Memories of the Fall

by Rith

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity

This is a story about two sisters, Jun Arai and Jun Sana, and their friends who make their living as members of the Hunter Bureau, an organisation dedicated to dealing with the terrifying flora and fauna of the forbidden zones across their home realm of Eastern Azure Great World. When they get dragged into a grand scheme to unpick the secrets of one of the foremost Forbidden Zones in their world, the Yin Eclipse Mountain Range, they must all try to survive the dark undercurrents and eldritch remnants entombed within. All the while trying to escape the inexorable claws of a terrible conflict both ancient and modern that is trying to re-emerge into an unsuspecting universe that had kind of hoped it was done with that kind of thing a few eras hence.



Update schedule: Break is done, From the 23rd May, forward looking chapter releases will be a bit sporadic as i put the finishing touches to the early chapters with the goal of having all that revision of stuff wrapped up by the end of May, very early June. Then, full steam ahead with Book 3 and Book 4!


STILL working on that promised rework of the early stages of book 1 ETA: Soon(tm).

I will publish a full list of changed chapters within the glossary and also in the chapter when they land. There will be a prologue to book 1, and the first four chapters are getting a full rewrite and overhaul. After that, there will be some knock-on changes to the dozen or so after that.



Genre-wise, this is a bit hard to pin down. It's technically a Xianxia (because cultivators!), but it also veers towards Xuanhuan and has more traditional High Fantasy elements and a bit of Gods and Monsters and All Myths Are (on some levels) Valid. It also has a fairly large, ensemble cast, so if multiple point's of view are not your thing I am sorry.  It won't ever really be considered 'grimdark' by any real measure of that definition but it does go to some complicated and fairly places dark occasionally, which I will note in author pre-chapter notes when expedient!.


About the Author

I mainly write fiction for my own hobby, it makes a nice change from academic scribbling! I started writing this quite a number of years ago. It has grown somewhat organically out of a bunch of different interests in all kinds of Mythology, World Building, Drawing Maps, Archaeology, Anthropology, History and Epic Fantasy fiction into what it is today.

So I hope you enjoy the story and thanks for reading!


Other stuff

The cover is made by the author, using photos taken by the author.

There is a Discord Server- Please come and chat, but beware of spoilers.

  • Overall Score
  • Style Score
  • Story Score
  • Grammar Score
  • Character Score
  • Total Views :
  • 229,322
  • Average Views :
  • 2,163
  • Followers :
  • 762
  • Favorites :
  • 214
  • Ratings :
  • 211
  • Pages :
  • 5,995
Advertisement
Remove
Go to Table of Contents
Rate it
Fiction breaking rules? Report
Advertisement
Remove
Author
Rith

