The Fallen World : A Dungeon's Story

The Fallen World : A Dungeon's Story

by playwars

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Sexual Content

They thought sacrificing her would further their own goals. Instead, they changed an engineer into the single most powerful fabricator in existence, a dungeon core.

 

Alexandra Rousseau, an engineer from the European Federation Star Navy with a past darker than the void between the stars, is unexpectedly launched into hyperspace when an FTL jump goes horribly wrong.


She wakes in a world of magic and monsters, encountering a mysterious Order with plans millennia in the making. When the Order makes a catastrophic mistake, transforming Alexandra into a dungeon core, they inadvertently give her the power to bring back technology long since thought lost on this world. With it she’ll make the Order pay and avenge the friends they’ve taken from her.


But first, she must survive those who would steal her core for their own benefit while keeping her true identity a secret from the adventurers looking to delve into her dungeon. If they knew the truth, the Adventurer Guild would seek to end her, and the Order would stop at nothing to finish what they started…

----

Cover made by the awesome Eldrik Aethervial !

Schedule :

A new chapter will be posted every saturday, usually between 10-11 pm UTC (23h-midnight CET, 5-6 pm EST, at the 30 minute mark if possible), although they might be posted earlier exceptionally. Librarians (patreon 3 dollars tier) will have their advanced chapters updated at around that time as well.

