Godclads [Monster MC/Eldritch/Cyberpunk/Progression]

Godclads [Monster MC/Eldritch/Cyberpunk/Progression]

by OstensibleMammal

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

In the gutters of New Vultun, the greatest megacity in the world, Avo finds himself resurrected from the clutches of death and tasked with a mission by a father he long thought dead. Now, he must rise to stop the usurpation of reality by the Eight Great Guilds that rule his world. Only by learning from his deaths and grafting newer and greater eldritch gods onto his being can he reach apotheosis and avert certain damnation.

Yet, as he ascends to claim the mantle of divinity, a question lingers... what kind of god will he become?


Chapters will usually be around 2.5 to 3k words and updates daily at the present.

Declaimer: Expect detailed descriptions of violence, cannibalism, and cursing.

Expect: Violence, monster mc, magitech, cyberpunk, implants, atrocities, oppression, non-human protagonist, reality-warping powers, and combined arms warfare.

Do not expect: Smut, romance, overt sentimentality.

If you develop a sudden outbreak of rash after reading Godclads, it's not the story. But go see a doctor. Just in case.

[Currently increasing releases for the Royal Road Writathon challenge]

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Author
OstensibleMammal

OstensibleMammal

Achievements
1,500 Followers
Royal Writathon October 2022 winner
Word Count (12)
350 Comments
100,000 Views
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Top List #200
Fledgling Reviewer (IV)
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Table of Contents
64 Chapters
Chapter Name Release Date
THE INDEX ago
0-1 Hunger ago
1-1 Resurrection ago
1-2 Scavengers ago
1-3 FATELESS ago
2-1 The Crucible ago
2-2 Hunted ago
2-3 The Ascent ago
2-4 Titanium Phantoms ago
2-5 Resurrection: Block War ago
2-6 Slaughterman ago
2-7 The Right Kind of Broken ago
2-8 Mem-Locked ago
2-9 Angles of Attack ago
2-10 The Golem ago
2-11 Blood Metal ago
2-12 Counterattack ago
2-13 The Monster and the Ghoul ago
2-14 Heaveneater ago
2-15 Apotheosis ago
2-16 Welcome to New Vultun ago
3-1 Reception ago
3-2 Stay of Execution ago
3-3 Mirrorhead ago
3-4 Lying ago
3-5 Sanctum of Mirrors ago
3-6 Crystal Cages ago
3-7 The Symbiote ago
3-8 Celerity's Burn ago
3-9 The Bait ago
3-10 Like Dogs on Leashes ago
3-11 The Flesh of My Brothers ago
3-12 To Joust a Spider ago
3-13 Lunchtime Chat ago
3-14 Unwilling Survivor ago
3-15 Heart of the Machine ago
3-16 Might-Coulda ago
3-17 Performance Review ago
3-18 Interlude: Instruments of Memory ago
4-1 The Exo-Rig ago
4-2 The Tubes ago
4-3 The Gouge ago
4-4 A Milk-Run… ago
4-5 …Is Never a Milk-Run ago
4-6 The Scalpers ago
4-7 The First Circle ago
4-8 Fallen Heaven ago
4-9 Apotheosis II ago
4-10 Reap the Winds ago
4-11 Galebreaker ago
4-12 Loud ago
5-1 Bad Cop/Cannibal Cop ago
5-2 The Second Fortune ago
5-3 In the Fox's Den ago
5-4 The Agnos ago
5-5 Immortal Architecture ago
5-6 Immortal Architecture (II) ago
5-7 Tower or Sea ago
5-8 Alignment of Interests ago
5-9 Subtle ago
5-10 Blindside ago
5-11 Ghostjack ago
5-12 Exhalation ago
6-1 Synchronized ago

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caerulex
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Godclads is brilliant. It features an extremely creative cyberpunk setting with some of the best worldbuilding I've read, on par (in my opinion) with great sci-fi of the 20th century.