Rith

Achievements
750 Followers
Word Count (18)
500 Comments
100,000 Views
Top List #1000
1st Anniversary
Advertisement
Remove
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Book 1 - Embers in the Wind. Chapter 1: Days We Hate ago
Chapter 2: Perspectives on Origins ago
Chapter 3: Home and Hearth ago
Chapter 4: Into the Valleys We Go ago
Chapter 5: Be Careful What You Break ago
Chapter 6: What Goes Around? ago
Chapter 7: Higher and Further ago
Chapter 8: Acceleration ago
Chapter 9: Uncertainty ago
Chapter 10: Flight ago
Chapter 11: Machination ago
Chapter 12: Escalation ago
Chapter 13: Epiphany ago
Chapter 14: Turmoil ago
Chapter 15: Into Darkness ago
Chapter 16: The Final Day ago
Chapter 17: Crossed Paths ago
Chapter 18: From Darkness, Descent ago
Chapter 19: Among Mere Mortals ago
Chapter 20: What the Heart Seeks? ago
Chapter 21: Encroaching Darkness ago
Chapter 22: The Hungry Dark ago
Chapter 23: The Perilous Realm ago
Chapter 24: Great Arrivals ago
Chapter 25: A Day in the Midst of Carnage ago
Chapter 26: Vestigial Remnants ago
Chapter 27: What is the reality here!? ago
Chapter 28: Desperation is One Hell of a Drug! ago
Chapter 29: Three’s a Crowd ago
Chapter 30: Broken Places ago
Chapter 31: Waking Nightmare ago
Chapter 32: Anomaly!?! ago
Chapter 33: From Darkness, Ascent. ago
Chapter 34: Permutations Advance... ago
Chapter 35: The Geometry of Chance ago
Chapter 36: Fate Shattering the Odds. ago
Chapter 37: These are not the valleys we were looking for! (Book 1 Epilogue) ago
Glossary & Terms (WIP) ago
Book 2: Into the Unknown, Prologue: Out of the Ashes (Chapter 38) ago
Chapter 39: Into Evergrove ago
Chapter 40: City of Broken Dreams ago
Chapter 41: St Roberta's Academy ago
Chapter 42: Unravelling. ago
Chapter 43: The Undergrove ago
Chapter 44: Persistent Hostilities ago
Chapter 45: Unrelenting Pressure ago
Chapter 46: Frenetic Pursuit. ago
Chapter 47: Eldritch Hell ago
Chapter 48: It's not just the mushrooms we hate! ago
Chapter 49: We Bring Destruction, Certification Guaranteed! ago
Chapter 50: The Spear ago
Chapter 51: Of Squirrels and Men ago
Chapter 52: Red Dust ago
Chapter 53: New Neighbours ago
Chapter 54: Rats are also on the list! ago
Chapter 55: Melee, Darkness, Refinement ago
Chapter 56: Advancing, Don't Disturb You Blasted Things! ago
Chapter 57: Esoterica Redux ago
Chapter 58: Somehow, circumstances defy… ago
Chapter 59: Remuneration ago
Chapter 60: Onward Bound ago
Chapter 61: Sustained Aggravation ago
Chapter 62: Counterstrike ago
Chapter 63: Breaking Through ago
Chapter 64: From Shan Lai with gifts ago
Chapter 65: Undrenmarsh ago
Chapter 66: Brush with Immortality ago
Chapter 67: Serpents here… Obstacles there… ago
Chapter 68: Jungle Diplomacy ago
Chapter 69: Lightning is super effective ago
Chapter 70: Difficult Choices ago
Chapter 71: Return to the Depths ago
Chapter 72: Brush with Hell ago
Chapter 73: The Soup of Wisdom ago
Chapter 74: The Paths we Seek ago
Book 2 Epilogue – Shifts ago
Book 3 ' Into the Perilous Realm' - Prologue: The Geometry Changes ago
Chapter 75: Ruins and Riddles. ago
Chapter 76 – A Thousand Cuts ago
Chapter 77: What Lies Beneath ago
Chapter 78: What Lurks in Green Shadow? ago
Chapter 79: Rampage As One ago
Chapter 80: Through Fire and Fury ago
Chapter 81: Breakdown ago
Chapter 82: Thieves and Cheats ago
Chapter 83: Shatterpoint ago
Chapter 84: Out of the Forests ago
Chapter 85: Symbols ago
Chapter 86: What ill thing walks amid tall grasses? ago
Chapter 87: Net of Rage ago
Chapter 88: What terrors stir upon the field of war… ago
Chapter 89: Not least those we unleash for ourselves! ago
Chapter 90: To Dance Among the Lightning Bolts ago
Chapter 91: Battlefield Torn Asunder ago
Chapter 92: Adjustment ago
Chapter 93: The Epic Quest for Spicy Soup. ago
Chapter 94: Currents amid the Sea of Grass ago
Chapter 95: Towards Udrasa ago
Chapter 96: Geomancy of Advancement ago
Chapter 97: Nightmare Awakened ago
Chapter 98: Ancient Duel ago
Chapter 99: Auriga ago
Chapter 100: Flower of Fortune ago
Chapter 101: Androphonos ago
Chapter 102: Epitumbidia ago
Chapter 93e: From Salt, with Love. ago

