From the author of "A Practical Guide to Evil", comes the Pale Lights series.
Book I: Lost Things
Tristan Abrascal is a thief, one of many making their living under the perpetual twilight of the greatest city in all of Vesper. Quick wit and a contract with a capricious goddess have always kept him one step ahead, until one night he crosses a line by accident that burns all the bridges he had left. But not all is lost, as his mentor offers a way out of peril that turns out to be more than a simple escape.
It is also an opportunity to get even with the infanzones, the nobles he’s lived under all his life, and it so happens that Tristan has a full ledger’s worth of scores to settle with them.
Lady Angharad Tredegar has fled halfway across the world, leaving behind a ruin of a life: her family butchered by a ruthless enemy, their estate torched and their nobility revoked. Yet no matter how far she flees the blades of assassins follow, and she finds herself growing desperate for any protection. She has one relative left to call on, her estranged uncle, but she finds that the safety he offers comes at a cost.
Angharad has sworn revenge, however, and her honour will allow for no compromise. She will do what she must to survive so that one day bloody vengeance can be visited upon her enemies.
The paths of the two take them to the doorstep of the Watch, but for desperate souls like them enrolment is a lost cause. They will have to do it the hard way instead, by surviving the trials on the isle known as the Dominion of Lost Things.
Where every year many go, and few return.
Update schedule: once a day until caught up to the wordpress version, then weekly on Fridays. My Patreon has three advance chapters.
Cover done by Gwennafran, whose work you can find here.
12 Miles Below
The world is in ruins.
Extreme sub-zero temperatures suffocate the surface, making even simple survival an ordeal. Frozen derelicts of bygone eras span across massive ice wastes. And the survivors closely guard any technology rediscovered within.
The only escape from the deadly climate is beneath the surface. But it’s another disaster underground. Monstrous machines lurk in the depths. Unhinged demigods war against them, dying over and over, treating it all like a game. The land itself shifts over time, more contraption than rock. And an ominous prophecy states that the key to everything waits on four heroes - but nobody knows who or where they are.
When an expedition into the far uncharted north goes terribly wrong, Keith Winterscar and his father get trapped together in a desperate fight for survival. Stumbling upon an ancient war of titanic scale; the two will need to set their differences aside while they struggle against Gods, legends, and the grand secrets of the realm that lies below.
Updating Monday and Thursdays.
Discord can be found here (This is a shared discord server with other books.)
WARNING: This series is ridiculously filled with spoilers, every book has multiple reveals. Discord was made for up-to-date readers since there's no way to really police spoilers.
Don't join until you're current!!
The Butcher of Gadobhra
Life is rough. Jobs are non-existent. And far too many people live in poverty in the real world and can only find work online in VR worlds. And it's getting worse. The old internet is unusable and hacked to pieces. The new system needs AI to run things, but most of them are destroyed. Now everyone is scrambling to get into the GENESIS ENGINE, as it becomes the new global market place
Everyone wants a piece of the new game. The guilds are competing to be the first to find the dungeons and kill the biggest monster. The corporations are claiming land and putting in their online market places. Ozzy and his friends just want a paycheck.
Four friends find they are locked into five year contracts as virtual serfs in a small village, and can't go adventuring at all to gain money and buy their way to freedom. They don't have many choices. They can work as a blacksmith, barmaid and shepherd for all those years....or they can cheat and find ways they can take advantage of the system.
When they give you a mop and not a sword, you have to find the loopholes and change the rules.
Vainqueur the Dragon
Vainqueur now has a Webtoon adaptation!
It is now available on Amazon! Book 1 (Audiobook 1), Book 2 (Audiobook 2), Book 3 (Audiobook 3), Book 4.
Vainqueur Knightsbane is your average dragon: a giant, fire-breathing lizard who loves to take naps on his golden hoard, kidnap princesses for fun, and make the life of adventurers miserable. Vainqueur's only pleasure in life is to watch his treasure get bigger, one coin at a time.