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playwars

playwars

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Table of Contents
131 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Prologue ago
Chapter 10 - The Giants Wake ago
Chapter 11 - The First Forge ago
The Great Archives (Art & Maps) ago
Chapter 12 - Preparing the Expedition ago
Chapter 13 - The Wasteland ago
Chapter 14 - Landfall ago
Chapter 15 - The Meeting ago
Chapter 16 - Stopping for a Drink ago
Chapter 17 - The Delve Begins ago
Chapter 18 - 'Friendly' Fire ago
Chapter 19 - Back from the Dead ago
Chapter 20 - The Shrine of War ago
Chapter 21 - Boss Fight ago
Patreon and Discord Notice ago
Chapter 22 - Aftermath ago
Chapter 23 - Assassination ago
Chapter 24 - Second Floor ago
Chapter 25 - Screw Up ago
Chapter 26 - Nighttime Massacre ago
The Great Archives (Adventurer ranks & material explanations) ago
Chapter 27 - Testing and Planning ago
Chapter 28 - Ambush ago
Chapter 29 - Marauding 'Adventurers' ago
Chapter 30 - Dungeon Assault ago
Chapter 31 - You Shall Not Pass ago
Chapter 32 - Shadowy Deals ago
Chapter 33 - Sorting through the Aftermath ago
Chapter 34 - The First of Many ago
Interlude 1 - Darthar ago
Chapter 35 - Drone Swarm ago
Chapter 36 - Rebirth ago
Interlude 2 - Royal Audience. ago
Chapter 37 - New Arrivals and Logistics ago
Chapter 38 - Upgrades ago
Chapter 39 - Negotiations and the Changing of the Guard ago
Chapter 40 - Explosives and Alchemists ago
Chapter 41 - Gathering Clouds ago
Interlude 3 - The United Dungeon Council ago
Chapter 42 - Connecting to the World ago
Chapter 43 - Phonecall ago
Chapter 44 - Brewing Storm. ago
Chapter 45 - The Water Temple ago
Chapter 46 - Shopping and Quests ago
Chapter 47 - The Attack ago
Interlude 4 - The Scarlet Swords ago
Chapter 48 - She Speaks ago
Interlude 5 - The Senate ago
Chapter 49 - The Sand Demon ago
Chapter 50 - Bring it Down ! ago
1 year of The Fallen World : A Dungeon's Story ago
Chapter 51 - Loyal Unto Death ago
Chapter 52 - Finishing the Beast ago
Chapter 53 - Discussions ago
Chapter 54 - Convoy Arrival ago
Chapter 55 - The Maids ago
Chapter 56 - The Talk ago
Halloween Special ago
Chapter 57 - Preparing For War ago
Chapter 58 - A Daughter ago
Chapter 59 - Puppy Online. ago
Chapter 60 - A New Partnership ago
Chapter 61 - Events in Motion ago
Chapter 62 - War Plans ago
Chapter 63 - Spartan Monk ago
Christmas Special 2021 ago
Chapter 64 - Alchemy 101 ago
Chapter 65 - The Iron Rush ago
The Great Archives (Nations) ago
Great Archives (Ship Classes of Earth's Human Space) ago
Great Archives (Artificial Intelligences) ago
Chapter 66 - Hanging Gardens ago
The Eternal Seeker Saga is available on Royal Road ! ago
Chapter 67 - Surveys and Arrivals ago
Interlude 6 - Piracy ago
Chapter 68 - The Speech ago
Chapter 69 - Final Preparations ago
Chapter 70 - The Battle Begins ago
Chapter 71 - Flanking Attack ago
Chapter 72 - 'Creative' Maneuver ago
Chapter 73 - Crimson Veil ago
Chapter 74 - Cobras ago
Chapter 75 - Pirates ago
Chapter 76 - The Negotiator ago
Chapter 77 - Teleport Strike ago
Announcement - Back in Action ago
Great Archives (Central Database) ago
Great Archives (Sand Kraken) ago
Great Archives (Missiles of Earth) ago
Great Archives (Ground equipment of Earth) ago
Announcement ago
Great Archives (Mana Sources) ago
Great Archives (Timeline of Alcheryos) ago
Great Archives (Edicts of Annihilation) ago
Great Archives (Alchemy) ago
Great Archives (Armageddon Missile) ago
Poll - Platoon Level Combat ago
Great Archives (Final Contingency-class Cruiser) ago
Great Archives (The United Dungeon Council) ago
The Great Archives (Adventurers & the Adventurer's Guild) ago
Chapter 78 - Dungeon Invasion ago
Chapter 79 - Unforeseen Consequences ago
Chapter 80 - Zombies ago
Chapter 81 - Final Defense Protocols ago
Chapter 82 - Among The Ruins ago
Chapter 83 - Gift ago
Chapter 84 - All According to Plan ago
Chapter 85 - Alliance ago
Interlude 7 - The Merchants Guild ago
Chapter 86 - A New Dungeon Model ago
Chapter 87 - Labyrinth ago
Chapter 88 - The Land Caravan ago
Chapter 89 - The Clay Step ago
The pre-order for The Fallen World book 1 : Dungeon Engineer is live ! ago
Chapter 90 - The Roar of Industry ago
Chapter 91 - War Cometh ago
Chapter 92 - Artillery ago
Interlude 8 - The Elkisian Republican Army ago
The Fallen World book 1 : Dungeon Engineer is live on Amazon ! ago
Chapter 93 - Enter the Labyrinth ago
Chapter 94 - Expedition ago
Chapter 95 - Completing the Deal ago
Chapter 96 - Republic Caravan ago
Chapter 97 - Assassin Sect ago
Chapter 98 - The Arsenal of Dungeonhood ago
Christmas Special 2022 ago
Chapter 99 - Crystalline Returns ago
Chapter 100 - Wargames ago
Chapter 101 - Paradigm Shift ago
Chapter 102 - Final Preparations ago
Chapter 103 - Expanding Influence ago

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Paschmet
Overall

Quite the good novel but can be improved !

Reviewed at: Chapter 11 - The First Forge

This was quite a nice novel to read - my thanks to the author - but there was a few things that I feel would make the story even better. Firtst of all, please stop, seriously, with the parentheses every two sentences. And even worst, please stop with the parentheses that are so huge they make you forget what the actual sentence was, five lines above. 

