Nightmarish Worldbuilding (Vol. 0- Prologue)
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Karma works in way many can't perceive. There are those destined to become great but still end up wasting their potentials due to bad karma. Others with no future become great figures just because of one good deed. An unfair world indeed.

Though unfair, Earth was a peaceful place. It was a place where great storytellers spun tales of tragedies and hope, of grief and joy, of cowardice and bravery, these stories spun by many Creators.

The tales themselves loved existing in the minds of the readers and influencing them unconsciously.

I'm such a world, lived an average writer by the name of Jordon Fisher. An unknown writer at the corner of the Internet with nothing to his name. A harsh passionate look appeared in his eyes as the tapping of a keyboard could be heard in his room.

He first starting writing largely as a joke, wanting to see the reaction he could get from writing as a hobby. So far in his life, nothing was particularly special unless you exaggerated his circumstances.

He worked in a warehouse, had a stable job, a normal family (if you ignore the fact his uncles all at least went to jail once), and wasn't exactly worthy of being the template main character for others.

He was sure that if HE was transported into an alternate world one of these days, he would be nothing like those airhead protagonists that seem to have their cake and eat it too. Though living an average life was something he was content with, it was always fun to imagine possibilities. It was the reason he loved writing short stories all day.

Would he be the hero slaying demons? Or would he be the demon king instead? The wonders of an epic story? Meh, that was too generic... He had already written an Epic Fantasy already anyway.

Now it was time get creative, and it was at this point his biggest 'flaw' had manifested itself...

He went on the Internet, started looking for mean comments about his former story, objectively took in their criticisms, then focused heavily on the ones that were meaningless insults with no charm.

There were a lot of people on the Internet who had a lot of time on their hands. Sometimes they would go as far as to insult the author, and what did this commonplace write do in response to that?

He viciously insulted them back without a hint of grace, his face was beaming with light at the touchscreen keypad of his phone as he continued to troll all those who opposed him like a maniac.

If he wasn't such a trashy guy, maybe he would have more readers... Honestly, for such a childish guy to write a story so good that there was at least one person asking for a sequel was unheard of...

Putting his phone to the side, he took out a pen and paper so he could focus more clearly. After having gained some inspiration from having argued intensely was random bozos on the Internet, he started by writing down the project he was writing:

{Sequel to my Webnovel}

It was redundant but he still went as far as to write it on the top of the page, then under it he wrote:

{Should I write a LitRPG?}

His first story was a mix between Eastern Fantasy and an a regular RPG-like world, so it wasn't a bad idea. However, he eventually shook his head and crossed it out. The tone had to change this time.

As he was currently thinking of his loss in a childish and almost nonsensical argument he had with som random reader from moments ago, a wicked smile arose on his face as he wrote another sentence:

{It has to be a crapsack world this time.}

One look on the TV Tropes page for this particular subject was enough to understand how childish he was being. Since he got pissed at one person, he decided to write a nightmarish world for them.

He imagined all who argued with him to be thrown into his world... Yeah, 'wonderful' imagination.

There were many stories set in a fantastical world where emphasis would be put on interaction with the world rather than the main character. This was a trick used by those who wrote Isekai heavily.

Though since he wasn't going to make the world that 'fantastical', he might as well shift the focus.

Though he wasn't a genius writer, he had enough experience as one to know the tone and theme of the story was essential. He was more of a OCD stricken perfectionist, an 'architect' writer who built his story from the ground up and loved it.

Rather than actually writing, his worldbuilder's disease would act up sometimes and end up making him spend too much time on the preparation rather than actually writing itself.

But he didn't care. As long as he could he could write his story, he would plan it first without fail.

Jordon referred to tales of the past as he once again picked up his phone to browse the Internet.

There weren't any concrete old tales to refers to even if he wanted to find a good template for him to base his world off of. He didn't care about the story's originality since legends and myths tend to contaminate each other over time anyway.

There was nothing concrete in mythology.

Therefore, since he himself was a writer looking at myths for support, he decided to first copy a franchise he knew and loved, making his own interpretation of the elements he liked from it.

There was a lot of 2D fan-service characters who were less legends and more Waifu bait in this franchise he loved. However, the dreary tone of the magic system as well as how it was handled was perfect for the negative world he wanted to make.

It was then a problem occurred to him. The very famous franchise he was thinking of was only able to become popular thanks to the different yet fully developed interpretations of different characters.

And as a writer who hated using his own brain too much, he hated the thought of trying to weave together multiple mythological heroes, demons, concepts, gods, goddesses, and the like.

He couldn't be bothered thinking of so many different universes and only had the brainpower to write one setting. As a man who loved the art of simplicity, he boiled it down to one factor.

What did he like about that franchise?