So when a would-be thief turned unwilling minion tells him about "classes," "levels," and "quests," Vainqueur wonders if maybe, just maybe, he should consider a career change.
After all, why bother hunting monsters for free when you can get paid for it?
Borne of Desire
A man given a new lease on life finds himself amongst pokemon. From his memories of pokemon as a whole, he assumes the power of pokemon and the world around him runs on convenient fate, rule of cool, and cheesy friendship just like any other anime. Unfortunately for everyone else, he's 100% right.
Takes place in a universe similar to but separate from Borne of Caution.
NOTE: If Borne of Caution is an attempt at a coherent and realistic look at pokemon, then, Borne of Desire is the opposite. It's all the mindless indulgence I DONT want in a serious story. It's a very seat-of-my-pants for-fun project and is written with no storyboard. Updates will be inconsistent and quality cannot be assured. Not to be taken too seriously.
Borne of Caution
An irritated Pokemon might tell you to stop what you're doing. An irritated animal will probably just attack you. Pokemon, for all their power, would be open books and a breeze to care for to any competent animal handler on Earth. After a fiery death, a professional zookeeper who never outgrew Pokemon games ends up in the world of Pokemon. The entire world is thrown onto its side.
Virtuous Sons: A Greco Roman Xianxia
Books one and two now available on Kindle and Kindle Unlimited.
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.
[Updates every Sunday.]
The Eagle's Flight
The king is dead; his heir is too young to assume the throne. Jarl Vale wants to become Lord Protector, spurred by his ambitious brother Konstans. Jarl Isarn likewise seeks this power; he is aided – or thwarted – by the return of his brother, the knight and war hero Athelstan, whose squire, Brand, hopes to restore his family’s fortunes, cost what it may. Through all of this, an enigmatic traveller makes plans with jarls, scribes, and priests for his own purpose. Abroad, powerful forces sense division in the realms of Adalmearc and make their own plans. It is only a matter of time before schemes clash, plots collide, and conflict erupts. War is on the horizon.
Story updates every Wednesday. The first, second and third book can be downloaded as ebooks from my site, where a map of the world or of Middanhal can be viewed. The site also contains other background information such as history of the realms, pantheon and religion, calendar etc.
In the wake of the Battle of Katze Plains, the banner of Ainz Ooal Gown flies proudly over the city of E-Rantel. The Sorcerous Kingdom has entered the world’s stage to the clamour of death and devastation; the surrounding nations fearfully prepare even as they reel from its calamitous debut. Within the borders of the newly annexed realm, its Human subjects cower in their homes as the Undead openly walk the streets and stalk the lands. Yet, when a destitute noble finds herself under the auspices of an unlikely benefactor, events are set into motion that will resound over the world for ages to come.
A kingdom builder based on the events and setting of Kugane Maruyama’s Overlord. In a fantasy world where beings of matchless power are transmigrated from the arbitrary existence of a game, Valkyrie’s Shadow chronicles the lives of the natives whose reality has been turned upside down by their advent. It is the tale of a nation created by the whims of a supreme sovereign, and his unstoppable servants who each have their own, often twisted, interpretations of their Master’s Will.
There is no victory in strength; no miracles wrought from magic that will save them: only the inexorable advance of a new world order where those who secure a place of service within will find themselves turned against the world that they once knew.
[Slow buildup. Methodical storytelling with a focus on well-rounded kingdom building and character development.]
Rare classes and powerful skills are helpful. Too bad the system doesn't seem built to handle them. What even are all these errors?
Our team of outcasts and adventurers will have to rely on their trust - and the bane of all stories, healthy communication - just to survive, let alone understand what the system is doing. Because they're quickly realizing that not all is as it seems, and it's doing something to people, to monsters, and maybe even to the gods themselves.
And their goal isn't just to survive; it's to make things better. It's a good thing they're not doing it alone.
Edge Cases is an attempt to take the LitRPG genre and the overpowered MCs trope and write a story where numbers aren't everything. Sometimes it takes trust, support, and just a touch of being very, very clever.
