The Great Core's Paradox

The Great Core's Paradox

by Zendran

Name: Paradox

Species: Snake, ?

Description: A tiny snake with great potential.

That was who I was. That was what I was. A tiny snake with great potential. The sole creation of the Great Core.

It was just us, the Great Core and I, tucked away in our little corner of the World Dungeon. Together, we hid from the bad-things and the Coreless of the world outside - safe from the horrors that would consume us.

Until, one day, the Coreless found us. Until they tried to steal away my creator. Until, with no other option, I swallowed the Great Core that had made me.

Only after that did I become what I was always meant to be.

At last, I became the Great Core's Paradox in more than name.

[The Endless Cycle] began.

Thus begins the story of a little snake zealot and his journey to greatness.

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Word Count (14)
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Table of Contents
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: The Little Snake And The Bad-Things ago
Chapter 2: For The Great Core ago
Chapter 3: The Snake That Eats Its Own Tail ago
Chapter 4: The Glow of Dead Scale-Flesh ago
Chapter 5: An Agonizing Thirst ago
Chapter 6: Threads of Red ago
Chapter 7: [The Endless Cycle] ago
Chapter 8: A Gaze of Flame ago
Chapter 9: Rot-Flesh War ago
Chapter 10: Mana Manipulator ago
Chapter 11: The Festering Sickness ago
Chapter 12: Mana Overload ago
Chapter 13: Whole Again ago
Chapter 14: Surrounded ago
Chapter 15: Running Dry ago
Chapter 16: Mana-Water Serpent ago
Chapter 17: Paralyzing Venom ago
Chapter 18: A Slow Death ago
Chapter 19: Strange Little Snake ago
Chapter 20: The Little Snake And The Bad-Things Part 2 ago
Chapter 21: Venomous Retribution ago
Chapter 22: Aspiring Disciples ago
Chapter 23: Illusion Spark ago
Chapter 24: Predatory Cuteness ago
Chapter 25: Flame-Touched Salamander ago
Chapter 26: Salamander Nest ago
Chapter 27: Kala, Needle ago
Chapter 28: The Anger Of A Mother ago
Chapter 29: The Growing Wall-Cracks ago
Chapter 30: Floating On Fire-Water ago
Chapter 31: The New Cycle ago
Chapter 32: Horror Show ago
Chapter 33: Will ago
Chapter 34: This World Has No Heroes ago
Chapter 35: Dealing With Loss ago
Chapter 36: Scales of Light ago
Chapter 37: Shifting Shades ago
Chapter 38: Thoughts of Flight ago
Chapter 39: Molten Bite ago
Chapter 40: Fangs of Fire-Pain ago
Chapter 41: The First Illusion ago
Chapter 42: A Feast Of Fire-Pain ago
Chapter 43: Hot-Blooded ago
Chapter 44: Still Like Stone
Chapter 45: Dying Light ago
Chapter 46: A Snake Without A Tail ago
Chapter 47: The Flames of Urgency ago
Chapter 48: Return Again ago
Chapter 49: The Snake Seer ago
Chapter 50: Loyal Minions ago
Chapter 51: First Contact ago
Chapter 52: Touched By Fire ago
Chapter 53: Dripping Fangs ago
Chapter 54: A Timely Victory ago
Chapter 55: A Place Within The Stories ago
Chapter 56: The First Glimpse ago
Chapter 57: Fire-Water Serpent ago
Chapter 58: Chrono Fire ago
Chapter 59: The Next Choice ago
Chapter 60: Slithering Through Time ago
Chapter 61: Home Again ago
Chapter 62: The Feel-Good-Water ago
Chapter 63: The Staring One ago
Chapter 64: Deception Walks With Many Legs ago
Chapter 65: A Proposal ago
Chapter 66: Shaper of Ore-Flesh ago
Chapter 67: Learning To Understand ago
Chapter 68: Losing The Second ago
Chapter 69: As The Bell Tolls ago
Chapter 70: Refugee Rescue ago
Chapter 71: Screams and Shrieks and Other Things ago
Chapter 72: Shrieking-Winged Bad-Things ago
Chapter 73: Sound Shaping ago
Chapter 74: The Din Of Battle ago
Chapter 75: Coming Home ago
Chapter 76:  A Fighting Retreat ago
Chapter 77: The Great Core’s Champion ago
Chapter 78: Friendly Fire ago
Chapter 79: A Smug Spectator ago
Chapter 80: Accumulation ago
Chapter 81: Blood of Tiamat ago
Chapter 82: A New Connection ago
Chapter 83: Building The Nest ago
Chapter 84: Little Guardian ago
Chapter 85: Totem ago
Chapter 86: Little Disciples ago
Chapter 87: Nightmares and Falling Stones ago
Chapter 88: The Hunt ago
Chapter 89: The Food Crisis ago
Chapter 90: Save Us, Find Us ago
Chapter 91: The Broken Tunnel ago
Chapter 92: A Timely Barrier ago
Chapter 93: The Second Strike ago
Chapter 94: Something Simple ago
Chapter 95: Tavern Tale ago
Chapter 96: The Leech ago
Chapter 97: Stretched Thin ago
Chapter 98: Essence of Life ago
Chapter 99: Last Rites ago
Chapter 100: Starting Small ago
Chapter 101: Steady Growth ago
Chapter 102: The Growth Of A Legend ago
Chapter 103: Little Guardian’s Focus ago
Chapter 104: Exploding Statues ago
Chapter 105: Forging The Focus ago
Chapter 106: Stone Giant ago
Chapter 107: Guardian Statue ago
Chapter 108: Dreams and Warnings ago
Chapter 109: Departure (END OF BOOK 1) ago
Chapter 110: Fire? ago
Chapter 111: Fire! ago
Chapter 112: Flammable-Winged Bad-Things ago
Chapter 113: Legs Are Horrible ago
Chapter 114: Ash and Blood ago
Chapter 115: The Second Blood ago
Chapter 116: Ascended Threat ago
Chapter 117: A Recognizable Story ago
Chapter 118: A New Taste ago
Chapter 119: The Grove ago
Chapter 120: The Children Of The Mist ago
Chapter 121: Lost In The Maze ago
Chapter 122: Twitch and Twinge ago

