My Delirium Alcazar

My Delirium Alcazar

by Morgenstern

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

Plaire Stevens moves into her new house, which is very normal and definitely not haunted.

MDA is a genre bending exploration of anxiety, magic, capitalism, body horror, video games and what it means to dream. It's also an interactive story--the protagonist's actions are dictated by the comments section, both here on Royal Road and on the main MDA website.

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  • 265
  • Followers :
  • 73
  • Favorites :
  • 12
  • Ratings :
  • 19
  • Pages :
  • 544
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: My Brand New House ago
Chapter 2: My Potato Experiment ago
Chapter 3: Equip Potato ago
Chapter 4: Insert Your House Key ago
Chapter 5: My Mayor the Dracula ago
Chapter 6: Use An Internet Archiving Service ago
Chapter 7: Take the Pills ago
Chapter 8: Discuss Going to Cici's ago
Chapter 9: My Spooky House Sleepover ago
Chapter 10: Return to the Library to Talk with Cici ago
Chapter 11: Assert Nerd Dominance ago
Chapter 12: Ask About the Thale Incident ago
Chapter 13: Find a Multiplayer Game ago
Chapter 14: Brief Your Friends on the Dream ago
Chapter 15: Head for the Exit ago
Chapter 16: Lay Down on the Bed ago
Chapter 17: My Supposititious Patricide ago
Chapter 18: Swing by Maria's ago
Chapter 19: Check on Cici ago
Chapter 20: Unlock the Door Near the Stairs ago
Chapter 21: Take a Break ago
Chapter 22: Challenge the B2 Gauntlet ago
Chapter 23: Crawl Through Some Pipes ago
Chapter 24: Do Heart Room Science ago
Chapter 25: Find the Triangle ago
Chapter 26: Free Him ago
Chapter 27: 138 - 141 ago
142: Call Kate ago
143: Ask for more details ago
144: Regroup ago
145: Think about names and money ago
146: Ponder outside help ago
147: Have a group discussion ago
148: Have a group discussion at the library ago
149: Go over the deets ago
150: Retrieve some level first ago
151: Ask Cici for advice ago
152: Approach the drug deal ago
153: Inquire about drugs ago
154: Ask for tips ago
155: Commence planning ago
156. Set it aside for now ago

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I initially read this story on the author's website, enjoyed it, then found out it was on Royal Road and popped over to leave a review.

As the synopsis says, the first thing to note is that My Delirium Alcazar was written as a 'Choose Your Own Adventure'-style story, and this has a noticeable impact on various aspects of the work. Also note the interactive aspects were one-time-only affairs: Readers would comment after the original chapters as they were being written and suggest directions for the story to lead. By the time people are reading it here, it's very much after the fact.

With that out of the way, the story of My Delirium Alcazar takes place in a world very much like modern-day Earth, but with... differences. Like buses run by sentient AI, genetically-engineered superhumans, codeworded conspiracy theories, bad parts of town being overrun by giant mutant animals, and so on. This story dumps in everything from cyberpunk and fantasy to horror and corporate espionage and shoves it in a mixer. Nothing is off the table. 

The main thrust of the plot centres around main character Plaire moving to a (very) cheap and (possibly) haunted house in a small town only to experience strange recurring nightmares containing more than meets the eye. Cue the subsequent revelation of many surreal, intense mysteries as Plaire and her new acquaintances try to get to the bottom of what's going on and why.

These mysteries are my favourite part of the story. I don't want to say too much out of fear of spoilers, but they're as compelling as they are weird, and the characters' process of discovery and investigation satisfies with each new clue they uncover. There is a lot going on, and it's a good thing. The world feels vast and rich, despite its small town setting. I honestly have no idea where the plot is going, and this makes it very effective at keeping me on my toes.

That said, the pacing can be awkward at times. It wouldn't surprise me if it's a direct result of the story's interactive elements. The author does a fantastic job of keeping the plot on track regardless of what its readers suggested as the next move, but you do get long stretches where nothing much happens, characters kind of wander a bit, or people have long conversations about their everyday lives or other plot-irrelevant details.

This results in the story transitioning erratically between exciting adventure or puzzle-solving scenes and slow conversational situations where people are discussing mundane subjects like what they're going to eat for dinner or who they have a crush on. There were several instances where I found myself impatient to skip ahead to more active mystery-solving. Half of me suspects perhaps this erratic pacing is meant to be the point. That it doesn't have 'delirium' in the title for nothing.

Stylistically, the writing in My Delirium Alcazar is also very unusual. It's like being thrown straight into a peak mid-00's internet enclave, with plenty of fragmented sentences, scrambled thoughts and ever-so-slightly dated colloquialisms. The grammar is not always great, but it's intentionally not great in such a way as to pay deliberate homage to the writing style. Which ironically made me come back full circle to giving this full points for grammar. As well as downmarking the story for style, even though I can't deny it's powerful, memorable, and well-suited to Plaire's perspective. Full points for cleverness and technical skill, but it's a bit uncomfortable and abrasive for my personal taste.

I think much of this comes down to how the characterisation is handled. The story (despite being written in the rare second-person) is told from Plaire's perspective, and Plaire is abrasive. She's competent, but also anxious, fractious, awkward and insecure, and it comes across in every facet of the early story, with plenty of room for her to grow. Is this great characterisation? Absolutely. Is it a perspective I enjoy reading from? Hmm, perhaps not so much. Regardless, the characters in My Delirium Alcazar are well-written and believable. They feel like quirky, memorable people you could easily meet in real life. I feel like I know of several Plaires in my extended social circles, for example, and I'm pretty sure there's also at least one Kate floating around in there somewhere. 

My Delirium Alcazar is a story I'd recommend for lovers of the dark, different and, yes, delirious. It's surreal, complex and a little awkward, and its genre-bending mysteries and discoveries are absolutely fascinating.


Really good cyoa/interactive story.

the only criticism I have is that even when writing a cyoa story it would be better if you used she/they/he rather than the 'you' that a lot of quest authors like to use because the 'you' always takes one away from the experience.


An interesting change from the usual RR fare. It looks good so far! Will update witha a detailed review after catching up.


I feel that the start is really rough. The first couple of chapters don't flow well, and there too many page breaks. It's slightly disconcerting. However the writing improves quickly and is very engaging, even though the style is unique 


It has pictures!

Pretty pictures!

Pictures that would perhaps have been best with light mode but I refuse that idea until the day that I die!

But it actually is pretty great. Personally made up for a kind of style that was... a tad on the clunky side. Just couldn't get by with what the words would have given by themself, making the images improve it all by so much more.

Grammas is alright, of course. Should have expected that. Characthers... are on the eh side of things. They are good, yet I just didn't feel a click with them. good enough for me. 4/5.