Expect a mix of action, slice-of-life, friendship, and ominous worldbuilding.
Updates M-W-F at 6pm EST.
Cover art by Alovck of Artstation, and typesetting by jessessey right here on RoyalRoad.
I Ran Away To Evil - A LitRPG RomCom
*** updates mon wed fri ***
Henrietta was raised as the Warrior Crown Prince her parents always wanted, even though she didn't particularly enjoy stabbing things. When a new heir is born, she's sent off to kill the Dark Overlord alone - or die trying.
After spending her entire life preparing to fight the minions of evil, imagine her surprise when she's... invited in for tea?
With war on the rise, Henrietta will have to decide where her loyalties lie. Should she return to her kingdom and take up the mantle of the Hero, or continue baking for the forces of evil...
Her only real questions: Why is everyone in the Dark Overlord's Army so nice, and who is the mysterious Madame Potts?
Keith was raised as the Evil Overlord the minions of the Dark Enchanted Forest always wanted, even though he just wanted to study magic. Then when he came of age his godmother abandoned him to rule alone - or die trying.
After spending his entire life trying not to die to assassins, imagine Dark Lord Keith's surprise when a heroine knocks on his door with bimbleberry scones.
With war on the rise, Keith will have to decide where his loyalties lie. Should he crush the forces of good and kill everyone Henrietta has ever known, or go eat another batch of cookies?
His only real questions: Oatmeal or chocolate chip, and who is the mysterious Madame Potts?
Can the Hero and the Dark Lord fall in love, or does fate have other plans? A cozy LitRPG romcom reminiscent of the Bridgertons, with masquerade balls, fireballs, and butternut rumballs.
Underland is now available on Kindle and Audible!
Once, the sun shone brightly on Azlant. Until came the Whitemoon, to steal mankind's light and condemn it to eternal darkness.
Valdemar Verney is a sorcerer with a dream: to find a new world for his people to settle, one where the sky isn't a ceiling made of stone. But in the underground empire of Azlant, dissent is never tolerated. Brought before one of the undead Dark Lords, Valdemar is offered a choice he cannot refuse. Meanwhile, the swordswoman Marianne Reynard is given a mission: to investigate a dead cult with a few mysteries left to unravel.
Both are looking for the truth, though they might regret finding it; for many cultists, monsters, and cosmic horrors stand in their way. They'll just have to kill them all.
Cover by Vitaly S. Alexius.
The Future That Never Was — The Rings Will Rise Again!
WELCOME TO THE RETROFUTURE!
The Future That Never Was is a book series project featuring an alternate space age where the Soviets colonized the belt before David Bowie sang Life on Mars; where rogue AIs took over the web; where pizza came in cans. Humankind couldn’t dream of a more exciting future. Yet, as foolishness eventually turned Earth into a nuclear wasteland, shadows began to conspire from the heart of the Moon to beyond the mysterious Planet Nine…
This extended universe in progress includes numerous R-rated titles. All of them will be uploaded on Royal Road for free. Check the Index or the list/links below for the main stories.
🐈 KITTY KITTY - Completed - <READ>
Join sassy space cat Lee and his Desert Eagle-toting, soda-swigging human partner, Ali, in a future stuck in the late 80s/early 90s. Board the dynamic duo’s ship, the mythical Kitty, as they bounty-hunt their way through a dystopian solar system—so lock and load, and shout Cowabunga! because it’s crime-fightin’ time!
🪐 PACHINKO BLUES - <START READING>
Amid the chaos of the Rings Civil War, a disgraced pilot finds himself tangled in a vast vendetta involving a megacorporation, android mercenaries and data-cartels. From Saturn’s Plastic Fields to the fringes of Kuiper, his violent redemption is an 80s-esthetic space western filled with tears, blood and... ducks?
[Back in November 2023]
Other stories related to the first arc of The Future That Never Was:
• RADIO FREAK - Standalone biopunk short story featuring Ali Koviràn, the Data Maiden and Bill Murray
• STELLAR PATRIOTS - Short special with Braun Kamirov, linking KITTY KITTY and the book series
• DATA ONE & DATA ZERO - 2024
• CYBER MACHO - 2025
To support our work or simply read in better condition, visit our amazon shop and patreon!
