The saying goes that when a man is born the Fates weave his destiny and swaddle him in it. Then one day the man dies, and the swaddle becomes a shroud. Heaven moves on.
It is audacity to question the Fates. Olympus is Olympus. The land of men is the land of men. To transgress that, to cross the line of divinity and scale Olympus Mons? To defy the Fates and cast off their threads?
That is hubris. It’s a mark that every philosopher bears plainly on their soul.
[participant in the Royal Road Writathon challenge]
In the war-torn land of Cyraveil, four heroes strove to overthrow an empire. By cold steel and elemental sorcery, they brought peace to a warring land on the brink of destruction. As the flames died, the realm needed strong leadership, and who better than the champions who had saved the kingdom? But when the people sought out their saviors... they vanished.
Matt, Blake, Jen, and Carl: the four mysterious companions, who together had deposed an insane ruler and saved countless lives, were gone—spirited back in a whirlwind of magic to a sleepy suburb in Mellbridge, Oregon, never to return. The friends found themselves home in the real world, exactly as they'd been the night they were taken, as if no time had passed... except only three came back.
Hi there! This was my entry for National Novel Writing Month, because why only write one series at a time? The more the merrier! (meanwhile, my keyboard bursts into flames...)
I'm also the writer of The Last Science, an ongoing low-fantasy/speculative sci-fi series. If you're familiar with that, you know what to expect here: lots of character-focused drama and dialogue, not a whole lot of traditional action. However, I'm writing a bit differently than usual here, and in a very different structure, so there should be some surprises for returning readers. I hope you enjoy it!
[Discord] — for those of you who want to hang out and chat.
Cover art (fullsize): Path of Revelation, by taenaron (Tobias Roetsch), modified by Etzoli. Normally I like to do my own cover art from scratch, but I was in a rush for the contest. Might be replaced down the line if I get time.
[winner of the NaNoWriMo Royal Road 2018 challenge—Most Favorites]
This story has not been posted or published anywhere else besides RoyalRoad.com, at this URL: https://www.royalroad.com/fiction/21374/epilogue
Dungeon Crawler Carl Book 1 is now on Amazon!
Book 2 is also now available!
Royal Road and Patreon is where to get the newest chapters and releases.
The apocalypse will be televised!
A man. His ex-girlfriend's cat. A sadistic game show unlike anything in the universe: a dungeon crawl where survival depends on killing your prey in the most entertaining way possible.
In a flash, every human-erected construction on Earth—from Buckingham Palace to the tiniest of sheds—collapses in a heap, sinking into the ground.
The buildings and all the people inside have all been atomized and transformed into the dungeon: an 18-level labyrinth filled with traps, monsters, and loot. A dungeon so enormous, it circles the entire globe.
Only a few dare venture inside. But once you're in, you can't get out. And what's worse, each level has a time limit. You have but days to find a staircase to the next level down, or it's game over. In this game, it's not about your strength or your dexterity. It's about your followers, your views. Your clout. It's about building an audience and killing those goblins with style.
You can't just survive here. You gotta survive big.
You gotta fight with vigor, with excitement. You gotta make them stand up and cheer. And if you do have that "it" factor, you may just find yourself with a following. That's the only way to truly survive in this game—with the help of the loot boxes dropped upon you by the generous benefactors watching from across the galaxy.
They call it Dungeon Crawler World. But for Carl, it's anything but a game.
The first several chapters of DCC are now off of Royal Road because the book is on Amazon. I want to thank all of you for 9 months of amazing support. This is and Patreon will always be the place for the newest chapters and content, but to comply with Amazon's Kindle Unlimited policy, I can't have more than 10% of the story up here.
This is a work in progress. Major editing will be done after the book is complete, so there will be egregious typos and parts that make no sense whatsoever. Please, please feel free to point any and all of these things out. Chapters WILL get edited, and that editing might break earlier chapters. I will attempt to keep readers apprised of all changes. Updates one-two days a week.
