Literature / Delvers LLC

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Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus (Book 1)

Delvers LLC is a series of novels written by Blaise Corvin. The books which comprise the main series are:

  • Delvers LLC: Welcome to Ludus (2016)
  • Delvers LLC: Obligations Incurred (2017)
  • Delvers LLC: Adventure Capital (2017)

Just as Henry Sato and Jason Booth were gearing up for a HEMA match in Seattle, they found themselves in another world. The so-called "Great God Dolos" appears, explains that they are now on his world, and that they must unite the continent before he sends them home. He doesn't expect them to succeed, but leaves them some magic items to help them on their way.

Henry and Jason quickly discover the world to be straight from a fantasy game, with monsters and magic but no technology. However, they are far from the first people that Dolos has kidnapped; the world is populated by members of the major races in the universe, like elves and beastmen. While the friends are intelligent and strong, they soon find that basic survival and paying rent might be harder than they first believed.


Delvers LLC contains examples of:

  • Buddy Picture: The central relationship of these stories is how a pair of friends handle their adventures.
  • Cat Folk: One of the major races on Ludus are Mo'hali, animal people who come in a variety of types, including several cats. They're far more feral than traditional cat girls, to Jason's displeasure.
  • Clueless Chick Magnet: Geek Jason could get all the girls...if he knew anything about girls.
  • Damsel in Distress: The first major conflict of the story is saving a girl (Mareen) and her grandfather from being eaten by goblins.
  • Enforced Technology Levels: Dolos enforces a specific technology level in order to force people to use magic so that he can study it more. Using electricity, phase crystal power, or tree power (those last two being important to the technology of some of the other races) will result in invincible machines called Dolosbots killing the person who used the technology and everyone around them. There do seem to be some exceptions, though; Uluula has a chip in her head, and the 'bots never bother her.
  • Exactly What It Says on the Tin: Most of the monsters have annoyingly descriptive names, apparently descended from the goddess who made them in the first place. There are horned demon wolves, wizened owl demons, spindly cave demons (goblins), and warthog-toothed, thick-hide man-demons (orcs). Henry and Jason find these names ridiculous. The orcs, at least, agree, and refer to themselves as simply the Plains People.
  • Exotic Extended Marriage: Polygamy is considered the norm for rich men, and in fact it is their wives who decide to bring more women into the marriage. While the husbands have to agree on who they're marrying, the wives are the ones who manage the money and represent the family politically. Uluula is actually offended when Jason is put off by the idea of having multiple wives, saying that she shouldn't have to handle his estate by herself.
  • Explosive Breeder: The orcs and possibly other intelligent monsters. Dolos only ever brings males to Ludus so they don't grow out of control.
  • Extra-ore-dinary: Harry, one of our intrepid buddies in the story, chooses metal manipulation as his power.
  • Functional Magic: Magic exists in the universe outside Ludus (Uluula mentions having minor wind magic before coming to Ludus), but it is far more prevalent on Ludus. Much of the planet is constructed in order to generate data on the Dhu, magical spirits native to Ludus that inhabit everything and increase magical power.
  • Green-Skinned Space Babe: Yep, just like Human Aliens, the girls here are attractive and ready to be your poly-amorous girlfriend.
  • Human Aliens: Ludus is populated by what Dolos calls "the major human races:" Areva (elves), Mo'hali (beastmen), Adom (unknown), Fideli (lizardfolk), and Terrans. Since all the races can crossbreed easily, it seems that they are all descended from the same base stock.
  • I'm a Humanitarian: The goblins and orcs both eat people on a regular basis, even members of their own races from enemy tribes. Only the most barbaric eat their enemies alive, however. Most of them consider this a minor sacrilege, and instead treat people as they would any other prey animal, to be killed efficiently and painlessly.
  • It Gets Easier: After that first act of destruction against some evil looking goblins, it gets easier to do it again. Especially after seeing the goblins butcher a kid.
  • Jerkass Gods: Dolos is not a benevolent god, he couldn't care less if you live or die, just don't be noticed or you may get squished.
  • Matriarchy: Women have the majority of the economic and political power on Ludus, which Dolos modeled after the rest of the universe (he was too lazy to invent a new social system). In marriages, the women are in charge of keeping the household organized, including the money, and are the ones who decide how many children to have and whether or not to bring more wives into the family. Below the ruling classes, men and women are about equal, with women showing up just as much as men as guards and soldiers.
  • Moral Myopia: Jeth is a thief, a rapist, and a murderer who blames everything wrong that happens in his life on someone else. When he keeps raping slaves to death, the other bandits stop him (because they want to be able to actually sell the slaves), and he blames the slaves for dying. When he is killed by Mareena when he tries to rape her, his father Yelm goes on the warpath against his "murderers." Yelm knows what Jeth was doing and that it was wrong, but he thought he'd "grow out of it."
  • One Person, One Power: As part of the "Great Experiment" Dolos bestows powers to select individuals, one power each.
  • Power Nullifier: The Mo'hali have the ultimate answer to powers—turn them off. Among other abilities, all Mo'hali Heroes can project an Anti-Magic field that negates all magic and orb-Bonded abilities. However, attempting to bond with a Mo'hali Hero Ring usually kills you.
  • Revenge by Proxy: Yelm kills George and a number of children from Georgetown in revenge for the death of his son. Ignoring the fact that the little bastard deserved what he got and worse, no one from Georgetown had anything to do with it.
  • Space Elves: The Areva are a long-lived race of pointy-eared humanoids with high technology. They are apparently the dominant race in the universe, and have dealings with most of the other races that have been kidnapped to populate Ludus. They hate being called elves, and before being kidnapped to Ludus most of them consider Terrans to be mythical monsters.
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