Warning This fiction contains:
  • Gore
  • Profanity
  • Traumatising content

All humans possess a Pith, the essence of a mind where consciousness, reason, and emotion reside. Those who study its power can control their surroundings, move from body to body, and alter the very fabric of another’s thoughts.

On the continents of the Eight Oceans, the magicians wielding this energy formed secret societies, ruling nations from the shadows.  Ten years ago, the public exposed them, plunging the world into chaos.

In the industrial empire of the Principality, Anabelle Gage has dreamt about Paragon Academy for as long as she can remember.  An exclusive magic school, that can hone her abilities and cure her terminal illness.

And then they reject her.

She has one shot at saving her life: Enter the city’s cutthroat underworld, and make enough money to buy a new body.  By any means necessary.

Ana forms a band of desperate exiles: A banished noble with dimension-warping power, a mind-reading mercenary, and a twenty-year-old bombmaker in an eighty-year-old body.

Together, they will uncover the secrets of this world.  The true face of Paragon Academy.  The drowned ruins of an ancient utopia.  And the ocean, slowly rising, swallowing the planet beneath the waves.

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Discord Link: https://discord.gg/4WcFQN7

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Updates once a week on Monday nights.  You can also read it at the main site here.

Warning: This story contains mature, potentially traumatizing content.  Violence, mind control, genocide, bigotry, body horror, self-harm, suicide, addiction, existential horror, and more.  Read at your own risk.

Note: As a heads up, this story also includes LGBT content.

Cover art by Tithi Luadthong

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1st Anniversary
Word Count (15)
Top List #50
Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
1-A The Caterpillar's Dilemma ago
1-B The Caterpillar's Dilemma ago
1-C The Caterpillar's Dilemma ago
1-D The Caterpillar's Dilemma ago
1-E The Caterpillar's Dilemma ago
2-A The Problem of Names ago
2-B The Problem of Names ago
2-C The Problem of Names ago
2-D The Problem of Names ago
2-E The Problem of Names ago
2-F – Samuel ago
3-A The Empty Book ago
3-B The Empty Book ago
3-C The Empty Book ago
3-D The Empty Book ago
3-E The Empty Book ago
3-F The Empty Book ago
4-A The Mortal Soul ago
4-B The Mortal Soul ago
4-C The Mortal Soul ago
4-D The Mortal Soul ago
4-E The Mortal Soul ago
4-F - The Broadcast King ago
5-A Copycat ago
5-B Copycat ago
5-C Copycat ago
5-D Copycat ago
5-E Copycat ago
6-A The Bombmaker ago
6-B The Bombmaker ago
6-C The Bombmaker ago
6-D The Bombmaker ago
6-E The Bombmaker ago
6-F - Tasia ago
6-G - Clementine ago
7-A The Blue Charlatan ago
7-B The Blue Charlatan ago
7-C The Blue Charlatan ago
7-D The Blue Charlatan ago
8-A - Isaac Brin ago
8-B - Florence Tuft ago
8-C - Rowyna Ebbridge ago
8-D - Grace ago
9-A Silver Letters ago
9-B Silver Letters ago
9-C Silver Letters ago
9-D Silver Letters ago
9-E - Matilla Geffray ago
10-A The Wrong Side of History ago
10-B The Wrong Side of History ago
10-C - Samuel ago
11-A The Breadbasket ago
11-B The Breadbasket ago
11-C The Breadbasket ago
11-D - Max ago
12-A The Ant and the Beetle ago
12-B The Ant and the Beetle ago
12-C - Florence Tuft ago
12-D - Max ago
12-E The Ant and the Beetle ago
12-F The Ant and the Beetle ago
13-A The Butterfly's Dilemma ago
13-B The Butterfly's Dilemma ago
13-C - Max ago
13-D The Butterfly's Dilemma ago
Prologue - Free Waffles ago
14-A Imposter Syndrome ago
14-B Imposter Syndrome ago
14-C Imposter Syndrome ago
14-D Imposter Syndrome ago
14-E Imposter Syndrome ago
14-F The Wingtrooper ago
15-A The Jump ago
15-B - Leizu ago

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This is reviewed after I originally read more on the author's website.