The world is a wide, wide place. And that's without taking into account the many creatures that inhabit it. When a new Dungeon Core is born deep below the surface, it faces challenge after challenge. The only question is; is it up to the challenge of living in this world?
This is my first attempt at writing a Dungeon Core story. I'll gladly take any and all advice, comments, or criticism.
Releases on Tuesdays and Fridays. Mostly.
Born to die and be born again, Gell, the Jellyfae must discover her strange connection to the horrible monsters called humans, that speak with words she understands, but seem to want nothing but her death. Driven by a desire for safety and freedom, she ventures forth to Tread the Sky, and finds more worlds than one.
Travel with a newly born demon as he grows and learns in his own world as well as in other worlds as he gets summoned again and again. Usually to die or kill for others in strange and exciting places, but it's never certain what the next one will bring. It has its perks. With each new world comes a new story with new experiences and new lessons. There is always more to see, more to learn and more to know. Maybe, someday, it will all make sense. For now he will just work hard to become stronger, to be useful and, hopefully, survive that way.
A coming-of-age story, but different.
Things start to slow down to a crawl. Colors blur into one another until my vision is completely white. All I can think is "Shit, not this again!"
I hate being summoned.
updates once a week until I get more time
The idea for this story began in two places. One was the ridiculously rapid pace of gaining power in many novels. Both in games and in novels, I enjoy the struggle of the beginning character, why always the rush? The other was the way many monster or non-human MCs always seem to hurry to become human (again). It always felt like a cheap way to grant the character extra powers without the difficulty of writing a non-standard thought process.
Thus I wanted to write the slow(ish) progression of a monster character gaining strength and intelligence, while remaining distinctly non-human. There are no stats, xp or systems, no reincarnated soul or completely formed being to start with - unless I want to make fun of those. While the MC 'evolves', the process takes months if not years to proceed step by little step. Sit down with me and imagine, what would it be like if...
Elevator pitch: '300' meets 'Lone Wolf and Cub'. A retired veteran has to keep some orphans from being eaten by horrible monsters.
This fiction contains the professionally-published novel Obstacles as well as the ongoing sequels.
Back Cover Copy:
Androkles, son of Paramonos, spent twenty-five years in the world’s greatest army trying to earn enough money to buy back his good name. He’s battle-scarred, weary, and heartbroken after decades of watching dear friends die, but he survived. He’s ready to retire and be welcomed as a hero, finally able to see the reward he sacrificed so much to achieve.
There’s only one problem: his wife just fled civilization with all his hard-won savings. Now he must pursue her north, through desperate bandits, ravening beasts, and worse. But after he rescues a pair of orphans from starvation, he is faced with his most difficult challenge yet: a question that goes to the very heart of honor. The consequences might be deeper than he realizes, and it’s not just his life on the line…
Updates: Irregular but Ongoing
Book title in the chapter heading.
If you like what you're reading, please consider
purchasing a copy of the published novel Obstacles:
Argus was a dungeon, sprawling for miles under the cities of man above all the way until a human, angry at the death of one of his companions, murdered him.
When he discovered where he was, he found that he had come back to life as nothing more or less than a human being, complete with its own nervous system, organs, and brain. Worst of all, his precious System is gone, and he has to actually grow up.
Humanity is extinct.
In their wake, they left behind powerful artifacts and wonderous relics, most of which are still yet to be discovered.
Alien life flourishes in the ruins of ancient human cities. Hundreds of distinct species and cultures. But they all worship the "Old Ones" as gods, for who else could have created these impossible devices: ships that can fly, droids that can think, and gates that form bridges between worlds.
One power-hungry Empire has learned to use these gifts to conquer and dominate all other alien cultures. With each passing day, they grind the people of Gaiam deeper under the bootheel of oppression.
But when an old, jaded thief stumbles upon an ancient, living secret... a new revolution may be at hand.
This is the story of The Last Human.
(Chapter 1 through 51 Available through Amazon, here)
It is the Future. The realm of online video game entertainment has grown, creating vast and wonderous worlds for people to explore and enjoy.
