Jackal Among Snakes

Jackal Among Snakes

by Nemorosus

Warning This fiction contains:
  • Traumatising content

The royal bastard of House Vasquer, Argrave, has changed after his stay studying magic at the Tower of the Gray Owl. The sickly man's awkward posture and cruel behavior have been replaced with a neat dignity and acerbic wit. His listless life has found a path of undeniable purpose. Most come away thinking he seems to know too many details about too much. Few can claim to know his motives or his goals. 

Behind the scenes, though, the primary contributor for an open-world RPG's wiki battles existential dread and things far beyond his ken as he struggles to adapt to a grim, gothic fantasy world that he had the misfortune to claim as his favorite game. This is his tale.

#####What to expect from this story#####

This piece is a high-fantasy style story, featuring many of the species and surroundings one might expect to find in such a world. The cultures are original and well-developed, with the primary setting being a European-style feudal society. Warfare, fell beasts, and natural disasters are commonplace in Berendar, and take the center of many plots. The protagonist is a smooth-talker, but the world does not exist for him; he must struggle to gain power. 

Releases 4x a week: Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday!

Cover by Mitchell Kirby: mdkultra.com

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Author
Nemorosus

Nemorosus

Esquire

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Table of Contents
101 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Valhalla-Bound at the Speed of Sound ago
Chapter 2: Unsocial Visit ago
Chapter 3: Choosing Between Boredom and Suffering ago
Chapter 4: Hot Nights, Cool Looks ago
Chapter 5: Bloody Hard Work ago
Chapter 6: Hitchhiking is Dangerous ago
Chapter 7: Argrave, Meet Margrave ago
Chapter 8: Sun Tzu Teaches Horseplay ago
Chapter 9: Non-Illegal Robbery ago
Chapter 10: Early Onset Eldritch-Induced Baldness ago
Chapter 11: Lion Cub's First Hunt ago
Chapter 12: Strike Up the Band ago
Chapter 13: A Prince's Penalty ago
Chapter 14: A Prince's Prize ago
Chapter 15: Supersession ago
Chapter 16: Firebrand and the Cat ago
Chapter 17: Theory to Reality ago
Chapter 18: Raging Tempest, Roaring Flames ago
Chapter 19: The Sad Clown ago
Chapter 20: Royal Road to Misery (2) ago
Chapter 21: Sick in Heart and Mind ago
Chapter 22: Sick Tension ago
Chapter 23: Insomnia ago
Chapter 24: Changing Wind and Reign ago
Chapter 25: The Swordfish Sharpens ago
Chapter 26: The Holy Fool ago
Chapter 27: Dread Breath of War ago
Chapter 28: Confronting the Long Sleep ago
Chapter 29: Walkthrough: Galamon% ago
Chapter 30: First Contact ago
Chapter 31: Machine Learning ago
Chapter 32: Blood Drive ago
Chapter 33: Stowaway Jackal ago
Chapter 34: Damned, Their Fate ago
Chapter 35: Promising Prospects ago
Chapter 36: Leave it to Fate ago
Chapter 37: Songs of War ago
Chapter 38: Scorched Earth ago
Chapter 39: Darker Skies ago
Chapter 40: The Marketplace of Ideas ago
Chapter 41: Parting ago
Chapter 42: Parade of Steel ago
Chapter 43: High Roller ago
Chapter 44: Used Spellbook Salesman ago
Chapter 45: Farewells ago
Chapter 46: Come Wind or Rain ago
Chapter 47: Beneath the Lion's Sun ago
Chapter 48: Ambition and Anger ago
Chapter 49: White Edge ago
Chapter 50: Bandages ago
Chapter 51: Hothouse Flower ago
Chapter 52: Prehistoric Fears ago
Chapter 53: The Blind Will See ago
Chapter 54: Amaranthine Heart ago
Chapter 55: Hibernation ago
Chapter 56: Escape ago
Chapter 57: The City of Magic ago
Chapter 58: Into the Dark Streets ago
Chapter 59: Stain ago
Chapter 60: Profligate ago
Chapter 61: Book Mule ago
Chapter 62: Siblings of Vyrbell ago
Chapter 63: Friends in the Business ago
Chapter 64: Sowing Seeds ago
Chapter 65: A Brief Foray ago
Chapter 66: Thorngorge Citadel ago
Chapter 67: Order of the Rose ago
Chapter 68: Breaking Walls ago
Chapter 69: Lion's Paw ago
Chapter 70: Anneliese ago
Chapter 71: A Prince's Example ago
Chapter 72: Grandfather Acquired ago
Chapter 73: Purple Haze All in His Eyes ago
Chapter 74: Negotiations ago
Chapter 75: Castellan of the Empty ago
Chapter 76: Proper Eating ago
Chapter 77: One Percent ago
Chapter 78: One Job ago
Chapter 79: It Can't Happen ago
Chapter 80: Wrapping Up ago
Chapter 81: Farewell Once Again ago
Chapter 82: The Wider World ago
Chapter 83: Backpacking ago
Chapter 84: Stone Vigil ago
Chapter 85: Thorny Hospitality ago
Chapter 86: Stone and Bone ago
Chapter 87: The Lame Will Walk ago
Chapter 88: Oppressive March ago
Chapter 89: Fewer Options ago
Chapter 90: Poor Timing ago
Chapter 91: Dependent Thought ago
Chapter 92: Menagerie of Morbidity ago
Chapter 93: Heads and Tails ago
Chapter 94: Butting Heads ago
Chapter 95: Moving Hearts of Stone ago
Chapter 96: Death in his Breath ago
Chapter 97: Selling Air ago
Chapter 98: No Rest for the Wicked ago
Chapter 99: Night of Withering ago
Chapter 100: Unsullied Knife ago
Chapter 101: Sentinel's Capstone ago