Romantically Apocalyptic Webcomic
Charles Snippy finds himself lost and alone at the end of the world. He makes a wish for a friend and meets Zee Captain, an eccentric lunatic luminary, who drags him on an adventure through the eldritch, deadly, questionable and limitless post-apocalyptic world of tomorrow, a place where Goodness makes the rules and everything has purpose and passion.
~A post-apocalyptic, dark comedy webcomic that I've been working on since 2005 by myself at first and then with friends from all around the world.
Revised version now available! Amazon paperback, ebook, audiobook, Kobo, B&N, Google
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]
Castle Kingside (Rewrite)
A puzzling encounter leaves Dimitry a beggar with a strange emblem on his wrist. Around him, people suffer as ruthless organizations, opportunistic nobles, and an overly pious church vie for power in a medieval land under constant siege by stone monstrosities rampaging from the coasts.
Can a kindhearted surgeon aid this ailing world with modern knowledge, resourcefulness, and magic? Or will rival powers crush Dimitry first?
A fiction that starts brutally grim and eventually transitions into technology uplift with a focus on science, magitech, and town building.
Warning: Technical terms abound.
Cover art by AbsolutePower.
Valor and Violence
Valor and Violence is a series of short stories following different, yet all equally colourful, characters set in the same world.
Birth of a Legend, the first short, follows Captain Erskine Erwell, a newly promoted Captain in the Calandorian Royal Navy, charged with protecting his people from all who would do them harm. Great news for the Calandorian citizens, bad news for the Skjar reavers that ravage the shores in search of slaves. But when a small reaver fleet slips the net and escapes to the southern jungles of Marduk, Erwell must fight a war on two fronts; one against the raiders, and a far more difficult war against the hostile landscape. If he can't find allies in this strange land, he may end up being the one in need of saving.
The Calling follows Ferez Ahud, an aspiring young battlemage charged with the unsavoury job of 'terminating' a rogue member of his college. But how this nobody of a mage became a fugitive remains a mystery, and when the answer is discovered, the tables are turned and the hunter becomes the prey.
A Family Dissassemblance follows a young woman named Elizabeth. She's a simple young gal; sweet, charming, and with a heart of gold. She loves her family, she loves fun, and she loves making things and people explode!
Blood Reparations picks up Levi's story a little while after he and Erskine parted ways at the end of Birth of a Legend. Read along as Levi struggles to find a solution for his village's woes, battling the attitudes of obnoxious foreign snobs, drakes (again!), and something altogether far more sinister, lurking deep underground...
A Vow of Wind takes us back to the dynamic trio of Ferez, Ingrid, and affable idiot, Leo! This time, the happy couple's comfortable lives of hiring their services out as battlemages is interrupted when Leo asks to tag along on a job. Things escalate quickly in a life or death race from Aderath all the way to the frozen north.
For King and Country is currently in the process of being uploaded. It follows Captain Erskine Erwell as he escorts a servant of the Crown attempting to piece together the truth of a Royal Army unit's disappearance within Calandor's borders. What starts out as a routine hunt to purge corruption and treason escalates as the captain uncovers signs something sinister is happening in the mountains.
BONUS STORY - 'TIS THE SEASON. This has nothing to do with the other stories in the anthology, its just a fun little Christmas story that popped into my head one day that I decided to jot down and throw up for your (hopeful) enjoyment. It follows a young mercenary standing guard over demonic badlands on Christmas Eve. Things start off bad and get rapidly worse as he faces off against threats mere humans were never meant to face. But as the bloody night continues and the body count rises, salvation may come from an unexpected corner...
Content Guidelines: course language and violence.