This is the story of Kaleb, a young gamer, and his adventures in the latest Super-Hero Virtual reality MMO: Modern Age Online. Join him as he takes on villains (both player and NPC), joins forces with other player heroes, and even deals with some of the bureaucracy of being a hero in a perfect virtual recreation of the world. No cheats, no guides, just one newbie Super-Hero against the forces of villainy in his new virtual home.
Update Schedule: I am gonna try and keep it at a chapter a day Monday-Thrusday, leaving Friday-Sunday to write ahead a bit. Leaving a buffer of chapters in case I miss a day. Thats the plan at least, we'll see how it shakes out. Of course this is subject to change in the face of personal emergencies and such.
Notes: 1.) While not my first time writing, this is my first time throwing anything i've written at the tender mercies of the internet. All criticisms welcome. 2.) Just to inform people early: There is no evil corporation looking to control the world with VR, there is no Krueger-esque "if you die in the game, you die for real.", and this isn't a story of some OP harem-loving god of the system. Nothing wrong with those stories this just isn't one. This is a simple story about a guy playing a game and finally 3.) This story is extermely rough, i did very little editing, this is just me gauging interest really.
oh, and english is my 1st language, if for some reason you find that important.
Sanjay King is a brewer. On a hike in the Pacific Northwest, he found himself in another world. This new world is filled with old magic, monsters that come from the Void, and ancient grudges. It is a world of hard decisions and where morality is constantly tested. it is a world of Levels and Power, but the cost to gain both is great and terrible. It is a world where the great Empire is falling and monsters are summoned to devour the world.
This is a slowish story, more a slice of life with bouts of adventure and battles. San is a man dealing with life issues and the world he's in isn't a nice place.
Updates: Tuesday, Thursday, and Saturdays.
1770: 9 vessels destined for Australia disappear en route to their destination.
1775: Individuals with supernatural abilities and objects start appearing around Asia and Europe. Investigators suggest they're the crew and prisoners from the missing vessels.
1777: Flying leviathans rain monsters down all around the globe. They set up nests and destroy human settlements. Only the powered individuals can stand up to them.
1780: A fleet of warships lead by Lord William Anson find a mysterious tower growing out of the Indian Ocean. Leviathans fly around its peak, and the sea around it is unnaturally calm. They discover the structure, Gaia's Ark, is the source of monsters plaguing the world and the powers that challenge them.
1783: The East India Company and Her Majesty's Royal Army collaborate with European and Asian states to set up the city of New Calcutta. They aim not just to contain the monsters, but to harvest the unearthly resources within Gaia's Ark.
It's 1836 and Bunty, son of Swordmaster Utpal Sen, has finally started climbing the tower. He and his party—children and staff of his father's employer, the Boleyns—hope Gaia will bestow spirits upon them so they can start ascending. Not all spirits are made equal, though, and there is no telling what one might get. Bunty doesn't care. He'll settle for anything that'll let him climb. Gaia's Ark has taken someone dear to him, and he's desperate to find out the truth of their fate.
Bunty will soon learn it's not the just tower's monsters he needs to worry about. The nobility and darker factions of New Calcutta are an equally terrifying threat.
[Participating In The Royal Road Writathon]
This is a story dedicated to a Universe I've been putting together for three years. The tale isn't written as a web novel, but a traditional novel. As a result, the pacing is a lot slower than what's standard on RR. As suggested by the blurb, this story features an alternate history. The events in the Universe branch away from ours from around the discovery of the tower.
I've used the GameLit tag because the tale takes inspiration from the genre. I've used the dungeon and tower tropes but the story has no levels or stats. There are 'skills', 'spells' and 'summons' but function differently from what one would expect. My magic system is heavily inspired by the Chinese comic: Doulu Dalu. If you're a fan, the story might scratch your itch as it does mine.