The Main Character

Our MC, Avo, is a ghoul–a supposedly subhuman monster. Here, ghoul doesn't mean ghoul like a zombie, or animated corpse. They are not undead–ghouls are a biological creation. They are humanoid in appearance, difficult to kill (need to destroy their brain), strong, infectious, and ravenous. Ghoul is a fitting name for them.

Being smart is one thing they are not known for. They're bestial, driven by instincts programmed into them–to cause pain, to kill, to feed. Impulsive. They are also obsolete. Stronger than humans, yes–but far weaker than the mechs, powerful augmentations, and terrifying weapons used by the Guilds, the organizations that run the world.

As I said, our MC, Avo, is a ghoul... but his development takes a different path. Years ago, addled, nearly starved to death, he lay waiting for death. A man approached and, rather than killing the monster, offered it a chance. Adopted it. Gave it–him–a name.

Avo.

Avo turns out to be extremely intelligent, with a mind for strategy. As a ghoul, Avo is built for psychopathy, but he strives to live by his father's code: To not kill those who cannot choose–the destitute and desperate, children. The FATELESS: "An unregistered civilian; an individual who has yet to earn Guild sponsorship via merit or lottery."

The Setting

The world is grim, at least what we see of it. The gulf between the haves and have-nots is all but insurmountable. People are usually worth more dead than they are alive. Ghosts are very real and can be used to create constructs, to guide missiles, to create wards, to scout, to null (kill) people's minds.

Very short excerpt from a chapter 3 epigraph that gives a taste for the world better than I can describe:

[The FATELESS] own nothing and rent everything from the Guilds, meaning that they functionally have no concrete value in the market. No freedom. Education is free, but considering the Undercroft is already ten billion lives over capacity, they won’t be making it up even if there were geniuses among them! They can’t even have any physical intimacy, for Jaus’ sake. Forget sex, a godsdamned kiss on the cheek will cause an outbreak of the rash. Then, they get to watch their block get glassed.

[...]

The next time you ask why the Warrens are filled with organ-smugglers, joy-fiends, gangers, snuffers, and scavengers, think to yourself how much they’re worth to us alive versus how much their Essence can fuel our Souls when dead.

We’re running on a necro-economy. And they know. They know but they can’t do anything about it.

There’s no difference between us and the gluttonous gods that used to rule us.

 

The Story

The story starts with Avo having a really bad day. He wakes up in the middle of a gigantic landfill full of rotting bodies, with no memory of the past week. Worse, his Metamind is gone–essentially, his personal system of sorts. Imagine someone who is a professional hacker, whose tools and skills are accessible via a device that interfaces straight with their mind. Avo is such a hacker–a skilled necrojack. But his kit is gone!!! :(

He's a ghoul, though, so he isn't defenseless, but soon Avo finds himself in sticky situation after sticky situation. At the center of it all the strange new power that he seems to have acquired. As he begins to realize what the power is, and what it means for him, a ghoul, to have it...

Well. Things escalate. Avo is a ghoul built for mayhem and carnage, but who also tries to do the right thing. The plot gets so good and spicy. There's a realized "unlikely allies" trope that is extremely satisfying.

The Style

The book's style is perfect as far as I'm concerned. It doesn't get in the way. It's also great at capturing the thoughts of the MC.

I found a short excerpt from chapter 3 (the beginning, so no spoilers) that I think shows one of the best things about this book–the inner struggle of Avo to be good, fighting against his own nature. It also showcases the quality of prose you can expect to find. Emotionally charged, powerful scenes, lots of imagery, expressive dialogue. The epitome of show not tell.

He saw a tear spill free from her left eye. “I don’t want to die here…”

He sniffed. He could smell her encroaching death. It was evident in the blood loss. [...] She was poor. She was weak. She was going to die. And New Vultun would grow all the stronger for it.