Split Second [A System-Based Progression LitRPG]
[Earth] has finally reached the minimum level of ambient mana that is required to support integration into the wider cosmos. According to scans, [Earth] has one species capable of higher reasoning and thought. That's a higher number than [ERROR]% of planets! If you can understand this message, then you must be part of the species [Human]. Lucky you!
IF YOU ARE NOT PART OF THE SPECIES [Human] AND ARE RECEIVING THIS MESSAGE, CONTACT YOUR DESIGNATED LOCAL SUPPORT HUB WITHIN THE NEXT  SECONDS.
To support the integration of [Humans] into the greater cosmos, the... [ERROR]
[retrieving appropriate term from species database...]
[culturally relevant term found]
To support the integration of [Humans] into the greater cosmos, the System has been made available to you! Yes, you! As well as all other [Humans], but also you! The System will help you integrate mana into your [carbon-based flesh bodies], as well as taking on the burden of datamining your [brains] and determining what your affinities are. This process has a [68%] casualty rate when performed on [Human] simulators. You're welcome!
NOTE: Due to a lack of data on [Human] affinity compatibility, the System has provided a series of tests and challenges to weed out inefficient affinities before official integration. There are even puzzles! Fun!
NOTE NOTE: [Human] simulators have shown that most desirable reactions occur when the System is using Language Filter [387-B]. This filter is meant to encourage positive reactions in [highly empathetic] [needy] [easily scared] [squishy] living organisms. Look how you're being taken care of! Wow! Please share your positive responses with other [Humans].
Beginning datamining process now...
Kira was... in the middle of something when the System came. Now, she is conflicted. On the one hand, apocalypse and end of life as she knew it. On the other hand, life as she knew it wasn't - well, it wasn't something she wanted to continue. She feels like she should be sad, or maybe angry is the right response? Kira's never been good with feeling how she is supposed to, but she knows that 'happy' definitely isn't the right answer. But, come on, the System prompt definitely mentioned mana, which means magic. Who wouldn't be excited about magic? And affinities seem to be tied to it. Kira hopes she'll be able to do something cool with her affinity, which is... Time?
Time magic is fun, and I did put the Time Travel tag on here but know going in that it's a ways off. We'll start with time shenanigans pretty soon though. Cover art generated by me through Dream by Wombo.
The Ogre's Pendant & The Rat in the Pit (Completed)
The land is conquered.
A thief and a demon killer run afoul of its new overlord and the wizard that serves him. Now the wizard seeks his life's ambition, an artifact that will make his word law. Hearing this, the demon killer and thief begin to have ambitions of their own. The race is on for who will reach the artifact first, and an entire barbarian horde is in the running.
Yet the prize lies within the Forest of Giants, grown from the corpse of an empire.
There are tales of things that stalk the trees. Tales of those that hunger endlessly. Tales of those that feast on human flesh.
Tales of ogres.
A fast paced, dark fantasy adventure!
All stories and characters - including The Ogre's Pendant and The Rat in the Pit - written by Traitorman are created by and are the intellectual property of J.M. Clarke
This Used to be About Dungeons
This Used to be About Dungeons is a comfy slice-of-life adventuring story that occasionally features dungeons. Updates Tuesdays and Thursdays.
Mostly it's about walking in the woods with a friend, looking for mushrooms to put in your soup, or haggling with the guy selling squash, or taking care of a neglected garden. It's putting some jam on shortbread biscuits. And yes, sometimes you go down into the dungeons with your friends, and you kill monsters there, or disarm traps, but when you come out, you realize you've found the perfect magic item to give to one of the local kids that helped you out when your cat was sick. Look, the dungeons are always going to be there, and sometimes you need to make a journey to one of the Spirit Gates, or make a pilgrimage with the local Cleric of Symmetry to a holy shrine. Your tour through the local dungeons can wait. You'll have rivalries with other groups, and find some dungeon eggs that need to be carefully incubated in case they turn out to be something valuable, and help a friend to build a fishing weir. There's a big world out there, a mostly tame place with lots of magic, and even more to do and see. Join me, won't you?
The cover image is Morning Sunlight Effect, Eragny, by Camille Pissarro.