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HoloSol
Overall

Main Character is rational without being a psycho

Reviewed at: Chapter 17: Theory to Reality

✅ Likable Main Character

✅ Pacing

✅ Good Side Characters

🆗 World Building

🆗 Somewhat unrealistic character interactions 


The main character is witty (actually) and intelligent. Unlike other stories where the MC is dumb as all hell, in which  other characters only exist to validate and constantly remind us that the MC is intelligent, this is a breath of fresh air. He is snarky and witty in the best way possible. Argrave carries the story. My one issue is that the reincarnation aspect is sometimes used in overly contrived ways, but overall it's definitely a net positive to the story.

Magiker
Overall

Great Start & Lots of Promise

Reviewed at: Chapter 41: Parting

We're only at chapter two, but this story has a fantastic start.  The MC has already been brought to life and had a great interaction with a promising side character.  The plot has promise.  Also, this is a very well written story with excellent editing and grammar so far. 

Looking forward to more, and will update this review as it arrives.

Update: so now we're at chapter 14, and this story continues to roll on with style and I am impressed. I really like this main character.  We have also met at least one true villain, and another antagonist that is likeable. The plot is pulling me in and I eagerly look forward to each chapter as they come.  

NastySquire
Overall

This is fantastic.

Little to no problems with grammar. Wasn't looking for them but I can't recall any. The characters that have been introduced so far, even if shortly, have their own quirks to make them feel real and not two-dimensional.

The world is interesting and already bits and pieces are shown to help our view of it grow without info-dropping. The way that the story is written really brings me into it and makes me want to discover more.

sailagi
Overall

Thank you for your hard work. The story is intresting and engaging while still remaining easy to digest. It's especially nice to see how cohesive it is, compared to I can't cure deceit, although I'm still waiting for a particular flavour of insanity to show up : ) 

Looking forward to future chapters. 

IsTiredAndNeedsToPoop
Overall

Among the smoothest reading on RR. The plot is intruiging and the protagonist competent.

Recommended.

 

My only niggle is that the setup: "protagonist enters computer game as a real world" is brushed off as if it happens all the time. I know it's not interesting to belabour a common RR trope, but this is the other extreme.

Vilucide
Overall

I don't usually go for reincarnation stories where Chara ters have knowledge of events, but our main character being a normal person, and forgetting things is helping immensely. He feels like an actual person, rather than a walking computer recalling even the smallest details, somehow. Even with the beginning chapters of this story he is seen to work hard to achieve things and to learn about a new world. 

bob7777
Overall

Most solid version of this type of story I've read

Reviewed at: Chapter 16: Firebrand and the Cat

Charactet-imported-into-game-he-likes is almost its own sub genre at this point. But I really like this one, as it genuinely feels like there are challenges and enemies that will be hard for the MC to just overcome with game knowledge. Also he fully utilizes game knowledge as part of the plot, which helps a lot with internal logic compared to a lot of these stories. Finally the characters are somewhat 3D, and fun.

Issues:

MC seems to be doing a lot of running around without any explanations of his actual motives/goals. Is he a hero? Does he want power? Money? Idk, it's a fun journey, but the MC is acting with strong, confident purpose, without a clear motive.

With that, my other standard gripe with most stories in this genre, MC almost immediately accimitizes/excels to being yhrown into a different life, which to any real person would be an earth shattering revelation with the grief of having lost everything they ever cared about, and having to live in a mideval setting. Buuut if your considering this story you've probably made your peace with that troupe, and this story is no worse than most at 

Final thought: 

Maybe unfairly, I'm assuming the author was somewhat inspired to post this based on the success of Tori Transmigrated ( another story of being isekai'f into an in game villain). I get bored by the slice of life theme there, so the similar premise with a comparatively fast plot and action while staying light hearted really hit the spot for me.