I'm probably repeating myself but be warned: the tale focuses on the people and the plot a lot more than the system. The progression part of this progression fantasy will be slow and our protagonist will need to overcome several obstacles to get there.
New Dive Assignment: 0B5
Personnel: Citizen of Gamma G-037-072 Jonathan Kelly
World Designation: Epsilon H-037-072-030-010
Classification: Pre-industrial Exotic World, significant outliers in biosphere including atypical flora and fauna. Quarantine protocol in effect pending more data and acclimation testing. Further anomalies include populations of morphologically distinct humanoids, and aberrations in otherwise normative physics laws. Causal chain appears provisionally stable. For the purposes of delaying onset of collapse as well as above mentioned factors, only one subject is cleared to Dive. Initial mandates shall proceed with scouting and surveillance.
Further details are classified. Warning: All other qualifying personnel are currently dispatched. Refusal will result in deployment delays and possible unsupervised causal decay.
Do you wish to accept this assignment?
Note to Readers:
This is not MC isolated in a new world. This is new world joins the multiverse. What I'm tentatively coining Subverted Isekai (Formerly I used 'reversed' but, as pointed out, that would be fantasy MC goes to the modern world. Hey, there's idea! Not this book though.).
There is plenty of scientific and philosophical stuff; I know that can be a turn off for some. It has a strong bearing on the story, but is mainly covered in the 'Comments & Calculations' section (optional reading of course). If you are looking for an extreme suspension of natural laws with no technical considerations, you will not find it here.
Audio chatter from characters that are not currently in the scene I format in "inverted commas and italics". Given the layered nature of modern communication, I thought this distinction was best denoted visually in my prose. Critique is welcome.
Jon is a South African ex-pat. As such he will use some Afrikaans colloquialisms plus a dash of Japanese.
Most importantly he says “Ja” meaning “Yes”. Pronounced with a J sound like “yo” and an A sound like “bar”. As in:
“Yo, let’s go to the strip bar.”
And not the Rastafarian /jya/.
Nee - /niya/ : no
Juffrou - /yif-row/ : Miss
Lekker - /lacker/ : nice, good, delicious
Nooit - /noit/: never
The rest is mostly swear words. Indisputably the most useful words in any language and simultaneously holding the least innate meaning.
Fok - “fork” without the “r”: fuck
Bliksem - /Bluksim/: darn, damn. Also common noun meaning damn person or thing.
Donner - “Dorner” without the “r”: originally meaning thunder, can also mean darn or damn. It is often used as a verb meaning: ‘to hit hard’
Kak - /kuck/: shit
Voetsek - /foot-sack/: go away
What if Humanity wasn't the apex predator among the stars?
What if those true apex predators saw mankind and came to the same conclusion: Holy cow they're all adorable.
The They are Smol series takes place in the near future after a disasterous first contact and the subesquent accidental invasion of Earth. Humanity is being uplifted for many reasons; they provide new culture and art on the galactic scene, sure. They can also look at scientific and social problems in a new light - absolutely. Mainly though, it's just to get them to do something productive with their lives and stop setting everything on fire-
Humans, for their part, are oscillating between abject fear at the otherness of their new neighbors and the frustration that they keep placing things on the top shelf.
Of all the tales in all the lands, there isn't a story more famous and more heart wrenching than the one about the Beast and the White Swallow.
Never heard of it? Then come closer.
For it is about to unfold before your very own eyes.
In a far-away land of snow and mystery, the fates of two bastards entangle.
He is a warrior and a ruler. She is a physician with a tormented past.
Now both of them will have to learn not only to live together but also to fight against any and all that threaten to ruin their happiness. Amongst chaos, schemes, and war, will they manage to fulfill the most difficult task - finding the way to each other's heart and soul?
The path won’t be easy. A dark cult and even darker magic are resurfacing after years of slumber. And while they wreak havoc in the lands of Norden, the Star-gazer’s voice echoes in the night heralding a dangerous future:
When the Beast falls, the Swallow shall triumph.
