Dawn of the Void - a LitRPG Apocalypse

Dawn of the Void - a LitRPG Apocalypse

by pwtucker

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

Tragedy had reduced James to a nobody. Washed up and homeless in NYC, he thought his life was over.

Then a message appeared in his vision:

60,000 year countdown has ended
Nemesis 1 released
Please acknowledge

As the world falls apart, as billions die, as society collapses and all hope seems lost, James discovers a powerful truth: he was wrong to think himself a nobody.

With the dawn of the Void, he'll become the most important person to have ever lived.

Release Schedule: 5 Chapters a week; Mon-Fri.
Dawn of the Void is ONLY published on Royal Road and my Patreon. Please notify me if you find it elsewhere.

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5th Anniversary
Word Count (15)
Top List #50
Table of Contents
149 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
Chapter 1: Nemesis ago
Chapter 2: This Makes Total Sense ago
Chapter 3: Arete ago
Chapter 4: Two Million Dead ago
Chapter 5: Honey, guns cost money ago
Chapter 6: Stay informed. Watch the news. Stay alive. ago
Chapter 7: I want an 8 Ball ago
Chapter 8: Sexy Lumberhomelessjack Dude ago
Chapter 9: What a shit show ago
Chapter 10: The National Guard is here to help ago
Chapter 11: No time for this BS ago
Chapter 12: Kill zones ago
Chapter 13: Monitor ago
Chapter 14: Power ago
Chapter 15: Don’t you go dying on me ago
Chapter 16: A Lot of Important People ago
Chapter 17: The Keys to FAO Schwartz ago
Chapter 18: Avengers ago
Chapter 19: Smitey smite ago
Chapter 20: Fourth Wave ago
Chapter 21: Brutal lessons ago
Chapter 22: Go Time ago
Chapter 23: Nemesis 2 ago
Chapter 24: Order from Chaos ago
Chapter 25: The Big Guns ago
Chapter 26: Learning to Optimize ago
Chapter 27: Por que no los dos? ago
Chapter 28: Sacred Strike ago
Chapter 29: Get Some ago
Chapter 30: Trust ago
Interludes ago
Chapter 31: Getting our own crew together ago
Chapter 32: A speech to give and a war to organize ago
Chapter 33: Band of Killers ago
Chapter 34: Esprit de corpse ago
Chapter 35: Into the Hive ago
Chapter 36: Crown of Flesh ago
Chapter 37: Black gem ago
Chapter 38: Decisions ago
Chapter 39: Iron ago
Chapter 40: The Bear of Wall Street ago
Chapter 41: Aura Mastery ago
Chapter 42: Bureaucratic bullshit ago
Chapter 43: The major’s offer ago
Chapter 44: Cowardice ago
Chapter 45: Blue Light ago
Chapter 46: Hard Sell ago
Chapter 47: Ma Deuces ago
Chapter 48: Big axes work, yo ago
Chapter 49: Montecristo's ago
Chapter 50: The ashes of everything now ago
Chapter 51: Divine death machines ago
Chapter 52: Trauma ago
Chapter 53: Manhattan ago
Chapter 54: Fuck you, Jobu ago
Chapter 55: Gloria ago
Chapter 56: That's All You Got? ago
Chapter 57: Upgrades ago
Chapter 58: Is a knife evil? ago
Chapter 59: Wealth and power ago
Chapter 60: Lies ago
Chapter 61: CSM ago
Chapter 62: Shield of Faith ago
Chapter 63: Smite ago
Chapter 64: Bless ago
Chapter 65: The leader of the free world ago
Chapter 66: Situation Room ago
Chapter 67: Angel Wing ago
Chapter 68: The secrets we carry ago
Chapter 69: As close to family as I’ve got ago
Chapter 70: 3-Day ago
Chapter 71: Nemesis 3 ago
Chapter 72: Get there fast ago
Chapter 73: Elmsford ago
Chapter 74: New Haven ago
Chapter 75: Temptation ago
Chapter 76: Harsh Lessons ago
Chapter 77: Old Crow, Yukon ago
Chapter 78: Sola Anima ago
Chapter 79: Imbuing ago
Chapter 80: Count Down ago
Chapter 81: Red Line ago
Chapter 82: Ethics. Or a crude attempt at ‘em ago
Chapter 83: Someday. Not today. ago
Chapter 84: Interviews ago
Chapter 85: #dontlookdontdie ago
Chapter 86: Gearing Up ago
Chapter 87: Third Wave ago
Chapter 88: Arete 100 ago
Chapter 89: Bronze ago
Chapter 90: Inside ago
Chapter 91: Crisis ago
Chapter 92: The System ago
Chapter 93: Canis ago
Chapter 94: Apparatus Bellicus Prime ago
Chapter 95: Inspiration ago
Chapter 96: BRRRRRR ago
Chapter 97: Dikastís ago
Chapter 98: Hive ago
Chapter 99: The Virtue of Justice ago
Chapter 100: Old Friends ago
Chapter 101: Jersey ago
Chapter 102: Star Boy ago
Chapter 103: My kind of terrible ago
Chapter 104: Bouncy castle from hell ago
Chapter 105: Old Crow ago
Chapter 106: Jaywick ago
Chapter 107: Defiance ago
Chapter 108: Belanger ago
Chapter 109: Demon promises are shit ago
Chapter 110: Kumite ago
Chapter 111: Light Eternal ago
Chapter 112: Reservoir Cube ago
Chapter 113: 2,315 Unspent Points ago
Chapter 114: Party Time ago
Chapter 115: Cohesion ago
Chapter 116: Rampage ago
Chapter 117: Nem8 Queen ago
Chapter 118: Cleaning House ago
Chapter 119: Upgrades ago
Chapter 120: Mortis Castrum ago
Chapter 121: Ready to Party ago
Chapter 122: Engagement ago
Chapter 123: Just Cruising ago
Chapter 124: Aeviternum Hurricane ago
Chapter 125: TARGET ELIMINATED ago
Chapter 126: Cornucopia Seed ago
Chapter 127: Earlier ago
Chapter 128: Revelations ago
Chapter 129: There was someone here waiting for me ago
Chapter 130 ago
Chapter 131: Old Friends ago
Chapter 132 ago
Chapter 133: Going where you're not wanted ago
Chapter 134: Backrooms ago
Chapter 135: Divine Heart ago
Chapter 136: Siege ago
Chapter 137: How to troll a hundred million demons ago
Chapter 138: Exponential ago
Chapter 139: The rarest of the three ago
Chapter 140: We have to fight ago
Chapter 141: The three big D's ago
Chapter 142: Acceptable perimeters ago
Chapter 143: Bifrost ago
Chapter 144: We’re all fucked up ago
Chapter 145: My Life as a Boom-Machine ago
Chapter 146: What if they’re hot aliens? ago
Chapter 147: Not in Kansas ago
Chapter 148: A promise of benevolation ago