“You will,” Avo said. She cried softly at his words. “I’m…sorry.” He considered how to make things better for them. At least a bit. “Debt slaves: the FATELESS. Where are they?”

Through her sobs, she laughed incredulously. “F-fuck you, rotlick.”

“Need to set them free,” Avo said. “Get them out. Make your death mean something.”

Her face froze. She looked at him again. “I don’t…understand.”

He knew how she felt. “Don’t either. Trying to learn still. Want to do the right thing. Help me. Please. Don’t just want you to be just another murder.”

He locked gazes with her. She swallowed. “Hurts,” she whispered. “I’m scared.”

A flash of annoyance rose inside him. This was useless. He should kill her and just– he repressed the urge. He tried to remember how he would feel if he still had a secondhand morality inducer. Shame. Guilt. Horror at killing. Violence was dissonant for humans. Shredded their psychology. [...]

“I know,” he said. Awkwardly, he reached down and took her soft hand into his, careful not to flense her with his cleaver-like claws. “Fear. Won’t last. The slaves? Where are they?”

She swallowed. “They’re below. Three levels down in the phase-pens. Signed premium contracts to be smuggled through the borders.” Distance filled her gaze. Peeking at her leg, he wondered how it would taste if he just took one bite. The injuries were deep. He could taste the marrow. He swallowed back his hunger. She was dying slowly, and the taste was delectable.

No. Bad. This was bad. He needed to remember how it felt to regret.

“I dreamed of making it up, you know,” she said, wheezing softly. “Wanted to see the…the Tiers. The real New Vultun. Be happy for once.” For the first time, she laughed. “Kinda fucking figured. I just…” Her lips thinned. “The door on the stern shouldn’t be locked. Look, it hurts real bad but…if you want to eat me…okay. Just don’t turn me. Saw…saw it happen to my…my ma. I can’t…I can’t.

Avo understood. The haemophage was a twin-edged sword. It subverted as much as it converted. Let it bleed into a living host with a prefrontal lobe and you’d have yourself a nest of ghoullings in minutes.

"Won’t do that,” Avo said. He thought about squeezing her hand, but her bones were soft. Unaugmented. Her heart was beginning to slow. The echo rippling within her coupled with the yolk of her ghost’s surface thoughts called to him. “Want me to kill you now?” He said it as a favor. Her face cracked, breaking into pure anguish and horror at the coming end.

“Oh…oh Jaus,” she sobbed. “Yes. Fuck! Do it, do it before I–”

He pulled free of her hand and took her by the throat. He squeezed like he intended to kill her instead of crushing her skull for torture. Her neck folded between his claws. Her body spasmed as she wheezed a final time, blood welling free from her eyes and mouth.

Without metal, without enhancements, the flesh of a flat was frail. Too frail for this new age. Baseline humanity was marching down the plank of extinction. Avo wondered if the flats were the adversary that the Low Masters had created his kind to face instead of the beings of alloy and fire that actually dwelled above. Clearly, they did not know the enemy.

 

Grammar

I can sometimes tell the author is writing quickly–there are grammatical errors in most chapters. They're all small, though–obvious mistakes made by going fast. They do not at all affect the quality of this work.

Conclusion

I give Godclads the highest recommendation.

As a final note to readers, the story starts very in media res. There's a lot of technobabble terminology in the beginning and it might seem a bit jarring, since very little is told to the reader outright. It might be a bit confusing because of this. I strongly encourage people to at least read through chapter 3, and if you're not hooked by the end of chapter 5 (2-2)... this might not be the book for you. But man, things really take off (in my opinion) with that chapter. I was completely hooked.

EDIT: there's an index now. It's very thorough and good. Use it if you get too confused. 👍

Midnite
Overall

The worldbuildining is great. Detailed without getting boring. Very complex but explained in pieces so it does not get overwhelming.

The MC is believable with motivations you can grasp.

Good dose of mystery, both for how and where the mc wakes up and the people he meets.