Also, I get that you're trying to tell us that the MC saw some shit in her previous life. I got it quite quickly actually. And it's fine ! I'd just say two things about this : please try to be a bit more subtle with theses backflash, or just give it up and straight out tell us more about her life. As they are, you just punch us in the face with stories out of nowhere, it's quite unpleasant. And then, I'm sorry, I know you have you own ideas about her and her life, but I have to tell you that her previous life is just not believable. Like not even a little. She might belong to the super military of a space-faring nation, but it is absolutely impossible for her to have lived even a tenth of what you're implying, not to mention you'll probably keep on adding to her life experience. 

Like, she's technically a coding and R&D weapon specialist, yet she was on frontlines all over the universe, being a part of multiple wars. She saw entire platoons get shredded by cutting edge gravity grenades, she saw multiple times her teammates get healed despite being on the verge of death, she saw dead cities get nuked, she saw orbital bombardments, she was so used to killing criminals when on peace keeping missions i-forgot-where that she can loot bodies like a pro, she saw so many thousands of criminals that she can spot them just by looking at their eyes, she was partly responsible for the destruction of an entire world, she had a superior officer that made her purposely kill thousands of innocent civilians, she was an weapon officer in a spaceship while said spaceship was getting pelted with missiles and then, after all that... we first see her at a random custom office, getting killed by a crazy nobody ? I mean, she can't have done everything there's to do in an army and then more !p

Also, one last thing. She gets absolutely mad over what happened to her first party and just thinking about them makes her unconsciously activate her berserk ability and it's obvious that recovering them is going to be her main objective in the novel. Personally, I find that way exaggerated, she knew them for barely a week, all the more since she's supposed to be a 60-year-old army vet who saw death by the tens of thousands. It gets even worse when you remember she never had even one thought for all the people that died alongside her when her space-station got destroyed, among which she must have had people she had known for years.

 

Anyway.
FusedBump86
Overall

Good but immensely frustrating

Reviewed at: Announcement

There is a lot to love about this story, namely the world building and the writing quality, but it is constantly undercut but some fairly minor but frustratingly repeated problems.

The world is by far the highlight, it's a fascinating blend of a bog standard swords and sorcery D&D world and the apocolyptic remnants of a post scarcity sci-fi society. The geopolitics is really interesting and well thought out, and the disparate figures all act in a fairly rational manner that makes them engaging. The sci-fi tech is made massively more compelling by its context; if everyone has laser guns, then they're just guns. But if one nation doesn't, well then you have a fascinating geopolitical dynamic.

There are also a number of interesting mysteries that have been established, both about the world and the ostensible main character (return to this point). While very little has been revealed about the plot, there's enough interesting elements that I'm tentatively excited to see unravelled.

 

But now we come to the negatives, which I think come from two distinct factors: pacing, and premise delivery. The pacing is slow, as of the latest content chapter (77), Alexandra has achieved... very little. In fact it's only in the last ~15 chapters that she's even started to reference/inform the audience about her long term plans which were established allllll the way back in the prologue. Let me repeat that, ~1300 pages and it's only now that the ostensible (there's that word again) main character is proactively taking steps to achieve (or even think about) her goals.

Which brings me to my biggest frustration, premise delivery. By which I'm referring to the fact that the blurb, and the 21,000 word prologue heavily point to this story being about a futuristic space engineer engineering as a dungeon. But, well, engineering things is a fairly boring process all things considered, its just repetitive trial an error. And besides the interesting part of the story is not made up techno babble, it's the plot and world.

But how does one engage with the world when one is stationary in the middle of a literal wastelande? Enter Allya, likely an excellent character for another story. Likely realising that there was no real way to meaninfully tell the story the author wanted to tell, they introduced the dungeon town owner character. But this has kind of backfired because she's effectively monopolised all the interesting actions (by being the only one who can meaningfully interact with the world and its fascinating geopolitics) and become the deuteragonist of the story. She's also easily the most fleshed out character in the story at this point in time. But now at least half of the time she's the POV character and, combined with the pace crippling fights (which often run 4+ 5-10k word chapters), leaves little room for Alexandra to actually be interesting.

