Melody of Dragons
A Fantasy Isekai LitRPG Adventure
Series: Lunar Insurrection #1
Published by: Dragon's Hoard
Release Date: December 14th, 2021
Contributors: Derrick Ward, Erynn Lehtonen
Guinevere doesn't know she's dead.
Rey still doesn't understand what it means to be an NPC.
And Myrina doesn't get why everyone's freaking out about her joining a cult.
What they do know is that the Dragonslayers stole an Ancient Bronze Dragon's egg, and now they have a mysterious quest to return the egg to its mother. They'll have much bigger problems to worry about than loot and EXP gains if the Dragonslayers make it to the dragon first.
Or if the forest, which is holding back an ageless darkness, is destroyed in the process.
Turns out (some) dragons aren't so bad after all.
Lunar Insurrection is an experimental LitRPG/GameLit series, combining elements of fantasy and Dungeons and Dragons with a twist on the Isekai genre. Each novella-length installment builds on the larger story and world, but can also be enjoyed as individual tales out of order.
“What I promise you is a new life. Freedom.” The Savior stood on a stage at the front of the theatre, his face obscured by a black-feathered mask. A row of large screens circled the room, accenting his every word with vivid pictures. His feathered cloak fanned around him like wings as he extended his arms to the hushed audience. This world is doomed. We, as a species, have done more damage to this planet than any other.”
The screens flashed through a spread of natural disasters—hurricanes, flooding, forest fires, and earthquakes as they tore apart cities. The splinters of what remained of the livelihoods of countless people carried away like nothing. Outraged murmurs scattered through the assembled audience, although all were in agreement.
“Mother Earth can no longer support all of us,” the Savior continued on. “She sends storms, pestilence, and pushes us ever closer to Armageddon.”
A dozen pairs of tired, dejected eyes watched the man and the screens that flashed around him. Morbid curiosity held our gaze as the sweet voice promised change. The scenes that flashed upon the screens were inscribed in the audience’s day-to-day lives; they were not colourful windows into new worlds but ripped from their realities. Every single person in that room had experienced a disaster on some scale—it was what brought them there.
The Savior’s great feathered mask bobbed as he spoke, the vanes of the feathers catching the light and changing colours as each movement sent them dancing in the floodlights.
“We are being given another chance. The new gods have granted the lucky few an opportunity.” The screens shifted to display a room filled with the empty plinths of smashed clay statues; the only evidence left was the shards of pottery scattered in mixed piles across the floor. “Centuries of iconoclasm have left us with little evidence of the gods. And ever since, people have doubted the great beings that nurtured us as we crawled across the dangerous expanse of Earth. Yet despite these constant slights through years of destruction, the gods haven’t forgotten us. They’ve become attuned to the fact that the world wasn’t built for everyone.”
The screens went black until it was lit up only by a small blue marble. It grew to reveal splotches of green across the sphere, the object seeming to move slower. As the continents on the new planet began to form concrete shapes, an unfamiliar globe emerged. Lines appeared on the continents, strange runes slowly shifting into familiar languages.
“A seed has born fruit. With the power of the gods flowing through their minds and hands, our developers created a new kind of reality. One not just digital, one not just virtual, but a Transcendental Reality.”
A pause of silence rippled through the room. Crumpled pamphlets emerged, remnants of their welcome package that some still clung to anxiously. A common thought became a murmur around the room, I thought this was a beta test or something? When are we getting paid? I thought we would be given a chance at a new life. People looked at one another. A similar tired, sad look shaped their faces.
“This Transcendental Reality game that you have all been gathered here for, to beta test? Nay, beta test is far too simplistic for what your noble quest shall be. Here, we come together at the confluence. The birth of a New World. This”—the Savior gestured to the map behind him, which started to light up with stars on the map— “is a virgin world. You are to be the pioneers, your participation ordained by the gods. Those brought here today will be selected by whatever divine being takes pity on your soul. Your life will be left behind, and they will carry you to a New World.