 

Anyway, that's my ramble, try it out!!

 

Mark Arrows
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Sometimes when there's so many variations on the same base trope, it's hard to tell which stories are the best compared to others. For example, there's a lot of stories out there about someone showing up into a game world they know everything on.

Well, this particular niche genre doesn't have that problem anymore. This story is the best of them all. 

I could go down the itemized list of what works, but it's hard to point out any one thing as the reason people should read this. The only conclusion I can come up with is that it does everything well in equal amount. 

Characters are all unique, each of them interesting in their own way. 

Story flows with a constant pace. World feels well fleshed out and lived in. There's politics, but nothing overwhelming as to alienate readers just looking for a fun read. Just the right amount.

Basically everything has been polished up to a mirror shine. It all adds up to a compelling binge read that's simply the most balanced story I've read so far.

So if the premises of being stuck in the mostly-real version of a video game with encyclopedic knowledge appeals to the reader, this should be required reading.

A lot of time and skill was put into writing this story and it shows. To the author:  A+ work my man

TwoChaptersAndADream
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Not bad, but not worth the rave reviews either.

Reviewed at: Chapter 11: Lion Cub's First Hunt

I think this is a decent villian reincarnation/ redemption story. The plot is straightforward,  the story is is fast paced, grammar is as good as you'll find on RR and it has a quick update schedule to give it that quality only quantity can bring. If this is an inexperienced author, it really is very well done. 

But. I couldn't continue reading because the story is just too eager to break its own rules and mechanics when it is cool for the MC to do so.  The main character has a classic (dark) wizard build, good at magic and intelligent but balanced by a trait that prevents him from being physically strong. He is reincarnated as a minor side villain,  with obviously many death flags ahead. Add on top of that an awkward social status and the (implied) people skills of a nerd,  and you have the recipe for this interesting ride.

So far so good; except that "balance" goes right out the window. For example, the weak mc, incapable of lifting a stack of books,  suddenly becomes able to throw large-ish objects across a room with pinpoint accuracy. He's one of the smoothest oraters I've seen in mc's lately: in his first meeting with most of the game characters, he instantly recognizes everyone,  talks as if he is very familiar with them (despite only knowing them from wiki page knowledge) and isnt flustered or excited at all by meeting the characters he must have been a pretty big fan of in his previous life. The characters,  in turn,  react oddly to his (newfound?) attitude, letting the mc intrude in their lives and lecture them regardless of difference in social status or familiarity with the character. Side characters in general came across as a little flat, but then again i wasn't in too many chapters in.  As the story goes on,  the disconnect between the explained mechanics and the shown abilities of the mc only increases. At one point the mc rides a horse for hours at great speed and under challenging circumstances,  despite it being clear neither the original character nor the reincarnator knew even the basics of horseriding before that day. I don't know about you,  but i feel like that's an extremely physical activity, well beyond lifting a bunch of books for a few flights of stairs.

I think that's a shame because to me,  the mc is anything but weak even just going by his abilities as written. Sadly,  instead of using the powers the mc has access to, he consistently solves situations with (superhuman) abilities or skills that he should not have according to the narrative. His magic is extremely useful and versatile,  which makes it odd when he (=intelligent but weak?) relies mainly on physical strength or agility for his plans, at least up to the point where I read.  The arbitray effect of his "weaknesses" makes it awkward when those are played up for plot reasons later on.

All said, I think this story would be a great read for people who like OP protagonists, action-packed, rapid updates and don't mind a little plot armor here and there. If your disbelief has faulty suspenders like mine,  maybe keep looking.  

luda305
Overall

It's a bit overblown. It's top 500 material, but not top 50 or 5. 

The story is very fast paced. The style is rather compelling and it's a good page turner. It's basically a speed-run where you know where all the good loot is and how to get to it. 

The characters are pretty wacky. The protagonist is a hot mess of a bundle. The outward facade he projects is strange and never explained, despite clearly being an act. As to the side characteras, there are far too many for us to be dealing with on this pace. Some are nicely fleshed out, but a lot are too shallow for how much time we spend with them. 

The story is pretty typical. That said, while the start was pretty good (spending a few months at a academy), after that, it basically becomes a Speedrun on insane mode but knowing where all the best loot is. It's too easy. Contra Tori Transmigrated where even if she's familiar with the world, she was to work really hard and no magical artifact just lands in her lap. 

Also, not relevant to the review, but the title confuses me and the cover is creepy. 

EDIT: new cover art. Now, less creepy, though the art style is unique.