So now we have a story that markets itself as a space engineer tech-race has become a story about a plucky noble with a significant dose of fairly average romance. With elements of a heavily pre-industrial (excluding some basic logistics) golem based dungeon. No guns, no lasers, no sci-fi anything (aside from the literal magi-tech golems handed to the dungeon from the start), just medieval level golems. Which is still fun, still lots to enjoy. But oh so very frustrating when the interesting elements are just right there.

Also the info dumping is pretty egregious, especially near the start (the prologue is like just one enormous infodump).

Regardless it's a good story that's worth a read and I hope the author keeps writing (even if they're other story is the focus right now).

Tweedledeeme
Overall

Very good world and even universe building. Story starts out well, but before long your getting confused about what the main story line is. It is difficult to tell if there are multiple plot lines or a single one with supporting points of view (at least for me).

Also the supposed main character starts out reasonably but before long is acting in way that is difficult to identify with, given the kind of past that is hinted at and the experiences she has in this new world. 

Still a great deal of potential though and hope to see more chapters. 

The number of characters you need to keep track of are increasing and it feels like very little of the story has to do with the supposedly main character.

binary_o11o1
Overall

Quite interesting fusion of Sci-fi and Fantasy

Reviewed at: Chapter 81 - Final Defense Protocols

I've quite enjoyed this story, staying up late to make my way through the backlog of stories. The blend of spread technological and magical skills across the world is always a treat to see in my view. Meanwhile, the story has a grand scope orbiting it's focuses on the Dungeon and town above it, but the site is an important conflux of trade between multiple powerful nations, such that military might, guild and crown politics, and more than a few spies all take an interest.

 

Read this story if you enjoy clever engineering with bare bones supplies, a look at the economic underbelly of Adventure Guilds, and a hearty dose of international political incidences.

Kyrian Clawraithe
Overall

Good Ideas, ruined by execution.

Reviewed at: Chapter 25 - Screw Up

The basis of this story is pretty interesting. An Engineer from a Space Odyssey level civilization is reborn into a Medieval Fantasy world and is transformed into a Dungeon. The world and characters is thought out and in depth, with most having a story/lore of their own.

However the author tends to be flighty and jump around from one thing to another, with scenes (and even sentences) regularly interrupted by something that the Author wants to say even if it is completely disconnected from what is going on (in either the scene or the current story).

Additionally while the Lore of the Characters is well thought out, their personality and actions tends to be whatever the Author wants to happen rather than what makes sense. Any sane/intelligent/ nonperverted character that is worried about an explosion that just occurred isn't going to stop and stare at the body of a person that they aren't even comfortable admitting feelings for.

GodSlayer123
Overall

Great story with a great plot, what else can is say, while the grand archives chapters do I terrupt the flow they are easily skippabpe since they are well marked. Come for the dungeon, stay for the explosions. Would still like to know what happens on Pluto, sounds like something the core would say to get out of being called a pyromaniac/explosinmaniac?

luda305
Overall

Interesting Concept, but Ultimately Incoherent

Reviewed at: Chapter 77 - Teleport Strike

I remember the first time I read the prologue so long ago.  It was such a strong and interesting start to a new story! Gosh.  And just when this great isekai adventure was about to begin with an overpowered mage, yoink!, they get turned into a dungeon core.  With Alex's background in engineering in outer space, this should have been a great read of a mundane engineer given the power of magical building.  I put it on the backburner for a bit to let the chapters build up, and only just recently came back around it it for a read from the beginning. 

I have to say, I was pretty disappointed.  It's clearly a passion project, and you can feel that in the writing.  The author has a decent writing style that kept having me coming back for more. And while I'm glad that the author and 2200+ plus followers enjoy it, I just can't recommend this to a general audience nor any particular niche audience that I can think of. 

Many of the more critical reviews tend to cover the major concerns I have.  For this review, I'll cover three different ways that the story is incoherent.