. The core story is coming of age of the main protagonist (s) but as with all long serials more word count is given to supporting characters and world building than mcs. The main themes is, I guess, transhumanism, mind control, political intrigue, and magic. The battles are worm-like, with each character trying to use its abilities in unique ways, and the setting is dark, very dark. Not to spoil too much, but take the darker events in our history and mix it with magic.

It's good. All the other reviews will tell you exactly why, but the one con is that its numbingly slow, especially coming close to the end of book 1. Our protagonist is also a special kind of idealist dumb - let's just say her not getting into engineer hogwarts was completely warranted.

Mohammad Al-Deep


For real, this was a welcome surprise, left me hooked and had to binge read it over the weekend.

Give it some time, and will just get better and better.

What are you doing ? go start reading.

Need 50 words

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Initially reminded me quite a lot of Worm and Altered Carbon.

Started well with a sympathetic character called Ana. Smart with regards to her power set, it was interesting to see how she dealt with challenges. Unfortunately that only lasted four chapters.

After that we get to Nell Ebbridge, a sad character who engineers her own demise. Chapter after chapter after chapter of her whining followed by Samuel killed any enthusiasm for reading anymore of this story.

That said, It's exceptionally well put together. Grammar is pretty much perfect, world building is top notch. Characters are fully realized, and combat is very well done.  But damn it all... Nell exists. Pity she didn't go die in a fire.

Give it a shot if you liked worm, is got a similar dark vibe.


This is the best thing I've read on Royal Road (with the possible exception of Mother of Learning). The characters are excellent and believable (and almost bring me to tears at times), the plotting is exciting and well-done, and the setting is also unique & creative. Surprisingly, the style of writing is quite good as well - hands above the average work here. I cannot recommend this highly enough!


One of the best books I've read online (and frankly, amongst my favorite books ever). It's a better combination of The Boys or Brandon Sanderson the reckoners. I can't wait to see where this series goes!


Great world building and character development. The book is also well written and clever. Can't say enough about this, give it a try, I doubt you'll be disappointed. 


Best story I've read in years

Reviewed at: 4-C The Mortal Soul

This is the best story I've read in years - and I read thousands of pages a month, dozens of stories at a time, both critically aclaimed and random webnovels on the internet. Pith is the kind of work that you look at it and you understand that it isn't just a hobby or a passtime - it's a life work, the kind of story that someone has spent years building up, creating, outlining, and then years more writing, and the attention and love and detail that went into it shows in every chapter, in every character's backstory, and in the wrist pain the author gets from the massive amount of typing needed to put out weekly chapters. A lot of authors struggle to keep a plot going long enough to stick to a schedule, Pith's author struggles in that her body cannot keep up with the story she wants to give life to.

As for the story itself, it's bleak, depressing, tragic and the world of Pith sucks. It's the kind of world where everyone is unhappy and no one would ever want to live in, even with its magical aspects. It's a doomed world where everyone is making the right and wrong choice at the same time, and suffering from the consequences of those choices in real time. No matter how bad things get there's always bit of hope, but if you're looking for a lighthearted read this is not the place for you.

The story has 2 main POVs, with the occasional interlude. The interludes are all actually pretty exceptionally well written, as for the POVs, it's no secret that one POV is significantly more beloved than the other due to its character being much more sympathetic (and having more interesting goals/plot going on), but the two POVs eventually even out later into the story. It's not something to drop the story over but you might be tempted, as the intro to the series starts off with everyone's favorite POV, and is immediately followed by everyone's least favorite, so be forwarned that that character becomes much better later.

All in all, a fantastic story that I am loving every second of. I heavily recommend this to anyone who has even a bit of interest after reading the summary - Pith is a once in a generation quality webnovel, the likes of Mother of Learning, Lord of the Mysteries or (for some people) Worm, it's the kind of thing that I hope other people will remember years after it's done the same way I will.


Really good serial, hopefully becomes better-known

Reviewed at: 14-F The Wingtrooper

Really well written, and like others have mentioned, somewhat reminiscent of Worm but maybe just a little less grim (well, some of the time.) Fully fleshed out characters, excellent worldbuilding that leaves one eager to find out more about the mysteries underlying this universe, clearly defined systems of magic and powers that leave room for creativity, and my only complaint is that new chapters aren't coming fast enough.