sort of dimensional rift appears on Earth that leads to a sand desert on another world. A military base is established there so scientists can research it safely.

They make contact with the local population and start to learn their language. Their civilization appears to be akin to the Middle East's during the Middle Ages: desert, nomads, oasis settlements and a few scattered cities. The technology level seems low. However, some people have objects, covered with inscriptions, that appear to defy the laws of physics and have different uses: everyday appliances, transport, weapons, etc. Clues seem to point to a very advanced civilization which was wiped by a catastrophic event in a distant past.

At some point the base is attacked, the rift closed and only a group of four people is able to escape: two soldiers and two scientists. Stranded in a hostile planet, they start to search for a way to return home. In the process, they embark on a journey that will lead them to explore this new world, collect local allies, get involved in its internal conflicts and put together the story of its fallen civilization.

The author puts a huge amount of effort in world building, to the point that its civilization is the real protagonist of the story. For readers who enjoy these details, things like its language or numbering system are lightly explored, without getting fastidious. Every chapter starts with a quote of some fictional work or folklore piece, a la Dune, and ends with a page of one of the four protagonists' diaries, which include maps, drawings of objects, transcriptions of the local writing...

Grammar is flawless, allowing for the occasional typo, prose and dialogue are competent. I found the pacing generally good, certainly a big improvent compared to TMarkos' previous webnovel, Grand Design.

Characterization is not the strong point of the novel, but it doesn't have to be, since the plot is more about the world than about the characters.

IoE explores some common themes in fantasy and science-fiction, I won't get into too much detail since it might get spoilery: violence and its moral quandaries, religion, magic, technology, a dash of anthropology and archeology... Nothing really original or groundbreaking, but very competently done.

I couldn't find a rating in RR, but I'd say M for some gore and profanity.

All in all, a very pleasent surprise to find a work of this quality in an archive like RoyalRoad, devoted to aspiring amateur writers. I have read much worse professionally published novels.

It ain't perfect, the first half until the first big reveal is stronger than the second one and the ending feels a bit rushed, but for webnovel standards it does get full marks from me: 5/5. It's also as paperback and e-book. 


MC's are not evil. Extremely recommended.

Reviewed at: Updates & Consolidated Files

The protagonists are not evil.  Oh, they make mistakes, and have to deal with some very troublesome moral quandaries, but they try.  The fail, but they get back up and learn. 

There was nothing in this story that made me regret reading it, but I will warn you that some very unpleasent moral dilemnas are discussed in a blunt and realistic manner - to include dictators, trolley problems, the greater good, corruption, mobs, and so forth.  The overall tone is optimistic not because the world is good, but to to overcome a world that is not as good as it should be.

Quality is on par with bestsellers in every way I can think to measure, and exceeds most bestsellers in a variety of ways.  All of the normal pitfalls were avoided or subverted.  There was a beginning, middle, and end.

That said, no advanced review is complete without at least a little constructive criticism.

My only real criticism is it took me 40 chapters until I figured out which of the main 4 was the big black guy (Jesse) and which was the less-big blond guy (Mark).  It also would have helped to put the maps at the BEGINNING of chapters instead of the end, as a lot of the scenery was too complicated for the words to describe. 

For that matter, I would like to see a map of the vehicle.  I'm still not clear on the layout of that thing - does it have benches on the side, or forward facing seats?  Military vehicles usually have the former, but the mention of seatbelts implies the latter.  I'm also not clear on where the doors or windows are, or how they were arranged.

Like most authors, scene transitions aren't always handled well, and the grasp and consitincy of physical space is a bit loose at times.  The authors third book (this is his second) improves on this front a bit, but I suspect it will take a LOT of mindfulness and practice to overcome this flaw.