For starters, there are essentially three distinct stories being told here: First, you have the prologue, where you have Alex as isekai adventurer.  Second, you have Alex as dungeon core.  (Now, that first part has a bit of a still birth in so much as Alex's death forms the starting fact of the second part, and arguably these two parts are just the same story, but it's a bit semantic because...)  Finally, you have the human & elf who become the nobles around Alex's dungeon.  There are several problems with having multiple stories here. Part of the problem is that there is exceptionally little interplay between these stories to justify telling them as parallel plotlines.  Which means whenever we flip between stories, whatever happens almost always only advances whatever story is being told at that time, not the other (and that's not including the transaction costs to the reader that come from flipping between two very different stories).  Another part is that even though the story is nominally about Alex the dungeon, something like 6% of the story is the prologue, and of the remainder, I would estimate that 50-70% is focused on the new nobles (a ratio that only gets worse as the chapters pass).  The stories just don't come together into a single story, and it makes it very hard to read. 

There's also a strong sense that even though this should be a dungeon core story, that the story doesn't want to tell the story of a dungeon core.  (The author noted at some point that things tend to get out of hand as they write).  As noted above, there's a lot of focus on the nobles and that get greater over time.  Additionally, Alex (unusually) starts with a humanoid avatar and spends a tremendous amount of time in that avatar, even when doing dungeon-y things. She's less a dungeon and more a fancy geomancer.  And, when she watches adventurers for research purposes or entertainment, she goes through the motions of sitting on a sofa in front of a TV with snacks.  Even when Alex is just doing dungeon things, a lot of it is based on the same four or five running gags (explosive testing, headpats, vampy, etc.) and her development as a dungeon really plods along, especially given that we're 1,300 pages into the story by now. 

Finally, the characters of Alex and her advisor, and their relationship, is also a bit of a sore point.  Neither of them seem to be well-developed as a character.  Given any particular situtation, I can't guess how they're going to react (even after 1,300 pages), and it just seems that they do whatever it is that the author needs to get the plot going in the "right" direction.  This is particular egregious with the advisor's terrible advising: She's supposed to be a 100+ year old vampire who spend decades in training for this position, and then over, and over, and over again, something new comes up and she's like, "oh, did I not tell you that?" or "oh, I forgot you don't have common knowledge."  She really ought to have adapted to that by this point.  And even though Alex is an artificial dungeon core, there's no indication that a natural dungeon core should have any common knowledge either.  It strains incredulity that, given her background, she should be this incompetent. 

There are other, frequent instances where the suspension of disbelief is sorely tested.  The worse is

in one of the recent chapters, there's a whole scene where because the dungeon boss calls Alex and her advisor "mom" and "mommy" (in a cutesy, immature way), that somehow puts the dungeon boss and Alex into the line of succession from the advisor's family. Bear in mind, Alex was the only one involved in creating the boss, Alex and the advisor have no relationship other than as professionals, and that acknowledgement between them of parentage is the only excuse given. Frankly, it was the flimsiest reasoning I've read in a story in gods-know-how-long. 

All in all, I was banging my head against a metaphorical wall chapter-after-chapter, and after 77 chapters, I can't really say that I was satisfied in any way.

MurderByNumbers
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Start off ok, crashes and drags pretty hard

Reviewed at: Chapter 73 - Crimson Veil

Grammar Score: 4
Generally ok read. There are however semi frequent structural sentence issues leading to double speak. As well as some incorrect or lacking punctuation.

Style Score: 1
Repeated transitions between "showing and telling" which are jarring. Most of the "telling" that happens has little if any impact on actual progression of the story or characters. This leads to a near constant desire to skip/skim walls of unneeded text. 

Character Score: 1.5
All characters are very lacking in terms of depth. Any character that is "attempted" at giving depth is mostly just 'airheaded' conversations or sexual activities and inuendoes. All characters with an attempt at depth are all gay. Nothing against being gay but when every character of note is gay and there are 0 heterosexual relationships.. kinda kills it. If that's truly the predominant culture of the setting how are they reproducing at a rate fast enough to offset casualties to dungeons, wasteland beasts, wars, historically repeated apocalyptic wars, etc, etc that have been painted as the set and setting of the novel?
MC is introduced as a top level engineer, multiple degrees, half a century of military experience, for sure high levels of classified clearance. This makes her somewhere around 80+ years old. Then behaves completely out of character for the rest of the novel. Extreme levels of inconsistency. 

