Wildcards: Book One - The Dread Pirate

by James Northman

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Profanity

At the District One Invitational, a rookie eSports team defied all odds and reached the finals. Their underdog story and humble beginnings elevated them to worldwide acclaim. Media corporations dubbed them, The Paragons. With their main competition eliminated from the tournament during the semifinals, the rookie team sailed through the live finals and won by a landslide. Their prize was to become the first ever players in the most exclusive VR game yet, Abidden

The Paragons never celebrated that semi-final victory. They lost a friend in that match, who never appeared online again. Ten years later, the gaming landscape has changed and Abidden with it. Helena is the last remaining Paragon. Her team now consists of celebrities, influencers and musicians. Abidden has been reduced to a shadow of its former glory, but is the most streamed and viewed game in the world, despite having only a handful of players.

None of this matters to James Sylvester. Finally out of hospital, things aren't good for James. He's found himself crippled with medical debt, his gaming licence has been revoked and he's permanently lost his place in society. He now spends his days competing in illegal slum arcades to manage the repayments. When a high-profile job comes along, James gets temporary backdoor access to his blacklisted gaming account. After reactivating it for the first time in ten years, James receives an invitation that could change his life forever.

Disclaimer: This story is in no way or form associated with the works of George R. R. Martin and has no link to the popularised series, Wild Cards. This is a LitRPG story of my own creation that shares that name.   

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James Northman

James Northman

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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Every Credit Counts (Revised Version) ago
Chapter 2: State of Play ago
Chapter 3: Enter the Villain ago
Chapter 4: Always Pay Your Debts ago
Chapter 5: A Platinum Opportunity ago
Chapter 6: The Truth of Travesty ago
Chapter 7: Reunion ago
Chapter 8: Building A Team ago
Chapter 9: Fall From C-Class ago
Chapter 10: Fire Meadows ago
Chapter 11: New Digs ago
Chapter 12: Evictor ago
Chapter 13: The Briefing ago
Chapter 14: The Rig ago
Chapter 15: The Jackal ago
Chapter 16: The Chessmaster ago
Chapter 17: Meet The Sponsors (Part 1) ago
Chapter 17: Meet The Sponsors (Part 2) ago
Chapter 17: Meet The Sponsors (Part 3) ago
Chapter 18: Entering Abidden - Character Creation ago
Chapter 19: The Dread Pirate ago
Chapter 20: Demonic Partner ago
Chapter 21: Villainous ago
Chapter 22: The Follower ago
Chapter 23: The Trial ago
Chapter 24: Raid Night ago
Chapter 25: Prime Evil ago
Chapter 26: First Reveal ago
Chapter 27: Press Conference ago
Chapter 28: Realisation ago
Chapter 29: Blessing of the Vampire God ago
Chapter 30: Welcome to Rayth ago
Chapter 31: The Butcher ago
Chapter 32: Establish the Lair ago
Chapter 33: A Moment of Clarity ago
Chapter 34: Industry in Motion ago
Chapter 35: Paragons in Action ago
Chapter 36: Relativity ago
Schedule Update - Christmas Break ago
Chapter 37: That's My Ship ago
Chapter 38: New Direction ago
Chapter 39: End Scene! ago
Chapter 40: Dread Faction Advances ago
Chapter 41: You have Chosen... Legendary! ago
Chapter 42: A Kraken Plan ago
Chapter 43: Discovery ago
Chapter 44: Remember Me? Part 1 ago
Chapter 45: A Night to Remember ago
Chapter 46: Remember Me? - Part 2 ago
Chapter 47: Remember Me? - Part 3 ago
Chapter 48: There Can Be Only One! ago

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This story has real potential. I think you need to flesh out the class system you created and explain why so only the heroes can play the game



So far I really like this book. It has a very strong start, with great character development, and development of the background story. Character interaction is mostly believable and allows for future twists in the story, so I am looking forward to learning more. That said... there are some warning signs popping up during the most recent chapters so I might revisit the rating in the future:



I am sure there are more things that I can't think of right now, but it provides enough of an idea where future problems might occur. Still... a very enjoyable read so far, so I will certainly be following along and see where things go.


So far, this book is amazing. A smart mc with an op animal companion. Little to none grammar errors, with a smooth and engrossing story. The reader also gets an in depth look at the real world unlike many other VR books that mostly focus in game. I'm confident James can pull off a good book that doesn't have plot holes as well as one that doesn't drag on for thousands of pages and slowly gets progressively worse.


Good story, well written, no issues with grammar has the potential to be up there with the big ones. Dialogue is believable as are the characters just wish there was more of it read up to the latest chapter in one sitting.


I like the initial idea and writing, but the plot is now too much to bear
1) The concept that millions of people just watch some random guys doing quests and play against NPCs is defying human nature and common sence;
2) It is supposed that a team of guys became the best in a game, and 10 years past they still are (and they main competitor is the same as 10 years ago). But this is supposed to be a highly competitive multi-million industry! where are thousands of other talented players? Also, esports distinctive feature is that you retire very young, like in 25 if you're lucky, staying on top for 10 years is close to impossible.
So, if you care about realism, better don't read it. For a good esports novel I suggest chinese King's Avatar.