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I'm really sad to have to write this review. I have really enjoyed the beginning of the stories, and I have been a patreon for a few months.

However, the author has announced that he is unable to continue the story for as long as he wanted, and decided to finish the story quickly. Unfortunately, the quality has dropped since then and the story feel rushed. I will probably keep reading until then but I cannot recommend the story as it is. 

I hope the author will be able to write his next story as much as he wants.


There's parts of this story that are well done and encouraging, however the author decides to tackle too many real life "issues" without having the knowledge behind (which seems like a common thought based on other reviews). I think there's a good story here but it will need a rewrite and much more research on the authors end before it gets there. 

It's a very idyllic picture of a mentally unwell homeless guy, and although it makes an interesting character it does make a lot of the actions of other characters/institutios in the story come off as really dumb. This is pretty immersion breaking although I'm sure a decent chunk of people will be able to look it past. 

Worth a try, although it's very RRie at this point, but a rewrite and more work on the authors end could make it a publishable book eventually.


The Bones of the Story are There.

Reviewed at: Chapter 18: Avengers

Overall: I'll preface this by saying that I'm not the target audience for these kinds of stories. I dislike Lit-RPG stories. I feel they can be unwieldy and get into common character trappings of treating the MC like a power gamer in a world of brainless NPC's. While the premise of this story, the conceit of it is interesting, and the mechanical bits aren't obtrusive to the reading experience, I find myself rolling my eyes more often than not to the rocketting supremacy of James and Serenity and the governing coalition they become in charge of. 

Grammar: Shortest section here. The story reads well and I found little grammatical errors. Sentence structure is varied and overall pleasant to go through.

Character Score: There aren't a lot of characters that have been looked at with any level of scrutiny aside from James and Serenity. Their chemistry is solid and their backgrounds as flawed people is compelling. I like that unlike the typical power gaming tropes that other Lit-RPG's fall through, these two are approaching the mechanical bits by fumbling around to see what works. There's hints to James past as an EMT that are neat and color his perspective on the issues the world is facing and is going to face. Serenity is abrasive and crude a lot of the time but I find that to be refreshing. Its a confidence built out of struggle and circumstance. Whether more characters are developed the way these two were, remains to be seen.

Style: Dawn of the Void does a lot to alleviate the gripes I have with the Lit-RPG formula in its thematic beats and its game systems. For one, framing the apocalypse in a biblical sense is novel and the status screen of choices a character can make are easy to understand upon first glance. You're not thrown over the deep end with obtuse line breaks and bold texts outlining what stat is being used for which ability. It's easily understandable.