“As you have all read in your pamphlets, this world was built for your arrival. With the powers you will come to have, you will be able to shape the land, the people, and the nations to your will. You will find contenders among the people you find there; some will be others like yourselves, others will be people who came from the seed of this world. So please, follow the instructions in your pamphlets as our attendants help you to your ascendency!”
Next to the audience members, great tapestries on the theatre walls were raised to reveal tables that had been folded flat behind them. Lines in the roof of the circular room lit up to show a red star which illuminated the space in an ominous light. The audience members were strapped onto the tables. Some began hesitantly but seeing the enthusiasm of their peers, they, too, went to their designated tables to await further instruction.
“Those of you chosen will be welcomed into the New World. Those not chosen…” the Savior’s voice boomed.
Their arms were strapped above their heads in a V, positioned so their fingers were out of reach of their neighbouring patients. As they settled and their heads were strapped in place, the Savior strode into view at the center of the room. He spun, his cape of feathers flying around, almost like wings. “Thank you, dear adventurers. You are laying the foundation between the combination of the new gods and the old.”
His familiar feathered mask had become a symbol of hope for many in that room through the bleak years up to this point. He promised them a new life, an end to their suffering—their ceaseless poverty, the death and destruction that shadowed the unsustainable modern lifestyle that fell apart around them. That bright feathered mask lit up their days.
His hands stuck out above his head, teasing the edge of his mask. “This is it. This is what you’ve all been waiting for.”
They had hoped that this meeting, being their final one, he might have revealed his face.
“The new gods have no faces,” the Savior explained. “The gods who will give you all a new life are a series of ones and zeroes, and yet still, they are so, so much more.” The globe on the screen faded to the familiar M, the symbol for the Savior’s software development company. “We are about to bring those gods to life. In ending our suffering, we bring birth to a new type of immortality.”
“The time of your rebirth has come.” The great blue M faded to black as the room became lit only by the giant red star coming from the ceiling. His voice came in a low, soothing timbre. “We live in a world of riddles and rules. There is only one rule you must abide by in your New World: Obey your patron. Be wary of questioning the tasks given to you. In this life, you are born with no purpose. But in the next… you are being reborn as their champions. You must fulfil your destiny.”
A medical technician came and placed a black visor over each of the patients’ heads. Darkness swallowing the red light from the ceiling. Below the bottom rim of their visors, the audience could see their fleeting Savior who’s hand once again flourished above his head, sending his feathered cloak dancing.
“All life is fragile,” the Savior continued, “and you will find that in your new life, it is no different. It does not matter how many levels you gain, how many stats you accumulate, the weaponry and magic you collect. This world is to be the battlegrounds of the gods. There will always be someone or something bigger and stronger than you.”
Attendants in lab coats came around, carrying a dark purple liquid in their delicate syringes. A few tears were shed by the audience turned as they turned into medical subjects, but not a single word was uttered. Each attendant finished fastening the dark translucent visors and turned to await the signal from the Savior.
The ground shifted below the Savior’s feet as his tall flamboyant frame began to sink out of view. “You will find a new life, and I guarantee you won’t be alone. More will join you every day. For now, rest your heads.”
Once the last wisp of his tall feathered mask followed him as he descended into the ground, all the attendants nodded in unison and turned to their patients.
They had heard of the Savior’s new game through a friend, the offer of a new life. To give a new world for those who had little hope in this one. The wildfires that ripped through forests and cities met with an array of shrugs from government officials. It came as no surprise to them that even the floods and hurricanes that brought the great city of Seattle to its knees were met with a chorus of “not our problem.” The world can only be a personal problem for so long.
The pinch of the needle was not accompanied by the familiar euphoria that had led them to this place. Instead, their consciousness faded, and they were spun through a sea of stars.
They closed their eyes. They were ready.
The game was starting. Their life was ending. Those last desperate breaths of life that attempted to beat a broken heart. The memory of a monitor flatlining echoed in their head until it was silenced by a quiet melody coming from their headgear.
The stars formed into a line of great bold letters with a message: GAIA HAS CHOSEN YOU. WELCOME TO GAIA RENEW. Cultivate a new life, one of your choosing, one in harmony with nature.
Other books in this series:
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