Story: 2
The first couple chapters start off well enough however it very quickly stalls and nose dives. You have an MC who regularly acts completely out of character. You gradually get more and more layers of extremely juvenile "slice of life" stuff that doesn't really add any value or progression. The author repeatedly gets in their own way "telling" you stuff that may be world building but it's world building that has little to no relevance to what is actually happening in the story. It would be like preparing to engage in a battle and your buddy starts spouting off the history of timbuktu and a conflict that happened 1,000 years ago, talking about the price of tea in China in the year 1400, etc. That's nice dude, how is it relevant to what's happening right now? It's not. All of this leads to a massive stall in story progression as "progression content" has been crowded out by "irrelevant content". The whole premise of the assistant introduction is pretty unbelievable from the MC's set up to that point. The assistant is a constant buzz kill and doesn't act like an "advisor" that they were stated to be. 

Final Thoughts
After around chapter 10-12 I was already having thoughts of wanting to drop the novel. However I do try to catch up/finish novels that I've started to give them a fair chance to develop past a shaky start. Sometimes I've been pleasantly surprised while others I have not. Unfortunately in this case the story doesn't pull out of it's shaky start and instead doubles, triples down on those issues. 

Marmoset Threat
Overall

Good portal-fantasy dungeon-core story

Reviewed at: Prologue

Generally good stuff, with some minor SPAG issues. Here's some constructive criticism:

 - Personally, found myself skimming over the handful of "interlude" sections where we see the leaders of other nations/important people scheming. Yes, they're neat and add a bit of worldbuilding flavor, but I'm not gonna remember any names from them and these sections could generally be summed up to "other people make plans". Remebering this (that other people make plans) is a fantastic thing as an author/storyteller, because it adds depth to the narrative, but it's not necessary to show this to the reader.

 - This one is kind of nitpicky, but the word "brutally" is used very frequently and incorrectly (it doesn't mean what you think it does). Violent actions can be done "brutally" like throwing a brutal punch or delivering a brutal strike and a violent act can can be brutal like saying "the execution was brutal", but saying things like "She brutally stopped laughing,...", "...then brutally she was standing...", or "Brutally, she realized that..." are all wrong idiomatically and often gramatically. Better word choices would be words like "abruptly", "suddenly", or "in an instant".

 - This is, of course, a matter of preference, but so far, all major and most minor characters have been lesbian (or bi?) women. There's nothing inherently wrong with this, but it'd be nice to see a bit more diversity in the characters. I get that it can be difficult for authors to write about relationships/genders they aren't personally attracted to, but still, is one I don't like seeing.

 - The protagonist occasionally gets a bit snowflakey and ditzy. Like, sure, getting isekai'd and then turned into a dungeon core against your will would be pretty traumatic, but for a 60 year old veteran with a successful military career and a "Dark Past" I'd expect a little more emotional/interpersonal fortitude. Like, she permanently mourns her original party memebers being injured/possibly killed despite the fact that she's only known them for a couple days and gains an edgelord-rage ability because of it. Also, since she's at least somewhat genre-aware and presumably has extensive experience in maintaing operational security, she really should've known better and avoided the classical isekai-slavery trap.

Overall though, a decent read and a follow. >180k words is nothing to sneeze at either, and if you're looking for something to read in this genre, this isn't a bad choice.

Ebionite
Overall

I have been loving this series. It is a fun take on the dungeon core genra. I like the history of the world which makes a variety of tech levels make sense. 

It fullfils in my opinion the premise of the story what happens when you give an engineer the powers of a dungeon and a mision to be able to fight anyone coming at her and to go out and deal with the problems she had before becoming a Dungeon. One of the stories I look forward to reading every week when it comes out. I look forward to Alexandra  crushing her enemies under the feet of her minions.