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If you’re having a dreadful day, you can take solace in the fact that Ressen probably has it worse than you.

By Maromar, author of Mystic Nan

Jun 6, 2017: “Fortress Seven” promises an underdog story and delivers just that, at least, from what’s posted as of now. Dumped memoryless into the ruins of a village with nothing but leather bracers and a broken sword to hunt rabbits with is rather close to “as screwed as you can get” for the genre. After days of dancing the waltz of primordial man, his first encounter with civilization very nearly kills him. He later finds himself talentless for magic that everyone and their grandmother has at least some access to, possibly the victim and cause of an ancient conspiracy, and the unsolicited companion of a tiny dragon that may prove more trouble than it’s worth.

Yes, Ressen has started a game of fantasy monopoly from the jail square with half a dollar bill and a four-sided dice. He’s as happy about this as one would expect, given his lack of insight on what things were like for him before.

The characters are done nicely though they draw close to their archetypes. Ressen isn’t necessarily another aloof generic Shonen protagonist, he possesses something that resembles a backbone supported by a healthy amount of snark. Psia is charming enough on the surface, though further study hints at a manipulative side. No one else gets enough screen time to warrant heavy consideration, but that’s okay. The story is still being written, and the interactions so far have whet my curiosity.

Magic in “Fortress Seven” is grounded with very simple, very functional rules. People have an affinity for one of seven naturally occurring orbs (which ties into geographical aspects of the lore), used for assorted flavors of spell slinging. Among them, mentis, which can affect the mind or body, throws a neat looking wrench in common conventions. There’s a well crafted chart the author provides for quick reference.

As far as mechanics go, the story has the same problem that plagues many free titles. It’s serviceable, but littered with juvenile prose and a sense of flow that isn’t the smoothest. Extra effort is required for readers to extract the budding character depth and mildly interesting world.The main issue lies in odd phrasing and repeated/redundant clauses. An editor would make this title shine.

The author, one Kyleli, livestreams his writing and keeps his WIP on google docs for anyone to look at. I’d recommend that you at least check in on this title every once in a while, it has potential.

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