And he wrote down the answer to that as:

{Humans creating their own Gods}

Even though Zeus and Poseidon were Greek Gods that had a lot of influence back in their time, it was ultimately humans that gave birth to them. Jordon found it amusing when being brought forth from imagination interacted with people of this era.

In fact, he looked at the timeline of his previous Webnovel's ending and figured out an idea.

He would set the story on Earth. In the ending of his first story, Earth had been altered by a terrifyingly powerful existence. It had been 'reformed' into something he had yet to write.

On top of that, he also had a new 'Netherworld' that came from one of his characters accidentally destroying the concept of the 'Death Attribute' in the universe he created. Perhaps he could use the Three Realms template he had always seen in the Immortal Hero (Xianxia) genre of Webnovels and add a new power birthed from all this chaos.

Thinking about this clearly, he decided to think of what would be the antagonistic forces in this world that would be constantly hunting down the protagonist as if he was in a zombie apocalypse.

'Eureka!' He thought as a bunch of ideas from his past notes and current ones came together to form a completely brand new idea. There was a certain uniqueness to the 'antagonists' he thought of.

They needed to fill four criteria:

1. They had to be connected to the Netherworld somehow and even if they opposed this 'realm'.

2. They needed to relate to fictional tales.

3. They could not have only one form. As a lot of them were going to be fodder for the protagonist.

4. They needed to be a bit like zombies.

With all these things together, he wrote:

{Phantasmal Virus)

Since it was going to be nightmarish, why not tug at the recent trends and bring back the 'virus' plot device that has been used to death. It wasn't like how generic it was mattered to him whatsoever.

Since it was supposed to be simple, he decided to give the evilest types of fiction imaginable a name.

Then gave that name to these fictional creatures:

{Dark Muse}

Those two words combined had a greater significance to him than others. In his previous work, the enemies at first were those with a 'Dark Attribute'. The powers of shadows always worked to make evil creatures seem more sinister.

The 'Dark' in the name was to represent that they were new kinds of creatures on Earth formed from darkness. He had always thought that maybe he should give this Attribute to animals after the events of the first story adding magic to Earth, but decided not to after realising how wasteful it would be. Regular animals could just be given Elements!

Why didn't he think of this earlier? That could actually work! He'd give animals an Attributes!

{Birds get Wind Attribute.

Lizards get Fire Attribute.

Mammals get Earth Attribute.

Fish get Water Attribute.}

But added writing these four elements, he had realised something important. Weren't Humans also classified as Mammals? Why give them both the Light Attribute and the Earth Attribute?

He realised that it would be cheating Humans had two elements, so he decided to give this a fix.

What he needed was a reason why Humans and other mammals were differentiated between them.

The only answer he could come up with was:

{Only Humans get the Light Attribute.}

This was the first inconsistency he was going to pretend not to notice. He could give a myriad of reasons why Humans and other animals were different anyway, so there wasn't a problem.

{Animals also get the Dark Attribute}

Since he was going to make it like this, then he might as well bring out more ideas from his previous work and completely draw the line between 'Beasts' and Humans of Earth.

{Heavenly Beasts get Lightning Attribute.}

He was was using a mix of eastern and western to add the last elemental attribute. When he was writing this, he thought of unicorns in his head now popping up on Earth. They needed a new name, so he connected them with what eastern fantasy usually referred to as the 'Heavens'. The worldly supercomputer that punished using lightning.

He'd give Humans elemental affinities depending on personality traits again like in his last story, so he chose to return back to the the 'Dark Muses' he had written that made this new world a 'nightmare'.

If the 'Dark' part of its name was from a common Attribute in his last story, then the 'Muse' part of its name came from dark imagination. Just like how he could interpret tales almost evilly, so could anyone on Earth come up with creations beyond cruelty.

If imagination can becomes humanity's greatest strength, then it can also become a weakness.

Just like how pessimistic humans can imagine the worst ends of a story, these 'Dark Muses' in his novel will be just that. Since he needed them to also become like zombies, he came up with a certain brand of them that acted in such a way.

{Forgotten Ones}

This was what he called those abandoned Dark Muses that have been discarded. In the world he had thought of: These creatures will come in the form of zombie-like entities that eat human flesh.

They will create an apocalypse so big that humans will be wiped out and go to space. Since he wanted to write a Science Fiction world this time, he decided to set the base of where the big bad will be hiding on the moon. That way, he could put the focus on space when the story finally arrives at the climax where the last boss is defeated by heroes.

With all this said and done, he looked forward to writing about the main characters. The image of his world arose in his head as a far off future after an apocalypse happened and they had already rebuilt society from what they could slowly recover.

Since he used Arcana in his last book, he was thinking of naming the different factions of his story after Zodiacs. That way, he could keep track of each Arc that will happen before the ending.

It will start from Leo to Ophiuchus, just as the previous story started from the first cards of the Major Arcana before moving onto the last numbers of it. He had figured out his story's structure.

Now all he needed was an characters!