For the Sun to shine over Norden, the Swallow must be devoured.
Many thanks to @AngrySpider for composing this soundtrack for the story: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YrzUOUCrMA4
Touch is a story about a boy named James, and his friends: a group of young, superpowered people brought together by trauma; all trying, in their own ways, to come to terms with what that trauma means to them and who they want to be in response to it. This is a learning process, and mistakes are made, but they grow, learn, and adapt to these difficulties in ways that some might say only young people can.
While it may look it at first, this is not intended as a sad story, merely an honest one. I wanted to make the characters human, and unfortunately, that means that difficulties hit them in very real ways through the story, but then again, they have some equally human moments of warmth between one another as they grow.
Triggers: Explores the aftereffects and recovery process of sexual abuse, and some other forms of physical abuse. I like to think I avoided making it edgy, but you deserve to be informed. Some readers have told me that it can feel a bit too real at times. A bit too honest.
If you like what you read, feel free to comment or review. I like the feedback. Or you can vote for Touch on TopWebFiction.
The world changed forever when supers emerged. Eighty years have passed since WW2, when Prime flew through the skies for the first time, and scholars still debate the origin of power.
Daniel Das lives with his uncle in post-super London, the Hero League's primary hub. He's spent all of his twenty-one years waiting to awaken a metagene, but it hasn't happened yet. The cut-off age is rapidly approaching, and he's losing hope. The last thing Daniel wants is to become another statistic.
Meanwhile, the league is steadily losing parts of the city to the growing villain factions. Daniel's uncle wishes to keep him away from the world of supers, but with the hot zones closing in, that's easier said than done. If that weren't bad enough, something deep inside Daniel has awoken, it demands he step up, do good and protect the people he loves. He doesn't know the source of the compulsion, but it's getting stronger by the day and he's desperate to feed it.
Daniel dreams to join the league. It needs all the assistance it can get, and only they can help satiate his hunger.
The story contains body-horror elements due to how the protagonist's power manifests.
The GameLit/Progression elements are gradual, and there are no stats in this story. The protagonist will enjoy occasional power upgrades as opposed to rapid growth like in other RR stories.
The story doesn't have any intended tragic elements but its a harsh reality and will sometimes edge towards the darker end of the spectrum.
It was an average day in Miami—then fractures in the sky appeared. A pulse from those cracks altered the population; some people's biology changed while others received magical and supernatural powers. After the chaos, the political drama ensued, followed by the discovery of portals that brought deadly creatures. They called this event "The Oscillation" and it changed Rachel's life forever.
Note: I've received some feedback that people don't like the foul language. This also included my mother, she wanted me to make a cleaner version for her. So, I thought I might as well release it alongside the more explicit version. I went back and rewrote the parts that have profanity in them. ^_^7
35 years ago, the Greene wave swept across the world, baffling scientists as to its purpose and origin. Now, that purpose is finally revealed.
Victoria Gale was bored with the world.
Stuck looking for work just to get by, she was ready for things to change. Just as she gains hope for the future, the world decided to take her plans and put them through the wringer.
Experiencing changes to her body and mind, Vic is forced headfirst into conflict with a changing world, as supers, monsters, mad scientists, and perhaps worst of all, terrible Japanese/wuxia/isekai tropes begin to become reality.
Join her and many others as they begin an adventure in a new world, that no one is ready for.
TLDR; A slave monster survives horror, war and servitude, while trying to live with himself.
Thralls are a race of monstrous slave soldiers, in a universe where biological magic takes the place of technology. Centuries ago, their ancestors were desperate humans, who volunteered to be transformed for the Poison War. Today their unfortunate descendants are still soldiers and laborers. In contract law they are 'corporate wards'; slaves owned largely by arms dealers.
Dally Harper starts this story as a champion cage fighter. He is one of the 'lucky' ones. It's all downhill from there.
Explicit violence and gore, slavery, implied sexual assault.
None of these are framed as positive or glorified, however they do have a strong impact on the plot and main characters.