Action scenes are interesting.

Great work so far keep it up.

PlumParrot
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

Grim Science Fantasy vibe I've been craving.

Reviewed at: 2-4 Titanium Phantoms

Read this story! It was on the tip of my tongue, what this story reminded me of, and I'm not sure if my comparison is accurate, but the feeling I get from this author's prose is very similar to what felt when I first read Tamsyn Muir's Gideon the Ninth. Granted, that story isn't LitRPG, isn't even loosely a progression fantasy, but something about the science fantasy, and the tone and the world building - this story just reminds me of it. Oh, I should add - that's a compliment. This story is exceptionally well-written.

The narration is smooth and clean, and the prose is rife with hints about the larger world and society and make me want to read more to see if the world is as well-designed as it's hinted at. The MC is kind of monstrous, by design, but we are given good explanations for the motivations of their actions, and nothing horrific is dwelled upon by the author. Looking forward to see how the MC continues to change and grow.

As I dig deeper into the chapters, I'm finding the dialogues very well done, the interactions between the MC and the people he isn't trying to kill (and those he is!) are really believable and fun to read.

I think I've gushed enough about the style and the overall story. I'll say the Grammar is perfectly fine - a typo here and there, but nothing that makes it difficult to read. A copy editor would be happy to get something this clean to work with.

Yeah, so, read this story. Someone is working hard on this! It's not another joke story for the Writathon, it's the real deal.

Hopscotch
Overall

This story has sucked me in like a dark whirlpool of gritty fight scenes, mysterious forces and base urges of violence/hunger kept on a loose leash. Leash is probably too strong a word for it.

Im quite hooked.

My only criticism is that the verbiage used to describe the systems likely needs some help in being defined or shown explicitly. Maybe repeatedly at some point. You still get the importqnt parts but vagueness doesnt necessarily engender mystery.

The story being binged into my brain currently and Im loving it. If you dont want violence/cheap value of life as your story backdrop, best to shuffle on as a reader.

CalabanVIII
Overall

Cool book with nice stuff in it. Cyberpunk story with depth and mechanics and worldbuilding that puts a smile to my face.

I really enjoyed what I found and hope to see more.

I can't tell much about the characters so far but the MC atleast seems logical, and portrayed like an actual psychopathic cannibalistic Monster, that somehow integrated into society.

Great work Author

jayfiction99
Overall

This story has a lot of good going for it. Being a wonderfully brutal mix of eldritch magic, cyberpunk chrome and viseral gore. It illustrates a world that combines the worst of Night City from Cyberpunk and Throne from Kill 6 Billion Demons into a caleidoscope of carnage that dances to a beautiful tune the author weaves with their words. 

The MC is a really well done monstrous protag. Being a living weapon biologically programmed for sadism and psychopathy who is really trying to be a good person. Or at the very least a person. The author doesn't ever let you forget *what* the MC is, but also never makes him so horrible its impossible to root for him.

The magic and world is a lot more esoteric and alien than what you usually see and it works well. With Transhumanism, Cosmic Apotheosis, Necromancy/Netrunning, and brutal Sci-Fi tech running together in a interesting mix.

One warning though, the story is very gory at times and that might put some people off. Personally I found it logical to the world and not gratuitous, but I understand some people might not enjoy it. 

MrStaleman
Overall
Style
Story
Grammar
Character

A truly fantastic story with minor needs of polish

Reviewed at: 5-1 Bad Cop/Cannibal Cop

Overview: I picked this story up off a whim when I was indulging in another fiction and I'm glad I did so. So rarely do I get the pleasure of reading a story so capable of prose, so imaginative in its descriptors, so violent with its action, and so poetic with its chapter openers and ethical musings. Godsclad, to be succinct, is a beautiful work of fiction and I would recommend that everyone read it, should they be brave enough to contend with the only gripe I have in its buy-in; the science fiction terminology.