Leave a review

drakan_glasses BE NICE! Fair critique is fair, but be respectful & follow the review rules. There will be no mercy.
Reviews
Sort by:
zenturen
Overall

TLDR: great story, think mystery + xianxia + dungeon dive + Cthuhlu

This Xianxia stands out by asking the question: what is life like in a world where the powers at the top can literally control the strings of fate and actively, ruthlessly abuse it for their own personal gain? All too often Xianxia are simple power fantasies full of OP reincarnators, face-slapping powerhouses, and world-defying beauties. Now don't get me wrong this story has them, actually a fair amount to be honest. It's just that none of the main characters are one; no the MCs are intelligent, gutsy, and skilled but at the end of the day just normal people trying to survive a disaster as all the uber-powers wreck shit and old monsters out maneuver each other to twist fate to their own desired outcome. Seeing how the 5 friends and teammates surpass unfair nobles, encounter unfathomable Eldritch beings, and cope with the trama collected along the way, is engrossing. The author reveals an expansive, rich mystery through the smaller struggles of the MCs and makes us hope that the heavens aren't blind and that karma always comes due.

Half point off b/c story has typos, some problem sentences, and odd word choice here and there. Really needs a dedicated editor/reviewer to polish the minor rough edges.

Continuous Cutting Motion
Overall

I have read this novel up to 93 chapter and am now re-reading it to get all of the foreshadowing that I missed the first time.

Memories of the Fall is a brilliant story with an excellent storyline with great quality, save for some typos that are very quickly fixed with the help of the community.

The world feels actually lived in, the worldbuilding is deep, so deep actually that at first glance, things seem to be confusing but that impression quickly fades when the real action starts.

It has so much potential that it's incomparable to other stories on RR.

When I read Xianxia stories I pay special attention to the magic system and the spells/techniques - this story excells in this department:

The cultivation scriptures have cool names but also have the substance that usual stories lack.

The spells/techniques have a consistent system to which they adhere and the power progression is fleshed out pretty quickly.

All around great story, very worth the read.

WalkerOfTheVoid
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Deep dive into cultivation in a unique way

Reviewed at: Chapter 36: Fate Shattering the Odds.

I'm not a person who often reviews novels and in fact I'm someone who prefers to frequent this site without an account. However, I felt the need to log in and provide a review here. 

Overall 5/5: I have read this novel until Chapter 50 (current release at date of review) and I have to say that so far I love it. 

Style 5/5: The style of story we have here is something I've wanted to see for a long time. I'm a big fan of the cultivation genre but I'll be the first to admit that the genre often has a lot of pitfalls and cliché.

This novel possesses those clichés we see in normal cultivation novels but in a way that's akin to a deconstruction of the clichés. The clichés are known in the world of the story and are frequently brought up or mocked and in a way I find to be quite well done.

The world of the novel is arguably the main character as there is so so much depth to it, far more than I've come to expect from all but the best of 'cultivation' novels in the wuxia or xianxia genres.

The cultivation system used in the novel is also extremely deep and interesting. Calling it a 'system' might be a misnomer as there are many competing paths one can take to gain power and all of them are quite interesting to hear about. Luckily as we see the world primarily from the viewpoint of two extremely competent but ultimately relatively inexperienced girls and their friends, we get to learn a lot about the various paths alongside them.

Story 5/5: As with the world itself, the story is extremely deep and there are a large number of competing plots and intrigues going on at any one time. It is done extremely well and so far I've not felt it difficult to follow despite its depth.

I won't mention too much about the story but I will mention some broad strokes. The overall mystery of everything going on and the competing plots surrounding it is incredibly well thought out and very well executed. It feels like everything happening is very real and the way to reader can piece together some of the mysteries and plots (more than any singular character can anyways) but still leave a lot of them in the shadows to be found out later is very well executed as well.