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When I read this story's summary, my first thought was "Oh, it's a Snake Report ripoff." And indeed, as I read through the first half-dozen chapters, I noticed many similarities: a tiny snake worshipping an imaginary god, trying to survive in a hostile underworld filled with glowing, poisonous mushrooms, told in conversational first-person replete with hyphens of questionable grammaticality.

Of course, given that The Snake Report is a great story, similarities aren't necessarily bad. Furthermore, this story stands well on its own. Despite the small number of chapters released so far, we already have seen significant, interesting worldbuilding (while avoiding infodumps). The story is well written, with no typos that I noticed. The story does a good job of portraying the system as something mundane to the world's inhabitants rather than "other," which is difficult but, I think, important to a good, realistic (insofar as it can be) litrpg.

Given that the story is still in its infancy, I don't think I've read enough to give it 5 stars, but that may change later. I am mildly worried that Paradox will not be so cute when they become more powerful. Currently their zealotry and vengefulness are mostly funny, but that will change if they start massacring humans in the name of the Great Core or something. The story's tone seems to suggest a sympathetic MC, so I hope that the MC remains sympathetic. Of course, if Paradox is meant to be more of an antihero or villain, then that's fine, although I personally wouldn't find the story as enjoyable.

All hail the Tiny Snake God Great Core!


The story is off to a great start! The protagonist's narration style is a wonderful blend of reliable and unreliable that really sinks in the impression that... yeah, we're not looking at a human here. It sees the world differently! The two chapters so far we've gotten to see from a human perspective reinforce that amazingly! It's a unique style that's not taken too far - it's just enough to be a fun flavor for the book without making the scenes difficult to understand.

The grammar's pretty much flawless, from what I've seen. There are sentences that are technically structured incorrectly, but it's done on purpose to set tone, and works well. A young, first person narrator will do that to you!

I'm very very curious about the world so far. We're getting little tidbits of worldbuilding woven very smoothly into the story, and it's painting a very cool picture. The plot itself is fun, although I'm a little bit concerned and will be keeping an eye out in case it starts turning into a dime-a-dozen "raaaar amgry at losing must grind stats instead of ever having character growth." It seems to be avoiding that pitfall so far, though. 

So far we have one and a half characters, but I like what we've seen! Looking forward to seeing if we're about to upgrade to two full characters, which is looking likely. It doesn't feel like a lonely story so far though.

All in all, a great work so far! Looking forward to seeing where it goes from here! :D


First five chapters were highly enjoyable. Our main character, a baby snake turned ouroborous, is endearing and fierce. This is the first story to introduce me to the concept of an ascended creature (one who has eaten a core), so I'm eager to see next week's installment. Grammar is fairly flawless, though sentences could be trimmed here and there. There was no repeating information, and I felt the paragraphs were nicely sized. Looking forward to seeing where the little snek's adventure takes us!


I like the Snek, Snek is nice. Snek is reverent of the Great Core, like all Should be. Read Snek and enjoy.

If you enjoyed The Snek Report, you'll love this. The thought process of the Snek and its rationalizations for the things it encounters is the real meat of this story.



Hallowed Raven

I like snakes. I like stories. I especially enjoy stories about snakes. The writing is good, with only my poor reading comprehension stopping me from just completely losing myself to it.

Also, just for funzies, here is my opinion on the idea of ouroboros. Please don’t take this seriously.