Grammar: Near perfect. Especially for a story that's being uploaded for the writathon.

Style: This world is a fully realized landscape with depth at every angle you look at it. I never knew mixing supernatural elements with cyberpunk could work but Godsclad makes it work and does so in spades. My only contention with this story is that in order for the world to feel fully realized, the author had to sacrifice ease of access to do so. There is a reason why there's an Index before the chapters begin. I personally did not read the Index. This did not detract from my enjoyment of the series as the author provides some context clues over the course of the story to have readers infer what words mean what but the terminology is dense and it will take time for you to contend with it. But when you do, damn is the story pleasurable.

Story: Our story follows the journey of Avo, a zombie monster person who wrestles with his biology as a cannibalistic monster with the hardcoded ethics taught to him by an enigmatic father figure named Walter. On premise alone, this is a tantalizing hook for a story. Add onto this skeleton the specifics to Avo's journey; he wakes up in a fresh pile of corpses resurrected, with no memory of where he is and what happened to his former life. He's attempting to piece his life back together and the world is presenting multiple obstacles in its prevention of that. All the while, the author provides perspectives from the worlds fictional mythos to add granularity to an already densely populated world and the ride is made that much better for it.

Character: I'm partial to monsterous characters and Ostensible Mammal has done a brilliant job of presenting a fleshed out main character with monstrous impulses that hasn't devolved into schlocky psychopathy. Avo is a man of ethics fighting of the biological urges embedded within him by his long dead creators and the writing does a fantastic job of showcasing this. The other characters we're shown are also memorable and fleshed out (although the cast is admittedly small at the moment of writing my review). The story, I feel, is partially a perspective piece on Avo's claim to raw power and his ability to cling to the humanistic ethics imprinted on him by the only father figure he's ever had. There's a desperation and melancholic sweetness to this cannibal that's magnetic to read through.

Please consider reading this story. Do not let the jargon dissuade you from getting on board one of the best upcoming stories on this site on the tail end of 2022.

123whothatbe
Overall

Don't read this if you don't like violence or gore. It could be perceived as overly so, personally I think it is a feature of the aesthetic and world building so really don't mind it at all.


This is an extremely well written and engrossing story. It has solid characters and plot but where it excels is the world building. The start is slightly weaker than the rest I'd say. It takes a while for you to get familiar with the terms and history of the world. Once you do it's a really great story.

The world building and themes run along the standard dystopian tropes of corporations are bad and there exists a vast underclass abused by them. It doesn't feel cliche or overdone at all in this. It's uniquely different and familiar at the same time, meshed superbly with a fallen god/suffering aesthetic.

The powers and technologies in this will likely appeal to everyone. None of the standard Litrpg goes up here. It's a mix of blade runner style futurism and augmentation, with body/soul horror and necro technology as well as a sprinkle of godly domains. Honestly hard to describe, it needs to have its own word so I can find more stuff like this. The simple version is peoples suffering and souls are used as resources to create soul computers and feed god machines so that the elites can wage pointless wars and abandon the utopia they promised to create.

I'll stop there for now but suffice to say the characters, plot and writing are also very good.

Hagesaid
Overall

Awesome story. I love the vastness and complexity of the magic, technology and lore. The world is so rich that no matter how powerful the MC gets, I can imagine him finding worthy adversaries. This is definitely one of my favorite stories in RR. I read it too quickly, now I can't wait for more chapters. 

issaqua
Overall

A monster in a monsterous world

Reviewed at: 5-11 Ghostjack

I don't have the words to describe how glorious the world and characters are. The plot is yet young, but is full of energy, insanity, complexity and tempered by heart and divinty.

This story is just wild and I love it.

It is dark, gritty and brutal - those looking for empty banter, teen angst and narcius may be traumatised by this story of surviving hell on earth.

More please!

 

P.S. I think this defines a new genre: eldritch-punk.