As for the "main" story following our two main protagonists, I really enjoy it. Watching their journey as the try to advance through the extremely messed up situation they're in and try to puzzle their way out is rather enjoyable.

Grammar 4/5: Not much say here. The authors vocabulary is very extensive (or at least their use of a thesaurus is) and it's a nice change of pace from the very simplified language you get in most web fiction. There's nothing wrong with simplified language and it arguably lets you reach a wider audience. I just like the chance of pace and the vocabulary is very fitting as the novel often gets very philosophical with regards to the fictional world's nature.

I do have a few complaints. The author seems to mistake some words for some similar sounding words. An example would be using 'defiantly' instead of 'definitely' on a number of occasions. Additionally, I usually spot a few typos or omitted words per chapter but given that each chapter is something like 40 pages long, there's not that many mistakes in the grand scheme of things and you can almost always understand what was intended to be said.

Character 5/5: I like the Jun sisters a lot. They're the perfect foil to the very cliché young master types we see mocked in your novel. They're extremely competent and cautious when necessary and it's nice to see them put all of their knowledge to use in the ways they do. 

I really like all of the secondary POV's as well and I like the nuggets of information we get from each of them that help us piece together bits and pieces of the larger plot. 

I hate one of the villain characters, a lot. Luckily they're not featured directly often so their presence doesn't feel overwhelming. I think this is probably a very good place for a villain to be, hated but not there enough to transition into being annoying. 

Conclusion: Overall, this novel is extremely solid on all fronts. It's currently one of my favourite novels on the site and I've reviewed in the hopes that more people will pick it up. It's deep and it's shaping up to be super long so I'm sure the commitment will stop some from reading it but I highly recommend those that like the idea of cultivation power systems in interesting worlds matched with very interesting and competent characters without the arrogance or clichés often seen in the protagonists of such novels.

Note: This site doesn't allow me to anything more accurate than half stars so I rounded up or down to the nearest half star on the various sections. 

To the author: I wish you good luck with the novel and I hope you get to finish it. If the quality continues as it has, it may be one of my favourite 'cultivation world' novels. 

 

portlandphil
Overall

Memories of the Fall is a brilliantly crafted story that exceeds in both quality and scope almost anything on RoyalRoad. For those skimming trending lists, you might see only 69 chapters and choose to wait for more, but these are not your normal RR chapters. With over 3000 pages written and hundreds more going up every week this story is not for a single sitting. 

The world is hugely complex, the worldbuilding is deep, with multiple factions. Everything from local city politics, to cosmic scale factions. MotF is closer in scope to Game of Thrones than your average eastern cultivation fantasy. Perspective changes are frequent, especially early, and you might have to reread to keep them straight because you aren't likely to plow through 3000 pages in one sitting. 

If the story has one failing it is that for readers who have never been introduced to eastern cultivation stories, this might not be the best introduction. Just like all modern fantasy draws from the shared cultural understanding of Tolkien, MotF requires a certain understanding of eastern fantasy concepts. If you hear the world cultivator and thing of someone who grows crops, MotF is the deep end of the pool. The story takes tropes from the genre and expands them into a believable world that feels more lived-in than almost any cultivation I have seen. 

If you are a fan of eastern fantasy, or just of great worldbuilding you won't be disappointed in MotF.

dak'kon
Overall

Well written, convincing characters and a world that feels alive. 

As of now, I would recommend the story. 

The few things that I'm a bit iffy about is that the story feels very ambitious many characters and plot points are introduced quite quickly at the start since most of the authors on RR are hobbyists it's hard to judge if the author can deliver on what looks like a complex story. In addition, the color-coding feels superfluous. There some minor spelling errors like missing letters slipped by, I suggest Grammarly for fixing those errors. 

 

                                                        *****

Update Where I aim to add some meat to the review. I still stand by my recommendation and criticism.

May contain some minor spoilers.