Snakes are almost universal, with only Antarctica, Canada, the Northern bits of Asia, and Ireland being notably safe (although snakes were never in Ireland, so St. Patrick removed a different kind of “venomous creatures”). This allows many cultures to interact with them and figure out different ways to slot them into their mythos, and allow different cultures to understand the gist of “ouroboros”, but Occam’s razor be damned, I think my explanation is cooler. The base of this idiotic string of ideas is tied to ball pythons. Ball pythons, as you might have guessed, are a type of snake. They are very common as pets, leading to them having a large market for specific colors and patterns. One of the rarer patterns is the “spider morph.” This morph’s gene is directly tied to a lack of coordination and balance, making the sale of such snakes to be banned in many circles. In my eyes, this could allow for a different gene to break: the one that controls your kinesthetic sense (a general understanding of where body parts are in relation to one another). This is important to ouroboros, trust me. Another thing to note is the natural habitat of the ball python, being west and central Africa. If you’ve done your history, you might understand that this is just about where humans were likely to have come from. If  somehow magically stars aligned, it might have happened where a group of humans migrating, could have run into a snake, (not a ball python, but that one with venom) had managed to be born without the gene that gave them their kinesthetic sense. And if that snake had managed despite it’s disabilities to reach the length that it could see its tail by the time the humans were there, potentially the snake could have bit its own tail, with the pain from the tail convincing the snake that the prey was fighting back, so it should bite harder, causing a feedback loop. On top of all that, the human must have seen this one snake biting its tail, causing the root of the story. Now that a single group of humans knows of the ouroboros, the group can split off, allowing some different places to understand it while leaving the others in the dark. In short, all that would need to happen would be as follows;

A: The potential for a genetic deficiency would need to jump from the spider morph gene to a gene that controls kinesthetic sense, across the family tree from a constrictor to “colubroid” snakes. 

B: A snake with the broken gene would need to survive to a reasonable size, managing to not be immediately killed by anything around it.

C: A group of Homo Sapiens would need to be in the area of the snake, perfectly at the time where it would strike itself, before they can even have the chance to see it.

D: The story and idea of ouroboros would need to stay relevant in the minds of this group even as they move across the world but the idea can never be too prevalent because that would force even more religions to use ouroboros subsets.

How very likely. Why did you read this far?


The snek is forever loyal to the great core. It's will is unwavering, and any enemies that stand between it and its diety will succumb before it's might. 

This fic is super cute, probably in part because of the beautiful snek-thoughts narration style, but it also has that satisfying progression element that you come to RR for. Go on, read it! If you enjoyed stories like Shade Touched, you'll enjoy this one too. 


This is a well written story from the perspective of a snake spawned by the Great Core with a habit of biting its own tail. I've noticed no mistakes in grammar, the characters feel pretty real, and while we haven't been told much about the world as a whole explicitly, the bits that we have been given so far hint at a solid foundation for an interesting world.


Strong Writing, Rough Premise

Reviewed at: Chapter 61: Home Again

TLDR: It’s good, but I worry the author’s strong writing might not end up being enough to salvage the odd juxtaposition of the story's base premise. 

I started writing this as a (smaller) comment on the most recent chapter, and about halfway through I realized, I wasn’t so much commenting as I was reviewing the story as a whole. This is the first one of these long form reviews I have done, and I’m doing it because I have such oddly conflicting feelings about this story. I hope it's helpful to someone:

I really like the main character, his point of view, and particularly his interactions with the supporting cast. The characterisation of the relationships and adorable misunderstandings between the cast are amazing . This snek is easily the best snek. The main issue with the story is its premise. This is a litrpg progression time loop story. 

In most time loop stories, the character's progress is carried over from loop to loop. Over many loops Bill Murray learns to play the piano, Zorian becomes a master mage, and Quicksave achieves his perfect run, but because progression in this world comes from a System, progress gets wiped away when the loop restarts. Spending multiple chapters farming for experience and/or seeking out traits and then wiping away both the experience and traits when the loop starts over makes those chapters feel pointless, not only in retrospect, but also while I’m reading the chapters because I know that a loop is, in all likelihood, on the horizon. I find myself skimming chapters because I know that nothing that happens in them will matter.

I’m not sure if this issue can be fixed. I’m also not sure if this issue needs to be fixed or if it is a problem purely as a result of my own subjective taste. As with all things, I suppose time will tell.


The story makes for a fun read, and the quality of writing is a breath of fresh air, even when described from the unusual perspective of the MC :)

If you like litrpg with a non-human MC, it is definitely worth a read!

I look forward to seeing how this one progresses :)


Most stories with an animal.MC devolve... this story remains captivating, fun, enthralling, and manages to truly connect, empathize... so far one of my favorites being an interesting, refreshing take on a non human main character.  Jesus christ !! I just wanted  to give a good review  about a story I loved.. not write a fricking book ... the 50 words review policy is really annoying