Moreover, the conceit of a wave styled invasion always keeps the tension present for the reader. Yes, they're combatting hordes of monsters now, but the hourglass looms overhead of what is yet to arrive and I like this. Mechanically, it means the characters can't just sit somewhere and grind out points for their skills and experience. Narratively, it's a race against the clock for our characters to become well equipped and prepared for the next wave of monsters, the mystery of whether that work will be enough or not being a compelling reason to continue reading. At least...

Story: ...if the story wasn't quick to shatter my suspension of disbelief so thoroughly with its recent developments. The initial conceit of the story, two broken people trying to survive against an apocalypse together, is room for compelling narrative alone. The story started to sour on me with the advent of the National Guard and the governing bodies plot element.

I do not believe, not for one second, that our governing institutions would trust the advice and wisdom of some homeless TikTok personality. Not only because the idea of it is ludicrous on the face of it, but because the experimentation that our character performed is statistically likely to have been done by others, especially in a population dense area like New York. Forgetting the formation of this named institution and the likelihood that the governments bureaucratic institutions could survive the culling of several millions of people, the speed at which all of this forms is just preposterous.

What could very easily have been a compelling narrative exploring the effects of the apocalypse from the perspective of real people has taken a direction I have less of an interest in. 

I'm likely going to continue reading a bit further. At the very least, this Lit-RPG story has changed my opinion on the genre as a whole slightly towards positive. It's story, however, is beginning to check boxes that will leave me to check out.


General writing style and grammar are good pacing is solid, and generalities of the genre are all good.

Where I get lost is in the details. The author is trying to write heavily about topics regarding the military and its culture, government, homelessness, mental health, and addiction without having nearly enough background knowledge on how to write them well. It's obvious that some cursory research was done, but the few things that were gotten right only make the things that were gotten wrong more glaring. 

It probably won't be glaringly bad for everyone, but as a guy who spent his entire adult life either in the Army or working mental health/addiction programs for the government, it chafes more and more with every chapter. 

I really wanted to like this novel, but its too ambitious by half. 


I was quite engaged with the story for the first time 100 or so chapters. Enjoyed the system, the ways society adapted or didn't, the tension of the apocalypse, etc. It wasn't perfect but it was good. Then from what I guess was either fatigue or realizing how much content the author set up, they decided to accerlate the story. Characters got huge power boosts, new enemy types came all at once, and overall everything was just pushed ahead. I understand writing fatigue and overreaching the story's scope, so I am mainly just dissappointed the story had to start heading in this direction.


Torn in two directions

Reviewed at: Chapter 61: CSM

I have an alternate take on this one. To me it feels like this story wants to be two things at once, and that's what's bringing my ratings down. Maybe important fyi: I'm coming to this from the author's story Bastion (which I preferred). More info after I try to cover the individual categories.

Style: Well above average.

Grammar: Excellent. No reason to belabor that.

Character: Depends on what you want. For my part I think it's good to have characters that have to deal with trauma. I just feel like this is held back by the general tone.The [email protected] and murder in the MC's backstory feel better suited to a murderhobo story than one that fleshes out its characters a little more. Also wish that we got deeper into the side characters.

Story: Here is my core problem with the fic. It's torn between power fantasy (how OP Arete is at the start, the MC's mental turnaround, etc) and fiction with more rational growth and power systems (humanity's teamwork, social systems, etc). I have nothing against power fantasy, either is fine. But this one feels like it's jerking back and forth between satisfying people who want an OP MC and a more complicated story.


Honestly I love the Story so far. One of the only draw backs is it feels both rushed and slow at the same time. The characters feel well fleshed out and nice interactions between tech and magic. There are some wierd Power spikes but its not unreasonable. 4/5 just because of minor issues


This is the sort of interesting writting I came here for. I've been reading Web fiction for quite a while. This is one of the first fictions I've read that has a concept based in religious leaning and that made me leery at first but it blends quite well, isn't too heavy handed and the characters are relatable. What makes it special for me is that the author doesn't take the easy way out with villains. There are so many stories like this where the chief antagonist is or becomes a human in the fullness of the story even though a perfectly appropriate villain is already present, I think because we can empathise with the villain as well. But not this story so far and for that I'm quite glad!


Unfortunately this took a wrong turn. I liked the beginning when the MC started to develop, he had an interesting back story and progression.

But the whole detour into military buerocracy was increasingly uninteresting.

I also had little interest in his and his not-girlfriends relationship development.

I would have enjoyed it if the focus had stayed more on the weird alien monster slaying at a smaller scale, with him finding maybe a small group eventually.


Starts out as a story about OP powerhouse MC, turns into management of a thousand men strong legion. To make it even stranger, MC gets sidelined in this plot, because it turns out he's a fighter, and not a good manager so he gets demoted from a leader of the legion to a leader of a single platoon. Really bizarre shift that just made me lose faith in the story.