The first "book" has a strange structure we are introduced briefly to sisters Jun Sana and Arai, and then we spend most of the time focused on other things - mainly their three friends.

This works surprisingly well the three are well written and their adventure suspenseful. We get glimpses of the sisters every so often just to make sure they are alive. This plotline often feels superficial nothing much is happening, most of the time, until it does. This makes for a strange structure the mains are getting little attention while the side characters get the glory.

In the second part (book?) things, get switched around we get a lot of Jun sisters and much less of the unhappy three friends. Around 1/3.

This is perhaps a weak point for the story as the author attempts to fill the blanks left from the fast-paced first part often mired in info dumps, most of the time it's OK but some chapters are just a huge info dump. Rith is aware of the issue and just recently rewrote and restructured a chapter. This is probably the best sign for the story in the long term – the author works to improve (a story that is quite good already).

Another thing I would like to see worked on is Sana and Arai as characters, while the trio that takes center stage at the beginning are challenged for the prizes they stumble upon and grow as characters as a result, the sisters feel much more static.

The colored text still does not add anything; coupled with the ultra-large letters it is often accompanying it becomes a hazard if you read on a phone.

 

Wronie
Overall

Best book you've never read (on this site).

Reviewed at: Chapter 40: City of Broken Dreams

Most of us have read or at least seen the books on first places of best rated list. Some of us even follow trending list closely. But this book has gone largely unnoticed. Thats such a shame.
If you ever wondered how would life in cultivation world look like - Here is the answer. Follow the adventures and misadventures of group herb gatherers stuck in the middle of fight between OP MCs. one-in-century-cultivation-talents, imperial princesses, reincarnators, ancient evils (multiple), ancient cultivators, large mountains, large clans, telepathic trees, and soul-eating-mushrooms. A lot of soul-eating-mushrooms. Be entranced by intrigues, betrayals, inter-dimensional politics, and generally - the best worldbuilding on this site.

This is not another simple cultivation novel. This isn't another face slapping, edgy wish fullfilment fest.

This is LOTR set in cultivation world. Only 50% longer. 

Amazing worldbuilding. Best of the best.
Amazing characters. Best of the best.
Amazing story. Best of the best.
Rare grammatical errors - its 2500+ pages, there are bound to be some.
Confusing and lengthy writing style - its not for faint of heart, some knowledge about xianxia required.

It. Is. Worth. It. Do yourself a favour. Start reading it.

Kobina
Overall

This story has consistent updates, excellent worldbuilding, and decent character development. It's true to the progression fantasy aesthetic of the genre in a mix of plot and character establishment, significant side characters are maintained and developed enough for readers to feel invested. A lot of the staples of the genre are present in a refreshing manner, elitism versus humanitarianism, inheritances, etc. It does suffer a bit in that the two track protagonists perspective slows down the plot but all the more for reading. 

123whothatbe
Overall

Really great everything, with major caveat that its incredibly bloated and in need of a drastic cut down to tell a seamless story. Currently the story has half a million interesting story points that you completely forget about by the time you get back round to them.

Needs to cut down on the number of pov's and most importantly stop adding more as the story progresses; its incredibly annoying having to try and connect with and understand a new character every 10 pages.

This story would easily be 5 stars if the povs were restricted to only the people in the Yin Eclipse Mountain Range and maybe very infrequently an outside perspective for context and worldbuilding.

rincewind
Overall

hello, I recently started reading memories of the fall, just got to the beginning of the second volume, I wanted to drop by to say to the author that I believe you are writing one of the best progression fantasy novels out there! The story starts kinda slow but then rapidly picks up the pace. Characters are amazing and i love how they can be sometimes unreliable narrators. I also absolutely recommend this story for whoever appreciates lovercraftian horror stories as this theme is extremely well executed.

O

SalvationKing0
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Distinctly Complicated, in All the Best Ways

Reviewed at: Chapter 100: Flower of Fortune

Style

Rith's style is unique. It reminds me more of Tolkien than it does of more 'standard' power/progression fantasy. I'd almost call it the literary opposite of a LitRPG in that regard, power is hard to quantify and in many ways very personal.

Things are described very well, or deliberately and effectively left without a complete description in the case of some of the more eldritch horror-esque elements.

Some reviewers complain about the PoV shifts, but while there are more different PoVs than most stories I've read I feel that they are used effectively and appropriately, and that they only have a positive impact on a story being told in the manner of this one.

One thing that sticks out about this story is that everything is important, and even the most obscure details might turn out to be important clues for something later on. On the one hand, that makes re-reading this story the closest thing I've experienced to the literal interpretation of that expanding brain meme format, but on the other hand it means it's really satisfying to suddenly realise that Thing A and Thing B are connected and have an 'ah hah!' moment.

Humour is used appropriately. Rith understands, I think, that if everything everywhere is grim all the time, it loses all meaning. There are some genuinely hilarious moments, and some that are just low-key funny.

 

Story

Yes. Just... yes. The story is enormous. The immediate, ongoing plot lines are told from multiple perspectives, which is good because they're too complicated for any one character to see and understand everything that's happening.

The pacing is a bit inconsistent sometimes, an issue worsened slightly by the fact that the story is currently running in three separate places in which time is moving at three different rates. However, that inconsistency is mostly deliberate and used to make sections in which little of interest happens pass quickly, so it's fine. It is difficult to keep a coherent mental timeline running for this story, but that's a small price to pay for the sheer quantity of stuff that happens.

The early chapters feel a bit rushed, but they're supposed to get re-written at some point and it settles down reasonably quickly.

There is a very, very deep history to the setting which slowly reveals itself as the story progresses and requires either multiple readings or inhuman attention to detail to catch the entirety of. Events referenced in one of the three concurrent timelines provide extra (mostly optional) context for what's happening in another, and that's not even getting started on the incredibly well-utilised 'lore blurbs' that every chapter bar... one, I think, starts with.

 

Grammar

The post-release editing is strong with this one. This is easily the weakest aspect of this story, although I'm inclined to believe that is in large part due to the sheer number of words available to make mistakes with. The most recent chapter as of this review is roughly 19k words long, which is a lot. Still, Rith does act on edit suggestions, so nitpick as necessary.

Update: Grammar score changed from 3.5 to 4.5 as of Chapter 100, because Rith has an editor now and, while there's still a fair bit of post-release editing, it's much better than it was.

 

Characters

The characters in this story are both interesting and varied. It is unfortunate that some of the minor supporting cast vary all the way into 'absolute twat' territory, to the point where I fail to see how a society that regularly churns out such entitled morons has managed to reach interstellar dominance. However, the protagonists are believable and entertaining and the majority of the supporting cast are, at the very least, entertaining.

The protagonists are not the typical Xianxia fare, Young Noble types with far too much money, luck and supply of ancient artifacts or cultivation laws. Instead, they are lower-class mooks of the sort that most Xianxia like to pretend don't exist. Not a lot of money, only the regular amount of luck and their choice of either an ancient artifact OR an OP cultivation art.

I jest, of course, but only to illustrate that if you're here for what is apparently the standard of Xianxia protagonists, the closest thing you'll find is a villain written as a deliberate parody of those types of character. I don't read Xianxia, so I don't know for sure, but that's what the discussion I had recently on this story's Discord server leads me to believe.

 

Overall

Eldritch abominations, some cute and some not: check.

Believable characters: mostly check, the ridiculous ones are, I think, written as they are to make a point.

Rich history, deep lore: Yes, this is not, to paraphrase another review, a 'smooth brain' story.

I could say more, but I feel it would be redundant. Just read it, ideally for more than just the first ten or so chapters, and then judge it for yourself. Also, the Discord is a fun place to be, but I'd get up to date on the story first, since a lot of our discussions will be very spoilery for the unwary.